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Castor Oil


What does this mean?

Inci:  Ricinus Communis Seed Oil

An excellent oil to use in massage, cleanser and baby products. Best blended with other oils to fully appreciate its benefits and improve the skin feel.


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.
It is absorbed by the skin very slowly which is an excellent attribute for certain tasks like cleaning products or massage creams.
  • 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.
Do not use during pregnancy as it may potentially cause uterine contractions.
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.
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
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.


Skin Care
  • As a natural emollient, Castor Oil 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.
  • Castor Oil is an excellent cleanser as it 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.
  • 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.
  • It is often used in soap making as it helps to stabilise the lather when it has been saponified.
Hair Care
  • When Castor Oil is 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.


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.

Click on the links below to be directed to great recipes featuring Castor Oil.


Traditional Aromatherapy Uses
Traditionally used by qualified aromatherapists as liver 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.
Historical Information
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.