Castor Oil

Castor oil has recently been a hot topic in the skincare community since the big eyebrow trend is still hanging around, albeit evolving. Everyone wants fuller eyebrows! Castor oil is like the 2020 version of biotin, except it’s a topical oil instead of an ingestable supplement. It claims to make your hair grow faster and will help to moisturizer your skin, so I tried it out for two months to see if it lived up to the hype.

Isn’t Castor Oil Toxic? Unless you’re allergic to castor oil, the answer is no, on two fronts. Growing up I remember hearing the reference to castor oil as being used as a laxative. Yup, gross. But there is a distinction between food-grade castor oil and skincare castor oil, so if your bottle says “not safe for consumption” then… you probably shouldn’t consume it. But that’s not because of the ricin! Yep, another unpleasant word to throw into a paragraph. Ricin is not contained in the actual oil itself. Ricin is the result of the seeds being mashed together after the oil has been extracted. Long story short, your skincare castor oil isn’t poisonous, but if you’re looking for a laxative, you should probably go find yourself a food-grade bottle!

Does it make your eyebrows or eyelashes grow faster? In my experience, no. I can see where it would give the appearance of your eyebrows seeming darker since the oil clumps all the hairs together, but if you’re missing certain patches of your eyebrow, this oil will not help to stimulate skin cells in helping the hair grow. Ditto for the eyelashes. It’s kind of a daunting task to Q-tip this in the eyelash area to begin with, but again, besides the oil making them darker, I didn’t feel that my eyelashes grew any faster or more voluminously.

I will say, however, one of my nervous tics is to pull my eyebrows when I’m stressed out, and putting castor oil almost completely put an end to this habit, solely because that oil is so… unruly, to deal with. Turns out, not pulling your eyebrows out lets them grow! Who would have thought… For anyone who suffers trichotillomania, I highly recommend you pick up a bottle and give it a try. You can even use it for your hair. Which brings me to…

Does it make your hair grow faster? Again, no. But it is, in small doses, it is a good “mask” to help keep some moisture in. Since castor oil is so sticky, I would recommend that anyone with fine hair use this as a day-mask or wash it out before you go to bed.

Also, for all you bleach blondes out there, have you ever had the burning desire to speed up the shedding process in one fell swoop? Look no further than a bottle of castor oil… place it on your most broken hair follicles and watch allllll the hair fall out! (I’d like to think that this happened for the better…)

What about your skin? I don’t really recommend it. Again, this oil is just so heavy and sticky that it’s very difficult to remove or absorb, which, in my opinion, also makes it a bad candidate for oil-cleansing (OCM). Despite this oil being non-comedogenic, I noticed a lot more redness in my skin than usual when using it as a “only step) in my routine.

Unfortunately castor oil misses the mark on skincare and hair growth panacea status. However I think it’s been a great alternative to coconut oil for masking my hair and helping to keep it hydrated. There are a lot of masks on the market that boast castor oil as the main product, but I think it’s best to go straight to the source and just grab a bottle from a reputable skincare or holistic company business. ~A

TL;DR:

Will it definitively make your hair/eyebrows/eyelashes grow super fast? Probably not.

Is it good for your skin? Not the worst, but there are better alternatives.

Is it good for overall hair health? When used sporadically, yes.

Bio-Oil Specialist Skincare Oil

Bio Oil

Bio-Oil has been present and visible on the skincare market for just about forever, touting itself as a magical cure-all for all your scars and acne and infiltrating at least one full-page ad in every issue of Cosmo and Glamour. After some failed attempts to apply coconut oil (do not recommend) and jojoba oil (do not recommend, but to a lesser extent) as part of the “oil cleansing method”, I was pretty apprehensive to try this out. But hey, the claim on the bottle was that it was non-comedogenic so, here we are.

For an oil, it’s relatively watery and light weight — very thin. I don’t really love the bottle it’s packaged in, because if you squeeze too tight, you’re obviously going to get way too much product, but just flipping the bottle over on it’s side will only get you one or two drops, which isn’t enough. The smell isn’t obtrusive, it’s very light and sweet, and will linger if bio-oil is the last product you put on your skin.

Speaking of last product you put on your skin, bio-oil absolutely does not play well with anything else! It will pill the living daylights out of anything else you have on your face. For me, this was better to use in the summer at night-time, when my skin needed the hydration, but I wasn’t using any super-heavy moisturizers.

True to it’s word, it did not break me out. Obviously it’s oil, so you have to be careful not to touch anything with your face. I felt like my face was a little bit more hydrated and bouncy when I woke up the next morning.

As far as the scarring goes… I have some pretty severe scarring from acne on my face. In my personal opinion, the Epiduo and the lactic acid that I use are the most effective at clearing that up. The Bio Oil might “help”, but if it is, the results are comparatively very slow from what I’ve seen with lactic acid. Stretch marks, on the other hand.. I have a few long white stretch marks on my torso from losing weight. I used Bio Oil on this for a few weeks and I SWEAR they became less pronounced — less puffy, and less white-colored, more skin-colored. Another case of placebo, perhaps. But if you’re going to buy this stuff anyway, might as well try it, right?

For $9, it’s not a bad product. I certainly like it better during the summer, so I probably won’t repurchase it until then, but if you want to try out oils, I think that Bio-Oil is a good start, particularly if you are acne-prone. ~A

Perceived efficacy: 3.8/5

Longevity: 5/5

How much I actually like this product: 4/5