castor oil

Castor Oil: A Natural and Effective Acne Treatment

Castor oil is one of the most frequently mentioned names when it comes to natural skin care products. It's beneficial for many conditions, from skin problems and wrinkles to digestive issues like constipation. It's even known to improve hair growth! We can call it the superhero of natural remedies - and here's why.

History and Ancient Use

People have been using castor oil since the days of Ancient Egypt, around 6000 years ago. According to the earliest texts, this multipurpose vegetable oil was used to protect the eyes from irritation. People even believed Cleopatra used it to whiten her eyeballs.

castor oil seeds

But that's not all. Traveling doctors from the 1800s promoted and tried to sell castor oil as the cure for almost anything. They even used it as a medicine that supposedly induced labor - however, there's no research that confirms this effect even now, in the 21st century.

Most of us now know castor oil as a laxative. But stay tuned because castor oil is so much more than that. It can help you solve that annoying acne once and for all!

Let's find out more!

What is Castor Oil?

castor plant

Some people say castor oil is an elixir for gorgeous hair and youthful skin. But technically, castor oil is a yellowish liquid that comes from crushing the seeds of the castor oil plant. It originates from the Ethiopian region of East Africa, India, and South America. Today it can be found growing in many tropical regions around the world. In 2002, it was used in more than 900 cosmetic products.

Ricinus communis is the Latin name for castor oil. It contains ricinoleic acid, the primary source of its healing benefits. It's believed to prevent bacteria and virus growth by increasing white blood cells and antibodies, while the high amount of vitamins and antioxidants help the skin regenerate itself.

Castor is known as a "carrier oil." Carrier oils can dilute essential oils before topical application, which helps you avoid irritation.

Castor Oil Trivia

The name "castor oil" probably comes from castoreum. Castoreum was a perfume base derived from the dried perineal glands of the beaver. Castor oil is believed to be the ethical replacement for castoreum.

Over the years, it earned another common name, "palm of Christ," because of its reputation for healing wounds and curing ailments.

How is Castor Oil Made?

castor oil

The cosmetics manufacturing industry has taken over castor oil. Today you can find it in soaps, pharmaceuticals, perfumes, shampoos, beauty, and health products.

First, the seeds are dried out, and the tough shell is removed. After that, the seeds are pressed to release the oil. Sometimes the oil undergoes a purification process for better quality. Finally, it's packed and ready for sale.

Disclaimer: Please keep in mind that the ricin in the plant is highly toxic, and you shouldn't try to make it at home. Ricin is estimated to be 6,000 times more deadly than cyanide and 12,000 times more deadly than rattlesnake venom.

How Can Castor Oil Help With Acne?

castor oil for acne

Acne usually appears when the sebaceous glands produce excess oil (otherwise known as excess sebum) that can clog pores and cause breakouts. So how can castor oil reduce acne?

When it comes to skin conditions and acne, castor oil reduces inflammation and helps the skin maintain a healthy pH balance. It even has an extra moisturizing effect that prevents your skin from drying out.

Ricinoleic acid has antibacterial, antiseptic, antiviral, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. This means castor oil can kill any bacteria and other organisms that are causing redness and swelling. Additionally, the oil can act as preventative care against dead cells while improving the blood flow in the face.

Castor oil is filled with fatty acids, the main culprits for its healing properties in acne scarring and other skin ailments. Regular use can reduce scarring and prevent new scars from developing, so you're left with healthy skin tissue.

It could be argued that this oil is better for acne than meds or over-the-counter spot treatments. This is because they tend to quickly dry out the skin to heal the blemish, causing skin irritation. However, they do nothing to remove the bacteria that caused the acne in the first place.

Castor oil can also be more effective than antibiotics. This is because antibiotics are known to kill the good bacteria on the skin, which can sometimes lead to serious infections.

Unlike these, castor oil is a natural, safe, and effective way to treat acne.

What Does the Research Say?

research castor oil

Scientific research on Ricinus Communis is very limited. There is no scientific evidence of the potential benefits of using castor oil on the face, although there is considerable anecdotal evidence that it can reduce acne and improve the appearance of acne scars.

Is Castor Oil Safe?

If you want to use castor oil for acne or treating irritated skin, but you're worried about safety, don't be! In general, castor oil is safe for acne-prone skin (as well as all other skin types) - another one of its dermatological benefits. Don't let the fact that it's an oil put you off. This little miracle will keep dry skin hydrated and improve skin health.

Remember, you can always conduct a patch test before you try this ingredient (or any other oils), especially if you have sensitive skin. Just use a small amount on one area of the skin and wait a few days to see if you react. If no reaction occurs, feel free to use castor oil to treat acne without any skin irritation or allergic reactions.

How To Apply: Recipes and Methods

Typically, you can gently massage castor oil into the skin using a cotton ball. If that's too general for you, here are some specific methods of application and recipe ideas. Make sure to use them alongside a great skincare routine.

