Okay, I’m aware I’m starting to publish an awful lot of posts that don’t relate directly to food. I’m a fan of anything healthy, even if it’s not nutrition related. In my defense, all the alternatives to cosmetic chemicals I’ve been using have been made from food items. You can read about how I gave up shampoo and the flaxseed hair gel I make.
I read quite a bit about using castor oil as an alternative to harsh facial cleansers. I’ve had acne since I was ten years old and I feel like I’ve tried everything since. I even tried taking Accutane for a month, but stopped when it started causing me health problems. My organs have never quite forgiven me, even though it was just about three years ago. My night vision is also permanently affected. If you’re considering Accutane, I would advise against it.
I’ve tried a variety of facial cleansers, each one more expensive than the last. The trouble with these is that they’re loaded with harsh chemicals that dry out your skin. Dead skin cells accumulate and clog your pores, causing pimples. The right way to help acne is to moisturise your skin while cleaning it. This is where castor oil comes in (with a bit of help from olive oil).
The recommended proportions for acne-prone skin are 3:1 castor oil to olive oil. If you don’t have acne prone skin, I suggest doing a bit of research online to figure out the proper proportions for your skin type.
To do this skin cleansing routine, if you have anything longer than buzz-cut length hair, use a head band or a hair tye. Trust me. Castor oil is thick. It will get in your hair and not come out without a shower. I pour a pretty small amount of the mixture in the palm of my hand, rub my hands together, and start massaging it into my skin using circular motions. I then turn on the hot water (as hot as it will go), wet a facial towel, then press it flat to my skin for a few seconds to “steam” it. I then gently rub the oil off, repeat the steaming process, and rub the remainder off.
I think the bottle of castor oil I bought cost about $10. I expect it will last me at the very least one year, and that’s just being conservative. Trust me, a little goes a long way. I found it with the avocado oil and other similar oils in the beauty section of my health food store.
Little bonus: if you’re doing the baking soda thing instead of shampoo, rub a bit of castor oil on your scalp once a week about 10-15 minutes before showering to reduce itchy scalp and generally improve the health of your hair.