Everybody wants to look their best and be healthy while doing so, and one of the best ways to support your natural beauty is with natural ingredients. Avoid harsh chemicals that play havoc with your skin and hair. Instead, look for nutrient-packed alternatives to help support a more radiant you.
Castor oil has been a beauty staple for thousands of years, and it isn’t hard to understand why: it is full of beneficial nutrients for a multitude of internal and external uses. It is a supportive product for both hair and skin when used in popular beauty applications or even on its own. Below we’ve explored the claims surrounding castor oil benefits for eyelashes to provide you the information you need to decide if this is a product worth using and how to use it for maximum results.
Castor Oil and the Beauty Industry
Native to Africa, the Castor plant has been used for both health and beauty care for well over 6000 years. Now grown worldwide as a staple crop, the seed (also called bean) is rich in nutrients that have many benefits when properly used. Considered a very safe, natural remedy, care must be taken to avoid the actual hull of the bean as it contains ricin, a deadly poison. Beans are pressed to extract the oil which is widely used for both internal and external medicine, as well as found as the main ingredient in many beauty products.
- Beneficial Nutrients
The nutrients that lend themselves to your beauty enhancement are found in abundance in this oil. Ricinoleic acid (not the same as the poison ricin) is a rich omega 6 and -9 essential fatty acids and is very effective to help create a healthy environment that’s free of bacterias, viruses, molds, and yeasts. It is used both internally and externally and works wonderfully as a makeup remover and skin cleanser- particularly for the sensitive eye areas.It also is full of Vitamin E and proteins, and it also works as a humectant to help seal in natural moisture. All of this working together creates a healthy environment for hair follicle cells and supports natural hair growth and strength. Because of this, it is a sought after ingredient by those looking to improve their skin and hair health, as well as by those looking to replace synthetics with a more natural beauty approach.
Side Effects of Topical Use
Although castor oil is considered a safe oil, as with anything else, it may adversely affect those sensitive to a new product. In very rare cases, and when left for long periods of time, it has been found to be mildly irritating to the skin. This irritation goes away after its removal.
The biggest side effect of its use is its smell. Many people describe it as pungent and oily, plus its thickness is rather difficult to work with, and it leaves behind a greasy feel which may rub off on clothing. It is considered very easy to remove from the material if it does stain with a little rubbing alcohol.
Our use of certain makeups wreaks havoc on our natural beauty. Our attempt to enhance what we have often resulted in clogged pores and stubby lashes due to the harsh application and removal of eyeliners and mascara. I am not here to tell you to stop using your favorite products, but there definitely is a way to help alleviate the trauma your eye area undergoes each day.
Your eyelashes grow from a hair follicle just like any other hair on your body and are just as prone to blockage and damage. Just as we condition the hair on our head to grow long and lush, we need to apply similar principles if we expect to see significant lash growth and health. Unfortunately, by applying eyeliners and mascara to our follicles and lashes, we are inhibiting many of the healthy oils needed for them to grow, and the removal of these makeups are even more damaging as we pull, tug, and otherwise strip the hairs of both makeup and natural support.
Castor Oil Ingredients and Your Lashes
It’s important to mention that castor oil is not some magic ingredient that will solve all your eyelash growth problems. It is not a growth stimulant, but it does have some pretty hefty nutrients to aid you in getting the lashes you desire when you also apply healthy lash habits. Basically what you want to do is create an environment under which your natural lashes can thrive.
- Ricinoleic Acid has been found to help reverse hair loss in studies done surrounding male pattern baldness due to how it inhibits certain proteins. Although no specific studies have been done pertaining to lash loss, it is considered favorable for creating a healthy hair follicle environment due to its strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Since your follicle is your source of lash growth, providing a healthy atmosphere for it is a great way to provide a healthy eyelash environment.
- Vitamin E reduces oxidative stress and the free radicals that contribute to the breakdown of hair follicle cells. Damaged follicles are unable to support hair growth, and the application of vitamin E can help reduce these stressors as well as enhance blood circulation and promote healthy tissues.
