Why you don’t want to use castor oil around your eyes

I have been doing a bit of research into oils after reading in a Chinese book that cleansing oils are drying for our skin. I haven’t been able to establish anything conclusive yet but I believe it really depends on the product formulation, as I’ve mentioned in an entry I wrote in May 2011 about cleansing oil causing skin problems. However, something else turned up in the course of my digging around about oils. I realized that there is a need to correct a common recommended beauty tip to use castor oil as a makeup remover or around the eyes because I don’t think it’s a good idea. Why so?

Castor oil is too drying
First off, castor oil is popularly known to be an anti-toxin that draws out the impurities deep in our skin. This means that even though castor oil is an oil, it will help with the removal of the other oils because it really sinks deep into the skin pores and draw out the dirt and grime to the surface. As such, it can cause our skin to become too imbalance, devoid of its natural lipids. In fact, although many have reported good results using castor oil in the oil cleansing method, more have mentioned that their skin condition took a turn for the worse after using too much castor oil in their cleansing. Many have also pointed out that castor oil is just too drying for their skin.

Skin around our eyes are too delicate
Granted, some of you will argue that the amount of castor oil can always be reduced in the cleansing oil mixture. Some of you will also say it really depends on skin types. I think these are all fair arguments. Someone with normal or oily skin may not experience any harm using castor oil at all. But still, I don’t think it’s a good idea to use it around the eyes in any amount. And the reason is this: the skin around our eyes is ten times thinner than the skin on our face and hence, more sensitive and requires more care.

Temporary effects possible
While those of you who are using castor oil to remove makeup may find that you have no issues now, that doesn’t mean problems won’t creep up later. A lot of times, the damage doesn’t show up immediately but gets build up over a longer stretch. So since castor oil is widely known to dry out skin, I really advise against using it for the eye area. I mean, it’s really better to be safe than to be sorry later right? As for those who suggest that castor oil around the eyes can help reduce fine lines or wrinkles, I have to say that while there could be exceptions, most effects are temporary. I believe all oils applied on your face will minimize the look of fine lines and as for wrinkles, I don’t think they can be eradicated all that easily with any oil.

Probably good with eyelash and eyebrow growth
So has any of you used castor oil on your skin or around your eyes? I have never used castor oil on my skin. Okay, perhaps in a mixture yes but definitely not neat. But it does have its merit in helping with the growth of eyelash and eyebrows, at least based on what I’ve read.

A conjecture on cleansing oil
Personally, I even have some reservations about using cleansing oil and this is why I no longer use it on my face. However, like I’d mentioned, I think a lot depends on the formulation. Some are probably harmless but I’m just thinking if my eye area could look better had I not used cleansing oil around them at all in the past. I know this is a conjecture but hey, I’m entitled to my opinion and I shouldn’t have to be stoned for saying what I think right? In any case, I’ve gone back to using cleansing cream and they work wonderfully for me, even for the times when I used eye makeup. But then again, I don’t use very heavy eye makeup so I have little grounds to complain.

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  1. Matsu says

    Where can i buy Castor oil from?? I find it hard to search all over the pharmacies & supermarkets :\

    • Sesame says

      Where are you based? Singapore? Try SuperNature http://www.vivawoman.net/2010/04/08/supernature-one-stop-organic-lifestyle-store/. I’ve seen it there.

  2. Mihel says

    I wonder how can castor oil promote eyelash growh and make skin dryer at the same time. Wouldn’t it dry the hair as it dries skin?

    “I shouldn’t have to be stoned for saying what I think right?”
    By skin care fundamentalists? XD
    Funnily enough I just finished watching Agora where people got stoned all the time…

    • Sesame says

      Castor oil has great penetrative properties but for the skin, it also draws out impurities from the skin. This is not so for hair and so the benefits for hair are supposedly better. As for eyelash growth, I think it is due to the thickening effect but I haven’t tried and so I can’t confirm.

      I was thinking more like getting stoned by lovers of cleansing oil or brands selling cleansing oil. 😛

  3. Kay says

    For eyes I use our sweet almond oil, available on Iherb, nowfoods brand, for makeup removal. It works good to remove both waterproof and non waterproof makeup, especially layers of mascara without irritating the eyes. And after using about 9months I realised my lashes grew out quite a lot, especially the lower lashes.

