Does Castor Oil Clog Pores? Here’s What You Should Know

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Natural skincare routine is getting more attention nowadays. Because of this, brands followed suit and started incorporating natural and organic ingredients into their products. 

This trend led to the popularity of natural oils too, thanks to the incredible effects and benefits they provide. One of these natural skincare oil products is castor oil.  

You’ve probably heard about castor oil, which is often used to promote hair growth.

That benefit is nice and all, but does castor oil clog pores? Is it safe to use on the skin?

castor oil placed in a serum bottle and placed in a table near a face mirror and plant

To answer that briefly, castor oil is non-comedogenic. That means it gives little to no risk of clogging pores. 

In fact, castor oil can be safely used by those with oily and acne-prone skin! 

If you want to learn more about castor oil — from its comedogenic rating and benefits to its possible side effects on the skin — continue reading!

What Is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is a thick, odorless, plant-based oil that’s been utilized for centuries to heal and moisturize the skin. It is also known for its hair benefits, like promoting hair growth. 

Castor oil is extracted from the seeds of the beans of the castor plant (Ricinus communis).

These beans contain ricin, which is a toxic enzyme. For the oil to be used safely, the ricin is deactivated through the heating process that castor oil goes through. 

Some of the common castor oil types available in the market include the following:

  • Hydrogenated castor oil
  • Cold-pressed castor oil
  • Castor seed oil
  • Black castor oil

Main Composition of Castor Oil

Castor oil is mainly composed of ricinoleic acid. This acid helps shield the skin against viruses and harmful bacteria, preventing acne, redness, and irritation. 

Ricinoleic acid is also a good moisturizer that can easily penetrate the skin, leaving dry, rough patches soft and soothed. 

It also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, and this helps diminish the signs of aging. 

Aside from that, this potent yet gentle acid can ease sunburn, swelling, itchiness, and irritation while preventing inflammation and infection. 

Castor oil also contains small amounts of fatty acids that help promote healthy cell function, such as oleic, linoleic, palmitic, and stearic acids.

For a rundown of castor oil’s fatty acid content, refer to this:

  • Ricinoleic acid — 90%
  • Linoleic acid — 4%
  • Oleic acid — 4%
  • Linoleic acid — 4%
  • Palmitic acid — 2%
  • Stearic — 2%

However, do remember that oils generally have different effects on each skin type. So knowing the comedogenicity of any product or ingredient that you plan to add to your skincare routine is essential. 

castor oil in a bottle and raw seeds in a wooden spoon placed in a wood mat

The Comedogenic Scale

Comedogenicity is the tendency of an oil (or any product for that matter) to clog the pores of your skin. 

If you want to measure a beauty product’s comedogenicity, the comedogenic scale comes in handy. 

The comedogenic scale helps you pick the ideal beauty product for your skin type to ensure minimal to no side effects. 

The scale has five ratings. To understand it better, here’s a quick guide on every rating from 0 to 5.

0Non-comedogenicDoes not clog pores
1Slightly comedogenicHas a very low chance of clogging pores
2Moderately low comedogenicPossibly clog pores in some people but is fine for most
3Moderately comedogenicWill likely clog pores for people with oily or acne-prone skin types
4Fairly high comedogenicWill clog pores for most people
5Severely comedogenicHigh chance of clogging all people’s pores

Based on this scale, using skin products with a low comedogenic rating keeps your skin from acne breakouts and blackheads.

Castor Oil Comedogenic Rating: Is Castor Oil Non-Comedogenic?

Now, back to the main question. Is castor oil comedogenic? Can castor oil clog pores?

If you are worried about castor oil’s comedogenicity, then we have good news. Castor oil has a comedogenic score of 1. That means it’s unlikely to clog your pores. 

With this rating, you can be sure that castor oil will not cause blackheads or acne breakouts on your skin. 

Because of its comedogenic rating, castor oil is among the widely used oils for those who struggle with oily and acne-prone skin. 

As a matter of fact, this oil is rich in anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that nourish your skin and prevent it from having acne. 

While castor oil is generally safe for everyone to use without considerable risks of acne or clogged pores, always remember that every person’s skin is different. Your skin may or may not like castor oil. 

It’s still trial and error. So before using castor oil on your hair or skin, don’t forget to do a patch test to ensure that it is safe to use. 

Benefits of Using Castor Oil

If you decide to use castor oil, here are the following benefits it can offer to your skin and face:

a young woman applying castor oil in her face using a serum applicator


  • Antimicrobial. Castor oil can protect your skin from bacterial infection by fighting against bacteria, mold, and fungi. 
  • Anti-inflammatory. Both ricinoleic acid and castor oil have antiinflammatory properties, making them beneficial for treating irritated skin.
  • Cleansing. Castor oil’s triglycerides help remove dirt from the skin. 
  • Hydrating. Castor oil contains humectant properties that draw moisture from the surroundings into the skin, keeping it hydrated. 
  • Moisturizing. The triglycerides in castor oil help lock moisture in the skin, which makes it an excellent dry skin treatment. 


