Lately, there has been a rush to the pharmacies here in Sweden. Girls and boys all over have almost queued outside of the pharmacy just to get a single small bottle of … castor oil?
No, there’s no epidemia causing constipation going around.. The castor oil is actually going into their hair!
The Swedish blogosphere has lately been filled with pictures of long-haired girls who want even longer hair, and use castor oil to get it. Before and after pictures, where their hair has grown 4 times as much as it usually does, have convinced readers and more bloggers to run straight to the pharmacy.
So what’s up with castor oil anyway? Why is it better than other oils? Is it better than other oils? Let me break it down for you, and explain how you should use it in your hair like the Swedish bloggers and on your face using the oil cleansing method or OCM.
Castor oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the castor bean. This oil differs from other oils in that it is really thick and slow-running. Castor oil has a great many fantastic properties; not only does it have antibacterial properties, it is also cleansing for your skin, and can even help heal the skin!
The uses for castor oil seem to be almost endless. Let me share my 7 favourites, starting with the amazing:
1. The oil cleansing method (OCM)
When I started this blog, I figured that one of the things I would write about first was the oil cleansing method. This was, almost to the day, 2 years ago. What has happened? I have no idea. But now it’s time.
OCM is the process of washing your face with vegetable oil, one of which is castor oil. It’s a great way of washing your face and clearing it of any blemishes; if you use this method a couple of times a week, you will definitely soon see a clear difference with more radiant, smooth skin.
How it works
The thought of using oils to clear your skin of blemishes can seem counter-intuitive – isn’t it oily skin that gives you acne in the first place? That’s true, and that is exactly why you need to supply oil to the skin. The reason why your skin gets blemished is that it produces excess oil. So, if you provide your skin with external oil, it will not need to produce as much oil. Which leads to clear skin. It’s as simple as that.
OCM is, however, not only for those with oily skin. Anybody will benefit from using OCM, because you can make your own personal blend of castor oil and another vegetable oil, that will be perfect for you whether you have dry skin or problem skin.
How to do it
When using OCM, there is no need to wash off any makeup, not even waterproof mascara. The oils will take care of that!
First, get your castor oil. Then, get another vegetable oil. Olive oil is, as always, great. Other oils you can use include (but are not limited to) sunflower seed, jojoba oil, avocado oil, canola oil or grapeseed oil. Then, get a washcloth. Then, go into your bathroom. Then, you’re ready to go!
Now you mix your castor oil with other oil. The amount of castor oil in the blend should be relative to your skin type. Here’s something to start with.
Oily skin equal parts castor oil and vegetable oil
Balanced skin 1 part castor oil to 2 parts vegetable oil
Dry skin 1 part castor oil to 3 parts olive oil
This is something to go by, but once you get the hang of OCM, try a few different ratios to find what’s perfect for you. Either, you can pre-mix a bottle of castor oil and vegetable oil, or mix it in your hands each time. When you have found the ratio that you love, get a bottle and mark with lines up to where the castor oil goes and the vegetable oil goes – and you’ll never have to measure again! Now, here’s how you do the OCM, step by step:
- Pour a generous amount of oil into the palm of your hand (I’d say at least 1 or 2 tablespoons).
- Apply the oil to your unwashed face and massage it carefully for about 5 minutes so that the oil is well absorbed into the skin.
- Turn on your faucet and get some hot water. The water should be really hot, but not so hot that you’re scalding yourself of course.
- Soak your washcloth in the running water, wring it out slightly and apply it to your face.
- Leave it on just for a minute or so, or until the washcloth is cold
- Repeat steps 4 and 5, once or twice.
- Scrub your face lightly with the washcloth
- Splash some cold water in your face or use a facial toner. This will close the pores that were just opened by the hot water.
- If you have dry skin or just feel like it you can apply a little bit of OCM oil to your face and neck.
This can be done once every day, although most people find it enough to use twice or three times a week.
Warning: The first weeks there might be a little bit of acne breakout when you’re using OCM. This is normal, as the skin is trying to adapt to this new method and will try to get rid of nasty stuff. Just hold on tight, keep doing OCM and after not too long your face will have cleared up, smoother and more perfect than you could ever imagine!
2. Castor oil as a homemade makeup remover
If you find that OCM takes to long, or if you don’t want to do it every day, you can still use castor oil as a make up remover. Either 100% castor oil or half castor oil and half olive oil is great. Just apply some oil to a cotton ball or q-tip and swipe off the make-up.
3. Natural hair growth with castor oil
To get your hair to grow faster, you need to do a hair oiling a couple of times every week with castor oil. Apply some to the scalp, leave on for at least 30 minutes and then wash off. The result is long, thick, shiny hair. It will also prevent hair loss. If you like you can also apply some to the lengths while your at it. Again, if you find that castor oil is too thick, add a bit of some other vegetable oil to it (olive or coconut for instance) – up to 50%.
Tip! To remove the castor oil from your hair: if you use shampoo, apply the shampoo before wetting the hair. The same goes with the conditioner only method.
4. Castor oil for darkening hair
Using castor oil will make your hair just the slightest bit darker. So if you want darker hair, you’re going to love using castor oil on your scalp!
5. Get long, thick eyelashes
But this doesn’t only work on the hair on your head! No, applying castor oil to your eyelashes or even eyebrows will also result in long, thick lashes and brows. Maybe you want a thicker beard? Works just as well! This is great to do before going to bed and leaving on over night. Or, when doing the oil cleansing method, make sure your eyelashes get some of that oil as well. Just avoid contact with eyes if possible!
Tip! Wash out an old mascara brush and use it to apply the castor oil. You can even pour some castor oil into the clean mascara container and apply just like you would do with mascara.
6. Castor oil for scar healing
The healing properties of castor oil means that it can be used on scars to help them heal. According to skinverse, castor oil can even help heal internal scars such as scars from surgery. You can also apply castor oil on cuts or burns to help them heal fast.
7. Mole and wart removal
Applying some castor oil to warts, liver spots or moles will over time help you get rid of them. If you apply some every night, you should see progress already after a few weeks, and after 2-3 months the whole thing will be gone, says skinverse.