2. Reduces Wrinkles
Wrinkles are a common part of the aging process, but they can be a cause of embarrassment for many people, both male and female. Wrinkles generally fall into one of two categories: fine lines or deep furrows, but they’re both caused when the epidermis isn’t able to maintain enough moisture to keep the skin properly hydrated. This means less collagen is produced, which makes the skin loose and begin to sag.
Aging is the main cause of wrinkles but factors such as smoking, over-exposure to the sun, genetics and skin type can also contribute to the development of wrinkles. There is a wide variety of treatments for wrinkles, from creams and ointments that include retinoids, alpha-hydroxy acids and antioxidants, to dermabrasion, laser resurfacing and chemicals peels, and even cosmetic facelift surgery.
Castor oil is a cheap, effective remedy for wrinkles. The emollient properties of castor oil can help restore the necessary moisture that can plump and hydrate the skin, reducing the appearance of wrinkles. While castor oil can’t completely remove fine lines and wrinkles, it can keep wrinkles at bay and give the skin a healthy glow.
Castor oil can be used on the face, hands, neck, décolletage and anywhere wrinkles may occur. To use, simply cleanse and tone the area you want to treat, then pour a drop of castor oil into the palm of your hand. Dip a finger into the oil and gently dab it along the wrinkles, leaving it to soak in for 10–20 minutes before applying any make-up or sunscreen.
3. Promotes Hair Growth
Human hair grows at a rate of roughly half an inch each month, though this can be delayed by various factors like hair dye, chemical straightening, lack of nutrition and dry, damaged strands. Castor oil has been used to promote fast, healthy hair growth for centuries. It can be used for damaged hair and hair loss, and is also effective at thickening the eyebrows and eyelashes.
Castor oil is an effective remedy thanks to several key ingredients such as ricinoleic acid, which makes up more than 90% of castor oils composition. Ricinoleic acid is thought to be able to stimulate the production of Prostaglandin (PGE2), which is a compound that promotes hair growth. When prostaglandin is produced at a higher rate, it can enrich the hair follicles and encourage regeneration of hair.
Ricinoleic acid is also resistant to various types of fungi and bacteria, so when castor oil is massaged into the scalp, it can further promote hair growth by keeping the follicles clear from infections and irritants. Ricinoleic acid is also an omega-9 fatty acid, which can provide nourishment and promote hair growth even more.
To use castor oil for hair growth, simply pour some into your palm and rub your hands together to warm the oil up, then begin massaging it into your hair. Start at the roots of the hair, making sure the scalp is covered before massaging the oil further down through the hair. Because castor oil is highly viscous, it’s better to separate your hair into sections to ensure you get an even coverage. Use this treatment as often as necessary.
4. Thickens Eyebrows and Eyelashes
Similar to the common use of castor oil for hair growth, it’s also used to thicken eyebrows and eyelashes. Dark, full eyebrows and eyelashes are all the rage lately, but this can be a problem for people who don’t have naturally thick eyebrows or eyelashes, or those who have fallen prey to past trends like the pencil-thin eyebrows of the ‘90s.
Growing your eyebrows and eyelashes naturally can be a painstakingly slow process, and often, extensions and micro-blading treatments can be very pricey. Luckily, castor oil is believed to be an effective, cheap remedy to both thicken the eyebrows and eyelashes, and promote the hair to grow quicker.
Castor oil works in two ways: it can promote speedy hair growth, and prevent rapid hair loss, which makes the brows and lashes much fuller. Castor oil provides the fatty acids, vitamins and protein necessary to support healthy hair follicles, and using it consistently over time can encourage dark, thick, full eyelashes and eyebrows.
If you’re using castor oil, it can be most beneficial to do it before bed in order to leave the oil on overnight. First wash your face and remove all makeup, then take a cotton swab, dip it into the castor oil and apply it across the brows. Massage the oil in with your fingertips for at least three minutes, then wash it off in the morning when you wake up. To use castor oil on your eyelashes, the same rules can apply, but be very careful when applying the oil as the thickness and viscosity can make it quite difficult to rinse out of your eye if you get some in there.
5. Prevents Stretch Marks
Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, affect everyone of various ages, but they are seen more often in women than in men. They’re characterized by long, thin lines that occur on the skin and appear in a variety of colors, from white to dark red and purple. Stretch marks happen when the skin is stretched or pulled at a faster rate than usual, such as during pregnancy, puberty or with sudden weight gain.
Stretch marks can be seen on the stomach, thighs, hips, breasts, arms, and lower back. They form when the skin stretches so much that the dermis – the middle layer of skin – is pushed beyond its limit and tears. This allows the hypodermis – the skin’s deepest layer – to show through. Stretchmarks are in no way dangerous or serious, but they can cause embarrassment and low self-esteem.
Stretch marks affect everyone differently and can be influenced by factors like age, hormonal changes and genetics. Unfortunately, there is no way to stop stretch marks from forming. However, there are many different remedies to treat them, ranging from ointments and creams to laser therapy.
Castor oil is an effective remedy for the reduction in the appearance of stretch marks, thanks to the ricinoleic acid that hydrates the skin, prevents sagging and improves discoloration. To use, simply massage pure, organic castor oil into the affected areas. This should be done at least once a day for the best results.
