Can Castor Oil Get Rid Of Dark Spots On Your Skin?

Castor oil has a reputation for being hard to swallow. Its distinct petroleum jelly taste and thick consistency has left a bad taste in many a mouth. But even if you can't stomach a shot of it, don't count this potent oil out just yet. Using it topically and in your hair offers a slew of benefits. Along with the potential to treat acne and inflammation, castor oil can even help you fight those pesky dark spots. 

Before we jump into how it helps your skin, let's discuss what castor oil actually is. Castor oil is a vegetable that can be used for a variety of purposes. It is made by extracting oil from Ricinus communis plant seeds, per Medical News Today. The seeds, often called castor beans, are rich in a toxic enzyme called ricin. Unprocessed, ricin can be deadly. Fortunately, the heating process to create castor oil deactivates the enzyme — making it completely safe for many uses. People have been using castor oil for centuries for its health benefits both internally and externally. One of the more popular uses is as a skincare product. 

Speaking with Well & Good, Purvisha Patel, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Visha Skincare, explained what makes castor oil so powerful. "It consists of important fatty acids such as ricinoleic acid, linoleic acid, steric acid, and oleic acid, all of which give it anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and moisturizing properties," Patel said. 

Using castor oil can help even out your skin tone

When applied to the skin, castor oil helps with a number of skin conditions. Along with its various fatty acids, castor oil also contains antioxidants that fight free radicals in the skin, per Healthline. This makes it an excellent choice for fighting wrinkles and treating signs of aging; among those, dark spots. To use castor oil to treat dark spots, simple massage it into the area, leave it on for a few hours, and rinse. Do this twice a day and the brown spots will slowly begin to fade, per DC Derm Docs. Over multiple applications, castor oil can help to even out your skin tone and make your skin look brighter and more youthful. 

While direct application to dark spots is likely the most effective method for treating them, you can also incorporate castor oil into your skincare routine in other ways. You can soak your skin for deep moisturizing, dilute it in water to make a face wash, blend it into your current face wash or moisturizer, and use it as a body moisturizer, per Well & Good. No matter how you choose to use this potent oil, your skin will thank you for it.