Castor is a really interesting oil, that has a great affinity with the skin.
The oil is extracted from the seeds of the castor plant, a tough, thorny shrub.
The seeds are cold pressed, which produces a lovely shiny, pale yellow oil.
This oil doesn’t have the best slippage on the skin and can be quite tacky to touch, which can put people off, this could be one of the reasons why the benefits of castor oil often goes largely unnoticed.
In the cosmetic industry castor is often referred to as a thick oil, this is due to it having a viscosity of around 293, compared to olive oil which has a viscosity of 47, so you can see why it is referred to as a viscous oil.
BENEFITS OF CASTOR OIL
Personally, i think castor oil is underestimated because it has some awesome skin benefits:
Antiviral and antibacterial properties. The triglycerides found in castor help to fight skin infections.
Anti-inflammatory: Castor is the perfect antidote for an irritated inflamed skin. Its anti inflammatory properties help to calm and soothe a sensitive skin.
Anti-microbial: Castor plays a protective role on the skin, keeping invading pathogenic bacteria at bay.
Anti Acne: The topical application of castor oil can help to reduce P Acnes bacteria in the skin.
One of the main benefits of castor oil is that it retards the growth of harmful microbes; this is due to ricinoleic acid, a potent fatty acid which helps to protect the skin against invading viruses and bacteria.
Cleansing: Castor oil helps to pull excess dirt from the epidermis.
Dispersant: Another interesting fact about castor oil is that when it has been hydrogenated, it forms the base of a common dispersant in water, making it a great as a carrier for essential oils in bath oil.
Hydrating: Castor oil works as a natural humectant, pulling moisture from the air and trapping it close to the skins tissues.
Improves Texture: Castor is rich in oleic and linoleic acid, both of these are wonderful fatty acids, which is why castor oil is the perfect choice for softening and smoothing a dry, parched skin.
Moisturising: The triglycerides present in castor oil, help to restore the skins natural moisture balance, making it a perfect ingredient for dry skin conditions.
Non Comedogenic: It is low on the comedogenic scale, so it won’t congest or annoy a sensitive skin.
Rich in Ricinoleic acid: Castor oil contains between 80 and 90% ricinoleic acid, an unusual fatty acid that gives castor oil its unique properties.
Fatty Acid Profile
C12-OH 18:1 mo Ricinoleic Acid 89 -90%
C16:0 st Palmitic Acid 1%
C18:0 st Stearic Acid 1%
C18:1 mo Oleic Acid 3%
C18:2 pu Linoleic Acid 3-4%
THE NAKED TRUTH
As you can see the benefits of castor oil are numerous.
Sadly as with many things in nature, castor oil is subject to refining, which rob the oil of its important properties.
Ideally the only castor oil you should use in your skin care should be the cold processed variety.
The cold pressed oil retains many of its nutrients, and doesn’t lose its important skin care properties, or medicinal value.