Castor Oil for Double Chin, What to Understand?

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Double chin can be very bothersome, though it’s not more than cosmetic problem in most cases. Treatment varies, depending on your personal preference and the underlying cause of the problem. A number of natural treatments with inconclusive evidence are overwhelming. How about castor oil — does it work on double chin?

Promising properties found in castor oil

The translucent liquid of castor oil is derived from the Ricinus Communis plant, specifically extracted from the seeds of the plant. Although the seeds have a substance called ricin (a toxic enzyme), the heating process in the production of castor oil deactivates this harmful property so the oil would be safe for most people.

This yellow tint oil has high viscosity, making it very harder to get frozen. Its high viscosity is helpful to make it become a powerful emollient. Even it was originally used for industrial purposes. Nowadays, it has been used in a wide variety of purposes ranging from hair & skin care products, an additive in foods, to biodiesel fuel & industrial lubricant.

Castor oil is thought to have several potential benefits for skin health, though more human studies are required to support most of these claims.

Anti-inflammatory properties

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid, a potent fatty acid, which is also the main component of the oil. Ricinoleic acid has impressive anti-inflammatory properties. It may help improve pain and swelling. One study on animals showed that applying a gel containing ricinoleic acid to the skin resulted in a reduction in pain and inflammation [1].

With its anti-inflammatory properties, castor oil may help ease irritated skin, swelling & puffiness (eye bags for example), and sunburn pain.

Anti-bacterial power and anti-fungal properties

Acne can be attributed by several factors, one of them is bacterial overgrowth in the skin. Here castor oil may have a role to treat acne. It is loaded with antimicrobial properties.

Castor oil extract has considerable antibacterial property, according to one test-tube study [2]. It was promising to help fight against Staphylococcus aureus, a bacterium which is often to blame for acne associated with bacterial overgrowth.

A few studies also suggest that castor oil may help promote oral health benefits due to its anti-fungal properties. For example, it may help fight against Candida albicans from human tooth roots.

Natural, skin I moisturizing effects

Keeping your skin moist carries a number of benefits. With enough moisture, your skin is likely to look healthier, young, and shiny. This is also a powerful anti-aging. Skin wrinkles, for instance, are less likely to occur when you have a good skin moisture barrier.

Triglycerides are a kind of fat found in castor oil. It has long chains of glycerol molecules, and each of these glycerol molecules has three molecules of fatty acids.

High amount of triglycerides in bloodstream is associated with cardiovascular problems. But the story is different for triglycerides found in castor oil. When applied to the skin, these can help moisturize the skin. They are also good for cleansing, removing unnecessary things (e.g. dirt) from your skin. Furthermore ricinoleic acid found in castor oil can act as humectants, meaning it can help keep the skin hydrated by drawing moisture from the air into the skin and blocking water loss through the skin’s outer layer [3].

Castor oil is often mixed with other oils (e.g. coconut, almond, and olive oil) to make more powerful, hydrating-moisturizing skin care products since it is thick and less expensive.

Double chin treatment with castor oil, does it work?

Some people are a believer in hard work, no quick fixes. Regular exercise and healthy-balanced diet are important pillars of restoring and maintaining your healthy weight. If you were an obese or overweight person and now you’re in your best, healthy scale — it should be considered as a point of pride since it’s not easy to lose weight.

Unfortunately, sometimes hard work and being at your best scale are not enough when it comes to dealing with double chin. Although double chin is often associated with obesity, it can also affect people with normal weight. Other factors have a role. Genetic /hereditary factor, aging skin, and losing muscles would also make the problem more likely (see more here).

In case when lifestyle measures are not enough to deal with, a number of treatments (both non-surgical and surgical procedures) are available. Each treatment has pros and cons, see this section for in-depth information. How about castor oil?

Potent fatty acids found in castor oil may help improve the skin texture, enhancing smoothness and softness. They may also work on carrying good skin complexion, encouraging the growth of healthy tissues and restoring uneven skin tones.

But when it comes to treating double chin, there is no conclusive evidence for castor oil – though it might work for very mild double chin (according to a few anecdotal reports). The underlying cause of the problem also plays a key role.

For example; if your double chin is a kind of submental fullness, castor oil is likely useless since it cannot target the excess fat pocket underneath your jawline. In such case, non-invasive treatment such as Kybella probably is your best bet. Some specific exercises – e.g. kiss the sky, chewing gum, and pucker up – may be quite helpful if the problem has to do with losing muscles.

Potent properties of castor oil might help ease mild double chin caused by mild sagging skin that has nothing to do with aging. But if your sagging skin is a part of aging, it’s more difficult to treat (even invasive cosmetic surgery would be suggested).

How to use castor oil?

It’s not easy and takes time for your skin to absorb castor oil since it is thick & high in viscosity. You need carrier oil to dilute it first before applying to the skin. There are many carrier oils to choose from. Some of the common ones are olive oil, almond oil, peanut oil, and coconut oil. If necessary (for extra-moisturizing effect), add shea butter!

Then apply this mixture to your skin, make sure the treatment area is clean enough beforehand. Leave it for several minutes – 5 to 15 minutes are probably enough, and then use a warm cloth to wipe it off. Some people say it’s OK to leave it on overnight, this usually comes down to personal preference.

Risks and side effects

In general, topical use of castor oil is relatively safe for most people. But this doesn’t mean it works for anyone. Some people may experience negative reaction since the oil is also potential to cause an allergic reaction [4].

The risk of skin irritation may increase for people with dermatitis problem. So it’d be better to ask your doctor first if you have any skin condition. Since your chin and face are relatively more sensitive than the rest of your body’s skin, do a tinny patch test first to see whether it’s OK to use.

The oil could also irritate the eyes, the FDA says. Use it carefully, and keep it far away from your eyes!

Citations /references:
  1. Anti-inflammatory effects of a novel ricinoleic acid poloxamer gel system for transdermal delivery, published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (2014).
  2. PMC4942971, published online 2016 Jul 12 on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health.
  3. PMC3141305, published on the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health (2010).
  4. “Angioedema-like allergic contact dermatitis to castor oil”, retrieved from here!

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