Castor oil is known as one of the most widely used vegetable oils.
Derived from the seeds of Ricinus communis, which is the castor oil plant, this oil has a very thick texture.
It is sticky and pale yellow, so you can easily recognize it.
Castor oil has plenty of properties that make it quite useful. It is used for various purposes.
Being a natural emollient, it helps moisturize the skin and make it smoother, so it’s widely known as one of the top products in the cosmetics industry.
Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial features give castor oil the power to treat different skin conditions and infections.
Apart from these uses, castor oil is also used in pharmaceuticals, as well as manufacturing.
A lot of people also know castor oil for its laxative properties.
Due to this, castor oil is proven to be a great natural cure for constipation.
As long as you consult your doctor or pharmacist, it won’t cause any side effects or consequences.
The thick and viscous texture of castor oil makes it very dense and sticky, so it’s quite hard to spread easily, as it can be too heavy and greasy for both your skin and hair.
For this reason, castor oil is hardly ever used alone, but rather mixed with some other, lighter oils or other ingredients that can improve the structure and facilitate the process of application.
The unique scent of castor oil is what it’s easily recognizable for. The slightly nutty scent can prove to be too strong and even unpleasant for some people, while others don’t find it that potent.
For those who don’t want to give up on using it, but don’t like its smell, castor oil can be scented by dripping a few drops of essential oils or fragrance.
Is castor oil non-comedogenic?
Generally speaking, castor oil is widely known as a non-comedogenic vegetable oil.
This means that it isn’t supposed to clog your pores, so you shouldn’t expect to experience consequences including acne, blackheads, and other skin irritations.
Not being comedogenic, combined with its nourishing properties, is what makes castor oil one of the most popular ingredients in numerous skincare products.
It is particularly good for those who have acne-prone, oily, and combination skin types because it helps with reducing inflammation and kills bacteria on the skin.
Nevertheless, it is important to mention that skin is different and individual for everyone, so some people might still get to experience breakouts or allergic reactions after using castor oil in their skincare routine.
This is why it’s best to do a patch test prior to using it on your skin.
Apply a small amount to your skin and wait for some time to see if you’ll notice any suspicious reactions.
If nothing happens, you’re free to use it as you were planning to!
If, on the other hand, you do get some sort of skin reaction to castor oil, it’s essential that you discontinue using it.
In case you’re concerned about how and whether to use castor oil or not in general, it’s advisable to consult your GP or a dermatologist.
Products and oils that clog pores
If you’re new to skincare and have recently started using skincare and makeup products, you might not be familiar with the ingredients in different products.
While some products are more natural, not heavy on the skin, and are non-comedogenic, there are ingredients and products, such as creams, serums, and oils that are filled with comedogenic properties, which then cause clogged pores and other skin problems.
There are common skincare products and oils that might lead to clogged pores, causing skin issues including:
Heavy moisturizers: If you’re one of those people who often use face and body creams or moisturizers that are a bit on the heavier side, you are more prone to end up with clogged pores.
Although quite nourishing, these creams are so heavy on the skin that they create a barrier on it, trapping excess oil and dirt, which then leads to clogged pores and potential breakouts.
Coconut oil: Coconut oil is one of the most popular ingredients in skincare and beauty products in the modern-day world.
It is believed to take good care of your skin, moisturize it and leave the skin on your face and body silky smooth, and nourished.
The reality is a bit different, though. While it goes without saying that coconut oil has its benefits when used in skincare, it does rank highly in oils with comedogenic properties.
This makes coconut oil more likely to leave you with clogged pores, especially if you struggle with acne or have oily skin.
Petroleum jelly: Generally speaking, petroleum jelly is known to be non-comedogenic, so it isn’t supposed to cause huge skin issues.
However, it can make a barrier on the skin which causes it to trap debris, which then causes pores to clog and leads to breakouts and acne.
It is not recommended for those who have acne-prone skin before consulting a dermatologist, as it can cause even more skin problems.
Silicone-based products: In the skincare, haircare, and beauty industry, silicone-based products are very common.
You can find them in the makeup industry most often, in primers, concealers, and foundations.
The problem with silicone as an ingredient is that, once on the skin, it can cause clogged pores by trapping all of the dirt and oil in them.
Another, safer option for those who like makeup is opting for water-based products.
