You're a savvy beauty, and you're always on the lookout for new skincare products and all-natural, at-home remedies to help cleanse and brighten your skin’s natural glow. Normally, you’re looking for help with problems like acne, which you know usually happens because your face is making excess oil. So, it might not occur to you to explore types of oil as remedies if you’re having skin issues.
Yet, castor oil is actually an extremely underrated product that can be used in conjunction with your normal skincare routine to help lessen the effects of acne and hyperpigmentation. We’re here to spread the word that you, too, can love the flawless, beautiful skin that you’re in.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil, primarily grown in Africa, South America, and India. People have been using castor oil for thousands of years. It’s made by extracting oil from seeds of the plant, known as castor beans. These beans also contain a toxic substance called ricin, but the heating process that castor oil goes through deactivates that substance, which makes the oil safe for use. Castor oil is either colorless or a very pale yellow liquid with a distinctive smell.
Even though it’s an oil from a plant, it isn’t considered edible. It’s often used as an industrial lubricant and a component in biodiesel fuel. It is now incorporated into many different kinds of beauty products because people have recognized the great benefits it offers to keep your skin supple and youthful.
Although it is used in lots of products, it is a natural, plant-based oil and a lot easier on your skin than chemical-laden products. Castor oil is an age-old remedy for dry hair and skin, so we’re going to explore all the amazing benefits that it can offer you and your lovely skin.
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How Does Castor Oil Help?
Castor oil is used in lots of existing skincare products because it helps address so many issues. Some people would rather use castor oil on its own, as opposed to commercialized products that might contain potentially harmful fragrances, dyes, and preservatives. Switching to pure castor oil can reduce your exposure to all of those icky chemicals and save your skin from potential allergic reactions. Not to mention, it is a lot cheaper.
If you’re worried about adding more oil onto an already oily face, don’t be. You don’t leave castor oil on your skin for more than a few minutes. After letting it sit for the allotted time, simply wash it off. Then, in the morning and at night before you hop back into bed, consider rinsing your skin and wiping it gently with a washcloth and a cleansing soap. It’s a quick addition to your normal routine that can make a huge difference.
Castor oil is rich in antioxidants, which help fight off free radicals in your body. Free radicals are responsible for speeding up the aging process and giving you wrinkles. Castor oil also can help unclog pores and prevent acne. Castor oil can soothe existing acne as well. Castor oil also is unlikely to clog pores in your skin and is delicate enough for sensitive skin.
- Help With Sun Damage.
As you probably know, the sun’s rays can actually increase the signs of aging and potentially your risk of getting skin cancer. UV light damages the parts of your skin called elastin, which can lead to skin sagging and stretching. Unfortunately, most young people aren’t very conscious of sun damage and don’t start to do anything about it until later in life. Protecting your skin from the sun at a young age is one of the keys to beautiful skin in your later years.
Unprotected, excessive exposure to the sun can lead to skin cancer because the radiation in the UV rays decreases the skin’s immune functions. Even if it isn’t cancer, skin damage from the sun can cause a variety of other problems, including benign tumors, increasing the appearance of wrinkles and sunspots, a yellowing discoloration of the skin, and destroying helpful collagen tissue.
We always recommend wearing sunscreen when you’re planning to have fun in the sun, but if you forget, castor oil can ease itching or pain from a sunburn. Plus, those amazing moisturizing qualities from the healthy fatty acids mean that you won’t peel as much when the sunburn is healing. Castor oil’s fatty acids moisturize your skin by preventing water loss through the outer layer of skin, effectively locking in the moisture for a radiant glow.
Luckily, you don’t need expensive, complicated treatments to bask in the benefits of castor oil. Incorporate a moisturizer or moisturizing face mask a few times a week, and you can naturally correct dryness. Ever heard of a non-comedogenic moisturizer? This simply means that it won’t clog your pores, and if you’re really worried about dry skin, look for a ‘light’ moisturizer with castor oil (or you can apply your own).
- Reducing Redness and Uneven Skin Tone.
One of those main fatty acids in castor oil is called ricinoleic acid, which reduces redness and swelling along with relieving pain upon topical application. This acid can also promote the growth of healthy skin tissue, which means it can also help restore uneven skin tones.
- Possible Help With Skin Conditions.
It might also be useful in dealing with inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis or psoriasis. Besides the reduction of inflammation, the moisturizing qualities can help people with the dry, irritated skin so common in psoriasis.
- Moisturizing Your Lips.
Ready for more great news? Those same amazing moisturizing qualities also help keep your lips soft and kissable. Castor oil is a common ingredient in lipstick, lip gloss, and lip balm. Sometimes it’s better to go simple when you can.
- Moisturizing Your Hair.
In fact, some people use castor oil as an all-natural, organic hair conditioner and enjoy the benefits of moisturized hair and scalp. Castor oil’s fatty acids effectively lubricate your hair, which increases flexibility and decreases the likelihood of damage, breakage, and much more.
Castor oil is thought to benefit people with a dry, itchy scalp or dandruff issues because of how moisturizing it really is. In fact, some types of dandruff result from seborrhoeic dermatitis, which is an inflammatory skin condition that castor oil can relieve as well. Some people claim it even accelerates hair growth. Castor oil really is the total package.
How To Apply
Because castor oil is so thick, you shouldn’t apply it directly to your face by itself. Instead, you should mix the castor oil with other, thinner oils so that you don’t accidentally end up clogging your pores and causing an acne outbreak.
You can use coconut oil, almond oil, peanut oil, or olive oil to reduce its thickness and even add shea butter to the mix if you need a little extra moisture. By diluting the castor oil, it lessens the amount of time your skin will take to absorb its moisturizing effects.
Apply your customized castor oil mixture on freshly cleaned, dry skin, and let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it off with a warm cloth and water. However, be careful to avoid your eye area because you definitely don’t want to get castor oil into your eyes. Additionally, if you have dermatitis, you should consult with your dermatologist before using castor oil since it can irritate your skin further.
Alternatively, if you choose to apply it directly to your skin, it’s always best to use a cotton ball so you don’t end up with the slippery oil all over your hands.
If you ingest castor oil, it can induce labor in pregnant women. Medical professionals recommend women in all stages of pregnancy to avoid ingesting castor oil if it is not administered by a doctor. Castor oil can also cause diarrhea. Taking too much can cause gastrointestinal distress and unnecessary dehydration and electrolyte imbalances associated with diarrhea.
Like with almost everything, there is always a possibility of an allergic reaction. To avoid this, simply try applying a small amount to a tiny patch of skin and then wait to see if any negative side effects occur. If you see a visible reddening, hives, or any other signs of an allergic reaction, stop using castor oil immediately, and consult with a doctor before using it again.
We totally understand that castor oil isn’t what you might think of automatically when considering home remedies to resolve acne issues or simply beautify your skin, but, surprisingly, it has a lot of great benefits. Consider adding castor oil or a mixture containing it to your normal skincare routine to fight acne, exfoliate, and lock moisture into your face to allow your natural beauty to shine through.
Embracing your natural beauty has grown popular in recent years, and it seems to be a trend that isn’t going away any time soon. Luckily, many companies are going green and removing harsh chemicals and unnecessary toxins from their skincare and cosmetic lines. So, if you’re looking for something affordable to help enhance the natural beauty of your skin, castor oil is always here for you.
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