This article originally appeared in the November 20, 2020 edition of Healthline
Medically reviewed by Bukky Aremu, APRN — Written by Daley Quinn
Castor oil has been touted for its many health benefits. Some folks even use it under their eyes to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Whether you’ve been curious about using castor oil for dark circles or currently use it, there’s still a lot to learn from a research perspective.
While there’s no scientific evidence that castor oil works for dark circles under the eyes, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence that implies it may work.
Either way, it’s generally considered safe to try.
Other benefits of castor oil
Castor oil may improve hair growth. You can even try boosting your brows and lashes by applying a small amount of castor oil daily.
“The high levels of ricinoleic acid present in castor oil promote hair growth by lowering levels of certain compounds that are associated with hair loss,” says Dr. Marie Hayag, a board certified dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Aesthetics in New York City.
“Additionally, fatty acids in the castor oil nourish hair follicles, resulting in thicker, fuller eyebrows,” Hayag says.
Is using castor oil for dark circles safe?
According to Hayag, castor oil is generally considered to be safe to use around the eye area.
“Despite this, some people have reported allergies and irritation, so it’s always best to take precaution and do a patch test first, especially considering that skin surrounding the eyes is quite sensitive,” she says.
How to choose a castor oil for dark circles
If you’re going to use castor oil for dark circles, make sure you purchase a castor oil that’s cold-pressed and organic.
“A cold-pressed oil hasn’t been heated during the extraction process, resulting in a purer oil,” Hayag says. “Heating can destroy many ingredients naturally found in the castor oil.”
Almond oil vs. castor oil
According to both Maiman and Hayag, almond oil might be a better option for treating dark under-eye circles for multiple reasons.
Additionally, Hayag points out that the vitamin A present in almond oil aids in treating dark circles by increasing cell turnover, which can quicken the process of lightening hyperpigmented areas.