Castor oil was an age-old staple of homeopathic remedy in ancient India and Egypt and is experiencing new popularity among wellness buffs. And as its uses have evolved, so has our understanding of just how beneficial it can be to skin and hair health. It comes from cold pressing the castor plant, and in its purest form, is gluten, fragrance, and color-free. Castor can help with a slew of key beauty concerns, from dry scalps and chapped skin to beautifying your brows. It’s filled with vital nutrients like vitamin E a common beauty ingredient for hair and skin, antioxidants to help fight harmful free radicals, and healthy fats to moisturize dry spots. In short, it’s perhaps one of the best conditioning oils to keep in your beauty toolbox. Read on, for four of our favorite ways to incorporate castor oil into your beauty and self-care routines.
1. Defrizz and Condition a Dry Scalp
While castor oil might not be the first thing to come to your mind for products that can help support beautiful hair, it happens to be one of nature’s most effective emollient conditioners. If you struggle with a dry scalp or frizzy hair , consider castor oil your new best friend. A small amount goes a long way to penetrate, nourish and soften hair, which gives it more flexibility to help fight frizz. And especially during dry winter months, massaging castor oil into your scalp moisturizes rough spots to give your scalp the hydration it needs.
TO USE: Rub a dime-sized amount of castor oil between the palms of your hands briskly to warm. Then massage into dry split ends and scalp.
2. Soothe Cracked Feet and Heels
Terrified of DIY pedicures because your feet are a little dry? Fear no more, castor oil will come to the rescue. Next to our hands, our feet are the most used, but often least loved parts of our bodies when it comes to self-care. But let’s face it: when you look closer, our feet — stuck in socks and winter boots, or stuffed into sandals and heels (day after day) — desperately need the attention. The good news? Castor oil helps nourish and soothe rough, cracked or flaky heels, no problem.
TO USE: After a shower, hot bath, or foot soak, when your pores are open, pat feet dry and massage a quarter-sized amount into each foot. Use your thumbs to focus on rough and dry patches around your heel, arches and between your toes.
3. Nourish Brows and Lashes
Your lashes and brows help to frame your eyes and face, so it’s natural to be vigilant to their appearance. Thick, lush brows and lashes are where it’s at, and from perfect plucking to the top volumizing mascara, we take them seriously. Enter: castor oil. Spread on your eyebrows and lashes to help nourish and condition hair follicles, while also helping to moisturize the delicate skin beneath.
TO USE: Dab two drops of castor oil between your ring fingers and buff into brows. Hold ring fingers out like a mascara wand and brush against eyelashes to condition and hydrate.
4. Soften Cuticles and Support Healthy Nails
Chapped hands and dry cuticles are a total drag, and they tend to inevitably come hand in hand with winter, often caused by whipping through piles of holiday dishes, wrapping presents, spending hours in dry airplanes, you name it. That said, rubbing castor oil around your cuticles, and massaging it into your hands (especially between your fingers, which can overdry due to excessive soaping) can work wonders. Pure, hexane-free, non-synthetic castor oil penetrates deep through your skin barrier to help hydrate, soothe and calm your digits. No hassle, no angry hands.
TO USE: Massage one drop of castor oil around each cuticle and fingertip. Use 2-3 drops to hydrate problem areas of the hands: knuckles, between fingers and palms.