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Difference Between Castor Oil and Mineral Oil

Main Difference

The main difference between the castor oil and mineral oil is that castor oil derives from the seeds of castor oil plant, and mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the refining crude oil.

Castor Oil vs. Mineral Oil

Castor oil and mineral oil have different sources. Castor Oil is extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant. Mineral oil is the liquid by-product of the refining crude oil ( used to make gasoline and many other petroleum products). Castor oil and mineral oil are the two different types of oil. Castor Oil is a vegetable oil as it is derived from vegetable, i.e., the seeds of the castor oil plant. Mineral Oil is the liquid by-product of the refining crude oil to make gasoline and many other petroleum products. Castor oil and mineral oil are different in the manner in which they are used. Castor oil and its derivatives are mostly used in the manufacturing of lubricants, soaps, hydraulic and brake fluids, dyes, coatings, paints, inks, cold resistant plastics, waxes, polishes, nylon, pharmaceuticals and perfumes. Mineral oil has many uses in the fields of Biomedicine, Food Preparation, Mechanical, Electrical, and Industrial capacities. The most common usage of mineral oil is a base in several cosmetic products. Castor oil contains fatty acids named omega-3s. The omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial to heal wounds and reduce collagen deposition by helping the body to minimize the formation of scarring. These fatty acids penetrate in the skin, promote healthy cells to grow, and develop new skin tissues. The most common use of mineral oil is in cosmetics. As this oil derives from kerosene, which is considered the safest. Mineral oil less likely causes skin irritation compared to vegetable oils.


Comparison Chart

Castor OilMineral Oil
A type of vegetable oil that derives from the seeds of the castor oil plantA liquid by-product of the refining crude oil
NaturalInexpensive and easily available
Slightly yellowishMostly colorless
Distinct taste and colorOdorless and tasteless
From the seeds of castor oil plantA liquid by-product of the refining crude oil

What is Castor Oil?

Castor oil is the type of vegetable oil. Because of its derivation from the castor beans, it is called castor oil. In its pure form, castor oil is slightly yellowish. It is very pale with a distinct odor and taste. Castor oil is extracted from the castor plant seeds by cold pressing. Castor Oil was widely used in ancient. It was later used as a medicine in Persia and China. According to researches, castor oil contains a substance called an undecylenic acid, which has detoxifying nature. It kills bacteria that cause skin diseases like acne and blackheads. It also cleans excess oil, dirt, and impurities from the face and helps to clear pores. Castor oil is a lubricant. It is effective in moisturizing the skin. Applying the oil on the face daily, helps dry skin become softer and blotches the pimples. It also cures chapped lips and skin. The Greek explorer Herodotus recorded in his book that castor oil was also used as an Egyptian ointment. It is noted that Queen Cleopatra used this oil to brighten her eyes. Castor oil works very well in hair treatment. It stimulates the blood circulation from the scalp to the hair roots that helps to speed up hair growth. Castor Oil also contains omega-9 fatty acids. It is one of its factors that determine the healthy beauty of hair. Castor oil has strong anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Castor oil has a variety of uses.



  • Food preservative
  • Medicine
  • Skin or hair care
  • The precursor to industrial chemical and lubrication as an alternative to petroleum

What is Mineral Oil?

Mineral oil derives from crude oil, which is produced industrially and petroleum. Mineral oil is liquid with a clear consistency. It has no odor and color. So it is not very visible when put on a clear bottle. Mineral oil is made from non-vegetable materials. Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum. Petroleum, along with many impurities, then is extracted and released mineral oil. Mineral oil has a high-viscosity, low-cost, and hypoallergenic properties. It is a common ingredient in cosmetic formulas. Mineral oil is also beneficial for hair. It can keep the moisture on the scalp. Also, mineral oil cures dryness on the scalp and stops the overall inflammation. Mineral oil can stimulate the curl formation, as it can open the clasp adjacent hair strands. However, this oil does not bring in a variety of abilities like whitening, anti-aging. Its basic function is to maintain moisture for the soft skin. Additionally, mineral oil is highly regarded for its ability to heal wounds from the skin. It does not cause skin irritation. So the baby oil is just another name for mineral oil. Mineral oil is so popular for cosmetics because it is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, and quite inexpensive. Mineral oil is refined before it is sold to the consumers, so the concerns regarding this oil are often unfounded.



  • Biomedicine
  • Food Preparation
  • Mechanical, Electrical and Industrial capacities
  • Used as a base in several cosmetic products

Key Differences

  1. Castor Oil is extracted from the seeds of the castor oil plant whereas mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the refining crude oil.
  2. Castor oil is derived from a vegetable on the flip side mineral oil is the liquid by-product of the refining crude oil.
  3. Castor oil is slightly yellowish conversely mineral oil is usually colorless.
  4. Castor oil has a distinct odor and taste, while mineral oil is odorless and tasteless.
  5. Mineral oil is derived from kerosene, so it less likely causes skin irritation. On the other hand, castor oil contains fatty acids that are beneficial to heal wounds and reduce collagen deposition.
Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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