Hydrogenated castor oil – All things to know about this widely used castor oil product
Hydrogenated castor oil in its unmodified state is generally available for sale in the form of a hard, crumbly block, flakes, or a white-yellow powder. It is insoluble in water and completely odourless. Concretely, this substance is produced during hydrogenation, a chemical reaction that takes place during the combination, by catalysis, of pure castor oil with hydrogen.
Like pure castor oil, the hydrogenated one is rich in triglycerides from ricinoleic acid. It is used in many products for the following characteristics:
- It is lipogelling
- It helps stabilize the emulsions, thus favouring mixtures of liquids
- It acts as a viscosity control agent
It is also possible that you will be confronted, in the compositions of your products, with castor oil ethoxylated and/or hydrogenated, or PEG-40 (for example). It is nothing but pure castor oil which has been subjected to chemical treatment with ethylene oxide (ethoxylation), and/or hydrogenation, to make it an emulsifying/surfactant agent whose penetration into the skin is multiplied. However, this process involves very polluting residues.
What are the multiple uses of this oil?
Because of its characteristics, hydrogenated castor oil, or castor wax, is one of the ingredients of many products. It is found in some varnishes, soaps, and in different types of cosmetics. If you look carefully at the ingredients of your beauty products, there is a good chance that you will see the word hydrogenated wherever you read castor oil as it is the safest form. This is also valid in certain products labelled organic.
Additionally, you will also find it in a wide variety of products, which you might not have thought of at first knowing the benefits of castor oil for the body. The fact that it is lipogelling and resistant to water, oil and petrochemical liquids allows it to be commonly found, for example, in the composition of:
- coatings, especially polyurethane
- engine lubricants
- carbon paper
- electric capacitors
- Paints and varnishes for materials (wood, leather, etc.)
- household products
Properties of Castor oil products
The oil has many properties since it is a multifaceted agent:
- It is an emollient that softens and moisturizes the skin
- An emulsifier because it promotes the mixing of liquids
- Helps in the maintenance of healthy skin
- A surfactant since it allows a uniform distribution of the product by reducing the surface tension
- Promotes viscosity control
However, hydrogenation is an aggressive process because it involves high-temperature extraction of the oils. This, therefore, has an effect on the quality of the final oil produced. This chemical treatment also leaves doubts about its harmful effects.
One of the most popular advantages of hydrogenated castor oil is for hair. The oil exhibits remarkable results for the growth of hair, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Moreover, it is capable of treating a large number of diseases. It is, however, not uncommon to see it in automobile and aviator mechanics. It can either be applied by massage or used in plasters or poultices. It can also be used on any part of the body – the belly, the face, the thighs, the hands, hair, and more.
It is present in several pharmaceutical specialties for its laxative effects, but in small quantities given its h3 purgative power. To treat constipation, you only need to drink a teaspoon once for three consecutive days.
- It removes warts in a short time by applying a few drops on a tissue and placing it regularly on the wart
- It has properties to prevent certain forms of cancer
- It reduces stretch marks and reduces the risk of miscarriages during pregnancy by skin application
- It brings back sleep disturbed by insomnia
- It cures ear infections by applying cotton wool soaked in the ears
- It helps treat hay fever by daily application of a drop of oil on the tongue
- It erases the mood and behavioural disorders of children by abdominal application of oil plasters
- It stops joint pain such as a sprain, gout, osteoarthritis, etc.
- It helps to heal painful and inflamed nodes as well as scars
- It also cures intestinal disorders, toothaches, headaches, liver ailments, corns on the feet and many other diseases
Side Effects of Castor oil
Hydrogenated oils as a whole are known for health risks if ingested. The hydrogenation reaction, in fact, leads to the formation of Trans fatty acids which increase the risks of cardiovascular pathologies and the appearance of bad cholesterol. Heavy consumption is also linked to an internal inflammatory reaction. Finally, for several years, studies have shown that these Trans fatty acids have an impact on the development of several types of cancer, including breast cancer.
Due to the few studies carried out on hydrogenated vegetable oils in cosmetics, it will, however, be recommended to remain cautious.
This vegetable oil has an intense and irritating purgative action due to the alteration of the intestinal mucosa caused by the acid it contains. In addition, it can cause uterine contractions in pregnant women, which is why it is not recommended.
It can nevertheless be ingested for its laxative effect, but with caution and moderation. It could in high doses cause fatal dehydration. This is why it is not recommended for breastfeeding women (danger for infants) and for all people with an excessively fragile digestive system.
How to Choose Your Castor Oil?
Now that you know the benefits of this oil, you need to know which castor oil to choose. The key is to buy it directly from castor oil manufacturers in India. Since the oil has become a popular ingredient in multiple products, the risk of adulterated or impure versions is higher. Here are a few handy tips for choosing good quality oil for use:
- It must be unrefined in order to keep the constituents and their effects.
- You must opt for a naturally extracted oil with cold pressing
- Pay attention to the storage date because the benefits diminish over time
- So avoid choosing too large containers to keep an optimal effect.
Obviously, like any product you should not abuse and avoid excess usage. Castor oil has become an essential product today and you should not miss out on its benefits for the skin, nails or hair, and overall health and wellbeing.
Castor oil comes from castor seeds which also produce ricin which is an extremely deadly poison. Fortunately, ricin is absolutely not present in the castor oil used for cosmetics.
When ingesting castor oil, always practice caution and consult your doctor before using it. Used properly, it is an important factor for good health. It is one of the most appreciated vegetable oils in the world for its thousands of benefits and its negative side effects.