Castor oil is having a real moment in the world of beauty and hair. It has multiple health benefits but it is important to know how long castor oil can last before you start using it.
Written by Alice Carlill
So how long does castor oil last?
If the bottle remains sealed, castor oil lasts two years. Once the seal is broken, it will oxidize, which causes it to go rancid. Castor oil should be used before the end of its expiration date, and certainly within one year. Cold-pressed castor oil can last for up to five years.
Read on for further information about the benefits of castor oil, what it’s used for, and how to effectively store it so that it remains safe to use.
What Is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is a vegetable oil made from the castor bean. The oil is either extracted or pressed from the plant, typically resulting in an oil that’s either colorless, yellow, or black.
Black castor oil is very popular, so you’re more likely to have seen this type featured in articles or social media.
All castor oil is full of fatty acids (the good kind), vitamin E, and minerals. It’s therefore great for hair hydration and growth. It is used in hair masks and conditioners by many brands and is considered quite the miracle hair care ingredient.
What Is Castor Oil Used For And What Are Its Benefits?
Castor oil has many uses and is favored by the industrial, medicinal, beauty, and pharmaceutical industries.
These are just some of the ways in which castor oil can be used:
The main fatty acid in castor oil is ricinoleic acid. This has anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce inflammation and relieve pain, as this study shows.
It’s for that reason that castor oil is also favored by those with arthritis or irritated scalps. You may suffer from an itchy scalp if you have sensitive skin, but you may experience irritation due to hair extensions, or perhaps your braids are causing you discomfort.
Castor oil can also soothe itchiness and therefore works to manage dandruff or psoriasis.
As castor oil is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial, it’s also a natural treatment for acne, helping to fight the growth of bacteria.
Castor oil is a traditional treatment for wounds and sores. It helps to create a moist environment that reduces drying and minimizes the build-up of dead skin cells. This helps to delay the healing of wounds.
In fact, this 2017 study found castor oil effective for skin and throat infections too.
By stimulating tissue growth, castor oil enables a carrier to form between the wound and the environment, decreasing the risk of infection.
The omega and ricinoleic acids in castor oil promote blood flow to the scalp. They also transfer antioxidants that encourage hair to grow strong and become silky smooth.
This works to lock in moisture, which is why castor oil is such a popular all-natural conditioning serum. For example, many people combine castor oil with derma rolling to encourage hair growth.
It also reduces hair breakage and can help in the management of split ends, particularly if used on a regular basis.
Plus, because castor oil is anti-microbial, it works to support the acid mantle of the scalp – and a healthy scalp means healthy hair.
As long as you’re careful when applying it, you can also add castor oil to your lashes and brows as a moisturizing treatment.
How Long Does Castor Oil Last?
Typically, the storage containers for castor oil are made of plastic – usually polyvinyl chloride.
Once the seal is broken, the oil reacts with oxygen in the air. It should stay usable for about a year.
Before you purchase your castor oil, be sure to check that its packaging is not damaged. This can result in the degradation of the oil.
If the castor oil you purchase is cold-pressed, it will last longer. Sometimes up to five years, depending on the individual product.
How To Store Castor Oil
Regular use of castor oil has many advantages, both for your day-to-day health, and for your hair and skin.
That said, it’s vital that you store your castor oil properly. As with many natural products, if stored poorly, it will get stale and rancid. and its color, texture, smell, and feel will change.
There are a number of things you can do to ensure that your castor oil lasts for as long as possible:
1. Store Cool
Castor oil does not like to be stored at hot temperatures. Around 50 – 70 degrees Fahrenheit is best.
2. Keep Away From Humidity
Castor oil also deteriorates faster when exposed to moisture. Keep your oil out of rooms with high moisture or humidity.
3. Keep Away From Sunlight
Ensure that you keep your castor oil in a cool place that’s away from sunlight.
Direct sunlight will cause it to go stale quicker, so it’s best to keep it in a cupboard or on a shelf. Definitely keep it away from windows.
You can even store it in the refrigerator, but be sure to add a little vitamin E to it before doing so.
Can I Use Expired Castor Oil?
You should always keep to the expiry date mentioned on the packaging. The castor oil’s properties will change after this date, so don’t go beyond it.
If you’re determined to make use of it, you can use it on your heels, knees, and elbows as part of an exfoliation treatment.
You must never consume or apply castor oil to your hair, brows, or skin once it’s expired, as it might cause an allergic reaction.
Be aware that out-of-date castor oil is toxic for animals, too. So don’t leave it anywhere that wild animals can consume it.
It’s best to dispose of castor oil in a specific oil disposal facility. This is so as to avoid the spread of toxins.
3 Recommended Castor Oils
Pukka Herbs is a fantastic brand which prioritizes sourcing its organic ingredients sustainably.
The Pukka Herbs Organic Cold Pressed Castor Oil is no different: vegetarian and vegan-friendly, it’s also GMO-free and is premium quality.
Use it to nourish and hydrate your mane, and you can always use the glass bottle as a cute vase once the oil is all used up.
This castor oil from Earth To You is cold-pressed, so it has a longer expiration date.
We love that it comes with multiple helpful bits and bobs, including a mascara brush for safely brushing the oil onto your eyelashes, a pump cap, and reusable pipette for easy application.
It’s also got a nifty how-to guide in case you’re in doubt. Cold-pressed, hexane free and vegan, this castor oil is sustainable and can be traced back to India, where it’s harvested.
They also plant trees for every sale, so are super eco-friendly and eco-forward.
We like this castor oil from Etrong because it comes in a number of different sizes. This makes purchasing your oil easier, and you’re less likely to leave some to expire.
This cold-pressed black castor oil is preservative and hexane free, and is 100% vegan too.
The oil also comes with eyeliner and eyebrow brushes to make applying the product less irksome.
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