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.


  1. Matsu says:

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

  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…

  3. 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. ?

  4. Sesame says:

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

  5. 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.

  6. Swati 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}

  7. Harriet 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?

  8. 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.

  9. Alexandra 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.

  10. Tara @ 5 HTP Max Reviews 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

  11. Sesame says:

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

  12. Sesame says:

    Grapeseed oil is good.

  13. Sesame says:

    Most oils are okay to be used, even around the eyes. Argan is safe.

  14. Sesame says:

    Yeah, I realized that cream cleanser is so much better for me too.

  15. 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.

  16. 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?

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. amreen says:

    Nice post .
    Thank you for Sharing…..

  20. 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.

  21. Sesame says:

    You’re welcome!

  22. 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?

  23. 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.

  24. 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!

  25. Sgboy says:


    Where can I buy castor oil here in SG?



  26. 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.

  27. 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.””

  28. Vish says:

    Hi, I have xanthelasma around my eyes and read somewhere that applying castor oil helps get rid of the ugly xanthelasma. I’m just worried about the castor oil getting into my eyes if I apply it near my eyes. Will it cause any harm if it gets into my eyes. Please let me know

  29. Thelma says:


    Would it be a good choice to use 1/3 castor oil with 2/3 of another oil to use around the eye area?


  30. marie Scarlet says:

    castor oil is bad for eyes? any damage ??

  31. Sesame says:

    Not bad…but perhaps more drying and not suitable for eyes for the skin there is more delicate.

  32. June says:

    I use a mixture of castor/aloe and vitamin e on my lashes and brows. Some inevitably gets around my eyes. The ratio is 1/4 castor and aloe and 1/2 vitamine e. The results are incredible and my brows have grown in really nice with no patchy parts and my lashes have almost doubled in length. I know castor oil can dry skin if you use to much and vitamin e can clog pores so you have to use your judgement and listen to your skin.

  33. Mattie says:

    Castor oil is not drying I dont know where you are getting your information from. It is one of the most hyrating oils.

  34. Sesame says:

    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.

  35. Che agujetas says:

    You can buy it in any pharmacy

  36. Shelly Wong says:

    I have been using castor oil neat on my face for many years and also directly into my eyes when my eyes got so dry and unbearable even eye drops won’t help. So far, castor oil never dry up my skin. My dry eyes symptom has gone away and think it does remove cataract as the cloudy sight i have has disappeared somewhat. Guess it all depends on each person. So far I have no issue with castor oil and have started to use as hot pack on my tummy to reduce the wrinkle which I got from slimming down.

  37. Excalibur says:

    Many years of research have proven that castor oil is safe around and directly IN your eyes. There are thousands of testimonials online, lauding the marvelous results people have had, growing their eyelashes and eyebrows using a bit of it overnight. There are also lots of comments about castor oil helping with eyesight, especially cataracts.

    I believe you need to give credence to what people have said, as castor oil has proven beneficial to eyesight and lash and brow growth for many, many years.

  38. Sesame says:

    Please read my post carefully. I never said it isn’t beneficial. I just said it can be drying around the eye area. But I also said it can help promote eyelash. Don’t comment blindly without reading. Thank you.

  39. Donalee says:

    What are your thoughts about using rose hip oil on the eyes to remove eye makeup and to moisturize that area?

  40. Sesame says:

    I didn’t have good experience using rose hip oil around my eyes. It’s too rich and caused milia seeds.

  41. Rebecca says:

    Wow! Great article! For 3-4 months I used castor oil (CO) around my eyelids for eyelash growth. I did notice fuller lashes and received compliments. We naturally shed eyelashes as well as hair, some more frequently than others — I think the minerals in (hexane free) CO slowed the rate of my “natural” eyelash shedding (which may have originally been excellerated by the use of mascara & rough eye makeup removal). I switched to coconut oil after noticing my eyelids were always puffy in the morning. Not sure if the CO was causing this (and yes, it was hexane free). It’s been 3 months using the coconut oil and it works almost as well. Tbh, I think any properly sourced** conditioning oil would be great for lashes overnight. AND I apply a teeny tiny amount before my non waterproof mascara (easier to remove gently) and it allows the mascara to coat really naturally.

  42. sage says:

    is castor oil good for eye stye?

  43. Sara says:

    Pure Castor oil will not hurt your eyes or dry your eyes. There are scientific research being done in Australia proving that it helps cataracts and dry eyes. Just one drop before bed as it temporarily makes your eyes blurry for a few minutes immediately after applying, however it helps moisturise dry eyes and now research is showing even more benefits. I am an final year Optometrist post graduate student and have access to research publications.
    In recent years more & more research is being done on effect of Castor oil especially on eyes.
    It has been used for centuries as a natural remedy in Australia to help witn conjunctivitis or even to cleanse eyes. So removing eye makeup with castor oil will not harm your eyes or dry your eyes in the long term on the contrary.
    I understand you won’t have access to latest scientific research publications but if I may kindly suggest Dr Barbara O’Neil ‘s lecture on ‘Natural Remedies’. Dr Barbara O’Neil is a well respected Naturopathic doctor who runs the famous Misty Mountain Retreat in Australia & travels around the world lecturing.
    She has studied the effect of Castor oil and if you are interested in finding out more scientific facts on Castor oil,you can either contact her or just view her lecture on “Natural Remedies’ in which she talks about Castor oil, video of her lecture is currently available on YouTube.
    Kind regards

