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Huile de ricin et cellulites.

Castor oil to get rid of cellulite?

Cellulite is an aesthetic issue affecting approximately 45% of the global population. The deformation of the dermis, which leads to the formation of dimples, is caused by an accumulation of fat or water. There are numerous ingredients that are believed to have anti-cellulite properties. Among them, castor oil. But what is the reality?

Published February 14, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 5 min read

What exactly is cellulite?

Cellulite , also known as superficial lipodystrophy, refers to an abnormal accumulation of fats, water, or toxins in the deep layer of the skin: the hypodermis. When these clusters enlarge, they form protrusions at the level of the dermis, eventually deforming it and giving the skin a grainy appearance. This results in the formation of dimples . Once established, it is very difficult to eliminate cellulite.

While the area of cellulite occurrence varies according to each individual's anatomy, certain parts of the body are more prone to its development. These include the buttocks, thighs, hips, and arms. It should be noted that cellulite is not a disease and poses no health risk. However, it can affect self-confidence and cause discomfort for the person concerned. Although everyone can be affected by cellulite, this phenomenon is more prevalent in women. Indeed, it is estimated that 90% of women develop cellulite during their lifetime compared to 2% of men.

We distinguish three types of cellulite : the adipose cellulite, the aqueous cellulite and the fibrous cellulite. Different forms of cellulite can also coexist: we then speak of cellulite mixed. Their formation mechanisms, as well as the means to combat them, differ slightly.

Can castor oil act against cellulite?

Thecastor oil (INCI: Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil) is extracted from the seeds of the castor shrub, native to Africa and now cultivated in the Mediterranean region. This vegetable oil is obtained by cold pressing the seeds and is generally colourless to light yellow, with a viscous texture. The ricinoleic acid is the main molecule of castor oil, representing about 85% of its composition, but it also contains other fatty acids and vitamin E. Castor oil is known for its numerous benefits for the skin and hair, and has nourishing and strengthening properties among others.

Regarding cellulite, there is to date no scientific evidence that castor oil can alleviate or prevent this condition. Some sources may suggest that this vegetable oil has a stimulating effect on blood microcirculation, which could limit the formation of dimples in water cellulite, related to a circulatory disorder. However, these studies remain cautious in their conclusions and do not definitively attribute the increase in blood flow to castor oil. Moreover, they have not been conducted on individuals affected by cellulite.

Cellulite: What are the solutions?

Having cellulite can be a source of insecurity and may lead those affected to seek solutions. However, it should be noted that some forms of cellulite are more difficult to eliminate than others, particularly fibrous cellulite, and the best approach is prevention. Therefore, it is recommended to adopt a healthy lifestyle, by maintaining a varied and balanced diet, and engaging in regular physical activity. Certain draining massages, accompanied by the application of treatments containing toning ingredients such as caffeine, can also be beneficial.

If you wish to visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite, there are aesthetic medicine methods available. These include radiofrequency, shock waves, mesotherapy, liposuction, and cryolipolysis. However, their effectiveness and the side effects they cause can vary significantly.


  • RAWLINGS A. Cellulite and its treatment. International Journal of Cosmetic Science (2006).

  • ESER I. & al. An examination of the effect of castor oil packs on constipation in the elderly. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice (2011).

  • FONG P. & al. In silico prediction of prostaglandin D2 synthase inhibitors from herbal constituents for the treatment of hair loss. Journal of Ethnopharmacology (2015).

  • MARWAT S. K. & al. Review - Ricinus communis - ethnomedicinal uses and pharmacological activities. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences (2017).


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