Can I brag a little?
I've been getting the nicest compliments on my skin. Surprisingly, I received one after a long day of cooking and cleaning for a party. I was generally exhausted. So exhausted I didn't bother to wear any make up. I was doing well to greet my guests in clothes that didn't smell like Mr. Clean mixed with gravy. But several guests commented on how great my skin looked. Hmm.
Fast forward a few months to a recent get together with some of my friends. One exclaimed, “You look GREAT! What are you using on your skin?” Several others chimed in that they were thinking the same thing.
I’d like to tell you that I have been working really hard doing research, trying out every department store and drugstore product out there, and I have found THE ONE. Nope. It was much easier than that.
I stumbled on something quite by accident.
I was on line (shocker!) looking for something to make my eyelashes grow. Latisse and the other eyelash products are just way too expensive, and I have read many warnings about long term use causing cataracts. The risk is just not worth it to me. I don't want to be blind with long eyelashes.
So I looked for an alternative. I started reading many comments from people who saw their eyelashes and their eyebrows fill out and become healthier using a simple, ridiculously inexpensive product.
Isn't that the stuff people used to give their kids for constipation?
I read hundreds of articles about castor oil. And I was shocked. There is so much written about the benefits of castor oil, I can't believe I didn't know more about it. Not only is it great for eyelashes and eyebrows, people are raving about castor oil for everything from thinning hair, to menstrual cramps, to reducing inflammation for arthritis. Even people with oily skin found that cleaning their skin with castor oil helped clear up their acne!
So about a year ago I bought some cold pressed castor oil at the health food store. It’s thick like syrup. Not at all like coconut oil (which I love). Coconut oil is a great moisturizer. But unlike coconut oil, castor oil has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant qualities and has been used for centuries for medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It goes way beyond moisturizing.
I mentioned my use of castor oil to my massage therapist. She said she uses it for people who have arthritis and strained muscles for the anti-inflammatory benefits. So I rub it on my sore spots after exercising. It’s also great for calming a sunburn.
I even noticed my mouthwash has castor oil listed as an ingredient.
But what has all of this to do with my face? Well, I started using castor oil regularly on my face. At first, I used it occasionally. Now I can't live without it.
Here’s my routine:
|I wonder if Angelina is using castor oil?|
Wash your face really well. I use my beloved Clarisonic. (To read my nugget about the Clarisonic, click here.) Pat dry.
Put about a nickel size dollop of castor oil in your palm. Rub your palms together and spread the castor oil all over your face. I also do my neck and my chest. Gently massage your face in an upward motion. Make sure to put it around your eyes, too.
At this point you will be saying, “Ugh, this stuff is so thick!” Yes, I know. But leave it on for a few minutes while you do something else. Let it sink in.
Go back to the sink and get a washcloth as hot as you can with the hot water. Wring it out, lay it over your face until it cools. Do it a couple times, you’ll feel like you’re at the spa.
Now, take the wet washcloth and “dab” your face. Don’t wipe! You are just dabbing off the excess oil from the surface.
You look better already, right? I told you! It’s pretty amazing. The glow will last you all day. You can put make up on over it, or just show off your pretty clean face.
At night, if I wash my face before going to bed, I use my castor oil sparingly. It can stain your linens, but you'll wake up with dewy skin.
Sometimes I use my regular moisturizer and add a little castor oil over it to keep in the moisture. Castor oil is an emollient; it softens the skin and holds in the moisture. That’s why you put it on right after you wash your face, to hold in the water that your skin has absorbed.
Now for the best part. Castor oil is very inexpensive. No, it’s downright cheap!
You can buy a small bottle of regular castor oil at the drugstore in the laxative department, but I suggest you buy castor oil that is cold pressed and hexane free.
I order a huge 32 oz bottle of castor oil from Amazon.com for about $15. If you don’t want that much, you can get an 8 oz bottle at the health food store for less than $10. I like two brands, Heritage Products, and Home Health.
To buy castor oil on Amazon.com, click here.
I love using a product that is only one ingredient. I have thrown out all of the old lotions that list 10 different ingredients on the label—most of which I have no clue what they are or what they do. If something is going on my skin, I want to know that it is safe to absorb into my body. I use castor oil for my chest, neck, and face, and coconut oil for the rest.
As to growing longer eyelashes……the castor oil does not make my lashes grow. Other people have reported remarkable results, but I think I’m stuck with my little stubbles. I have noticed, however, that my eyebrows are a lot fuller. I’ll take it!