Castor oil is a humectant that aids in trapping moisture on the skin, which is why it works great for improving moisture. Facialist Chelsee Lewis weighed in to Glamour, saying, it’s “good for nourishing and hydrating dry, ageing skin.” The odorless oil is also rich in omega fatty acids, which help plump and smooth the skin. But the reason it gets touted for its anti-discoloration benefits is because it contains ricinoleic acid, which may help to lighten the skin’s pigment. The antioxidants found in castor oil can also help remove free radicals that might be causing hyperpigmentation.
According to the National Library of Medicine, castor oil also contains both anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. For this reason, many believe it to be effective at fighting blemishes, skincare founder Susanne Kaufmann told Glamour. The reduction of inflammation works to remove redness and even out our skin tone, which can help minimize the appearance of the discoloration. However, while many experts agree that the natural oil is safe to use for treating hyperpigmentation, others warn that it may not be as effective or beneficial for those with acne-prone skin. Speaking to Byrdie, dermatologist Dr. Morgan Rabach, explained, ” I would not recommend [castor oil] for people with acne-prone skin, because oils go into the pores and clog them, exacerbating acne.” He continued, “There are some reports that it may have some anti-inflammatory properties, although it has not been well tested or established.”