Why You Should Look For Castor Oil In Lip Balm: What The Research Says About The Benefits
By all accounts, amped-up lip care is having something of a moment. (Read more about all the new ingredients and technologies on the market that promise a bigger pout, sans filler.) And this attention is ultimately a good thing. This area of skin is particularly delicate, so it warrants extra care.
But before you get into all the "extras" you can do for the skin, you always need a solid baseline routine. For lip care, that's fairly straightforward: Gently exfoliate as needed, and keep a nutrient-dense lip balm handy for as-needed application, such as mindbodygreen's lip balm.
This newly reformulated stick is ideal for daily use, as the texture goes on smoothly, the formula is rich in conditioning botanicals, and it has a long-lasting finish. Part of the reason the updated formula is so impressive is that we increased castor oil. Here, what to know about the ingredient.
Why castor oil is ideal for lip care.
Castor oil is a beloved natural ingredient that has made itself a staple ingredient in skin care, hair care, and overall well-being practices. That's likely due to its nutrient makeup.
"Castor oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids including omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids. It's high in ricinoleic acid, which is a hydroxylated fatty acid released from castor oil by intestinal lipases. Ricinoleic acid is a unique fatty acid that mediates most of castor oil's beneficial effects in the body and is not found in high concentrations in very many other natural products," says board-certified physician Bindiya Gandhi. "Castor oil is also chock-full of vitamin E, minerals, and proteins."
Thanks to this fatty acid, castor oil has incredible conditioning properties: Research shows that ricinoleic acid can soothe dry patches of skin1 and help skin recover from irritation. Other research suggests it also has anti-inflammatory properties2 for the skin. Basically, when used topically it can help improve rough, cracked dry lips.
And as a whole, castor oil has many properties3 that make it well suited for the area. Since it's an emollient, it can sink into the skin, softening the epidermis while helping bolster the skin barrier. But that's not all—it also may have humectant properties. Humectants attract and hold water—when used in skin care, they can pull in water for lasting hydration and even offer a subtle plumping effect.
Castor oil has been used in beauty and holistic wellness practices for centuries for a reason: The anti-inflammatory oil comforts and hydrates skin with impressive efficacy. Along with this star ingredient, the lip balm also contains moringa seed oil, hyaluronic acid, and several butters, waxes, and plant oils to round out the formula. In combination, these ingredients transform the look, feel—and most importantly—health of your lips with time.
Alexandra Engler is the beauty director at mindbodygreen and host of the beauty podcast Clean Beauty School. Previously, she's held beauty roles at Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, SELF, and Cosmopolitan; her byline has appeared in Esquire, Sports Illustrated, and Allure.com. In her current role, she covers all the latest trends in the clean and natural beauty space, as well as lifestyle topics, such as travel. She received her journalism degree from Marquette University, graduating first in the department. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.