This article is reviewed by an expert
Castor oil is a vegetable oil pressed from castor beans. The oil is typically colourless or a pale yellow with a distinct taste and odour. It contains a high amount of ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that has anti-inflammatory properties. This is responsible for many of the health benefits of castor oil. Although castor oil is best known for its effectiveness as a mild natural laxative, it has a lot more to offer. Some of the most notable castor oil benefits are for hair and skin care.
Castor Oil Benefits For Hair And Skin Care
- Moisturizes Skin
Primary Benefits: As a natural and chemical free oil, castor oil provides your skin with clean nourishment and most importantly it contains fatty acids that moisturize and protect the skin. Using pure castor oil as a topical application can relieve dry skin and preserve skin moisture.
- Fights Acne
Primary Benefits: Castor oil has both antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects, making it helpful in dealing with acne or pimples . Use acne as a natural moisturizer and also apply it over skin whenever faced with a breakout to treat it naturally.
- Supports Wound Healing
Primary Benefits: Cuts and bruises are common problems but they can increase the risk of infections, especially if they do not heal quickly. Using castor oil on wounds not only helps with healing, but it also lowers the risk of infections because of its antimicrobial properties.
- Fights Skin Infections
Primary Benefits: No mention of castor oil benefits for skin would be complete without highlighting its efficacy as natural treatment to manage or prevent a variety of skin infections. Studies show that the oil is effective at inhibiting activity of bacteria such as Staphylococcus aureus and Pseudomonas aeruginosa .
- Sunburn Treatment
Secondary Benefits: Aloe and honey may be the most popular ingredients for sunburn relief, but castor oil is a worthy choice as well. Castor oil provides quick relief for sunburned skin with a swift cooling sensation that reduces the pain and inflammation. The pain and inflammation relief is mainly linked to ricinoleic acid .
- Pain Relief
Secondary Benefits: Castor oil benefits are more then skin deep even when used as a topical treatment. Using it as a massage oil is in fact effective as a natural aid to reduce arthritic joint pain and inflammation. This benefit is also supported by some research .
- Restores Hair Lustre
Primary Benefits: With a high content of fatty acids, castor oil is very nourishing for your hair and scalp, improving hair texture and quality. While many oils claim to restore hair lustre and sheen, this is one of the many castor oil benefits for hair that is supported by studies .
- Protects Against Breakage:
Primary Benefits: Massaging your scalp with castor oil is thought to improve blood flow to the scalp because of circulatory improvements from massaging the scalp itself, as well as because of castor oil’s high ricinoleic acid content. As a humectant, castor oil also locks in moisture and all of this lowers the risk of breakage.
- Hair Growth
Secondary Benefits: While Bhringraj oil is the undisputed champion when it comes to fighting hair loss and encouraging hair growth, castor oil is extremely nourishing for the scalp with a complex nutritional profile that includes a variety of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. There is also some evidence showing that ricinoleic acid in castor oil may help treat male balding by balancing production of prostaglandin D2 
- Relieves Scalp Inflammation
Primary Benefits: Part of the problem with hair loss is scalp inflammation which may be caused by infections or chronic conditions. Castor oil can help reduce inflammation because of the anti-inflammatory effect of its omega-6 fatty acids, as well as antioxidants.
- Nail Protection
Secondary Benefits: Cuticle damage is more than a cosmetic problem with dryness, peeling and breakage of nails being painful. Applying castor oil to the nails at bedtime or before or after a manicure or pedicure will keep the cuticles healthy and also lower the risk of infections.
- Thicker Lashes
Secondary Benefits: Castor oil may not make your eyelashes grow any thicker, but it nourishes the skin, which will create conditions for healthier growth. More importantly, it may help in the management of conditions such as blepharitis, in which eyelid inflammation can increase loss of eyelashes .
This should make it clear that although castor oil benefits for the stomach are widely recognized, the oil has a lot more to offer in your hair and skin care routine. Of course, to truly enjoy castor oil benefits for hair growth or skin care, you need to also follow a healthy balanced diet, good skin care routine and proper daily routine.