Castor oil is among the most promising natural topical treatments to have gained popularity recently. This natural fat is sourced from the castor bean, usually grown by rural communities of India, but also China and Mozambique.
Castor oil is most famous for reversing hair loss, for kick-starting dormant hair follicles by altering two compounds called PGE2 and PGD2. However, it also has highly promising powers for skincare and acne. Castor oil consists of 90% ricinoleic acid, a rare fat in nature, which according to several studies, has anti-inflammatory powers when applied to the skin.
Castor oil is a strong natural sunscreen, with an SPF score of 5.7. It’s a stronger sunscreen oil than almond oil, which scores 4.7. There’s even evidence that castor oil enhances the powers of other topical treatments, like honey or aloe vera. All this comes with very few side effects. Castor oil has a comedogenic rating of 1 out of 5, while only 4% of its fats are the irritating oleic acid, compared to 70% in olive oil.
Castor oil is strangely lacking in research compared to most skincare oils, so even more secrets could emerge over the coming decades…
…but there’s one last important task to complete before you enjoy those tantalising benefits – buying the right product. Note that you shouldn’t consume castor oil; it’s for external usage only. For a shortcut, Rejuve Naturals and Sky Organics are the ultimate products here.
Let’s get started:
One – ReJuve Naturals
Kicking off our list of ultimate castor oils, we have one of the most trusted skincare companies around. This oil is “nature’s best kept beauty secret” according to ReJuve Naturals, and it meets every possible requirement.
Firstly, the oil is cold pressed and unrefined. That’s vital with any fat based skincare oil, to preserve the vitamins, phytonutrients, and undetected compounds with secret benefits. Cold-pressing also prevents the fatty acids from warping and mutating into toxic free radicals.
Secondly, this oil is certified organic by the USDA and EcoCert. The beans are natural, the oil extraction is natural, and the packaging is natural. ReJuve Naturals is also pure, free from any hexane, additives, preservatives, and chemicals. Finally, ReJuve Naturals is packaged in a glass, dark amber bottle to protect the oil against UV radiation.
The quality passes the test too. Being its own unique plant, the texture and colour of pure castor oil differs significantly from other skincare oils. Castor oil is quite a thick and sticky oil in its natural form, compared to jojoba oil, which is thin and light. The colour is a pale yellow, compared to ivory white with shea butter. The smell, meanwhile, is rather mild for a natural oil, and often unnoticeable.
ReJuve Natural meets every one of those requirements. Furthermore, the oil achieves all this while coming in an affordable 16oz bottle. ReJuve Naturals is a near perfect castor oil for acne.
Amazon link: Organic Castor Oil by RejuveNaturals (links to Sky Organics for UK and Canada).
Two – Kate Blanc Cosmetics
Our castor oil quest continues with the 100% pure and natural Kate Blanc Cosmetics. You could stop reading the list now and your job would be done, for this castor oil is nearly perfect for your skin.
This castor oil is certified organic by the USDA, and hexane free. It’s cold pressed, and in a glass bottle with a dark amber colour. The motto of Kate, owner of the company, is that if she can’t pronounce an ingredient, she’ll never include it. Accordingly, this castor oil lacks any preservatives, parabens, additives, and chemicals.
Another important feature, and a rule to remember, is that Kate Blanc Cosmetics is a yellow castor oil. There’s another widely sold form of castor oil which you need to avoid, called Black Jamaican Castor Oil. This traditionally made variety is dark in colour, with an ashy smell due to literally containing ash.
Black Jamaican Castor Oil is an old Jamaican tradition, beloved by its citizens, but for skincare it’s disadvantageous. The castor beans are roasted for an extra long period of time, compared to yellow castor oil, to generate the black colour. More roasting equals less nutrition, even if the funky smell is appealing.
A dark colour might trick some people into believing that the oil is more nutritious, but pure, yellow castor oil is your goal, and Kate Blanc Cosmetics is ready for service. This brand even has a one year long refund policy.
Kate Blanc Cosmetics is a top quality castor oil for acne and skincare.
Amazon link: Castor Oil by Kate Blanc (links to Ecla Organic Castor Oil for Canadian readers).
Three – Sky Organics
This castor oil is expeller pressed and cold pressed for optimal nutrition. It’s certified organic by the USDA to guarantee that farmers aren’t blasting the beans with inflammatory pesticides. Hexane is far away while preservatives, BPA and parabens are also absent.
