Ever since the Kylie Jenner challenge became an internet sensation, women of all ages have been obsessed with fuller, luscious pouts. Not convinced?
Well, here’s proof!
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons reported a baffling increase of 66% in lip augmentations between 2000 and 2018, making lip jobs one of the most popular non-surgical cosmetic treatments of this decade.
Whether it is Kylie Jenner’s influence or not, one thing we all know is that luscious, rosy lips have always been a symbol of sensuality and beauty.
So, what do you do if you are not naturally blessed with amazing lips?
Lip fillers and other cosmetic treatments can help you achieve this. But you should know that they can always go wrong.
Fortunately, there are other risk-free and inexpensive options.
All you need to enhance the beauty of your lips without any of the pain or expenses of such treatments is just one simple, natural ingredient – Castor oil!
Although I have been using this oil for ages, it is only recently that I learned that castor oil could improve the appearance and overall health of lips. But before we look at how this works, let us quickly understand what we are dealing with.
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is one of my favorite natural ingredients for many hair and skincare needs. Whether it is for hair growth, fuller eyebrows, or as a skin cleanser and moisturizer, this magical oil presents the perfect solution for all needs.
Castor oil is obtained by cold-pressing the castor beans of the Ricinus Communis plant, which grows in Africa and Asia. It is a translucent, slightly dense oil with a yellow tint.
Castor oil contains several fatty acids like ricinoleic acid, oleic acid, and linoleic acid. It also has Vitamin E, omega 6 EFAs, and various skin and hair nourishing minerals.
This oil was first used as a lamp fuel by ancient Egyptians nearly a thousand years ago. It has also been used as a cooking agent and oil base for various medications. Ancient Egyptians also introduced castor oil into cosmetic preparations centuries ago.
Rumors suggest that Cleopatra used this magical oil in her hair care regime and to whiten her eyes. Since then, castor oil has been used in various skin and hair care treatments and as a base for multiple cosmetic products.
How Does Castor Oil Work on Lips?
Did you know that the skin on your lips is different from the skin on the rest of your body?
This skin resembles a mucous membrane and does not contain the protective pigment called melanin. Also, lips do not have sebaceous glands like the rest of your body, which produce natural oils to moisturize and keep the skin glowing.
Hence, your lips are very delicate and prone to chapping and injury. Harsh cosmetic products, environmental factors like pollution or chilly weather, and lifestyle factors like smoking can much irritate this skin. Continued exposure to such products and conditions can also cause discolorations and make them excessively dry.
Fortunately, castor oil will help you overcome such conditions in the following way.
- Castor oil is a rich source of Omega fatty acids that hydrate and refresh skin. These fatty acids stimulate the growth of healthy tissue, repair existing damage, and produce blemish-free, smooth complexions.
- Castor oil is incredibly dense and has a creamy, oily texture. It contains ricinoleic acid, which is an excellent natural moisturizer. When applied to the lips, castor oil immediately hydrates and makes them look fresh and feel supple.
- Being a humectant, castor oil helps in the retention of moisture. This property makes it valuable in restoring moisture to lips that become excessively dry in chilly and windy weather. It instantly hydrates and plumps up the delicate skin and makes it appear fresh and supple.
- Castor oil penetrates deep into the skin around the lips, thus softening them and delaying the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles that affect these areas.
- Another advantage of using castor oil is that it evens out discolorations. This is once again because of the abundant fatty acids present in the oil. These fatty acids penetrate damaged tissue and promote the production of new skin cells. As a result, discolored skin cells are replaced by new cells, making lips appear even-toned and soft.
How to Use Castor Oil for Lips?
We already saw that castor oil is incredibly beneficial for chapped, discolored lips. It can also be used as part of your regular skincare routine to keep lips looking fresh and soft.
Follow this sequence of steps to enjoy the best results of this natural product.
- As part of your regular cleansing routine, lightly scrub and clean the surface of your lips. You can use a mild scrub to get rid of the dry and flaky skin on your lips twice a week. Take care not to scrub your lips excessively or too frequently, as this can injure the delicate skin.
- Apply a drop of good quality castor oil to the tip of your finger or on a cotton swab.
- Gently transfer this to the surface of your lips and evenly spread all over the surface.
- Leave the oil to soak and hydrate your lips.
- Perform this sequence of steps twice a day. For best results, apply castor oil to your lips at bedtime every day.
Helpful Tip: Castor oil is a very thick oil with a distinct odor. If you are turned off by the smell or find the texture to be too thick, dilute it with almond oil and apply it as mentioned above.
