Will Castor Oil Make Your Skin Darker With Continuous Use?

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Castor oil’s versatility spans more than keeping the skin glossy. It also keeps the skin hydrated. However, does using castor oil make your skin darker?

People often worry the side effect of using oil is darkened skin. While there are oils that would increase melanin production on the skin, castor oil is safely not one of such.

It has the opposite effect on the skin. The wonder oil helps promote skin pigmentation and evenness. However, if you notice your castor oil making you darker, it could be due to other reasons that would be discussed in this article.

What is castor oil?

Castor oil is an antioxidant-rich oil made from castor beans. The oil is derived through a cold compress method that compresses the nutrients into the oil.

Therefore, castor oil is rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and enough fatty acids. The oil is versatile and works for skin care, medicinal, and hair issues.

Castor oil contains the active ricinoleic acid, an omega-9 fatty acid, which provides enough antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties to the skin. These rich nutrients make castor better accepted than other oils.

Castor has either a tint of yellow or transparent. Its viscosity is also higher than other oils, which makes mixing with other carrier oils, like coconut oil or almond oil, imperative for some purposes.

Castor oil works for the face, skin, and hair best. It provides the skin with the necessary treatment for acne, brightens it, and stimulates hair growth. The oil works well in providing support to improve your skincare goals.

Will castor oil darken your skin?

No, it won’t. Castor oil contains fatty acid, ricinoleic acid, which is an omega-9 fatty acid. This acid contains antioxidants that help reduce free radicals caused by sun damage. So contrarily, castor oil helps lighten the skin, not darken it.

This pigmentation includes acne scars, burn scars, and hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure.

However, you can experience darkened skin if you are using:

  • Diluted castor oil
  • Oxidized or expired castor oil during the day
  • A bad castor oil product

These castor oil variations are not to be used because they have lost their potency. They expose the skin rather than protect and treat it.

How does castor oil lighten your skin?

As stated, castor helps to lighten your skin. It works by providing the right vitamins and antioxidant properties to the skin, which starts to treat the skin, providing moisture to boost the skin and increase collagen production.

This collagen boost stimulates the reproduction of new skin cells, which in turn replaces old dark skin with brighter, clearer skin.

Castor oil’s properties work as a catalyst that either improves or jump-starts this new skin cell production.

Other benefits of castor oil on the skin:

It has anti-inflammatory properties

Castor oil contains anti-inflammatory properties that soothe irritated skin. Ricinoleic acid and other fatty acids use their fats to soothe skin sensitivity.

Castor oil moisturizes the skin

Moisturizing is another major benefit you get from using castor oil. It contains fatty acids, which act as a moisture booster. That’s why it’s found in some moisturizing products too.

Castor oil aids wound healing and sunburn

Castor oil aids in faster wound healing due to its rich anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E and ricinoleic acid help to promote the repairing of skin tissues. Additionally, the oil eases skin irritations like sunburn.

It contains antibacterial and antifungal properties

Castor oil is also rich in antifungal and antibacterial properties. Therefore, skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and redness can be treated with oil. It also works to relieve the skin of infections and bacteria. That’s why it works as a skin cleanser.

With the reduction of bacteria and dirt on the face, whiteheads and acne are reduced.

How to use castor oil to lighten your skin

castor oil darken skin

As moisturizer

  • Cleanse your face with water and then a cleanser to remove dirt and grime on the face.
  • Apply toner after you cleanse to remove residual dirt.
  • Apply night serum.
  • Apply treatment or correction creams.
  • Apply moisturizer (if you have dehydrated skin, do not skip moisturizer. But if you have oily skin, you can skip this step).
  • Pour some castor oil or mixed oil into your palm, rub them together and pat your face.

As a facial mask

You can use castor oil as a facial mask along with other natural/home ingredients. Combining these would help increase the benefits you will get from just using castor oil alone.

1. Castor oil and aloe vera

You can mix castor oil with aloe vera to improve your skin tone. All you have to do is mix equal parts of aloe vera with castor oil until it becomes a paste, apply it on your face, and leave for 20 minutes.

Wash off after applying it to your face.

2. Castor oil and turmeric

Turmeric contains curcumin. This component is antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Furthermore, the root spice contains enough ascorbic acid, beta-carotene, and niacin.

All these components help to brighten the skin. With castor oil, the mix provides skin rejuvenation and hydration.

To use, mix equal parts of turmeric and castor oil to form a thick paste. Apply on cleansed face. Let it sit for about 15 minutes, then wash it off. Your skin exfoliates and looks brighter after use.

Side effects of using castor oil

Castor oil is a safe oil to use. It causes little to no side effects during and after application. However, there are rare cases where the oil does not suit your skin sensitivity. If you experience itching after applying the oil, discontinue immediately.

You can experience side effects such as irritation, itching, or redness if you are allergic to castor oil.

Furthermore, if you use castor oil with other ingredients, patch-test the product or combination on an inconspicuous part of your body before using.


Is castor oil good for oily skin?

Yes, it is. While castor oil is known for its viscosity, it does help oily skin. The oil has a comedogenic rating of 1, contrary to its thick constituency. Therefore, it would not clog your pores.

Nonetheless, avoid using the oil with other thick oils like olive oil or coconut oil. Mix instead with jojoba oil or almond oil.

Will bad castor oil cause your skin to be dark?

Bad castor oil can make your skin darker. If the oil oxidizes faster or has the wrong potency, it leaves the skin exposed to the sun, thereby increasing melanin production.

How many times can you apply castor oil on your face every day?

You can apply it twice- in your morning and evening routine. Castor oil benefits the skin; you can apply it in your morning and nighttime routine for faster results.

The oil works round the clock to improve the pigmentation and suppleness of your skin.

Can too much castor oil make your skin darker?

No, it can’t. Using too much castor oil will not darken your skin. However, it may clog your skin if you are oily skin. Meanwhile, it provides a longer moisture balance for dry skin.

This explains why it is recommended you use castor oil in drops. The oil is thick, so it feels heavy on the skin. You can mix the oil with other carrier oils to thin the texture.

Does castor oil bleach the skin?

No, it doesn’t. Castor oil does not contain harmful properties that would bleach your skin. Rather, it uses its natural properties to enhance skin cell reproduction, which creates newer and brighter skin.


Now you know it; castor oil does not make your skin darker. Instead, it lightens it with its ricinoleic acid. The versatile oil wears lots of hats, including improving skin pigmentation.

You can add the oil to your skin if you need to improve the hyperpigmentation on your skin and even out your skin tone. This includes using it for acne spots, dark spots, and dark circles.

However, be sure to use the right castor oil. The purer it is, the higher its potency. Therefore, test your oil to be sure you are not allergic (which is rare) and that the oil does not irritate your skin.

If you safely pass the test and the oil has proved itself, then you will start to see reasonable results in no time.

Thanks for reading.

You can get more skincare guides here on Serum101.