Beauty & Skincare

Ingredients Spotlight: Castor Oil in K-Beauty Products

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Castor oil, derived from the seeds of the Ricinus communis plant, has become increasingly popular in Korean beauty products for its diverse skincare benefits. This oil is famous for its high concentration of ricinoleic acid, a unique fatty acid believed to be the key to its therapeutic properties.

Castor Oil as Beauty Ingredients

Castor oil is obtained by cold-pressing castor seeds and then heating them. The castor plant (Ricinus communis L.) has been long famous in traditional and folk medicine. It has various uses, like treating inflammation, infections, and wounds.

It’s not edible and represents only a tiny portion of global vegetable oil production. Historically used as a laxative and to induce labor, it has since become a popular ingredient in cosmetics. As of 2002, over 900 cosmetic products use this as ingredients, indicating its widespread adoption in the beauty industry.

Additionally, castor oil has many skincare benefits. It’s as beneficial as other beauty ingredients like snail mucin or ceramide.

Benefits of Castor Oil in K-Beauty Products

Castor plant |
Castor plant | Getty Images

Moisturizing Property

In Korean skincare, castor oil is often used for its moisturizing properties. It’s a natural emollient, making it particularly effective for dry or flaky skin, helping to maintain moisture and keep skin soft and hydrated. Its thick consistency and ability to retain moisture make it a popular ingredient in lip balms, lotions, and hair care products.

Improve hair health

Another significant use of castor oil in Korean beauty is its potential to improve the health and appearance of hair. It can help strengthen hair, promote hair growth, and even benefit the scalp, such as reducing dandruff.


Castor oil is also popular for its anti-inflammatory properties. It can be beneficial for soothing irritated skin, which is why it’s commonly found in products targeting sensitive or acne-prone skin types. Its ability to reduce inflammation makes it a valuable ingredient in formulas designed to soothe skin irritations, redness, and swelling.


Moreover, castor oil is believed to have antibacterial properties, making it a suitable ingredient for acne treatments. It helps fight bacteria that cause acne, thus potentially preventing breakouts.

Important Note: The safety review also found that the topical application of castor oil irritated some people’s dermatitis skin. If you have dermatitis or another skin condition, consult your doctor before using any new products. The FDA also found some evidence that this ingredient could irritate the eyes.

Castor Oil Infused K-Beauty Products

Loomi Korean Skincare Extra Virgin Castor Oil

Loomi Korean Skincare Extra Virgin Castor Oil stimulates growth and strengthens hair, which prevents split ends and hair loss. Moreover, it also helps cleanse the scalp of dirt and flakes while nourishing it. For the skin, Loomi Korean Skincare Extra Virgin Castor Oil moisturizes it and works as a cleansing oil.

Sulwhasoo’s Essential Comfort Balancing Water

Sulwhasoo’s Essential Comfort Balancing Water is a light, watery gel toner to hydrate and refresh your skin. It features Sulwhasoo’s unique JAUM Moisturizing Complex, a mix of five precious herbal ingredients, including castor oil, known for its hydrating properties. This toner quickly absorbs into the skin, providing a burst of moisture and helping to balance the skin’s oil and water content. It leaves the skin feeling soft, smooth, and radiant. To use, apply a few drops onto your face and neck after using the First Care Activating Serum. It’s perfect for improving skin tightness or dryness, making your skin look and feel revitalized.

ISA KNOX Age Focus Prime Wrinkle Multi Balm Stick

The ISA KNOX Age Focus Prime Wrinkle Multi Balm Stick is a unique skincare product for fighting wrinkles and fine lines. It consists of castor oil, moringa oil, and argan oil. These oils go deep into your skin to hydrate and refresh it. You can use it on areas of your eyes, forehead, smile lines, and neck for a smooth, non-sticky glow. The balm comes in a stick form that’s easy to use and great for traveling. It won’t spill and can be used over makeup. ISA KNOX, part of LG Beauty, focuses on anti-aging skincare solutions, and this balm is a part of their innovative approach to keeping skin looking young.

Abib Moisturizing lip balm Relief tube

The Abib Moisturizing Lip Balm Relief Tube is like a special night treatment for your lips. It consists of panthenol, rice oil, and plant oils to help heal dry and damaged lips. The lip balm also has castor oil, carnauba wax, and beeswax, which work together to make your lips feel soft and smooth. They provide deep moisture and soothing care, especially for sensitive lips. Use it at night, and it will help remove dry skin on your lips while you sleep, leaving them well-moisturized in the morning. This lip balm is all about giving your lips intense care and hydration.

Vivelab Hair Scalp & Brow Ampoule

The Vivelab Hair Scalp & Brow Ampoule is a natural treatment oil for both men and women. This K-beauty product helps prevent hair loss and promote thicker, fuller hair growth. Made with natural and organic ingredients, it is safe for all hair types, including color-treated and permed hair. It’s primarily known for containing castor oil, which is excellent for hydrating the scalp and moisturizing hair. This ampoule helps to revive dull and damaged hair, soothe the scalp, and encourage healthy hair follicles. It’s not just for your head hair; you can use it on your eyebrows and beards to get that rich, complete look. Vivelab’s product is about making your hair look more alive and healthy.

Nicka K Replenishing Castor Oil Facial Sheet Mask

The Nicka K Replenishing Castor Oil Facial Sheet Mask is all about bringing natural goodness to your skin. Its ingredients are from fruits, plants, and other nourishing sources, including the key active ingredient, castor oil. These masks are designed to make your skin look its best – more supple, hydrated, and young-looking. Nicka K New York focuses on using natural and scientifically proven ingredients for skincare, ensuring that this sheet mask not only feels great but is also effective in taking care of your skin. Just put on the mask, relax, and let it work its magic for a refreshed and revitalized look.

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About Ji-hun

Ji-hun is a versatile writer and lifestyle enthusiast with a passion for all things Korea. With a keen eye for detail and a love for storytelling, Ji-hun brings the vibrant essence of Korean lifestyle to readers through his engaging articles.

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