What do luscious lips, silky hair, and excellent digestive systems have in common? Two words—castor oil. Its origin traces back centuries, yet it continues to be a staple beauty product and a popular natural treatment in most Indian households. Contrary to the widespread belief that it is only a laxative, it is rich in nutrients such as ricinoleic acid and has anti-inflammatory properties. It is, in fact, often prescribed for acne, dermatitis, and dry skin.
Whether it is part of grandma’s haircare routine or the secret ingredient in lip products (celebrities swearing by it to moisturize their skin)—it’s everywhere, unbeknownst, and if it isn’t part of your skincare regime yet, this may be your cue to include it.
And instead of the usual, use it on your eyelashes to help them grow, we bring you some unique and extremely effective uses of castor oil.
To reduce stretch marks
We’ve all had that sinking feeling of finding a fresh stretch mark patch on our bodies. Regular massages with a mixture of aloe vera and castor oil can help. Simply mix fresh aloe vera and cold-pressed castor oil and leave the concoction on overnight to lessen stretch marks.
Whilst there may not be a way to get rid of stretch marks entirely, the mixture can reduce their appearance and inhibit new ones. Castor oil is a fatty acid which has a skin-conditioning property, and its high percentage of ricinoleic acid helps to lighten those stubborn stretch marks.
For luscious lips
The hydrating property of castor oil helps to moisturise chapped, cracked, and dry lips. Mix one tablespoon of castor and coconut oil each, one teaspoon of cocoa butter, grated wax (for a balm-like texture) and vitamin E oil for a DIY lip balm. There are several variations and combinations of castor oil, including glycerin and lemon juice, which can also be soothing. Apply the mixture every night before bedtime for the best results.
To strengthen nails
For dry cuticles and weak nail growth, castor oil may be the knight in shining armour with its antifungal, antibacterial properties and vitamin E content. Simply take a few drops and massage on and around your nails for healthy, strong, fast-growing nails.
Due to ageing, our nails get weaker over the years and become prone to breakage. Castor oil helps prevent this. A castor oil massage before bedtime or during the day for cuticle hydration and nail growth is greatly recommended.
Heal dry and cracked heels
Castor oil’s ability to hydrate skin miraculously makes it an ideal treatment for cracked heels and dry skin on your feet. Lather castor oil generously on your feet, wear a pair of socks to avoid greasy floors and keep them on overnight to make your feet feel as soft as a baby. This magic oil miraculously helps treat corns and calluses, and it also helps emit fungi!
Lowers the risk of developing blackheads
Castor oil is known to tremendously help treat hydration and inflammation of the skin. But it also helps unclog open pores. It’s ideal for sensitive skin because of its low comedogenic score, which means it doesn’t clog pores and reduces the chances of developing blackheads.
Apply this oil on areas exposed to dirt such as your nose once or twice a week with a cotton swab directly on your face and leave it overnight.
Combat sunburns and tan
The red skin, intermittent freckles, and that annoying, tingling sensation—all of which are hangover signs from that wonderful day out on the beach. Sunburn is extremely common, and the castor is great for it. Rich in ricinoleic acid, it protects blisters from being infected.
Directly apply a thin layer of the oil on areas that are affected and leave it on for an hour. You can do this several times in a day until your sunburn is treated and you’ll repeatedly get that calming, cooling sensation.