Can Castor Oil Help My Eyelashes Grow?

by Eric Feigenbaum

When you want long lashes but prefer natural products, what is there to do? Not every woman wants to use eye-lash enhancing mascara products to get longer lashes. People often turn to castor oil in hopes of longer lashes. And while some beauty sites say it helps, no clinical evidence exists to prove it.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil is the extracted pressed oil from the seeds of the castor bean plant. While the castor bean plant seeds themselves can be toxic, the oil extract has been used for more than 100 years as a natural laxative. In fact, laxative is the one use of castor oil that is clinically proven and backed by the medical community, according to both the Mayo Clinic and the American Cancer Society.

Lubricating Lashes

Some beauty sites recommend using a cleaned out mascara brush to apply castor oil to lashes before bed. The idea is that the oil helps the hair follicles by coating hair shaft and smoothing the cuticle layer. Hairfinders.com says this seals in moisture which makes follicles seem smoother.

Perhaps this helps prevent damage to eyelashes. But it doesn't actually promote growth. There is nothing in castor oil which has been proven to contribute to eyelash or hair follicle growth. As the American Cancer Society says about Castor oil, besides laxative use, "Available scientific evidence does not support any other claims."

Non-Toxic

The good news is that if you still want to try castor oil, it is all-natural and non-toxic. Of course, apply it lightly and keep it out of your eyes.

However, before using castor oil for any use, other than as a laxative, it may be wise to consult not just a beautician, but also a physician to make sure it won't have any adverse health affects.

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About the Author

Eric Feigenbaum started his career in print journalism, becoming editor-in-chief of "The Daily" of the University of Washington during college and afterward working at two major newspapers. He later did many print and Web projects including re-brandings for major companies and catalog production.