Will Castor Oil Clog My Face's Pores?

Castor oil is a natural antioxidant and antibacterial oil.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

When used correctly, castor oil is absorbed easily and quickly by your skin without clogging the pores. Castor oil is similar to sebum, your skin's natural oil. As a natural skincare remedy, castor oil offers many benefits. But like most skincare treatments, there are exceptions to the rule. Under certain conditions and circumstances, castor oil may clog your pores.

Why Castor Oil?

Castor oil is no longer your grandmother's terrible-tasting cure-all. Today castor oil offers external benefits for skin, especially as a moisturizer. Among other nutrients and vitamins, castor oil contains vitamin E, which softens and conditions the skin to reduce fine lines and wrinkles for a smoother complexion. Castor oil is high in fatty acids, 90 percent of which are ricinoleic acid. Ricinoleic acid not only kills acne-causing bacteria but treats other skin conditions caused by bacteria, such as eczema and psoriasis.

Got Oil?

Oil-prone skin types are definitely not suffering from dehydration. They already have an overabundance of sebum. Adding castor oil to oily skin increases this skin type's glossy look and greasy feel. Too much oil clogs the pores, trapping the impurities that cause breakouts. At times, you may want to use castor oil for other benefits such as treating acne. To avoid clogging your pores, wash your face thoroughly with a gentle face soap and pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Work a very small amount of castor oil into the problem areas before bed and wash your face first thing in the morning.

Too Much of a Good Thing

To reap castor oil benefits, your skin must stay clean. Washing your face thoroughly is necessary to prevent an overabundance of oil. Skipping the cleansing allows castor oil and sebum, not to mention oil-based makeup products, to create too much oil. Castor oil is good for your skin, but once the skin is thoroughly hydrated, the extra oil builds up on the skin and clogs the pores. To avoid this, wash your face with a mild cleanser before and after every castor oil use.

Breaking the Barrier

If your skin resembles sandpaper, not even strong moisturizers like castor oil can break through the barrier of dry skin. Eczema, psoriasis and excessive dry skin are just a few conditions that create thick layers of dry, itchy skin. When dry skin is excessive, castor oil only softens the dry skin cells, causing a combination of oil and dry skin to clog pores. This stops sebum from moisturizing your skin, thus causing even more dry, damaged skin. To prevent this vicious cycle, exfoliate your skin regularly. Exfoliation removes the layer of dead skin to leave your skin smoother and healthier. Then castor oil can be absorbed into the skin without getting stuck inside the pores.

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