Castor Oil for Acne Scars: Is it Effective?

Castor oil is broadly used since the ancient time for beauty due to its moisturizing property. Despite the popularity of castor oil as part of ancient beauty regime, many millennials or gen-Z do not know about castor oil and its benefits for skin health, particularly for acne and acne scars. Previously we have talked about other ways to get rid of acne scars: laser acne scar removal and also how to get rid of acne scars on back. This article will delve into the use of castor oil for acne scars.

castor oil for acne scars_oil bottle

Castor oil and acne scars

If castor oil is good for acne scars, how does it help with the scars? You need to learn more about the different properties of castor oil below.

Hydrating and moisturizing the skin

Castor oil is rich in fatty acids. Castor oil contains triglycerides, which is the main component of our skin’s natural oil. Its main fatty acid is hydroxy fatty acid, which gives castor oil its emollient properties. Emollient property is the same as occlusive property. This occlusive property helps to seal the hydration in the skin from escaping. Hence, it helps to maintain the moisture level of the skin. When people talk about castor oil’s moisturizing property, this is the reason why castor oil moisturizes the skin. 

Castor oil is also a humectant, which means it attracts water. Therefore it can help to hydrate the skin upon application. The hydrating and moisturizing properties of castor oil helps with skin healing. When there is acne scar after the infection, the many layers of affected skin area need to heal completely so that the scar can improve. This is how castor oil helps with acne scar. 

Anti-microbial and anti-virus

The specific name for castor oil’s fatty acid chains is ricinoleic acid, an unsaturated omega-9 that occurs in mature castor oil plants. Ricinoleic acid protects the skin against harmful bacteria and viruses. Therefore, it helps with preventing acne as well. According to research, castor oil is also low in comedogenic score (1 out of 6), which means very low likelihood of clogging the pores. The last thing you want to have when you are trying to heal your acne scar is the occurrence of new acne.

Promotes elastin & collagen production

Other than that, ricinoleic acid in castor oil also stimulates elastin and collagen production. Elastin and collagen production helps with skin healing as well as diminishes signs of aging. Because of this, castor oil helps with the healing of acne and improvement of acne scar. If you are interested in anti-aging topic, we also write about age-defying lifestyle and habits that you can start adopting!

How to use castor oil for acne scars

castor oil for acne scars_how to use

Given its humectant and moisturizing properties, you should use castor oil on damp skin, after you put your hydrating toner. Similar to other humectants in your skincare (e.g. hyaluronic acid), it will give your skin more benefits when applied on damp skin. Castor oil will lock the hydration and moisture on the skin. Hydrated and moisturized skin can heal faster, so your acne scars can improve faster as well. 

Other than that, be mindful not to use castor oil too often if you are in a very dry climate. When you apply products like castor oil that are humectants on the skin, they will draw the moisture from deeper layers of the skin. In dry climate, this will cause your skin to be drier rather than hydrated/moisturized. 

Castor oil has a very thick texture. When you apply castor oil on your acne scar, put thin layer and massage the oil on the area. Massaging the area will also help with the blood circulation, which will promote faster healing of the skin. Do not apply too thick of a layer of castor oil, as it will not make your acne scar heal faster. Focus on applying the oil consistently, rather than applying a large quantity of it. 

Is castor oil good for acne scars?

Yes, castor oil is good for acne scars. However, always test putting castor oil on a small patch of your skin. This is because every skin is built differently. Despite all the benefits of castor oil for skin, some people might have allergic reaction or react badly to castor oil. 

There are different types of acne scars. Castor oil might help a lot with fresh acne scars or acne scars that cause changes in skin texture. However, for flat, hyperpigmented acne scars, castor oil might help to a limited extent. Instead of castor oil, you can try to brighten the hyperpigmentation and even the skin tone using Vitamin C. I have done a review on Vitamin C serum for acne and acne scars which you can read here.

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