In the world of Netflix and Instagram, we are glued to screens for more than 12 hours. The fast-paced corporate world takes nine hours of your screen time and the rest of the hours go into scrolling Instagram and watching new content on OTT platforms. Excess screen time leads to tired and dry eyes. Enter castor oil, a natural remedy for dry eye conditions. Castor oil is mostly used for skin and hair care, but its benefits on dry eye are lesser known. Let’s understand the benefits of this natural remedy for dry eye.
According to research, “Castor oil is deemed safe and tolerable, with strong anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-nociceptive, analgesic, antioxidant, wound healing and vaso-constrictive properties. Its main constituent, ricinoleic acid, has a bipolar molecular structure that promotes the formation of esters, amides and polymers.”
1. Moisturising Power
Castor oil contains high amounts of fatty acids, particularly ricinoleic acid, which keeps the skin around the eyes hydrated which avoids moisture loss and helps aid dryness. Applying castor oil to the under-eye before sleeping can help to keep the skin hydrated, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
2. Anti-Inflammatory Effects
Research says that castor oil contains anti-inflammatory compounds which help in soothing redness, itchiness, redness, irritation and swelling in the eyes. A study published in ScienceDirect states that castor oil can be used to treat blepharitis. Inflammation of the eyelid is also called blepharitis. Applying castor oil on the closed eyelids and massaging them can lead to relaxation of dry eye.
3. Promotes Eyelash Health
Castor oil not only benefits the dry eyes but also helps nourishing and strengthening eyelashes. If you apply castor oil regularly and help condition them, preventing breakage and growth. The oil’s moisturising properties also help keep lashes healthy, enhancing their appearance and framing the eyes beautifully.
4. Cleansing property
Castor oil has mild cleansing properties that can help in removing impurities, makeup residue and debris from the eyes and eyelids. Using a cotton swab dipped in diluted castor oil to gently cleanse the eyelids can help keep them clean and free from irritants, reducing the risk of infections and inflammation.
Here are some tips for how to use castor oil eye drops:
- Wash your hands before applying.
- Remove your contacts if the castor oil eye drops contain a preservative. You’ll usually see labelling that reads “contact-safe” or “preservative-free” if the drops are OK to use with contacts.
- Shake the drops before using.
- Remove the cap without touching the eye drop’s tip.
- Tilt your head slightly back and pull your eyelid down.
- Hold the dropper over your lower eyelid and squeeze the eye drop bottle, allowing the drop to fall in.
- Close your eyes and allow the drop to coat your eyes. You may wish to gently press on the inside of your eyes (your tear ducts) to keep the eye drops from escaping.
- Put the cap back on the eye drops and wash your hands.