6. Softens Calluses
Calluses are thick, hard patches of skin that usually appear over sites where constant friction or pressure occurs, like the palms of the hands and soles of the feet. Calluses can be quite painful and tender, or just unsightly and irritating, but regardless of the severity, they can be treated in many ways.
Often, calluses gradually disappear over time, when the friction or pressure stops. Depending on the affected area, you can have some of the callus shaved by a medical professional in order to reduce the thickness, but calluses can also be treated painlessly at home by using castor oil.
This can be done by filling a bath with warm water and soaking the affected area in it until the callus begins to soften, usually after around 15 minutes. Once they’re soft enough, simply file the area with a pumice stone or exfoliating foot scrub to slough off some of the dead skin.
After you’ve pumiced the area, dab some castor oil onto the skin and massage in for a few minutes. This is best done before bed in order to give the oil more time to soak in, providing the hydration necessary to heal the area.
7. Treats Brittle and Cracked Nails
Brittle, cracked nails can be painful and embarrassing. Medically referred to as onychoschizia, it’s a common problem that is seen more commonly in women and is characterized by soft, thin nails that are prone to splitting or breaking.
It’s often thought that brittle nails are caused by nutrient deficiencies or internal diseases, but this is rarely the case. Often, brittle nails are simply caused by external factors such as frequent household cleaning with chemicals and detergents, nail polish remover that contains acetone, and even the weather.
Castor oil can work wonders on brittle, cracked nails. Not only can castor oil provide hydration and moisture, the anti-bacterial and antifungal properties will ensure your fingernails steer clear of infection and heal quicker.
To use, pour a tablespoon of castor oil into a cup of warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for around 15 minutes, then rinse and dry your hands. Follow this up with a hand massage using further castor oil to ensure the best benefits. This can be done every few days or as needed, and make sure you take good care of your nails in between by carefully filing and shaping them to avoid ragged edges.
8. Heals Chapped Lips
Chapped lips are an unavoidable part of life, but if they happen too often, they can be a nightmare. Speaking can be painful, and even eating becomes a struggle. To regain soft, supple lips there are many things you can do, but the first step is to figure out what’s causing it.
Chapped lips can be caused by a variety of things, but they’re very likely always external factors. These include harsh weather conditions like strong wind, exposure to sunlight and lack of humidity, as well as habitual licking of the lips. While it is tempting to lick the lips when they’re dry, this actually exacerbates the dryness by stripping even more moisture from the lips.
Once you know what is causing the dryness, you can take steps to avoid it happening as often. Doing things like choosing the right lip balm to provide enough moisture and protection, staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and ensuring you don’t expose yourself to harsh conditions more than necessary are just a few of the ways you can combat dry, chapped lips.
For a quick, at-home remedy, castor oil is hugely effective. Its emollient properties allow for plenty of moisture to be soaked deep into the lips, and it can provide much needed nourishment. To use, simply rub a small amount on your lips as needed.
9. Repairs Split Ends
Split ends are damaged strands of hair that can be found at the very tips of the hair, and they’re a common occurrence among people of all ages. Split ends can be caused by different things like hair dye, thermal heat styling, blow-drying, over-brushing, harsh shampoos and genetic conditioning.
A split end is a hair strand in trauma, and while some shampoos and hair treatments can ‘glue’ the split back together, this just fixes the outward appearance of the split end. The only way to fix them is to get rid of them completely by trimming the split ends off.
Castor oil can treat split ends by providing a rich amount of proteins and minerals, smoothing down rough cuticles and penetrating deep into the hair shaft. Coating the hair in castor oil can lock in moisture and condition the hair, taming frizz at the same time.
The thickness of castor oil makes it quite difficult to manage, but luckily a little goes a long way. To use it as a treatment for split ends, just pour some out onto your fingertips and rub your hands together to heat the oil up. This makes it melt, leaving it easier to handle. Once the oil is thin enough, run your fingers through the ends of your hair, gently massaging the oil in and making sure you coat each strand. If you want a deep-condition, use a lot of castor oil and leave it to soak into your hair overnight before rinsing out. Otherwise, you can use a tiny amount to smooth down the strands and leave your hair feeling and looking silky smooth.
10. Soothes Sunburn
Sunburn is the reaction that occurs in the skin when it’s overexposed to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It can happen in as little as 15 minutes, and even on cloudy days. Once the skin is sunburned, it will usually turn red within two hours, worsening over the next day or so. Depending on the severity, sunburn can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to heal.
Sunburn can be very painful, and other symptoms like swelling, blistering, fever, chills, nausea and headaches. After a few days, the skin begins itching and peeling. This is the body’s way of getting rid of the sun-damaged cells, which is a necessary step in the healing process because if cells are damaged by the sun, they are at risk of “going rogue” and becoming cancerous.
It’s important to stay out of the sun until your sunburn heals. And to ensure your skin stays healthy in the future, practice proper sun safety like staying out of the sun when the UV rays are strongest (usually between 10am and 4pm), wearing a broad-brimmed hat, a loose, long-sleeved shirt and pants, sunglasses and broad-spectrum sunscreen that has an SPF factor of at least 30.
There are many different ways to treat sunburn, including cold compresses, creams and gels that include soothing ingredients like menthol, camphor and aloe. The anti-inflammatory properties of castor oil make it a highly effective treatment for sunburn by reducing redness and pain. Mix one tablespoon of castor oil with one tablespoon of a carrier oil like coconut, and apply it to the affected area for immediate relief.