Picture this: You wake up with lush, fluttery lashes that you can bat flirtatiously, captivating your crush‘s attention from across the room. Dreamy, right?

Now imagine that your Bambi-like lashes didn’t come from falsies or pricey serums. No, your secret beauty elixir is uber-cheap. It’s even available at your local drugstore.

We’re talking castor oil — the thick, plant-based tonic with a reputation for boosting hair growth and volume. But is castor oil as fringe-fluffing as your neighborhood beauty influencer claims?

Keep reading for the facts on castor oil for eyelashes.

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Studio Firma/Stocksy United

Well, don’t throw your falsies into the trash just yet. There’s currently no scientific evidence sharing that castor oil accelerates lash growth.

We know, it’s not what you want to hear. But there’s still helpful info: Though castor oil can’t create longer lashes, it can make your eyelashes look healthier and plumper.

Applied topically, castor oil could help…

  • Moisturize. It’s an oil, after all. Celebs like Kim K swear by hair oiling, a trendy practice said to make locks look more lustrous and hydrated. Similarly, applying castor oil could keep your lashes supple and shiny.
  • Coat the hair. Slathering your lashes with oil can make them appear thicker. Fake it ’til you make it!
  • Prevent hair loss. One 2015 study suggested that castor oil has properties that may help prevent hair loss. The theory goes that the ricinoleic acid in castor oil blocks prostaglandins, which might inhibit hair growth. So, while slathering lashes with castor oil won’t lead to new growth, it might prevent premature lash loss.

So, now you know that castor oil won’t magically make your eyelashes grow like weeds. But if making them look shinier and plumper still sounds pretty good, why not give it a try?

Here’s how.

  1. Wait until bedtime. Yes, waiting is boring. But fuller-looking lashes are worth the wait! Applying castor oil before bed gives your lashes several uninterrupted hours to absorb it. Castor oil is also kinda sticky, so slathering it on while you’re out and about could attract dust and grit.
  2. Remove all eye makeup. You’re not sleeping in mascara anyway, right? Prep your lashes by giving the skin around your peepers a good ol’ cleanse.
  3. Place a dab of oil on a cotton swab. A little goes a long way here. Castor oil on your eyeball would make for an uncomfortable night.
  4. Run the swab over your lash line. Again, be pretty gentle with this — your peepers are sensitive. Lightly trace the swab along your lash line. If you do get oil in your eyes, wash it out ASAP.
  5. Sleep. And dream of fabulous eyelashes. Or fantasize about “Bridgerton.” Your choice.
  6. Wipe it off. In the morning, use water and mild soap or makeup remover to cleanse your lashes. You’re done until evening!

Well, almost nothing in life is risk-free. Here’s what to look out for if you’re going to use castor oil for lashes.

  • Eye irritation. Castor oil can be painful if you get it into your peepers. Use a light touch to keep it from seeping through your lashes and into your eyes during the night.
  • Skin irritation. Some folks are allergic to castor oil. So, whether you wanna use the stuff on your eyelashes or scalp, do a patch test first. Last place you want to discover a new skin product allergy is your eyelids. No bueno.
  • Product type and quality. Castor oil comes in two varieties: cold-pressed regular (clear or light yellow) and Jamaican black castor oil (dark brown). The darker oil is commonly used for hair, but there’s little research to prove a difference. Your main goal is to pick a pure, organic product from a reputable brand.

Castor oil is a thick, sticky oil that’s often hyped as a hair and eyelash growth product. But there’s no research out there yet to back up this claim.

While castor oil won’t make your lashes grow longer or fuller, it can be pretty good at giving the illusion of thicker, darker lashes. Daily application might lead to lustrous-looking lashes thanks to the oil’s moisturizing properties.

If you want to try castor oil on your eyelashes, apply it with a light touch to avoid getting it in your eyes. Who knows — you might wake up the next day with eyelashes so hydrated they’d make Megan Fox proud!