Editor’s Pick: Castor oil as a natural growth booster

Rizinus Oel_Anna Bok_Online Magazin_Beauty_Catarina Marques Teles
©Collage / Catarina Marques Teles

Our beauty editor Anna Bok tested castor oil for full eyebrows and long, thick eyelashes

As a rule, the best beauty tips come from friends or friends of friends – and that’s also what happened here. Our valued colleague Nella wrote an email to Julia right before our summer break and said that she had found the wonder serum for full eyebrows and long, thick lashes: castor oil. This info was forwarded to me along with a question: Did I want to test it out for our readers? You bet! I went straight to the pharmacy and got a little brown bottle of the stuff.

There are already quite a number of growth boosters on the market for eyebrows, the most of which contain any number of chemical additives. Some even contain hormones and their active ingredients have names you can’t even properly pronounce, like Methylamido Dihydro Noralfaprostal. Then there are the possible side effects, which are also not insignificant. For the sensitive eye area? Honestly? Because I hold waking up in the morning with burning, bright red rabbit eyes in such high regard…

Meanwhile, castor oil is supposed to naturally stimulate hair growth. That sounds pretty good. Here are the most important facts: Castor oil is a pure plant oil that comes from the seed of the castor plant. It was already being used by the ancient Egyptians as a household remedy – but for a flat stomach, as the ricinoleic acid it contains has laxative properties. But we’re not talking about slimming tips here and, honestly, I could hardly imagine myself drinking this thick oil.

What’s more, castor oil is rich in essential fatty acids, vitamins, proteins, and antioxidants. From a beauty perspective, that’s an unbeatable combination – which is why you’ll find this natural product in many lipsticks, creams, and so on. Applying it straight to the lashes and brows nourishes and invigorates the root of the hair deep down. Lashes, for example, would then become smoother and more supple, break less often, and grow out fuller. That’s the theory, anyway.


Castor Oil, € 2,39 via Enaissance

But now on to the field test. I’ve been applying a few drops of the oil to a cotton swab and dabbing it along my lash line and on my fine brow hairs for a few weeks now after taking my make-up off. My tip: Apply this product immediately before you go to bed – reading and watching Netflix only kind of works with a light oily film in your eyes. And, ta-da! My lashes and eyebrows actually do look a little longer and thicker. The final result will only really be visible in a few months, but at least I can respond about my lashes. It can’t just be my imagination.

By the way, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute have just developed a growth serum made of purely natural components. Its main ingredient is going to be a secret until it comes onto the market next year, but it’s a natural product that was already being used during the time of ancient Egypt – Dr. Joachim Storsberg, head of the biomaterials and healthcare department, revealed that much to me over the phone. Now, I wouldn’t suppose that’s castor oil…

Translation: Melissa Frost

Anna Bok was born and raised in Berlin. After stops in Freiburg and Florence, she made her way to Hamburg in 2007 to study journalism and art history – where she stayed and worked as a freelance journalist with various publications including Harper’s Bazaar, Süddeutsche Zeitung, and Blonde. She’s now returned to Berlin after nearly 10 years in the Hanseatic City. When Anna isn’t writing about beauty, fashion, or traveling, you’ll often find her on her yoga mat (recommendations for studios in Berlin welcome!).