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Does Castor Oil Expire? How to Keep Castor Oil Fresh for a Long Time

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Castor oil is a type of vegetable oil that is made from the Ricinus communis plant. Castor oil can be colorless or have a very pale yellow color, though some castor oil varieties can also have a deep brown color. It is known to have antioxidant properties and to contain triglycerides and fatty acids. It is widely used for medical and cosmetic purposes. Regular use of the oil can help moisturize the skin, ward off dryness, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It also has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce acne and psoriasis. Moreover, with a low comedogenic count, the oil does not clog pores and can also be used to remove blackheads.

Castor oil has many hair benefits too. It moisturizes the hair and reduces breakage. Massaging the scalp with castor oil can also reduce hair fall and stimulate hair growth.

Table of contents

  • Does castor oil expire?
  • How to keep castor oil fresh for a long time
  • How can you know if your castor oil has expired?
  • An excellent castor oil product recommendation

Does castor oil expire?

Like most other products, castor oil also has a shelf life, after which it may not be suitable to use. Typically, castor oil can have a shelf life of one to five years. However, exposure to moisture or a temperature change can also affect its usability. Generally, it may be advised to use the oil within a year of purchase. 

How to keep castor oil fresh for a long time

castor oil


You can follow the tips given below to keep your bottle of castor oil fresh for a long time:

  • Store at the right temperature: The ideal temperature to store castor oil is between 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit or 12° to 23° Celsius. Excessive heat can spoil the oil. So, keep the oil in a room that is not too hot. You should also not store the oil in the refrigerator, as extreme cooling can also make the oil go bad. 
  • Avoid exposure to moisture: Be careful while using castor oil, and do not let any moisture seep into the castor oil bottle. Make sure your hands are dry. Also, store the bottle in a dry place and not near the kitchen or bathroom sink. Use an air tight bottle that does not let moisture or air slip in. 
  • Keep it away from direct sunlight: Exposure to sunlight can result in the degradation of the oil. So, do not keep the container of castor oil in a place that is directly exposed to sunlight, such as the window. Instead, you can store the bottle in a cupboard that is covered and away from any sunlight exposure. 
  • Pay attention to the manufacturing date: It is very important to look at the product's manufacturing date before you purchase it. If the castor oil is close to expiring and has very little shelf life left, do not buy it as the product can go bad anytime. Also, buy castor oil from reputed brands as this ensures better quality. Lose bottles of castor oil available at local markets and street shops may sometimes be well past their expiration date. Also, make sure to purchase sealed bottles only. If the bottle’s seal is broken, the product may have already been exposed to moisture, air, or heat.  
  • Buy small bottles: Buying a smaller bottle will ensure that you finish the product before it expires. It will also avoid wastage and help you save money. So, if you use very little castor oil and are not sure if you would finish a big container of castor oil within a year, it may be recommended to opt for a smaller quantity. 

How can you know if your castor oil has expired?

There are two ways to find out if your castor oil has expired:

Check the odor: An unpleasant smell is usually the first indicator of a product gone bad. Castor oil has a mild earthy smell. If the smell becomes too overpowering or foul, the oil has likely expired. In this case, you should stop using the product immediately.  

Check the appearance: If your castor oil had a pale golden hue when you bought it, and it started turning dark, chances are that it has expired. Castor oil also has a very clear texture. So, if you notice your product getting cloudy or murky, it may be time to stop using the oil. 

Some people may still continue to use the oil after it has expired as a moisturizer for their legs, feet, and arms. However, this can lead to severe allergies, rashes, itching, and more. Using an expired product is never recommended. So, keep an eye out for these signs and stop using the oil if you notice any change in its appearance or smell.   

An excellent castor oil product recommendation

castor oil

When it comes to skin and hair nourishment, it is important to choose a safe product. The 100% pure Castor Oil from WOW Skin Science is natural, vegan, plant-powered, and cruelty-free. It also contains no minerals or silicones. Moreover, the oil is sold in easy-to-use bottles with a spray and a tight cap that make it easy to store and use the product for a long time. The Castor Oil from WOW Skin Science is undiluted and cold-pressed. It can be used as a carrier oil, an overnight hair treatment, or a skin essential to remove makeup, moisturize, and reduce stretch marks. 

Sources: 

Rahul Bhatia

Rahul is the published author of "Heads Or Tails" and Quora writer with over 1.6 million views. He is a keen observer who enjoys the simple joys of life. He strongly believes true beauty is not how beautiful your face is but how beautiful your heart is.

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