Why I say no to castor oil
In a world where we can be anything, I always strive to be kind. Kind to each other, kind to animals, kind to our planet.
La She Co is built on the foundations of being ethical and safe. Every single product I make has been produced with the intention of being the best it can be - for you and the incredible harvesters of these beautiful ingredients.
It’s easy to shop for skincare products based on the ingredients and their benefits. But sometimes, we need to take it a step further and look at how these essential oils are made and manufactured. Where have they come from? Are the practices ethical? Who and what are we supporting? And well, I am a self-confessed research enthusiast, so these are the questions I came to ask myself when delving into castor oil production.
The oil is completely safe to use in skincare, but the reality of the production phase is not so safe…
What is Castor Oil?
Castor oil is made from the seeds of the castor plant and dates to ancient Egypt. There is no doubt that castor oil is a popular ingredient. It is in a lot of beauty products as it’s rich in essential fatty acids that moisturise the skin.
Where has it come from?
Today, most of the world’s castor oil is produced in Africa, South America, India, and China. The castor-oil plant is grown commercially for the use of pharmaceutical and industrial uses of its oil.
So, what’s the problem?
The seeds of castor oil contain ricin, a poison that is extremely toxic to livestock and humans. Seeds cause gastrointestinal disorders and leaves can cause nerve damage. This means that although castor oil is safe for us to use, the workers who grow, harvest, and manufacture the plants are at risk.
This to me is not okay. It’s not ethical and I stand by my beliefs and values of including ingredients in my products that are safe, ethical, and sustainable.
What do you use instead?
Yes, castor oil is popular for a reason, it is effective in the skincare world.
But it’s not the only answer. We are spoilt for choice when it comes to oils that are rich in benefits and are ethically sourced. To replace the omega-3 benefits, I substitute castor oil for chia seed oil in my body butter. It’s light, contains antioxidants and is high in omega-6 (anti-inflammatory). This can help restore the skin's moisture barrier, especially in those with dry skin conditions.
My clients also love my Nourishing Face Elixir where the hero ingredient is watermelon seed oil. This super ingredient is high in linoleic acid, fast-absorbing and protects and moisturises with antioxidants, minerals, and unsaturated fatty acids.
I truly believe that knowledge is power. I will always continue to research every single ingredient before I make my products. I am on a mission to deliver products that are kind to everyone, always.