Update 04/15: For those of you with dryer skin types, make sure you use no more than 20% castor oil when mixed with another oil. A little goes a long way!
I know there are a lot of controversy in regards to the oil cleansing method, but personally I have found it to be the most effective way of cleansing facial bacteria while promoting moisture and suppleness (yup.. that's the dream!). If you are struggling with acne prone and unbalanced skin (i.e., high oil production yet a dry and flaky surface), you should read on.
I am a fantastic triple threat of acne prone - flaky - and extreme oily skin type. I was baffled for years in trying to find the right cleanser and exfoliant for my finicky skin. I tried cleansers that are advertised as "acne fighting" that contain tea tree oil and salicylic acid, which unfortunately not only didn't perform up to expectation (because when you think about it, all the acne fighting ingredients are sadly washed down the drain within a minute or two, rendering them utterly useless), but also aggravated my pre-existing acne by drying out the surface of my skin causing more bacteria to flourish, and making me look completely hideous while wearing powder make-up. Why not just exfoliate away the dryness, you say? Well, since my skin is already sensitive and dry from the sulphates in harsh cleansers, chemical exfoliants like BHA and AHA further irritated it while manual exfoliants (no matter how gentle) required scrubbing, which as anyone knows, is not good for the little red volcanoes on your face just dying to burst. So strike one for the acne fighting cleansers.
I then moved in a complete direction of trying gentle, soapless or lotion based cleansers in a desperate attempt to save my dry flaky skin. Cetaphil just made me feel like a complete greaseball, while not at all practical for anyone who wears heavy-ish make-up like myself. I even tried Pond's, after reading some positive reviews on here, but ended up with the same solution: greasy finish, inadequate cleansing, and the cleansing method itself was entirely too time consuming as I would literally go through a stack of cotton pads in attempt to remove the cleanser from my face. Strike one for the gentle cleansers, then.
After reading the theory behind the oil cleansing method (i.e., oil dissolves oil), I thought I'd give it a try. I am now on week 2, and there had been a significant reduction in my pore size/oil production. Since my skin feels soft and supple after cleansing (and not tight and dry with a water based cleanser, or greasy as hell with a lotion based cleanser), i can now apply a lower concentration chemical exfoliant with ease (I use Neutrogena Healthy Skin Face Lotion - another gem!). The combination of the two is now putting my skin back on the right track - acne free, flake free, less oily and more balanced.
Everyone does the OCM differently, but castor oil is usually used as base. You may also use jojoba oil (as I have in the first few days), but many people found jojoba oil does not have strong enough cleansing properties as castor oil, and I actually experienced a range of tiny bumps while using jojoba. I now use a 1 part castor oil, and 2 parts grapeseed oil (a great oil to use for those with combination skin types) for dilution. I warm the oil in my hands, then apply to a dry face using gentle circular motion. There is no need to use a make-up remover prior to this. After massaging about a minute or two, I use about 3 cotton pads soaked in warm water to wipe the oil and make-up off my face (1 for each part of the face; I find this a more sanitary way than using washcloths - as well, cotton pads feel gentler and less tugging on the face than a washcloth). I then follow up with an AHA for pm. In the mornings since my skin still feels balanced and clean, I seldomly feel the need to wash my face (in fact, cleansing once a day should be adequate to remove a day worth of dirt and bacteria off your face) with anything but water.
If you had the patience to read up to this point, I strongly suggest going out to your local health foods store and get yourself some castor oil + another thinner oil (grapeseed, sesame, sweet almond) and try the OCM tonight. More info can be found at http://www.theoilcleansingmethod.com continued >>
Use this around the eyes, as I have a very dry eye area. I use it under make up (just a tad) and it looks lovely and keeps my eyes looking fresh allday. Plus it helps my concealer not to crease and stay on all day. I have really bad dark circles under my eyes so I do wear a fair bit of concealer! It smells horrible and is very thick, but you need the tiniest amount. It also works wonders on your hair, I didn't use it long enough to say if it made it grow faster (because I got bored) but it definitely made my ends look thicker and less split. It's nice just to add a little amount to your conditioner and just put it on your ends rather than your roots because it can be hard to wash out!
Castor oil is quite amazing - must say, one of the brilliant creations in nature!
Thanks to the reviews of MUA folks, that I kept up the oil-cleansing regime with castor oil and another carrier oil.
It has really helped clear my skin.