Sky Organics also has a recipe for all its customers: a homemade shampoo combining castor oil, peppermint essential oil, and jojoba oil. This is actually a great idea, because firstly, jojoba oil will effectively moisturise your hair strands. Peppermint oil, meanwhile, has been proven recently to have strong hair restoration properties. It increases follicle activation, follicle depth, and rapidly transitions your scalp into a growth-ready state.
A smart recipe for a lush head of hair, and Sky Organics’ packaging is also smart, being dark amber. The value for money is high, coming in a 16oz bottle.
As for the texture, the signature thickness is present, while customers are pleased with its mild to non-existent smell. Note that like all oils, the smell of natural castor oil will vary from batch to batch due to growing conditions. That said, it should never be funky and rancid.
For skincare, acne, and hair growth, Sky Organics is a very hard to castor oil to beat.
Amazon link: Organic Castor Oil By Sky Organics.
Four – Shiny Leaf
Our next castor oil is Shiny Leaf, another USDA certified organic oil. Shiny Leaf is packaged in an amber, glass bottle, specifically formulated to keep UV radiation away. Chemicals are also far away, with no preservatives, additives, hexane, or BPA included. Shiny Leaf is 100% pure, with ricinus communis (castor) oil being the sole ingredient.
Shiny Leaf castor oil gets great reports in all the areas that count. Generally, a clear sign that castor oil has gone rancid is its colour, changing from pale yellow to darker. Castor oil is also fairly clear, and rancid oils may go cloudy or murky (note that other topical treatments like honey can be naturally cloudy). Then there’s the smell, which will develop the classic rancid funkiness.
According to customers, the smell of Shiny Leaf castor oil is mild to barely noticeable. The texture is on point, with customers surprised at the oil’s thickness. All is in order here, and Shiny Leaf castor oil has a glass dropper for extremely easy application. Their directions are to use two to three drops as a moisturiser, while the oil itself is sourced from India.
Shiny Leaf castor oil is among the most reliable castor oil products you could buy.
Amazon link: Shiny Leaf Organic Castor Oil.
Five – Natural Riches
Natural Riches has the natural thick texture that all castor oils should have. It’s certified organic by the USDA, cold-pressed, and the smell is appropriately mild. Natural Riches is free from all possible contaminants: hexane, preservatives, pesticides, and BPA.
Natural Riches is another castor oil which is truly excellent value for money, coming in a large 16oz bottle. In fact, castor oil is usually an affordable skincare oil. Castor oil is a particularly malleable substance. Over the years, industry has invented countless uses for it: soaps, artificial leather, candles. Your waterproof jacket may even contain castor oil. Cyclists on the TV may be wearing sportswear containing castor oil.
Since the demand for castor oil is large, there’s plenty of spare supplies for us acne-clearing enthusiasts to buy as well. There’s little price pressure, though a few companies do charge exorbitant prices just for the fun of it, so be careful.
Natural Riches’ final advantage is a lifetime money back guarantee. Overall, Natural Riches stands head and shoulders above most castor oils on the market.
Amazon link: Natural Riches Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil.
Six – FoxBrim
Their castor oil is USDA certified organic, and cold-pressed. It’s sourced from India and packaged in the USA and completely free from chemical additives and contaminants. Like the best acne oils, the bottle is made from glass and dark amber.
FoxBrim recommends storing your castor oil in a cool, dark place, and this is largely correct. Castor oil is neither strong nor weak for an oil. Its fats are 90% monounsaturated, rather than strong saturated fats or weak polyunsaturated fats, so you should keep your castor oil reasonably protected. The standard shelf life of castor oil is at least 1 year, extended with proper storage, and FoxBrim is no exception.
Elsewhere, newbie reviewers are surprised at its thickness, a great sign for purity. FoxBrim’s castor oil bottles are made in small batches, to guarantee complete quality. The only slight flaw is the lack of a traditional glass dropper.
Overall, FoxBrim is one the greatest castor oils ever manufactured.
Amazon link: Organic Castor Oil by Foxbrim.
Seven – Molivera
Molivera’s castor oil is cold-pressed, free from any added chemical contaminants, and in a 16oz bottle. The bottle is plastic rather than glass, but the colour is dark, with built in UV ray protection.
