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I use castor oil in my skincare and hair care routine and it’s a superb oil. It has been an oil that I’ve had to experiment with to find the right amount to that work well for me. In my skincare routine I use it as part of my oil cleansers; it’s a purging oil and works really well for cleansing. However, it’s an astringent and can be quite drying for dry skin types like my own. In terms of hair care there are loads of benefits to using castor oil, you can read more about them below.
Where does it come from?
The castor oil comes from the seeds of the castor plant originating from Africa. It has been cultivated for over 6000 years, the ancient Egyptians used to burn the seed oil in their lamps and use it as a base in their perfumed ointments.
The oil can be processed in different ways, for natural and organic castor oil you cold press the nuts to obtain the oil. Cold compressed oil has a clear to yellow-ish colour. The oil may also be filtered to remove the high iodine content that gives it it’s yellowish colour.
There is also Jamaican Black Castor (JBCO) oil, many people believe that the dark brown colour makes the JBCO purer than the yellowish/clear castor oil. However, this is not true. It’s actually the way that the oil is processed that gives it it’s dark colour. To produce JBCO you boil, roast and ground the seeds and then add ash from the seed to obtain the dark colour.
Therefore, the purest oil of the two is the cold pressed castor oil; it will retain more of its natural compounds as it has not been altered by heat or any substance.
Image source: awkward botany
Traditional uses of Castor Oil
Ayurvedic medicine has long used the oil for illnesses such as rheumatism. It has also been used for centuries in India, China and Egypt as a purifying and cleansing oil.
What does it do for you?
It’s a unique oil in that it has an unusually high ricinoleic acid content that makes it beneficial to hair and skin. The oil also contains minerals, proteins and has natural antibacterial and antifungal properties.
1. Promotes hair growth
This oil has a great reputation for promoting hair growth; using it myself I can attest to the fact that it is a really good oil to use on your scalp. The benefit to castor oil is it’s ricinolic acid which is an omega 9 – fatty acid that provides nourishment, moisturises your scalp and roots. Well nourished and conditioned hair will reduce split end and prevent breakage which is really important if you want to grow your hair.
2. Keeps your scalp and hair healthy
The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties makes it beneficial against follliculitus, dandruff and scalp infections. It can also help calm and sooth sensitive skin and scalp.
3. Good oil to use for oily/acne prone skin
Castor oil is a purging oil, it draws out dirt, bacteria, dead skin and excess oil which works really well for people with acne prone skin. On acne.org there has been good reviews by people that have been using castor oil to treat their acne. It comes as a well-recommended natural remedy for acne prone skin.
However, as castor oil penetrates deep down your pores pulling out dirt and oil it also can strip you of your natural oils. Therefore it’s important to mix castor oil with other oils depending upon your skin type you can choose an oil that will work well for you. For instance olive, jojoba, almond etc.
Oily skin: 1/3 castor oil, 2/3 other oil
Combination: 1/ 4 castor oil, 3/4 other oil
Dry skin: 1/6 – 1/8 part castor oil depending upon how dry your skin is
These ratios are of course only guidelines the best thing to do is trial and error to find what works best for you!
How I use castor oil on my scalp
I use oil on my scalp almost daily, I have an extremely dry scalp and during winter months I tend to need extra moisture and care! So I hydrate my scalp with water/leave-in conditioner and seal with an oil.
As castor oil is very thick and viscous I mix it with other oils that are great for hair care, I prefer to use jojoba and argan oil. Furthermore, I add essentials oils that promote hair growth such as rosemary and tee-trea essential oil they have great antifungal and antibacterial properties. I also add peppermint for the fresh feeling and to increase blood flow in the scalp.
80g (30ml) DIY hair oil
What you need:
30% castor oil (24g)
30% jojoba oil (24g)
39% argan oil (31,2g)
1% essential oils (0,8g)
Put all the oils together in a glass beaker and mix, pour into a 30ml dropper bottle.
Do you use castor oil? Share your experience with us in the commentary section.
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