What is castor oil?
Castor Oil is a vegetable oil that is derived from the bean of the castor tree. It's comprised of fatty acids and rich in vitamin e - an essential anti-oxidant that keeps lashes health and has been shown to help prevent hair loss. Due to its antioxidant properties, it gives the natural keratin in your hair an extra boost of strength reducing breakage.
The reason it often touted as a miracle ingredient for hair growth is that it contains ricinoleic acid, an omega-9 essential fatty acid that thickens your lashes and stimulates lash growth.
Texture-wise, it’s incredibly gloopy and thick, with the consistency of slow-oozing honey or coconut oil.
Does castor oil work?
Castor oil has long been used to address a slate of skincare concerns; treating acne and inflammation, as a topical treatment for burns, and reducing wrinkles and age spots. It's a popular ingredient in beauty products because of it's hydrating, moisturizing and antibacterial properties. And as a home remedy to stimulate hair growth.
When it comes to anecdotal evidence the reviews are mixed. Some users claim that it really worked, while others say the effect was barely noticeable.
One enthusiastic reviewer said:
"I’ve tried applying it daily on my lashes for 2 weeks and noticed such a DRAMATIC difference. My lashes were much, much longer and thicker. However, as soon as I stopped applying it every day, my lashes started falling out more than usual (3-4 per day as opposed to 1-2 per day). As far as scientific evidence; studies have shown that ricinoleic acid, a chemical compound that makes up almost 90 per cent of castor oil, might help reverse hair loss."
How to use castor oil on your eyelashes
Before handing over out your hard earned money, ensure you're picking up pure castor oil otherwise it might not boast the same properties which means it won't have the same effect on hair follicles.
There are two types of castor oil that are commonly used as a natural beauty treatment. The first is cold-pressed castor oil, which is translucent. The second is Jamaican black castor oil, which has a dark brown hue.
Jamaican black castor oil is generally the most popular option yet, both types of castor oil contain the same properties that may make them beneficial to eyelash growth.
Before beginning any beauty regimen, we recommended making sure the product won't cause any irritation by applying a small amount topically as a test - this is vital if you have sensitive skin. The best time to treat your eyelashes is at night while you sleep as your eyes a free of makeup.
Step one: Make sure your eyelashes are clean and completely free of makeup.
Step two: Pick up a small amount of castor oil by dipping a cotton swab gently into the oil.
Step three: Delicately run the cotton swab along the top of your lash line, taking great care to not allow any of the oil into your eye (oil that gets in your eye should be washed out immediately with water).
Step four: Wash off the castor oil in the morning with water or makeup remover.
Are you looking for more eyelash boosting tips? We've collated; simple tips for removing eyelash extensions at home and five of the best eyelash growth serums on the market.
This article originally appeared on InStyle.