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.