Uncovering powerful new ingredients to use within your beauty routine can help to bolster various areas of your appearance, and finding an ingredient that can work on your hair, skin, and nails will cut down on the steps in your regimen while enhancing your natural beauty. Alongside the popular ingredients that we already know are great for hydrating and nourishing your body, castor oil is one that emerges as a multi-purposes superstar for strengthening your nails and hair while simultaneously improving your complexion. Enter, castor oil.
We spoke with Tammy Fender, holistic pioneer and renowned aesthetician, as well as Dr. Rebecca Marcus, board-certified dermatologist to uncover the full spectrum of benefits that castor oil can provide to the body so you can create the most effective beauty routine to meet your specific needs.
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What is castor oil?
Castor oil is a naturally derived oil packed with fatty acids that can help plump the exterior of the skin and create a healthier, fresh-faced complexion. “Castor oil helps strengthen skin’s natural protective barrier, sealing in moisture, and it’s full of essential fatty acids that help replenish and soothe a dry complexion and can even help heal wounds,” explains Fender. Not only can castor oil help to increase moisture in the skin, but it’s useful for other issues as well.
“Castor oil is an excellent hydrator for hair, skin and nails. Functioning as a humectant, castor oil penetrates the skin and draws moisture in with it. Ricinoleic acid, which has been noted to have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, makes up the bulk of this mix,” explains Marcus. This can make the solution particularly useful for those with acne-prone skin.
Does castor oil have anti-aging properties?
In terms of the anti-aging benefits that castor oil provides, it is particularly useful in adding a boost of hydration to the skin that can limit the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles over time. “[Castor oil] does contain antioxidants which help to neutralize free radicals. It is also very hydrating, and hydrated, smooth skin appears younger and healthier,” notes Marcus. Additionally, “It has a low comedogenic rating, which means that it will not clog pores.”
As for hair growth from the use of castor oil, Marcus explains that while there are few scientific studies to back it up, it has been known to spark new strands and healthier roots. “Anecdotally, castor oil has been reported to increase hair growth, and although this may be true, unfortunately there are no scientific studies that support these claims.” It has, however, proven to be useful in hydrating the nail beds as well for healthier, stronger nails.
How often should you be using castor oil?
In order to see the most significant changes in your hair, skin, or nails, Marcus recommends using castor oil at least once daily to lock in your skincare routine and nourish the ends of your locks. “It’s important that the oil is cold-pressed and organic. I recommend trying any new natural skin treatment once daily for a full cycle of 28 days, the time it takes for the skin to renew itself,” adds Fender. Giving new ingredients adequate time to work is vital, so not expecting to see results overnight will be important for allowing castor oil to become an integral part of your routine.