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Huile de ricin pour les ongles.

The effects of castor oil on nails.

Exposed daily to various aggressions such as computer keyboard strokes, manicures and nail polish applications, the use of household products... nails become fragile. They soften and can even split. Fortunately, certain ingredients are particularly effective in strengthening these appendages, such as castor oil!

What is castor oil?

Also known ascastor oil, castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the cold pressing of seeds from the common castor oil plant, a tropical shrub from the Euphorbiaceae family. Originally, castor seeds are toxic due to the presence of an enzyme, ricin. Fortunately, the extraction of castor oil requires high levels of heat, which can neutralize the ricin and make castor oil safe for cosmetic use. Castor oil has a dense and clear oily texture. It is pale yellow in color, or even colorless. Its discreet scent is sweet and pleasant.

Castor oil is primarily composed of ricinoleic acid (ranging from 83% to 88%). It also contains oleic acid (omega-9), linoleic acid (omega-6), palmitic acid, and stearic acid. The ricinoleic acid has antimicrobial properties, making it effective against certain skin conditions like acne ; in medicine, it is recommended for treating certain gum diseases. When regularly applied to the hair and roots, castor oil purifies the scalp and combats hair fiber loss.

Thus, this oil can provide benefits to the skin, hair, beards of varying thickness, as well as to nails and cuticles.

The effects of castor oil on nails.

Nails are daily subjected to numerous external aggressions, such as manual labor, hand washing, semi-permanent nail polishes, etc. Over time, their condition can deteriorate, and they become soft and brittle. Like skin and hair, it is also essential to take care of them. Castor oil can provide the following benefits to your nails:

  • Combatting brittle nails and preventing fungi thanks to the presence of undecylenic acid, a potent fungicide included in its composition. Its application will protect nails and cuticles from infections and fungal diseases;

  • Hydrating the cuticles in order to provide them with a certain flexibility and enable them to be effective in preserving the matrix of our nails. The fatty acids present in castor oil will thus hydrate and nourish the cuticles well;

  • Protecting nails from external aggressions and free radicals thanks to the vitamin E.

How can you best benefit from the effects of castor oil on nails?

Firstly, castor oil should be applied regularly. Its benefits on the nails will be visible after one to four weeks of use. The nails will be healthier, better hydrated, and stronger.

Castor oil can be applied either directly with the finger, or like a nail polish using an applicator brush. To allow it to penetrate, the nails should be lightly massaged in circular motions.

For nails in poor condition, it is possible to perform an oil bath about once or twice a week. Simply pour castor oil into a bowl in which you soak your nails for about fifteen minutes. Then, lightly massage the nails before rinsing and drying them.

Note : During the treatment of damaged nails, it is recommended to let them "rest" by spacing out manicure sessions.


  • Sodeif Azadmard-Damirchi & al., Physiological and Medicinal Properties of Castor Oil, Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants, (2011).


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