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In a world where coconut oil reigns supreme on Pinterest boards and Instagram tutorials, castor oil is like an overachieving cousin that everybody chooses to ignore.

You’ve heard on the grapevine that it helps grow lashes, but you don’t know much else about it.

Castor oil is a non-volatile fatty oil that comes from the seeds of the castor bean. Also called ricinus oil, it has a very thick consistency with a colour that ranges from clear to amber, or somewhat green.

The oil is very unique because of close-to-90 percent fatty acid content and contains rare compound called ricinoleic acid.

Modern discovery cannot take credit for castor oil though, it has been used for generations to boost immune function, whether consumed orally or applied topically.

In India, the oil is prized for its skin-healing, digestive-soothing, antibacterial properties, and it is commonly used in traditional Ayurvedic medicinal practices too.


Skin Saviour

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Applied topically, castor oil’s infamous for helping skin. This includes application when your skin is inflamed, caused by sunburns, acne, and dry skin.

It also works great as a moisturiser, with the highly concentrated fatty acids penetrating the skin easily.

Try: Heritage Store Organic Castor Oil, $17.93


Mane Management

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Whether you put your tresses through heat styling, or you’re always sweating it out at the gym or hot yoga, it’s time to drench your hair in intense hydration.

It also helps hair growth so if you’ve got a haircut you’re dying to grow out, massage the oil into your roots regularly! Also, there are dry shampoo mist that moisturises and conditions!

Bonus tip: save dry, brittle hair with a mask that’s made of olive oil + castor oil + vitamin A (liquid capsule) oil mix with some petroleum jelly.

Try: R & Co Spiritualized Dry Shampoo Mist, US$28.00


Nailing It

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Fight nasty fungal infections deep within in your nail beds, ragged cuticles, or even help brittle nails with this concoction: castor oil, with 1 part Epsom salt and 3 parts water.

Soak for about 15 minutes and repeat daily if you can. Castor oil’s anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties will help strengthen your nails.

Try: Jamaican Black Castor Oil Extra Dark, US$12.99