With the castor and apricot kernel mix, I massage my face. After a few *impatient* minutes, I can feel some bumps rubbing off. I'd hope those are blackheads, tags and grime! In any case, the skin looks and feels clean and clear. The face is moisturized too.
I've been using castor oil every night on my eyelashes for about 3 months now (Give or take). My eyelashes were pretty stubby in the beginning of the school year, so they would be invisible without mascara. But just the other day my friends finally noticed how long my eyelashes have gotten! My bottom eyelashes are almost as long as my top ones. I apply the oil to my eyes every night with an old mascara wand & I make sure to get the roots/waterline because that's where the hair grows.
I have experienced a lot of growth for length, but I haven't really seen much of a difference with thickness, but I really don't mind :)
Also, it's not a miracle product. Your lashes won grow overnight, it took me about a month to see results, which is pretty good if you ask me! & castor oil is great for your eyes because its anti bacterial. I had a HUGE stye on my eye one day so I just put castor oil on it and went to sleep and it was gone!
This is a great, cheap product if you want eyelash growth! :)
P.S. I use jamaican black castor oil, but I think any castor oil will do.
It took me a long, long time after hearing about using castor oils to help sparse brows grow back in before actually giving it an honest chance. For the last couple of years, I would rub a little castor oil into my brows and lashes for a few nights, see no difference and stop. But my brows have always been one of my least favourite things - mostly because I feel like I need to fill them in all the time, and because they're sparse from being over-plucked in high school (10 years ago now) they looked too made-up and unnatural when I did fill them in. I do not pluck my eyebrows regularly, save for the very few hairs that grow in between them - I haven't had any hair grow in my over-plucked arches for years. I made it a New Years' resolution to apply the castor oil consistently and started in January. It's been about a month and half of nightly application (some oil on a q-tip, rubbed over each brow) and I am thrilled with the results! I haven't applied it for the past few weeks because I'm generally happy with my brows now. My arches have filled in enough that when I apply brow products, my eyebrows look so much fuller and more natural. They're much quicker and easier to fill in. The tails have also grown from about 3 hairs thick to twice or 3 times that, which is fantastic. It's so nice to find there's a solution for a problem you think you'll have to deal with forever. I will keep applying it maybe 2 or 3 times a week as long as these results last. It's such a cheap fix - so glad to have found out about this gem!
I have never used this for my eyelashes or eyebrows, but when mixed with my conditioners or applied lightly to my scalp I do feel that my hair gets healthier and feels soft. For reference I mix 1 tablespoon of castor oil with 3 tablespoons of a light conditioner (Suave or Alberto Vo5),1/4 teaspoon of jojoba and/or coconut oil and apply to my hair as an occasional leave-in. You can adjust the amounts to what is suitable for your hair. This really helps to seal in moisture and keeps my hair from getting frizzy. Castor oil does have a heavy consistency so some may not like it. Use very little at first.
I have been using it under my eyes, and now my skin is super dry. I did further research and found that adding another oil to it is the trick. I ordered Grapeseed oil and I hope they work well together. I used the castor oil on my brows for a couple weeks and I did not see a change in hair growth. I also used it on my lashes, but it was too thick and sometimes would get in my eyes, so i stopped using it. I will keep this updated, but so far I am unimpressed with this.
Castor oil is amazing. I bought it to use (with sesame oil) for oil cleansing, which is my main cleansing method. I also use it when I have flareups of tendonitis- it is a wonderful anti-inflammatory agent. I rub it into my arms (or shoulder), wrap in plastic wrap, then sleep in it. Sounds crazy, but it's better than taking pills. I've also used castor oil to clear up pimples and the dark spots they leave behind after they're gone. I had a two-week-old spot on my chin that I dabbed castor oil on at night and it was gone in 4 days. It would be nice if they also worked to erase my sun spots. Have not tried it for hair/lash growth.
Castor Oil is AMAZING! I use it on my feet, it keeps them really soft. I use it on my scalp mixed with Rosemary or Tea tree oil for a moisturizing scalp massage oil. I use it as a prepoo. I also use it on my body as a moisturizer. It is one of my HG products. :)
I've been using it on my eyelashes for about a month and definitely I can see results on lash growing! My eyelashes are very sparse; my under eyelashes are almost invisible, seriously. I noticed this made them grow a little, enough so I can put mascara on them and make them finally visible. The upper eyelashes are also longer. Not a miracle, but definitely helps! These results are very similar with what I had when using Talika Lipocils (which I gave up on because it was too expensive for not being that miraculous. Never tried Latisse, too expensive, and I'm scared of the side effects).