Molivera is the cheapest brand listed here, and that’s because unlike the others, it isn’t certified organic. The brand name is Molivera Organics, the product isn’t organic. The company itself is dedicated to organic practises, like farming, packaging, and extraction, but there’s no certification.
The result? It’s unclear how badly castor beans are blasted with pesticides, and its classic toxin ricin throws up another question. This lethal poison used to assassinate politicians (don’t worry, all ricin is removed from the oil) actually acts as a natural insecticide, and scientists are even investigating it for agricultural usage. Therefore, it’s likely that castor beans require far less pesticides anyway. Additionally, you’re not eating the castor oil, and you never should.
It’s better to be sure and buy organically, but Molivera castor oil is an excellent choice for budget restricted acne patients.
Amazon link: Molivera Organics Castor Oil.
Eight – Sally’s Organics
If castor oil is the secret solution to your acne then Sally’s Organics will give it no chance. The country of origin is India, the organic certifications come from the USDA and the EU. Sally’s Organics is officially cruelty free, unless brutally ripping the beans from the plant causes them unspeakable pain.
The bottle is dark, amber and glass, keeping your oil strong and intact for months longer than it would stay otherwise. Speaking of ricin earlier, not a trace of this poison remains in the oil. Why? It was never in the oil to start with. The castor bean naturally consists of 50-60% fat, but the deadly ricin is found in the colourfully patterned skin and seeds.
During the extraction process, cold pressed or with chemical solvents, all ricin is separated into dry matter. The oil then undergoes a triple filtration process to remove any slight sediment. It’s also logical: millions of people use castor oil globally, yet none have ever died from ricin poisoning. Your bigger concern is the oil’s quality, and there, Sally’s Organics succeeds wildly. Its final advantage is a long shelf life, of 24 months.
If glowing skin or a thick head of hair is your goal, Sally’s Organics is an excellent castor oil.
Amazon link: Sally’s Organics Pure Castor Oil.
Nine – Mary Tylor Naturals
Reports on the texture are similar: thick as any great castor oil should be. The smell is mild and Mary Tylor Naturals also sell many other excellent oils, like their shea butter.
Compared to other organic products, Mary Tylor Naturals has a very slight disadvantage: its bottle is dark plastic rather than dark glass. Luckily though, this plastic is free from BPA. Bisphenol-A is a toxic chemical, which can contribute to acne by increasing inflammation. It’s commonly found in paper receipts, old water pipes, and shower curtains, but frequently plastic bottles.
Mary Tylor Natural’s is plastic, but it’s at least free from this menace, as is every other brand listed here. However, you should still store this castor oil extra carefully, because the plastic still contains chemicals called phthalates. A cool, dark place is all you need. The advantage of Mary Tylor Naturals is being great value: a big 16oz bottle.
Overall, Mary Tylor Naturals is a brilliant product for acne patients or hair restoration maniacs with less money.
Amazon link: Mary Tylor Naturals Organic Castor Oil.
Ten – Swanson
This castor oil lacks flashy packaging, but it’s almost as perfect as its competitors: cold-pressed, hexane free, and pure. It’s certified organic by the USDA and bears the white and green seal accordingly. One reviewer was surprised by the oil’s thickness, but that’s actually an excellent sign for purity.
Like Mary Tylor Naturals, the only slight downside is the plastic bottle, but Swanson’s castor oil is similarly great value for money. The plastic itself is properly dark, while BPA and chemicals are completely absent.
Swanson’s directions are to massage the oil directly onto the skin. What would I recommend for a recipe? Combining castor oil with argan oil would be a smart move, because the latter has a huge amount of vitamin E, which castor oil lacks. Vitamin E is great for acne, but can also reactivate dormant hair follicles. This combination would make a potentially effective hair growth serum even better.
Regardless, Swanson’s castor oil has nearly all the necessary qualities for acne and skincare.
Amazon link: Swanson Certified Organic Castor Oil.
If experimenting with castor oil is your goal, you now have the means to succeed: nine pretty much perfect products, and one which is about 5% inferior, but excellent value for money.
The overall market for castor oil is fairly respectable. Some products are much worse than others, lacking cold pressed seals and containing added chemicals, but there’s a lot less blatant scamming compared to the lavender oil market.
Corrupt dealers are still out there though, biding their time, and buying these brands is an easy shortcut for evading their grasp.
Thanks for reading!