Organic Castor Oil

Ricinus communis

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Moisturising and antibacterial
Products with this ingredient

Castor oil is pressed from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant. It moisturises and conditions the skin and hair, and also helps cleanse and soothe irritated skin.



Castor oil has been used medicinally around the world for 4,000 years, mostly to treat skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis, as well as burns or acne. When plants help treat these conditions, it's usually because they're both antibacterial and soothing, just like castor oil. This is mainly due to the presence of ricinoleic acid in the seeds, which is an anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial fatty acid.

The oil also has a solid reputation for helping hair growth, although there’s a lack of scientific evidence to back it up. The common consensus on this is that castor oil cleanses and soothes the scalp so well while helping it retain moisture and balance sebum production, that it allows hair follicles to develop strong and healthy hair.

Finally, it can be mixed with sodium hydroxide along with other vegetable oils to create a thick and stable soap base that will be embellished with fresh ingredients, perfumes and vibrant colours.

The evergreen castor bean shrub is considered native to eastern Africa. However, Lush buy the oil from a supplier who works with a network of 830 organic growers in the Kutch region of India. It is produced by cold-pressing the seeds and goes through a clarification process by heating before use. The oil is a colourless, odourless and tasteless pale yellow liquid.

Organic Castor Oil can be found in these products
Products with this ingredient
Organic Castor Oil can be found in these products
Cuticle Butter
A richly moisturising revival
Hair Treatment
Smoothing jasmine sensation
Only Available In Gift
dreamtime temple balm
Temple Balm
Temple of dreams
They're Gone!
Golden Handshake
Hot Hand Mask
Just the job


Natural beauty secrets of the Ancient Egyptians

Why Ancient Egyptian cosmetic recipes are still used by Lush today

The use of natural ingredients in cosmetics is traceable back thousands of years. Some of the earliest evidence of people wearing makeup is from artefacts recovered from Ancient Egyptian burial chambers. Drawings depict heavily made-up faces, the eyes lined with thick black kohl to create the iconic almond-shape that is still popular today. Decorative makeup was perceived as a way to form a spiritual connection with the gods and pigments were created with raw materials such as with green malachite crystals, gold leaf and powdered scarab beetles.

Ancient Egyptians took care of their bodies; they worried about weight gain, getting wrinkles and losing their hair just as we do now. They used olive oil, sesame oil, bitter almonds and cardamom to moisturise their skin and castor oil as a balm to keep their hair shiny, whilst henna was used to dye the hair, skin and fingernails. Queen Cleopatra, the notorious beauty and last Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, is said to have bathed in milk and honey to keep her skin soft and youthful.

We too know the value of these natural ingredients. Our Ceridwen’s Cauldron luxury bath melt is made with whole oats (which create a creamy oat-milk bath as they soak in the water), frankincense and cedarwood oils and skin softening cocoa butter, to create a bath fit for a queen.

Many of our product formulas hark back to Ancient traditions and practices. We make our Ultrabland cream cleanser with rose water, beeswax and almond oil, and is based on an ancient formula for cold cream invented by the eminent Roman physician, Galen. His original formula was a mixture of rose oil, water and melted beeswax – a basic formula for a ‘water in oil’ cream that has stood the test of time, and has become one of our cult products, Ultrabland.

In Ancient Egypt, taking care of one’s appearance transcended economic status and was a part of everyday life for all members of society. Both men and women placed great value on personal appearance and hygiene; they bathed a number of times a day in water mixed with soda – which is similar to how we make our bath bombs. They’re made with sodium bicarbonate to create a fizzing effect, combined with luxurious essential oils, natural butters, flower petals, lustre and vibrant colour.

We still take care of our bodies using natural ingredients because we know they’re full of the vitamins, nutrients and minerals that will benefit our skin and hair. Galen pioneered the use of natural ingredients for cosmetic benefit, and it’s his discoveries that still have an influence on our idea of ‘fresh’ and why it matters in cosmetics.

Ancient Egyptians took care of their bodies; they worried about weight gain, getting wrinkles and losing their hair just as we do now.