Main Benefits of Using Castor Oil for Lips
Let us briefly touch upon the main advantages of adding castor oil to your regular skincare routine for lips.
1. Castor oil is a natural and safe product to use.
There are few purely organic products like castor oil that can improve the condition of delicate skin in your lips. Being non-irritating and free from allergy-inducing materials, castor oil is a safe and superior choice when compared to other synthetic lip care products.
2. Cheap, easily available and affordable.
You can buy castor oil from supermarkets, medical shops, and even online at very affordable prices. Since it is free from unnatural ingredients and doesn’t involve excessive processing, it is a cheap but highly effective alternative to lip balms and creams.
3. Lasts longer.
You need just a tiny bit of castor oil to use on your lips. So, a small bottle will be enough for several months. Just make sure that you store it carefully, and you can enjoy its benefits for much longer.
4. Castor oil works well with other products.
Castor oil is easily absorbed in the skin and doesn’t leave a residue. Hence you can use it to moisturize and protect your lips and follow up with regular lip makeup.
Important Factors to Remember When Using Castor Oil for Lips
Castor oil is a natural product that is risk-free and generally safe for topical application. Nevertheless, there are some essential things to note, so you can enjoy better results when you use castor oil on your lips.
- Always choose good-quality castor oil for the purpose: The effectiveness of this treatment is directly linked to the quality of castor oil you use. Freshly packaged, organic, cold-pressed will yield the best results. Always choose a reputed brand and make sure that it is free from synthetic additives and fragrances, as these can impact the effectiveness or cause unwanted side-effects.
- Cold-pressed castor oil is the best: Another factor that impacts the effectiveness and quality of the oil is its method of extraction. In specific modern pressing methods, the oil is heated multiple times and highly refined. This reduces its skin-nourishing properties. To avoid this, always opt for a good quality cold-pressed oil to enjoy its topical benefits.
- Always do a patch test first: Although castor oil produces few to no side-effects, it is always recommended to do a patch test first. Apply a sample of the oil to a small area of your skin and look out for reactions. If there are no unwanted side-effects, introduce it slowly into your skincare regime.
- Consistent application is necessary for long-lasting results: If you take good care of your lips, you can almost immediately feel a difference when you apply castor oil. However, if your lips are excessively damaged, it will take longer to see any significant improvement in your condition. Nonetheless, follow through with the treatment, and you will feel a difference over time.
- Seal and store the oil carefully: When stored properly, you can use a bottle of castor oil for more than a year. It can turn rancid if exposed to sunlight. Always check the expiry date of the product before use and avoid using an older bottle of oil. Please keep it away from moisture and light to extend its shelf life.
Possible Side-effects of Castor Oil
One of the best things about using natural products like castor oil in your beauty regime is that it is free from the unwanted side-effects of chemical-laden skin products.
Castor oil has been used for centuries in skin and hair care, and it rarely produces any side-effects. It has also been used as a laxative and consumed orally, even by pregnant women.
Serious allergic reactions to this oil are infrequent. Nonetheless, there are instances when castor oil has triggered conditions like allergic dermatitis.
However, in my opinion, side-effects were most probably caused by poor-quality castor oil containing additives. So, I suggest that you always buy 100% organic castor oil. Also, look closely at the ingredient list to ascertain that it doesn’t contain any allergy-inducing additives.
Don’t forget to do a patch test before you start the actual treatment. This will allow you to rule out the risk of developing any significant reactions to the product.
Other Important Uses of Castor Oil
Apart from using castor oil to protect and nourish your lips, you can also use this magical product for various other needs. Here are some of them.
- Natural Moisturizer: Swap out your store-bought moisturizer containing harmful chemical agents for castor oil. Its excellent hydrating properties will nourish your skin and improve its elasticity and softness. Since castor oil is very thick, you may like to blend it with other natural oils like coconut oil or almond oil instead of applying it directly.
- As an anti-inflammatory agent:Ricinoleic acid in castor oil has excellent anti-inflammatory properties. It relieves pain and inflammation at wound sites and is useful for patients suffering from conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, open injuries, and skin conditions like psoriasis.
- To fight acne: The anti-microbial action of castor oil controls the growth of bacteria in the skin, which leads to acne breakouts. It is also useful in combating redness, inflammation, and pain associated with acne conditions.
- Suitable for eyebrows and hair growth: The rich nutrient and mineral composition of castor oil provides much-needed nourishment to hair follicles in your scalp and eyebrows, triggering stronger and more luxurious hair growth in these areas. You can read more about how castor oil enhances the growth of thick, luscious eyebrows in this previous article.