Sulfates: Sulfates have been one of the most dominant ingredients in the skincare industry.
A lot of foaming facial cleansers contain sulfates which are usually meant for those who have oily or combination skin, to reduce the excessive production of sebum.
The problem with sulfates is that it strips the skin of its natural oils, which then leads to your skin overproducing it, making the skin even more oily and clogging the pores on your face.
This is also known to be the common ingredient in a lot of shampoos, which causes the same problems with the hair.
How to treat clogged pores?
Once you’ve ended up with clogged pores on your skin, you can quickly notice the consequences they bring along with them.
Breakouts, which normally manifest as whiteheads, blackheads, and more severe acne are the most common skin issues caused by clogged pores.
Consulting a dermatologist is always a good idea when dealing with this type of skin issue, as they can prescribe treatments such as topical or oral medicines (in more severe cases), to help you clear up your skin and avoid scarring.
On the other hand, if you can’t afford to see a professional and want to try to treat clogged pores on your own, you need to be very patient, and persistent, and stick to a skincare routine that will help you get rid of clogged pores.
Here are some of the things you can do:
Exfoliating your skin: One of the top steps of a good skincare routine is exfoliation. If you exfoliate your face regularly, you can help remove dead skin cells, which then result in unclogged pores.
There are two main options when it comes to exfoliating: using physical or chemical exfoliants.
Physical exfoliants, or scrubs, are a good way to get rid of clogged pores, but you have to be very careful in choosing the right one for you, as well as in using it properly.
Pick a gentle exfoliant, so that it doesn’t cause micro-tears on your skin, and gently rub it against your skin before washing it off.
Chemical peels, on the other hand, are acids that you apply to your skin with a cotton pad. The most efficient chemical exfoliants are salicylic acid and glycolic acid.
Using a retinoid: Retinoids have always been in keeping your skin clean, but they have become popular only recently.
Retinoids, such as retinol, can help with unclogging pores and even minimize the visibility of acne.
Retinoids increase cell turnover, so they reduce inflammation, helping with skin issues such as acne. Prior to using retinoids, it is advisable to consult a skin specialist.
Steaming: Steaming is one of the simplest, yet one of the most effective ways of opening up your pores and unclogging them.
It’s so much easier these days, especially with facial steamers you can buy. If not, the traditional way works just fine as well. Place your face over a bowl filled with hot water and put a towel over your head.
Keep it like this for about 10 minutes and you will notice how your pores have opened up, making it easier for you to remove the dirt trapped inside of them.
Using a clay mask: Clay masks can help to absorb excess oil and unclog pores. Look for a mask that contains kaolin or bentonite clay.
Clay masks are said to be a good product to use to unclog pores, especially for those who have very oily skin.
Clay masks that have kaolin or bentonite clay as their main ingredient are probably the most effective ones. These products absorb excess sebum as well as help with unclogging pores.
They’re also very easy to use, too. Just apply the clay mask all over your face (avoiding the eye region).
Let it sit on your face for up to 10 or 15 minutes and just rinse it off with lukewarm water or with a washcloth.
Sticking to your skincare routine: The key to having a fresh face with no skin issues is keeping your skin clean by following a skincare routine.
Figure out what products work best for your skin and be consistent in using them.
While daytime and nighttime skincare routines can vary depending on skin type, preferences, and skin issues, using non-comedogenic products, and opting for those that are gentle to the skin, lightweight, and fragrance-free is the best anyone can do for their skin.
Popular products containing castor oil
Castor oil is known for its many benefits, so it has been extremely popular as one of the main ingredients of numerous beauty, skincare, and haircare products, especially because of its nourishing, soothing, and moisturizing properties.
Here are some famous products that are known to contain castor oil:
SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In Conditioner: Jamaican castor oil is known to be one of the strongest ones on the market, as well as one of the most efficient.
When this brand came out with its SheaMoisture Jamaican black castor oil leave-in conditioner, consumers were thrilled.
As seen from the name itself, this product contains castor oil as its main ingredient, and it is able to enter the hair follicle and nourish it, especially because you don’t rinse it off.
It conditions and strengthens the hair at the same time, helping anyone who struggles with fine hair prone to breakage.
The Ordinary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil: This is a facial oil that contains cold-pressed virgin marula oil, known for its strong antioxidant properties as well as fatty acids.