- Humectant Properties of castor oil refer to its ability to lock in natural moisture. One of the biggest causes of lash damage is how “dry” certain makeups leave your lashes after being applied and removed. The regular use of products that contain castor oil or the direct application of castor oil to your lash line can help lock that moisture in.
What Type of Castor Oil Should be Used?
Using anything that’s close to your eye, especially on the sensitive mucous membrane, requires a little research into the purity of the product. It is suggested to only use pure, organic castor oils either as a stand-alone or in a blend of other pure, organic substances to avoid introducing anything unknown.
There also are many claims that black castor oils are a great source of many beauty uses. Castor oil is traditionally derived from the pressing of the beans to extract the oil. Black castor oils are first roasted and then pounded and boiled to extract the oil, thus leaving behind a black sheen due to the roasting process.
How to Apply
Before applying castor oil to your lash line, you always want to make sure that your eye area is clean of makeup. Castor oil is actually an excellent option for makeup removal, especially when diluted with a thinner oil (due to how thick it is). Use a fractionated coconut oil, jojoba oil, or olive oil blend on a cotton round and wipe over your eye area. Follow up with a warm, wet washcloth to wipe the residual oil off and remove the makeup.
You can apply castor oil directly to your lash line and/or eyelashes using a variety of methods. To start, always have clean materials. You don’t want to introduce bacteria to your eye area with the use of a dirty brush.
Use a clean mascara wand, an eyeliner brush, or a cotton swab dipped in castor oil. Brush gently over lashes and/or along your lash line to apply a thin coat. You can also dilute the oil with another carrier oil or even add a small amount of lavender oil to promote overall eyelash health.
Leave this on overnight to be washed off with your regular morning routine.
Reaping the Benefits with These Other Helpful Tips
In order to get the most out of your use of castor oil, try using it in conjunction with these other healthy eyelash habits. Many people are unaware of the mistakes they make pertaining to lash health, but some basic awareness can begin to create an environment for better eyelash support.
Avoid Inexpensive Drugstore Mascara
That cheap tube of mascara is cheap for a reason. Look for those that are fortified with nutrients and backed by ethical practices and a strong brand name.
Toss Unused Eye Makeup After 3 Months
Eye makeup takes in bacteria and dries out quickly. You run the risk of creating a dirty environment the longer you use eye makeup, and mascara begins to dry out quickly as well, which in turn saps moisture from your lashes.
Always Clean Your Eyes Gently
Always remove all traces of eye makeup, and do so gently. If you have to scrub or otherwise work to get it off, you are also tugging and pulling which results in broken and brittle lashes. It’s worth taking the time to make your own remover (as mentioned above) or investing in a good product.
Avoid Waterproof Mascara
Waterproof mascara is amazing! But it also is difficult to remove. Save it for special occasions or when you know you need the added protection.
Limit Your Use of Eyelash Curlers
Eyelash curlers tug on your hair follicles. Be sure to use them properly and allow your lashes a break from their use every now and then.
Take Your Vitamins
Beauty starts within! The vitamins that enrich your lashes from the outside can do the same from the inside. Vitamins A, B, C, D, and E are all considered excellent for cellular growth and support healthy hair. Iron, Zinc, and proteins are also very supportive.
The bottom line is, if you want to support longer, thicker eyelashes, you need to take care of your eyes. Although there are products that can do both, be it for a cost or from a prescription to help boost lash growth, many of those ingredients are ALSO supporting a good lash-growing environment first and foremost. Certain prescriptive chemicals can stimulate hair growth, but you need to ask yourself if you truly want those that close to your eyes (and they do have decent lists of side effects to consider).
Castor oil is not a miracle cure, but it does nourish your lash area to help support healthy, natural lash growth and replace lost moisture due to makeup practices. If you have any questions or comments, please let us know below. And, as always, please share.