    The skin around my eyes is quite dry, so I find that the almond oil does moisturise the skin. I just simply pour onto the cotton and press the cotton on my eyes, after a couple of seconds it will melt away the eye makeup. For heavy duty mascara I would suggest to fold the cotton into halves and using the edge to swipe the lashes downwards to remove the mascara. After removing eye makeup, I remove my face makeup with either cleansing milk or cleansing oil, particularly avoiding the eye area, rinse off and cleanse again with facial foaming cleanser. When I rinse off the foam, I just let the foam go past lightly over the eye area to remove excess almond oil, and leave the rest to moisturise my eye areas.

    • Sesame says

      Sweet almond is quite good. I like it as a base to other oils. Only problem is that it turns rancid quickly.

  4. says

    hey Sesame…yes, castor oil should not be applied neat on any part of the body. its just too drying!! i apply it only after after mixing it in almond oil.
    Swati last post is: Why are people biased against makeup? {Your Opinion}

    • Sesame says

      I would avoid using it completely around the eyes even in a mixture because there are choices of other oils that are not drying.

  5. says

    This is excellent as I’ve been hearing a lot of conflicting info about castor oil, Is there anything similar you would use around your eyes?

  6. fwy says

    I am using Seven Wonders Moroccan Argan Oil Skin Serum for my face & even my eyes. So far, no problem cause I only use 1 drop of oil each time.

  7. says

    I remember last year or so, I was skeptical on using cleansing oils because I have heard several facial therapist telling me that it will dry out my skin because ‘oil draws out oil’. I am glad that I didn’t embark on it and been using cream cleanser, a better option for my combi/dry skin.
    Alexandra last post is: Types of Masques and Usage for Sensitive, Dry, Dehydrated Skin.

  8. says

    Might sound a little crazy, but I have been using olive oil on my skin for years. so many people comment on how good my skin looks so I keep doing it. Either it’s a generic thing or more likely that it really works.
    Now you have given me an option with castor oil. sounds like it would have the same results so with a try :)
    Tara @ 5 HTP Max Reviews last post is: 5 HTP Max Ingredients Claim To Naturally Suppress Appetite

    • Sesame says

      Castor oil is dry so I would not recommend. If your skin is normal, perhaps try it with a mixture of other oils.

  9. kaithlin93 says

    wait im confused…is this generalize to all oil not good for the face and body in the long run or just castor oil?

    • Sesame says

      Just castor oil…not that it’s not good but it’s drying and not suitable for certain skin types. Hence, I recommend not using it around the eyes.

  10. rachael says

    how have i never heard about or read your blog before! what a plethora of wonderful information. I was hoping to ask you some advice, could not find an email to contact you on so hopefully (if you have time) you mite b able to respond from my comment post. I am 32 and only in the last year or two have I really ‘upped’ my priorities for better skincare!!! i know pls dont gasp.. i use nude by nature cleanser, toner and moisturiser, although now after reading through your blog, mite change as they all contain some ingredients u have warned about. i use estee lauder sunscreen but i really need a good eye cream. i dont use anything around my eyes as, like most, they r very sensitiv. i just recently bought skinceuticals aox eye gel but after a week it left my eyes itchy and red. what would b your recommendation, if any. what product do u use around your eye for wrinkles.

    • Sesame says

      Hi Rachael, thanks for visiting and commenting! :)

      Eye products are quite tricky. I haven’t found anything that works for me. Plus yours are sensitive and so I would hesitate to recommend those with active ingredients. Have you tried anything from Ren or Jurlique?

  11. Destiny7 says

    Buy castor oil from a health food store because it will be hexane free. I have used it for eyelash growth and feel it works. I applied it with a q tip at the base of my lashes before bed.

    • Sesame says

      Yes, I think it’ll work to grow lash and brows. Hmm…maybe it’ll help with hair growth too huh? I should go and do some research!

    • Sesame says

      Seen it at Supernature. Or you can go online to search cos there are a couple of them but I’ve not purchased from them.

  12. Eli says

    “An added benefit of wearing castor oil under your makeup is that it helps to protect your skin from the effects of pollution, while it moisturizes your delicate under-eye skin. A study conducted by the University of Lagos, published in the “European Journal of Scientific Research,” concluded that applied topically, castor oil acts as a “preventive therapy for skin oxidative stress.””


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