Along with marula oil, castor oil is one of the main ingredients. It provides the moisture and needed nourishment for the skin, leaving it clear and smooth to the touch.
Kiehl’s Since 1851 Olive Fruit Oil Nourishing Shampoo: Kiehl’s is a famous US skincare company that dates back to 1851.
It mainly focuses on creating and selling products made from natural ingredients that help with moisturizing and repairing damaged skin barriers as well as making high-quality hair products.
Their popular olive fruit nourishing shampoo also has castor oil high in its ingredient list. Not only it nourishes the hair, making it silky smooth, but also makes it much stronger.
Burt’s Bees 100% Natural Moisturizing Lip Balm: When people talk about the use of castor oil, they usually think it’s meant to be used on your hair or face only.
However, the nourishing characteristics of castor oil help moisturize lips as well, leaving them soft and smooth, providing the necessary hydration, and protecting them from getting chapped due to the cold, wind, and other drying factors.
Castor oil nutrients
Being used for a multitude of purposes, castor oil is widely known to be rich in numerous beneficial nutrients, including:
- Vitamin E – A powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage
- Ricinoleic acid – A monounsaturated fatty acid containing anti-inflammatory properties, which helps reduce skin inflammation and irritation
- Omega-6 and Omega-9 – Beneficial fatty acids, which help with nourishing and moisturizing the skin as well as hair
- Minerals – Including zinc, copper, and magnesium, which can help to maintain healthy skin and hair
Advantages of castor oil
Here are some of the numerous advantages and benefits of castor oil:
- Moisturizes and nourishes the skin
- Promotes hair growth
- Reduces inflammation
- Improves digestion
- Helps reduce acne
- Natural painkiller
What can you mix castor oil with?
As castor oil has a very thick texture, it’s sometimes pretty hard to work with and spread evenly on your skin, eyebrows, or hair.
For this reason, it is not unusual for it to be mixed with other oils and different ingredients to change and improve its texture, scent, and overall effectiveness of it.
These are the oils and ingredients castor oil is usually mixed with:
Coconut oil – Helps soften the texture of castor oil and has antibacterial properties which come in handy when it comes to fighting acne and other skin issues
Jojoba oil – Most similar in texture to the natural oils of your skin. It mixes well with castor oil and balances out the natural oils, thus hydrating the skin
Aloe vera gel – Helps reduce inflammation and skin irritations, due to its cooling and soothing properties. It helps improve the texture of castor oil when combined with it, and it makes it spread more easily
Honey – When mixed with castor oil, it can help to provide deep hydration and nourishment. When mixed with castor oil, honey helps with hydrating and deeply nourishing the skin and hair, due to being a natural humectant
Essential oils – The role of essential oils is mostly to provide a more pleasant scent to castor oil. The most popular essential oils used together with castor oil include lavender oil, tea tree, and peppermint oil
How to store castor oil?
As with other oils, it is important to store castor oil properly, for it to keep its good quality, benefits, and overall effectiveness.
It should be stored in a cold, dark place, in order to avoid direct sunlight or any other source of heat.
If possible, choose a dark glass container such as a small bottle or a jar to store castor oil in, as this kind of container protects it from light best.
Another thing you’d want to do is to seal the container tightly, to prevent any moisture or air from getting inside it, as this can lead to castor oil going rancid.
Finally, make sure to use your castor oil within its use-by date.
The shelf life of castor oil is normally up to two years, but always make sure to check the expiration date on the bottle.
When not to use castor oil?
Castor oil is one of the best vegetable oils you can find, because it has many benefits, and it is safe for the most part.
However, there are situations and circumstances in which castor oil is not advisable. Some of these include:
- During pregnancy: Although castor oil is known as a natural remedy used to induce labor, you should not use it without a healthcare professional’s guidance and approval. If you do, it might cause pregnancy complications
- In case of intestinal blockage: It can worsen the problem and cause further complications to this health condition
- If you have a skin infection: In this instance, it’s best not to use castor oil, because it can trap bacteria and make the situation worse
- If you are allergic to castor oil: It can cause a severe allergic reaction
Overall, castor oil is a good natural product to have in your kitchen cabinet or pantry, as it is rich in nutrients, has many benefits, and has a multitude of uses.
If stored and used as recommended, castor oil can prove to be a great addition to your skincare and haircare routine, among other things.
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