Castor oil has a rich, indulgent texture, excellent moisture retention and valuable nutrient content. It is one of our favourite ingredients to include in balm formulations!
Indigenous to India, East Africa and the Mediterranean Basin, Castor oil has been commercially produced and used in a wide variety of applications for centuries. Natural health, food, pharmaceutical and machinery based industries have all utilised the oil for its dense viscosity, high heat tolerance and rich fatty acid content.
There is evidence that Castor oil has been used as far back as ancient Egyptian times when it was a multipurpose ingredient. Hair was treated with the oil to improve texture and encourage growth. It was applied to the skin in body ointments and even used as a slow burning oil to fuel lamps.
In India it has been an important Ayurvedic oil for thousands of years and is considered an excellent medicinal treatment for joint pain associated with arthritis and other similar conditions.
Fortunately this traditional remedy has survived the improvements of modern medicine and is still regularly employed today. It has been applied topically to burns, cuts and abrasions and also used in heat packs to alleviate abdominal disorders.
Cold pressed from the seed of the Ricinus communis plant, Castor oil contains high amounts of oleic and linoleic acids and offers wonderful emollient and moisturising properties. It is an excellent ingredient in skin protective formulations such as night creams or body butters as it forms a nourishing barrier on the skin. This barrier helps to minimise dryness and can even help soothe an irritated or inflamed complexion.
In lip care, Castor oil will reduce cracking and splitting that occurs when sensitive skin is exposed to changing weather conditions. This makes it an ideal choice when designing a lip balm, serum or cream. The thick viscosity of the oil blends well with natural butters and waxes to achieve great balm products.
Castor oil is also a useful ingredient for soap manufacturers. Once saponified, it produces a sumptuous later without stripping the skins natural oil content. Massage therapists commonly use Castor oil in specialised abdominal massage and in haircare it is recognised for its intense conditioning properties that can improve the appearance of brittle or damaged hair.
Here at Sage, we love Castor oil and we know you will be impressed with the results when you use it in your next skincare formulation!