Is Castor Oil Vegan? What Is It Made Of?

By Anett Rannamets. Updated: April 2023.
We may receive a commission for purchases made through the links in this post. Learn more.

Castor oil is vegan. Castor oil is a skincare ingredient pressed from the seeds of a miracle tree called Ricinus Communis. It is obtained from nature, plant-based, and therefore always vegan-friendly.

Castor oil is a beauty all-rounder. Although it is mostly known as a hair treatment ingredient, it is beneficial to the face as well. So let’s find out more.

What Is Castor Oil And What Is It Made Of?

Castor oil (Ricini Oleum) is a vegan skincare ingredient obtained from the castor oil plant Ricinus Communis. The oil used in cosmetics and skincare is extracted from its peeled seeds.

Castor oil includes around 90 percent of ricinoleic acid. It has an anti-inflammatory effect and kills germs. It also features vitamin E which has an antioxidant effect and prevents premature skin. In addition, castor oil contains many unsaturated fatty acids, which keep the skin velvety soft.

The shell of the castor bean is initially poisonous. However, the toxic ricin is removed using a special manufacturing process. The seeds are peeled and then cold-pressed. So castor oil can be used without hesitation.

Why Is Castor Oil Used In Skincare?

Castor oil is used in skincare because it stimulates collagen production and counteracts premature skin aging. Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, it helps with blemished skin, acne, or neurodermatitis. Castor oil can even reduce redness and skin irritation.

Castor oil is suitable as a natural anti-aging ingredient. It stimulates the production of collagen. Therefore, when used regularly, castor oil can reduce wrinkles around the eyes and mouth.

The natural vegan skincare component can also help against dark circles and under-eyes. With the help of castor oil, you can counteract dark circles with a combination of sufficient sleep and avoiding toxins like nicotine and alcohol.

The features of castor oil also have anti-inflammatory and germicidal effects. It also has the ability to strengthen and repair the skin’s protective barrier.

Therefore, it is often recommended for pimples and other skin impurities. The ricinoleic acid in the oil alleviates these problems as well as irritation and neurodermatitis.

Further, castor oil is non-comedogenic. The degree of comedogenicity indicates the ability to form blackheads and comedones. Castor oil’s degree is 1, meaning it clogs the pores much less than other oils. Such as linseed oil, for example.

In addition, castor oil has a natural sun protection factor. However, it is very low and cannot serve as a substitute for adequate UV protection. When using the oil on the skin, sunscreen should be applied as well.

Castor oil unfolds its full effectiveness overnight. Then the blood flow in the face increases, muscles relax, and the oil absorbs quickly.

However, castor oil is quite thick by its nature. If it is used on the skin just by itself, it might cause irritation on delicate skin. A little goes a long way.

Castor oil is commonly used in vegan face oils and vegan moisturizers. Castor oil is also found in vegan makeup products.

FAQ About Castor Oil

What is castor oil?

Castor oil (Ricini Oleum) is a vegan skincare ingredient obtained from the castor oil plant Ricinus Communis. The oil used in cosmetics and skincare is extracted from its peeled seeds. The oil includes ricinoleic acid, vitamin E, and a lot of unsaturated fatty acids.

Is castor oil vegan?

Yes. Castor oil is vegan.


Castor oil is a natural and completely vegan skincare ingredient. It contains many good fatty acids that take care of healthy and younger-looking skin. However, you should be careful with every skincare ingredient. Especially when it is put on the face.

As castor oil is very thick, it might be too much for the skin. Therefore, we recommend purchasing vegan products with castor oil and other beneficial ingredients. Or if you want to use pure castor oil, patch-test first.

To be sure that the skincare products are absolutely vegan-friendly, we recommend starting with these 100% vegan skincare brands.

See also: Vegan Skincare Products

Anett is a passionate journalist, writer, and magazine editor with almost 7 years of experience. Through engaging articles, she brings kinder and more environmentally-friendly choices closer to everybody.