Dame Helen Mirren is one of the most iconic film, television, and stage actresses of her generation. On top of turning heads in every role she takes on, it turns out she’s savvy with beauty products, too! She recently revealed what she uses to keep her skin, hair, and nails in top shape, and the good news is that you can pick up her beloved beauty go-to from your local drugstore: castor oil.
Mirren revealed this beauty secret in an Instagram post, and she’s definitely onto something. Castor oil is a vegetable oil that comes from the Ricinus communis plant, and while its seeds contain toxic compounds when raw, the heating process used to create the oil deactivates those harmful enzymes.
You’ve probably mostly heard about castor oil’s effectiveness as a laxative and how it’s used as a trick to induce labor during pregnancy, but there’s more to it than you think. To Mirren’s point, it’s ultra-hydrating, so it’s easy to blend with more skin-friendly products like olive or coconut oil. Together, they create the perfect moisturizer to massage all over your body, including your fingernails and cuticles. Studies show it can also reduce signs of skin inflammation that often lead to acne and similar conditions.
Plus, because of its hydrating properties and fatty compounds, it’s often massaged into hair as a mask that can lower your likelihood of follicle breakage, which becomes increasingly common as you get older. Some people also rub it into their scalps and leave it in for one to two hours at a time to stimulate hair growth.
The best news is, CVS, the brand that Helen Mirren mentions, sells castor oil (Buy on CVS, $8.29) everywhere in America, so it’s easy for you to treat your hair, skin, and nails like a movie star!