A clear, greenish to yellow, thick oil derived from the seeds of the Castor plant. It is the bean that is used but as the plant is not a member of the bean family group, the bean is actually the seed of the plant - albeit a very large seed. The seed contains ricin which is a lethal protein but the extraction process denatures this protein leaving the oil safe to use.
It is a very stable oil which takes a long time to oxidise and finally go rancid.
It is absorbed by the skin very slowly which is an excellent attritube for certain tasks like cleaning products or massage creams.
Typical Fatty Acid Profile
C16:0 Palmitic Acid 1% to 2%
C18:0 Stearic Acid 1% to 3%
C18:1 Oleic Acid (Omega 9) 2% to 5%
C18:1 Ricinoleic Acid (Omega 9) 85% - 90%
C18:2 Linoleic Acid (Omega 6) 3% to 7%
Saponification Value mgKOH / g 177-187
Ricinus communis Seed Oil
According to the Cosmetic Ingredient Database (Cosing), the functions of Castor Oil are:
Masking, Perfuming, Skin Conditioning
To view more information, visit the Cosing Database here.
As a natural emollient, it is exceptionally good to soften and soothe dry, damaged skin and then continues to keep the skin supple.
Use up to 15% in a massage oil blend or massage cream. It gives slip to the blend but doesn’t penetrate the skin quickly at all, giving time to work the muscle groups. It is analgesic and anti inflammatory so is ideal to use in after sport and muscular massage treatments.
An excellent cleanser as is has semi emulsifying qualities that bind oil and water together and it drags dirt and grease towards itself. This makes it ideal for cleansing oils, lotions and gels. Wipes off easily with a damp cloth leaving the skin feeling cleansed and soft. Blend with other oils like Jojoba, Sweet Almond or Apricot Kernel oils to improve the slide of the blend on the skin.
Superb to use in baby products like nappy rash balm and cleansing balms. It is very lubricating whilst it cleanses the dirty area. It leaves the skin almost waterproofed afterwards, protecting before the next need for a nappy change.
It is often used in soap making as it helps to stabilise the lather when it has been saponified.
Very protective of the skin and increases the flexibility and suppleness helping to keep premature wrinkles and fine lines at bay.
Castor Oil also makes lips, hair and skin shiny so add to lip balms, hair packs and face and body oils.
When added to hair conditioners and hair packs, it will soften the hair and diminish dandruff. It adds shine to the hair and strengthens the hair shaft making it feel thicker.
Helps to lock in the moisture in the hair shaft.
Use 1% to 100%.
Oil soluble so cannot be used in water only products. It can be used in small amounts in water based gels that will hold it in suspension.
Heat stable so can be used in Stage 1 (fat stage) when making creams and lotions.
For enhancing shine and glossiness to dull, dry, tired skin, blend it with drier oils that also enhance the skin in the same way, such as Camelina, Avocado, Moringa and Borage oils.
Do not use during pregnancy as it may potentially cause uterine contractions.
Rinse Off Scrub Cleanser
Stage 1: (above 75°C)
9% Camellia Seed Oil
5% Castor Oil
6% Jojoba Oil
3% VE Emulsifier
2% Cetearyl Alcohol
Stage 2: (above 75°C)
5% MF Emulsifier
50% Boiling Spring Water
Stage 3: (below 40°C)
5% Jojoba Peeling Granules
1% Preservative Eco
0.5% Vitamin E
0.5% May Chang Essential Oil
Heat the Stage 1 (fat stage) materials in a stainless steel bowl on a bain marie (double boiler) to above 75°C.
Add the Stage 2 (water stage) ingredients to a larger bowl and put onto a bain marie. When the temperature is above 75°C, add Stage 1 to Stage 2.
Keep the temperature above 75°C and stir for 5 minutes.
Take the bowl off the heat and cool to below 40°C.
Mix the Stage 3 (cool stage) ingredients thoroughly, then stir into the cream. Jar and label.
Easy Lip Gloss
Stage 1: (room temperature)
97% Castor Oil
1% Spearmint Essential Oil
Combine all raw materials together and blend thoroughly. Put into roller ball bottles and label.
For more information and guidance on making your own skin care products please see Aromantic's books and eBooks in our Publications section.
These notes are not meant to replace medical guidance and you should seek the advice of your doctor for your health matters. The formulae are given in good faith and are intended for educational purposes only. They have not been evaluated or tested in any way and Aromantic Ltd. makes no claim as to their effectiveness. It is up to the reader to ensure that any products they produce from these recipes are safe to use, and if relevant, compliant under current cosmetic regulations.
Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Traditionally used by qualified aromatherapists as treatment packs. It is warmed and poured onto some woolen cloth and laid over the liver area of the abdomen. It is then covered with cotton and blankets put on top to keep the heat in. It takes up to one hour to penetrate where it has a beneficial effect on the liver.
Although packs like this have been used for hundreds of years, during the 1980s they came back into awareness again as part of HIV and liver maintenance.
Its other well known use was as a laxative to stimulate bowel wall contractions in the large intestine.
Castor beans have been found in the Pharaoh's tombs in Egypt and medical texts from 1500BC show it was part of standard medical care back then.