  44. Helen C says:

    Funnily enough, I’ve been using Castor Oil on my eyelashes before going to sleep for about 2 months. At first everything was great- my eyelashes were growing strong and thick. But more recently, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night with the oil turned to crust and my eyes sore and bloodshot. This article made me realise it’s drying out my eyes way too fast and I need to stop using it pronto! It’s taking 3 days for my eyes to heal and stop hurting. Please let this be a lesson to anyone wanting healthy lashes- Stick to Vaseline!

  45. Christian says:

    Ma’am recent studies have shown 100% castor oil is not drying, whatever you used may have been tampered with or mixed with some other oils or the processed in which it was taken was using something that changed part of it’s chemical property perhaps, but recent studies do look highly on it actually moisturizing skin of most if not all types, amount and what else is mixed in there as well as a persons own diet and body state does matter though I would assume, but I do not think the oil itself is the sole reason it is drying some eyes out.

  46. Mike says:

    3 days ago i rubbed some on my belly to promote digestion and broke out in a gnarly rash and my right eyelid is puffy af. I think i accidentally touched my eyelid before washing off the castor. Beware of castor oil. It works fine for most but causes bad reactions for many as well. I drank some as well and was concerned i was gona croak. Pray for me.

  47. Carmen says:

    I agree with Kay. I have been using pure cold pressed hexane free in my eyes for dry eye and night vision. Has really improved my vision.

  48. MJ says:

    I have to say that I’ve been using castor oil on/in my eyes due to chronic styes/conjunctivitis type symptoms. The problem has completely cleared up and I now use it preventatively. I’m not trying to apply it to my skin per se, but some ends up there. So far no drying out of the skin after weeks of use but I will keep an eye on it (no pun intended).

  49. Mf says:

    Hi can I ask your advice then. I’ve used castor oil on my eyelashes and eyebrows on and off for years. It helps them grow a MASSIVE amount, like really veg notiacbly. However whenever I apply it to my eyelashes I always wake up with pink puffy eyes around my skin and even my eyeballs go pink. I have also woke up with styes after applying it. I use pure, organic castor oil (im very particular about ingredients) so I know it’s not this. If it’s so good for pink eye and other eye infections why does this happen to me? Shea butter also helps my eyelashes grow but has the same effect – just not as bad as castor oil.

  50. Roz says:

    Castor oil is known to thicken hair. I use it for back pain with a carrier oil as it is thick. get Hexane free pure organic. Put a dry cloth on area after applying the castor oil. Then use a heat pad to let it penetrate skin better. Helps with back pain so far

  51. Sarah says:

    What type of castor oil are you using? I use 100% organic cold pressed castor oil that is hexane-free. Maybe have an eye test and speak to your doctor because I know some might have an allergic reaction to the oil ?

  52. Ibtisam Algemzi says:

    Castor oil cured my dry eye symptoms and relieved excessive eye watering, the only thing you have to remember is washing lashes with baby shampoo before applying it directly in the eyes and after waking up in the morning to avoid getting stys from oil residues collecting in oil glands around lashes.

  53. A Boots says:

    It will not dry your skin! No oil will do so, except if you tend to wash after useover and over like a therapist would wash their hands all dayafter using an oil on someone. That is what causes drying not castor oil. Just add any oil to hands wash them reapply wash them again three four times and you will see they will feel dry. This is from the oils reacting with the oils if the skin. Once you add soap it will remove the oil that was protecting and moisturing the skin. If you wait till the oil had had enough time to sink in this will not happen. If you use heat with castor oil it will sink in very deep and its benefits are too many to mention.

  54. jenny says:

    I don’t agree. After testing it for 3 months, I gave up, my skin was very dry and I got wrinkles.

  55. B says:

    Castor oil appears to block my eye glands and cause a dry eye symptom where I have to massage my gene glands and deal with hives around t eyes for a few days. So yeah, I don’t recommend around eyes- far away! Eye doctor said to avoid oil on eye for this very reason

  56. Maureen A says:

    Interesting article.
    I use castor oil on my eyelids every night for a year for anti-aging purposes and I’ve been fine with it.
    Note: I’m not using beauty products with castor oil in it, I’m using 100% castor oil bought from a natural health store.
    I’ve also tried different brands of castor oil on my eyelids and I’ve been enjoying it!

  57. Ginger says:

    Interestingly, Dr. Shugarman, an Opthamologist, says that he prescribed the use of castor oil in the eyes for several conditions, among them was “severe dry eyes”. This is posted on the American Academy of Opthamology site.

  58. Rohi soul says:

    Thanks for sharing this valuable info.

  59. Nancy says:

    Are you a robot?

  60. Troy says:

    Castor oil was used over 6,000 years ago in the form of eye drops in Egypt. Getting some in your eye might do the world of good.
    Personally use in my eyes to treat dryness

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