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I’ve had so many readers asking recently about castor oil, so today we have some chemistry secrets to share with you!
Everyone wants to know what does castor oil really do for skin?
Believe it or not, the chemistry of castor oil is incredibly unique compared to all other vegetable oils. And here on Chemistry Cachet, we love to share with you the truth about these subjects, so you know exactly what to use and how.
Castor oil has been used for decades because it has so many benefits for your skin among other things!
PIN THIS: What Does Castor Oil REALLY Do for Skin?
Castor oil comes from castor beans. The oil is extracted similar to other oils. Usually the oil is cold-pressed, but sometimes it is chemically extracted. Always make sure to buy cold-pressed oils to avoid any added chemicals!
One of my favorites things to do as a chemist is research old chemical articles about modern subjects!
I read an interesting article published in 1941 all about castor oil! According to their research, in 1939, so many castor beans were brought into the country, they were able to extract 73 million pounds of oil. That is how popular castor oil was even back then!
Unique Chemistry of Castor Oil
The key chemical that makes castor oil so unique is ricinoleic acid. This acid gives castor oil uniqueness that you don’t see in other vegetable oils.
First, it creates a totally different viscosity, which is much higher than most oils. It also effects the solubility. Castor oil is more soluble in solvents, meaning it will dissolve easier in things like alcohol. If you think about other vegetable oils, they do not dissolve in anything!
This makes castor oil a fantastic skincare option!
With the physical and chemical properties of the ricinoleic acid, castor oil can benefit a wide range of skincare issues.
What to Use Castor Oil for on Skin
The list is endless, but here are the most common benefits of castor oil for skin.
With all these chemical properties of castor oil, it is fantastic for soothing inflamed skin. All you have to do is dab a small amount onto area.
Remember a little goes a long way!
Those that have extreme dry skin know how hard it is to heal. Most lotions and creams can’t penetrate the epidermis barrier, so it is hard to treat.
Castor oil is amazing for this though! The ricinoleic acid allows for the oil to penetrate the skin and heal really dry areas.
You can use this straight or add a few drops to your regular cream.
Since castor oil is such a great moisturizer, it really helps prevent stretch marks. Since I am pregnant right now, I use castor oil mixed with almond oil to prevent any stretch marks.
It does a great job healing and moisturizing dry, stretched skin.
Acne and Acne Scars
People who suffer from acne really struggle finding moisturizers that don’t make them break out. Castor oil is great for acne and even helps fad acne scars. With the high acid content, it doesn’t bother acne prone skin.
Castor oil is also an anti-microbial, so it can help with further breakouts.
If you have active breakouts, remember to read these chemist tips on tea tree oil.
Thanks to the high ricinoleic acid (which as you can see, is the main reason for all these benefits) can help with scalp stimulation, dandruff, and other hair follicle issues.
How to Use Castor Oil for Hair Growth:
You can apply a small amount of oil all over roots and leave overnight. If you do, make sure to use a shower cap or something to protect your pillow.
Wash out in the morning. Remember to use a small amount because it can be hard to rinse out.
You can also do a hot oil treatment. Add a few tablespoons to a small bowl, then heat the oil up in a large bowl of hot water. Dampen hair slightly, then apply oil to roots. Leave on for an hour, then wash out.
Using it 2 times per week is usually enough to get benefits.
My readers always want to know what brand I recommend for items. There are so many bad brands out there, and many are good, but they are overpriced.
You don’t need to buy anything too expensive. This brand is what I use and recommend. It is cold-pressed which is always important when dealing with plant oils. It is also pure castor oil, not mixed with anything else.
Castor Oil Historically
Back in the early 1900s, castor oil was very popular for skin issues, but also to ingest. It was given to people as a laxative!
The taste was so bad, it was typically mixed with something before drinking.
It can still be used for that today, but it is much more effective for skin treatments 🙂
As you’ve probably noticed, I like to give a background into ingredients I enjoy using. You can see some fun things coming to Chemistry Cachet soon involving castor oil for your skin! Be sure to stay tuned!