Just the mention of castor oil can remind persons of a certain age bracket, of the deep childhood trauma of being purged. In a younger age bracket however, castor oil is famous for being a cosmetic ingredient extraordinaire. Despite the smell that some describe as ‘smoky’, castor oil is a real wonder that should be a bigger part of all our beauty routines. Here at Handmade by Kae, we can’t get enough of the stuff! It’s an important ingredient in our lotions and some of our soaps too. Castor oil is great for skin, it fights inflammation and is useful in treating minor scrapes. Castor oil is high in ricinoleic acid, which helps reduce pain and swelling. It is also useful for skin healing and repair, it has been found to help stimulate tissue growth, so it can not only reduce the pain of bumps and scrapes but can shorten the healing time too! It is high in Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids which also support skin health. Many celebrities with naturally glowing skin, swear by the healthy fats in expensive salmon. Castor oil applied topically, offers the same benefits ( I kid you not!) which is great for vegans. Studies have also shown that castor oil has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties, it helps fight the nasties trying to cross your skin barrier. The best part about Castor oil is how moisturising it is. I’m talking next level, deep moisture. Firstly, it acts as a humectant, so it pulls moisture from the atmosphere and draws it into the skin. Secondly, it is what dermatologists call an occlusive, this means it forms a physical barrier on the skin. As a heavier oil, it takes a while to be absorbed and while it is waiting to be absorbed, the actives in your moisturiser get a longer time to work. So a formula with Castor oil is more effective than the same formula without it. In soaps and body washes, the triglycerides in Castor oil helps to gently but deeply cleanse skin while moisturising.
Castor oil is no slouch when it comes to tresses either. Don’t kid yourself, the basis of healthy hair is a healthy scalp. Work on the health of your scalp to encourage faster hair growth and healthier hair which translates into longer, stronger hair. For the tender-headed and those with parched hair, castor oil is a godsend! Castor oil can not only improve scalp health, by fighting dryness, fungal and bacterial infections and easing the symptoms of dandruff and psoriasis. At the same time it moisturises hair deeply. Apply to scalp after washing to lock in moisture and improve hair elasticity. Some advocates swear that it can increase hair growth by up to 5x its normal rate. It gives the appearance of thicker hair too. Don’t only think hair on your head, Castor oil can be applied to eyebrows and lashes to encourage thickness and growth too! For the dudes with the manly beards, castor oil is great for grooming and beard health. I don’t think there’s anything that Castor oil isn’t good for, so keep some on hand as a regular part of your beauty routine. Add it to your body lotion and deep conditioner today to amp up their effectiveness.