What Is Castor Oil?
If you want to improve your overall beauty then castor oil is a truly amazing oil that has heaps of medicinal values, and almost as many beauty uses as well. For everything from your hair to your skin!
This plant based oil can be found in many common household items, as well as beauty ones, such as soaps, dyes, paints and much more.
In this article we intend to teach you everything you need to know about this wonderful oil. Plus we're going to show you the very best castor oil products and help you figure out which to use for what!
Table of contents
Types Of Castor Oil
Are there different types? If so, what are they?
Black Castor Oil - which originates from Caribbean countries such as Jamaica. This type is typically roasted, giving it a distinct color and taste.
Hydrogenated - like hydrogenated fats, this type isn't exactly a liquid. This 'wax' like type of the oil is often used for cosmetic purposes, like hair care.
Organic Castor Oil - The archetype, which is kind of a pseudo-type of castor oil is organic castor oil. One of the main differences is the way it's produced, being extracted through a 'cold press'. This removes the need to use chemicals or heat, meaning this oil stays as pure as possible. Which is why it's great for skin care uses.
Where Did It Originate
Where is castor oil actually from? Where did it originate?
Castor oil originated in a few regions, although it's unclear where it was first cultivated and how it spread from one region to the other.
It was first recorded in the Mediterranean basin, Eastern Africa & India. It may well have come through India through the silk road, into early Rome before being taken to Africa. Although this is purely speculation.
Today it is widespread throughout most tropical regions, including the Caribbean.
Properties of Castor Oil
What are some of the key constituent properties that help improve your natural beauty?
- Ricinoleic acid
- Oleic acid
- Linoleic acid
- α-Linolenic acid
- Stearic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Dihydroxystearic acid.
Note About Castor Oil
Castor Oil is not a culinary oil. This means it should not be used for cooking purposes, this is because it has laxative type effects and has been used for treatment of constipation. If you have any medical issues, or are on medication you should never ingest castor oil without consulting your Doctor first.
Best & Common Beauty Uses
There is a heap of beauty benefits of castor oil, with uses from helping deal with acne, giving you glossier hair to generally improving your complexion. Here are some of the top uses.
Hair - The mix of fatty acids, proteins and so forth that are present in true organic brands of this wonder oil are fantastic for your hair. They help to strengthen the hair, revitalize and protect. Applying a liberal amount to your fingers and rubbing this into the roots of your hair once per week so it can reach the follicles is a great start. At a later point you can mix some of the oil in to any DIY shampoo or hair conditioners you're working on.
Skin - Due to the acids present in quality organic castor oils, you'll not need to worry about clogged pores like you do with most oils. In fact it's a great oil for improving the appearance of wrinkles & fine lines around the facial area generally. Another great skin care usage for this oil is for reducing the visible appearance of scars and preventing stretch marks (great for expecting moms).
Nails - castor oil can be used to help strengthen nails, and is a key ingredient in many nail treatment products, if you like using acrylics it can be used as a great after-treatment as the acids will help repair damage, eliminate fungal issues before they begin and the proteins will help strengthen the damaged nails. The best way to apply this is to dip each finger in to the oil for 1-2 seconds, remove and let drip for 1-2 seconds more and then wipe the area clean.
Eyebrows - It nourishes your eyebrows with it's natural proteins and fatty acids. Typically you'll see this usage recommended for thickening your eyebrows. The best method for application is to dip a cotton swab in to the oil and gently apply to the area once to three times per week.
Eyelashes - The vitamins, fatty acids and proteins form a great nourishing source of eyelash boosting properties, generally the follicles around your lashes love this. Again, use a cotton swab to apply. However, please be more liberal as the acidic contents of the oil can irritate the eyes if left to drip and run. You can also mix the oil with any other kind of oil such as olive oil to neutralize the pH a little.
Reviews - The Best Castor Oils Available In 2017
Of all the best castor oil brands out there, we've narrowed it down to 5 based on the reviews on Amazon. Then we bought them, and we've tested them out over the last month or so (5 weeks, 1 per week) to get a good idea of how they compare.
5. Dr. Adorable Pure Organic Cold Pressed Virgin Castor Oil
This Dr. Adorable Pure Organic product is our number 5. It's not expensive by any means, nor is it fussy. The packaging isn't beautiful by any means.
The consistency of this oil isn't the greatest, it's a bit thicker than some of the others on this list, which means it's not ideal for skincare use. However, we had a good experience using it for our hair.
