Say Yes To Castor Oil To Improve Your Skin And Hair

All you need to know about this wonder oil in five simple points

Mohini Mehrotra Published Jun 22, 2020 19:13:57 IST
Say Yes To Castor Oil To Improve Your Skin And Hair Photo: Shutterstock


An age-old household remedy, castor oil is one of the secrets passed through generations since centuries. It is coveted for its incredible beauty benefits, but today, it stands the risk of getting lost in the crowd of fancier-sounding formulations, although its properties have not waned one bit. If you haven’t heard of the benefits of this miracle worker, here’s everything you need to know in five quick points.

1. Castor oil is produced from the beans of Ricinus communis, one of the world’s oldest cultivated crops. India is the largest producer and exporter of castor oil in the world, accounting for over 90 per cent of the global share. Its production is concentrated primarily in Gujarat, followed by Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan.

2. With a distinct flavour and smell, this dense, yellow-coloured oil is commercially used to manufacture soaps, lubricants, brake fluids, inks, cold-resistant plastics, waxes and polishes. However, it is also known for its use in beauty routines—for hair, skin and even nails.

3. When consumed in the right quantity, the ricinoleic acid(a kind of fatty acid) in castor oil helps relieve constipation by acting as a laxative. “It works by increasing the movement of the intestines to help stool come out,” says Felice Schnoll-Sussman, MD, a gastroenterologist at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center in a Good Housekeeping article. “Due to its laxative properties, it can cause diarrhea, abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and electrolyte disturbances.” she adds. However, it is not recommended to pregnant women as it can induce early labour.

4. Primarily composed of fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals, castor oil works well as a moisturizer to help nourish and soothe dry, irritated and flaky skin. It not only makes your skin softer but also forms a barrier to protect it against loss of moisture and environmental damage. If applied regularly, it can also help tackle various skin conditions such as dermatosis, psoriasis, acne as well as improve overall complexion.

5. Castor oil also works wonders for your hair, giving it a healthy and shiny glow. When massaged, it can help improve blood circulation and nourish the scalp, improving hair growth and preventing breakage. Applied on the hair shaft and ends, castor oil can help hydrate your hair and fight frizz.

Hadley King, MD, board-certified dermatologist in NYC, in a Cosmopolitan article, says that because of its emollient properties, castor oil is an ideal ingredient for ultra-hydrating conditioners and masks. Besides treating dandruff, applying castor oil regularly on eyelashes and eye-brows is said to make them denser and thicker. It also helps condition cuticles, which is why it’s widely used in beauty services such as pedicure and manicure.

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