Simple Castor Oil + Cotton Ball Method

cotton pad

This is a great method if you want to take advantage of all the anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that castor oil offers. Since castor is a carrier, you can put it directly on your skin. However, if you dilute castor oil, it might absorb better.

  • Step 1: Clean and cleanse your face. Make sure you don't have any dirt or clogged pores before applying the oil.
  • Step 2: Take a cotton ball and gently massage the castor oil on the face.
  • Step 3: Wait for 10 minutes. Leave it until it's absorbed into the skin.
  • Step 4: Wash your face gently.

Frequency: Every day.

Castor Oil + Olive Oil - For Scarring

olive oil

If you suffer from acne scars and you're looking for a way to improve their appearance, this method is perfect for you. Keep in mind that olive is classed as a moderately comedogenic oil, which means it can clog pores. Make sure you're using it to treat acne scars rather than acne.

  • Step 1: Clean your face.
  • Step 2: Mix an equal amount of both castor and olive oil and then apply the oil mixture to the face. Massage it gently for better absorption.
  • Step 3: Leave it overnight.
  • Step 4: Wash your face with cold water in the morning.

Frequency: 2 times a week.

Castor Oil on Open Pores - Overnight Treatment

Looking for a simple overnight treatment to fight acne? You've got it.

  • Step 1: Boil a pot of water and place it on a table under your face. Cover yourself with a towel to steam your face. The heat and humidity will help the pores open.
  • Step 2: Take a cotton pad or ball and gently massage your face with castor oil. 
  • Step 3: Leave it overnight.
  • Step 4: Wash the castor oil off tomorrow with cold water.

Frequency: 2 times a week.

Castor Oil + Baking Soda

baking soda
  • Step 1: Clean your face. Make sure it's dry before applying the paste.
  • Step 2: Make a paste by mixing castor oil with baking soda.
  • Step 3: Cover the critical areas where there are acne breakouts or scarring.
  • Step 4: Leave it for 10 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.

Frequency: Every day.

Oily Cocktail Mask - Overnight Treatment

  • Step 1: Mix two drops of almond oil, two drops of castor oil, and one drop of camphor oil.
  • Step 2: Apply it to the affected area with your fingertips or a cotton pad, and massage it gently
  • Step 3: Leave it overnight.
  • Step 4: Wash it off with warm water in the morning.

Frequency: Every day until your skin clears, and then once a week for prevention.

Castor Oil as a Skin Moisturizer

skin moisturize

  • Step 1: Mix one tablespoon of castor oil and one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil together.
  • Step 2: Apply it to your face using your hands and massage it gently for a couple of minutes.  
  • Step 3: Tap a warm cloth lightly on your face.
  • Step 4: Repeat steps 2 and 3 a few times and then scrub the face with the washcloth.
  • Step 5: Wash with cold water.

Frequency: 2 times a week.

Make you Own Method

You don't have to stick to the ingredients we've listed. There are many other vegetable oils you can combine with castor oil to make a mask, such as coconut oil, grapeseed oil, jojoba oil, and more.

Benefits and Potential Side-Effects of Castor Oil

castor oil

Aside from treating acne, castor oil has many additional benefits.

Castor Oil Benefits for Hair

  • It prevents hair fall and gives the hair a new shiny look.
  • This natural oil contains omega-6 essential fatty acids, which enrich your scalp.
  • If you massage castor oil into the scalp, you will increase blood circulation and promote hair growth.

Castor Oil Benefits for Skin

Castor Oil Health Benefits

  • It's believed to cure styes.
  • It acts as a laxative.
  • It's an effective remedy to treat ringworms.
  • Reduces pain in joints and the back.
  • It treats hemorrhoids.
  • It's used for digestive tract problems and many other diseases and disorders.
  • It reduces pain in menstrual cramping.

Potential Side-Effects

  • Pregnant women shouldn't use castor oil, as it can cause contractions.
  • People with abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, vomiting, nausea or inflamed bowels shouldn't use the oil, as it can worsen their condition.
  • If you plan to use it longer than a week, consult a doctor first, as it can affect your health negatively.
  • It can cause dizziness and light-headedness.
  • It can also lower blood pressure.
  • Overexposure can lead to skin rashes, so be careful with external use and never do too much too quickly.
  • It can cause "ricin toxicity," which is lethal. Never eat castor seeds or handle them yourself - we recommend buying the organic castor oil premade in a local shop to be safe.
castor oil


    Castor oil is gaining popularity by the minute. More and more people speak about its healing and anti-inflammatory properties, whether for face acne, stomach problems, hair growth, or beauty. Part of what makes it so popular is that it's affordable and easy to find - and everybody likes affordable skincare! You can buy it in any skincare or beauty shop that sells natural oils.

    However, if you use castor oil to reduce acne, be careful not to overdo it! Always do a patch test first, especially if you have sensitive skin.


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