Of course you can use it for your skin if you dilute the mixture a little, we tried coupling this with some organic olive oil roughly 1:2 parts. The result was a very gentle skin treatment that left our faces feeling very soft.
I think it's important to dilute this particular oil for skin care to prevent breakouts, and to neutralize the pH since the oil is thicker, this could be a reflection of the purity or the cold press extraction not being as effective as some others. Either way, dilute it.
4. Heritage Store Castor Oil
This product comes in 4th as it's virtually the same as the 5th product. The oil is slightly thick in consistency as well, so it's not the greatest there when compared to our top 3.
However after a week of testing the product, we found it was great for our skin when we mixed it with olive oil at a ratio of 1:1 parts. So that was slightly better than the Dr. Adorable product.
What we didn't like about this organic oil was that it smelled a little bit too strongly to smell nice. So using it in your hair is probably something you'd rather avoid, unless you're then using a regular shampoo or conditioner after treating your hair with this one.
Some users in the reviews were saying this is a good oil for ingesting, but really it's not, as already explained in this article - you shouldn't ingest castor oil.
3. Organic Castor Oil by Sky Organics
Organic Castor Oil by Sky Organics is one of the better packaged products, it's also great value for money considering you get 473 ml of the stuff. Which is a bit more than average for it's price range.
Sourced directly from farms in India, it's coming from a region where castor originates from, so you're talking about a quality source for this organic oil.
We found that it was great for use with our hair, skin, brows, lashes and nails. So it's a great all round product, which only adds to the value for money aspect of this castor oil. There is no real discernible scent to the product, which is why we're recommending it for your hair, but it did also have a visible effect on the glossiness of our hair after the first use.
While, like most castor oils it's thick in consistency it doesn't just sit on top of your skin like the 4th and 5th ranked products did. It absorbs very well, which means we didn't need to combine it with any other oil product.
That being said, be liberal with this sky organics products, you only need a few drops as more than that could cause clogged pores which can lead to pimples / spots. Again though, for us this is a benefit as you know the product is going to last a long time.
2. Swanson 100% Certified Organic Castor Oil
Swanson Organic Castor Oil is a very reliable, well-trusted product. This is because of the brand, who have been around for almost 50 years producing various quality supplements for health and beauty.
It's the only product in this list that we could find proof of it's organic claim, as it's approved USDA Certified. This means it is 100% pure, GMO-free etc!
The purity of this product means that it works best for your skin, we found that it gave us softer skin after just two applications. Namely on my arms, but there were also good results on my legs and cheeks... Using it in my hair was a no go, because it did have a bit of a strong smell and I'm not fond of doing multiple different washes on the same day.
The purity of the product is what makes this number 2 on the list, as even though it's fairly versatile and perhaps the best castor oil for your skin, it's not my personal choice for general / overall usage.
1. Lagoon Essentials 100% Raw Castor Oil
Lagoon Essentials get's the number 1 spot for a few reasons, firstly the packaging is great, and there is a useful applicator included to help you not waste or spill any of the oil.
Secondly it's got the best consistency of any of the oils, it's not at all too thick and it absorbs well, you won't get sticky with this oil when used correctly!
It's not strongly scented, so I did test this out on my hair, lashes and eyebrows. The results were good, my eyebrows looked a lot less coarse after the first use. My lashes felt softer, and my hair did seem to have a visibly glossier appearance.
It certainly proved to be most-effective for me personally, and there is a 30-day money back guarantee on the product. Which none of the other brands seem to offer. Users claim that it helped them treat specific issues such as dandruff - there were a lot of people saying it made a great conditioner and I'd have to agree, although I personally used about 4-5 drops of it mixed with shampoo.
Without a doubt this organic oil is the top castor oil we tried.
Castor oil is a fantastic wonder product that can do so much for so many aspects of our appearance, improving your beauty with castor oil is very affordable for that reason, since you can get so many different uses from it.
While there are a few types of castor oil, the best for beauty is organic. After we did our research we found varying results, and found that a few are better than others for different things. Of all of the products we tested by these different brands, we found that the most effective was definitely the Lagoon Essentials 100% Raw Castor Oil.
So what did we learn? We personally learned about a bunch of different uses of castor oil and we found out that you should not be cooking with the stuff as well. So definitely don't do that!!!
If you have any questions, be sure to let me know in the comments!