Everything you need to know about applying castor oil to your lashes

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Ready for a spooky eyelash story? During a week in high school, two of my best friends lost eyelashes in two separate and surprising weird accidents. One of them burned his eyelashes while grilling outside – thankfully unharmed but a shattering turn of events. The other was camping at a music festival and woke up to find someone had snuck into his tent, cut off half of his eyelashes with scissors, and left. As a result of these events, I spent a lot of time researching how to help these friends cope with their losses. False eyelashes, eye conditioners, growth products like Latisse. But an unexpected recommendation was pure and simple castor oil.

Castor oil has long been used for the hair and on the skin. It is often included in beauty products, but I had not heard that it can be applied to the eyelashes. As my friends mourned their new lashless life and patiently waited for regrowth, I always thought about: Can castor oil really improve the look of lashes? Not being one to take the internet too seriously, I turned to certified dermatologist Dr. Karan Lal to find out if castor oil works, is safe, and how to use it on lashes.

Does castor oil Really Work to improve eyelashes?

“Castor oil has not been scientifically proven to grow eyelash hair,” says Dr Lal. However, just because the data hasn’t been entered yet doesn’t mean that castor oil isn’t working. “Castor oil contains a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid, which has been shown to stimulate prostaglandin receptors, which can lead to increased blood supply to hair follicles promoting hair growth,” explains Dr Lal. Products like Latisse, which dramatically improve eyelash growth, are a prostaglandin analogue, which might explain why castor oil has received eyelash enhancement credits. That the oil itself categorically improves length, “Castor oil, like many oils, is rich in fatty acids and also hydrates hair. It likely adds shine and optical enhancement to lashes after use.” , explains Dr Lal.

Is Castor Oil Safe to Use on Lashes?

Anytime you are going to put something so close to your eyes, it is always best to use caution. “Castor oil should be pure and organic if it is used,” recommends Dr Lal. If it gets into the eye, it can cause irritation or contact dermatitis on the eyelids, notes Dr Lal. To test your sensitivity, apply a drop to your arm under a bandage for a few hours to see if you are reactive to the oil.

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How to use castor oil on eyelashes?

To avoid any unwanted reaction or irritation, Dr Lal recommends applying castor oil to the root of the lashes with a very fine brush or a clean mascara wand. If you want to be on the safe side, many eyelash conditioning products list castor oil as an ingredient in tandem with other ingredients, which have undergone additional testing to make sure they’re safe for the eyes. Being consistent with eyelash products, whether they come from a line of beauty products or regular castor oil, is key to getting results. Some eyelash lengthening products have been shown to darken irises, explains Dr Lal, which is why, “for patients who want a natural, less risky eyelash serum, I recommend castor oil.”

So this is it. Whether a stranger forcibly removed your eyelashes at a music festival or you just want more luscious, alluring castor oil, either in one product or on its own, could be your answer. And if any of the eyelash scientists read, do us a favor and get this castor oil report written and published. Some women without eyelashes should know.

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