Worthy Products: Castor Oil

castor beans

Castor oil, castor oil, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways. Anyone who knows me knows that I am big on oils. I have a nice little collection that I cannot go without. Since I have always had hereditary dry skin, I have always sought out natural methods to moisturize throughout the seasons. It was hard choosing one, but castor oil is officially my favorite oil of all.

My Favorite Uses for Castor Oil

Here are my top five uses and reasons why castor oil kicks every other oil’s buttocks.

1. Castor oil is 100% natural.

It comes from the castor bean (or castor seed) . Pure, cold pressed castor oil is relatively odorless. And though thick, it is very pale in color. Many are first introduced to this oil as children. I remember stories my mom would tell me about pregnant women drinking castor oil to bring on labor, but I have never tried it and don’t plan to. I will stick to using castor oil as a topical treatment.

 

2. Castor oil helps regrow thinning or balding hair.

One of the great things about castor oil is its hair growth properties. If you have read my hair story, you know that I have struggled with thinning edges during my natural hair journey. Not only that, but while wearing weaves, I basically neglected the hair on the nape of my neck (you know, my kitchen), causing it to eventually break off all together. When I took my weave out last year, I had uneven parts from the tightness of the plaits on my roots and edges that were completely thinned. But, I invested in a bottle of castor oil to help stimulate my scalp and regrow the hair. Less than a year later, the hair on the nape of my neck that was previously bald is about 4 inches long. And, the thinning hair on the sides and top of my head have just about caught up with my APL (armpit length) hair.

 

3. Castor oil can help to heal old scars and stretch marks.

I happened upon this use for castor oil accidentally. I had some leftover oil on my fingers and decided to rub it on my elbows before bed. Well, after a few days of doing this – because I hate wasting things – I noticed that my elbows had become much softer and the pigment was lightening to match the surrounding skin. Getting uber-excited about this, I began mixing castor oil in my body oil and shea butter body butter recipe. I also added it to my husband’s body butter. Within a few weeks, I noticed scars that I’d had since childhood were lightening and blending with my skin. My husband also saw similar results with a surgical scar. Since this discovery, I have been using castor oil to treat and prevent stretch marks related to pregnancy. It has been a perfect addition to date.
castor oil

 

4. Castor oil can help to detoxify acne and other skin conditions.

I have struggled with acne since early adolescence. I tried medicated solutions and expensive topical treatments, but well into my 20’s, I continued to have intermittent breakouts due to hormonal changes and stress. During my pregnancy with my first child, I had terrible acne coupled with unevenness and dryness. And vowing not to have the same issues the second time around, I began looking for natural solutions to my acne problem.

Castor oil has been the most consistent tool for fighting acne. Because it has anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, it is a great exfoliant for the skin. It helps me to keep my oily combination skin clean and clear. Since I began using it, I have reduced applications so that I now only apply it to breakouts and random pimples. But I no longer have prolonged issues with acne.

 

5. Castor oil is a sealant.

Castor oil is a natural emollient. This means that it seals in moisture as opposed to giving moisture (like jojoba oil). So, the hair and skin should be moisturized before castor oil is applied. Additionally, castor oil is very thick and heavy, so it cannot be used the same way as olive or jojoba oil. Instead, castor oil is great product for sealing ends after deep conditioning. And, it works well when mixed with olive oil. It softens the ends and prevents breakage.

A word to the wise: if you are using castor oil on your scalp for the first time, be prepared for itching. Some women quit using castor oil before seeing the full benefit because of this side effect. The itching is not a bad thing, or at least it wasn’t in my case. As stated above, it is anti-fungal, so it works to detoxify the skin and scalp. I would recommend using it diluted within a hot oil treatment, or if using it on the scalp, leave it on for no longer than an hour before washing hair.

In conclusion, castor oil is truly amazing and natural. But don’t take my word for it; try it for yourself.

Have you used castor oil in your hair or body regimen? What are some of the benefits you have seen using castor oil? Share your uses and recipes in the comments section below.

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