Frugality Wise

Tips, ideas, and resources for living frugally

Frugality Friday: Castor Oil – The Ultimate Oil for Frugal You

on April 18, 2014

In addition to my usual posts listing money-saving tips for different types of expenses and aspects of life, starting today I will be experimenting with a new weekly feature called “Frugality Friday”. On Fridays I will post and discuss one item that you can probably find lying around your home that can be used in multiple ways. Why spend money on different items for different purposes, when you can save money by using a single item for multiple purposes? With this feature, you may discover a certain way to use an item that you hadn’t ever before considered. Or a lightbulb might go off in your head and you think “Oh yeah, I used to do that years ago. I don’t remember why I stopped. I need to start doing that again!” So without further ado, this post is dedicated to what I consider to be the ultimate oil. I’m talking about good ol’ castor oil, of course!

Kicking Acne to the Curb

The first time I used castor oil was after I did some research on the internet, looking for ways to get rid of the adult acne that was affecting my self-esteem well into my mid-twenties. I figured at that age, I should no longer have to be dealing with the skin problems of adolescents. Even though we know that acne is a common occurrence in adults, we still associate it with the hormonal see-saw that is puberty. After years of buying over the counter topical treatments that either did nothing, did something but without significant results, or made my skin look worse, I bought a bottle of castor oil and did the following regimen in sequential order:

  • Washed my face with an oil-free cleanser
  • Gave my face a 10-minute steam with my electric facial steamer to open the pores, putting a towel over my head to trap in the steam
  • Rubbed about a loonie-sized amount of castor oil all over my face (For those not familiar with Canadian currency, a loonie is our $1 coin!)
  • Went back to the steamer to steam my face for another 10-minutes
  • Massaged the oil over my face some more before rinsing off with warm water, then a splash of cold water to close the pores; then pat dry with a facial tissue

Afterwards, there was still a little residue of the oil left on my face (it is a thick oil), but it didn’t make my face look like a shiny oil slick. Surprisingly, despite it being an oil, it doesn’t clog pores. (Otherwise, that would be counterproductive as a treatment for acne, now wouldn’t it?) After doing this regimen for a while my skin finally got smoother and my acne problems were finally behind me. I know not every solution works for everybody, but it doesn’t hurt to try if you’ve never used castor oil for acne before.

Here are some other good uses for castor oil:

Image courtesy of stockimages / FreeDigitalPhotos.netAs a hair oil. I have dry, coarse hair and I use castor oil to seal in moisture after using a leave-in hair moisturizer/conditioner. It leaves my hair feeling very soft. If you don’t have dry and coarse hair, though, I wouldn’t recommend using a hair oil in this manner, as it might be too greasy for you. Instead, you can also use it as a hot oil treatment prior to shampooing and conditioning. It can also be massaged directly onto the scalp to promote hair growth and thicken hair follicles. Although I’ve never tried it, it’s believed to also grow and thicken lash and eyebrow hairs when you apply a thin layer on a daily basis using a clean mascara wand or cotton swab. It is recommended to use only an unscented version of castor oil if applying to eyelashes to avoid eye irritation. For good measure, I would also suggest that the unscented version be organic, just for extra precaution.



acne-scar skin - phasinphotoAs a remedy for certain skin conditions. In addition to treating acne, castor oil can reportedly be used to treat such things as stretch marks, wrinkles, ringworm, eczema, and scars. However, I suggest that with any alternative treatments that you may consider to address a skin problem, you should first consult your doctor, or naturopathic health professional.



Hand on Abdomen 2 - stockimages

To promote healing in the body and reduce inflammation. Castor oil can be used to create a castor oil pack. Castor oil packs are used as a naturopathic treatment for a variety of things including liver detox, ovarian cysts, fibroids, pelvic pain, and to increase circulation. Here is a good step-by-step YouTube video on how to make a castor oil pack. Again, consult your health care professional first to discuss your health condition and possible remedies.



massage - imagerymajesticAs a massage oil. Castor oil is a good carrier oil to use for a massage. Mix castor oil with a touch of lavender essential oil, grab your partner, and prepare to bask in the soothing relaxation you’re about to receive!




Photo Credits for this blog entry (in order of appearance):

Image 1: Image courtesy of stockimages /

Image 2: Image courtesy of phasinphoto /

Image 3: Image courtesy of stockimages /

Image 4: Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /


4 responses to “Frugality Friday: Castor Oil – The Ultimate Oil for Frugal You

  1. cdibbs says:

    Great post, great idea. I love your weekly feature!! Are you going to make it something that others can join in on??

    • Saundra says:

      I actually hadn’t even thought about having guest contributors for my weekly feature. That idea surely gives me some food for thought! Maybe once I get a few posts going for that feature I might put out a request for others to contribute if they’re interested.

      Thanks so much for your support!

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