  • Acne. The anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties of castor help minimize acne. Its ricinoleic acid also stops the bacterial growth that causes acne. 
  • Complexion. Castor oil’s fatty acids can encourage the development of healthy skin tissue, which helps restore uneven skin tones. 
  • Inexpensive. Facial oils and creams can be very costly, but castor oil is relatively more affordable and still offers similar properties like promoting moisture and a healthy complexion in the skin. 
  • Sensitive skin. Castor oil is perfect for sensitive skin types due to its low comedogenic score. Hence, there’s a slim chance of issues like clogged pores or breakouts.
  • Texture. Thanks to its fatty acids, castor oil enhances softness and smoothness when applied to your skin. 

How to Avoid Potential Castor Oil Side Effects

Like any other product, castor oil also causes side effects if used incorrectly or if used too much. 

While castor oil is generally considered safe to use, there are a few things to remember when you plan to use it. 

Don’t Use on Sensitive Areas

Did you know that there are side effects when using castor oils on your face? Castor oils shouldn’t be used around your ears or eyes as it may cause irritation to these sensitive areas. 

You should also be careful not to put too much of it on your lips. If you unintentionally consume too much castor oil, you could get diarrhea. 

Don’t Use When Breastfeeding or Pregnant

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it’s best to avoid using castor oil to guarantee your safety. 

If used, you might encounter unwanted side effects caused by castor oil, like nausea, dizziness, and even labor pains. Though these symptoms rarely happen, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Always Do a Patch Test First

If you are sensitive to castor oil, you must avoid using castor oil to prevent allergic reactions on your skin. 

Again, to make sure, always test castor oil on a small part of your skin and wait for 24 to 48 hours. Once you observe any inflammation, rashes, or hives, discontinue using it immediately and ask for professional help.

Keep Castor Oil Away From Fabric

Castor oil is a staining substance and can leave permanent stains if not removed as soon as possible.

Hence, keep castor oil away from your sheets and clothing to prevent staining. 

Should You Use Castor Oil on Your Skin?

Castor oil gives amazing benefits when used on the skin. This natural oil not only helps clear acne but also treats other skin conditions. 

Since castor oil is an excellent moisturizer, you can use it on parts of your skin susceptible to dryness, like knees and elbows. You can even use it to help with psoriasis and eczema. 

Aside from that, castor oil can help cure cuticles and feet fungal infections. It even prevents chicken pox scarring, smoothens skin, and frees the skin of warts and tags. 

Best of all, castor oil reduces skin stretch marks and keeps them from forming!

Overall, castor oil can keep your skin healthy. So consider using castor oil on your skin from now on! Just use it appropriately.

a woman with curly hair and healthy skin is smiling while looking down

Frequency Asked Questions

How do you use castor oil?

Castor oil has a thick consistency. So before putting it on your face, you must mix it with a carrier oil, such as olive oil, almond oil, or coconut oil.

For an extra-moisturizing effect, you can add shea butter to it.

Make sure your skin is clean before applying the mixture. Then use this mixture on your face before you go to sleep.

You can wipe it off with a warm cloth after letting it sit for one to five minutes or leave this oil overnight and rinse it off in the morning.

Can castor oil be used on hair?

Yes, you can! Castor oil has been known to have a lot of hair benefits, such as nourishing a dry scalp, promoting hair growth, and strengthening hair strands. 

It can also foster a healthier environment on your scalp. 

But if you plan on using castor oil on your hair, apply small amounts of oil and learn to wash it regularly and properly. 

This way, you can avoid blocking your hair follicles as this may lead to hair and scalp issues. 

Is castor oil safe for all skin types?

Based on the comedogenic scale, castor oil is non-comedogenic, so it’s safe to use on any skin type. 

If you have itchy, dry, and sensitive skin, you’ll most likely benefit from castor oil.

Still, you need to test it out first on your skin to make sure you’re not sensitive or allergic to castor oil. Otherwise, you might experience redness, itchiness, and irritation. 

Conclusion: Does Castor Oil Clog Your Pores?

Fortunately, castor oil is non-comedogenic. So it is unlikely that it will clog your pores.

Plus, it is a beneficial and safe natural oil that you can use on your skin, face, and hair!

Again, patch testing should be done first before fully committing to it.

Once your skin gives you the green light, use castor oil and experience the incredible benefits it can offer to you!

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  • Stephanie Martin

    Stephanie Martin blends her beauty industry background with expertise in communications to lead in the fashion and beauty world. As a fashion and beauty editor, she is known for engaging and informative articles. Her lifelong passion for fashion, makeup, and hair shines through her work, earning her widespread respect among readers and clients. Stephanie's style, a mix of classic and contemporary, makes her a dynamic and influential figure in the industry, inspiring others with her knowledgeable and approachable insights.

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