Yes, castor oil expires. It has a shelf life of 1 year and cold-pressed castor oil has a shelf life of 5 years. If the bottle is unopened then it can last up to one more year.
Castor oil is used to moisturize skin and to apply to hair. Usually, we buy a bottle of castor oil for skin care and then after a few days we stop using it. Now, after some time you see a bottle of castor oil on your shelf and now you are confused.
can castor oil expire ? does castor oil go bad ? And even if it does then, How long does castor oil last? These are some questions that come to mind. After proper research, I have gained proper information about castor oil and in this article, I am sharing it.
Castor oil, derived from castor bean seeds of the castor plant ( botanical name Ricinus communis), is used for various purposes including moisturization of skin and other DIYs. It has a large amount of ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid. It is an effective ingredient that has beauty benefits.
( Reference 1)
5 Warning Signs That Your Castor Oil Expires
Now you know that castor oil can expire, so now I am sharing 5 warning signs that can tell you that your castor oil has expired.
1. Unpleasant smell
An unpleasant smell or better say a change in odor is one of the most obvious warning signs that can tell that the castor oil has gone bad. If your castor oil has started smelling unpleasant then it is due to molds.
Sometimes, it loses its characteristic aroma and smells plain. If you observe this then it is time to discard it. In case you don’t know what does castor oil smell like then let me tell you that it doesn’t have a strong aroma and has an earthy smell.
2. Turned cloudy
If you observe any cloudiness or your oil becomes dense and viscous fluid then it indicates that your castor oil has expired and should not be used.
3. Change in texture
If you notice any changes in the texture of the castor oil then you should not use it as it indicates that it has expired due to some chemical reactions in it.
4. Visible impurities
If there are any visible floating particles in your castor oil then you should not use it as it can cause allergies if you have sensitive skin. Some people tend to put out unwanted floating particles and then use that oil, but it is not good and should be discarded.
5. Change in color
Usually, the color of castor oil is light yellow or golden but if you observe that it has turned dark brown then it indicates that it has gone bad and you should discard it. ( Reference 2)
Tips To Store Castor Oil
1. Keep it in a dark place
You should keep your castor oil in a dark place to prevent it from quality deterioration. It slows down the process of oxidation and increases its shelf life.
2. Seal it tightly
As you know that exposing the oil to the air degrades its quality, so you should store castor oil by tightly sealing its bottle. This will prevent it from oxidation and extend its shelf life.
3. Keep it away from sunlight and other heat sources
Sunlight promotes photo-oxidation and it degrades the quality of the oil. So, it is very important to keep it away from the places where sunlight falls, such as window ledges, and balcony racks.
You should keep it away from other heat sources such as ovens and gas stoves. Remember, heat and moisture promote oxidation so keep your castor oil away from them.
4. The correct temperature is a must
The correct temperature range is essential to maintain the quality of castor oil. You should store castor oil at 13 to 16 degrees Celsius. You can store it in your refrigerator, but make sure to let it warm up for 30 minutes before you use it. You can also store it in the basement or pantry.
5. Avoid stocking
As you know your requirement for castor oil, you should not buy it in huge quantities as it increases the chance of spoilage, and if you have a large bottle of castor oil try to put it in 2 or 3 smaller bottles.
Storing it in smaller bottles decreases the space between the head of the bottle and the liquid so less amount of air remains in contact with the fluid which decreases the oxidation and increases the shelf life of castor oil.
What Happens If You Use Expired Castor Oil?
If you are using expired Castor oil then it is not good for your health. If you are using expired Castor oil for exfoliating your knees, heels, and elbows then it won’t cause any harm. But if you are using it in sensitive areas of skin such as the face then you should avoid using it.
It can cause severe allergies and red spots. If you consumed expired Castor oil and are curious about how long does castor oil last in your system . Then it lasts up to 4-18 hours in the digestive system and it can cause diarrhea and vomiting.
Some Interesting Facts About The Castor Oil
- Castor oils have a toxic enzyme as well. It is known as ricin. It is destroyed during the heating and processing of oil and only after that, it is safe to use.
- You can add a little bit of vitamin E to your castor oil to increase its shelf life of castor oil.
- Castor oil has 90% ricinoleic, 4 percent linoleic, 3 percent oleic, 1 percent stearic, and less than 1 percent linolenic fatty acids.
Q1. How long should you keep the castor oil in?
Ans. You can leave castor oil for about 30 minutes in your hair.
- National Library Of Medicine: Castor Oil: Properties, Uses