What is Turkey Red Oil? Turkey Red Oil is sulfated castor oil; castor oil that’s been treated with sulfuric acid.
Appearance A dark orangey-red liquid.
Texture Viscous and a bit sticky.
Scent A bit oily but not very strong.
Absorbency Speed Slow
Solubility Oil and water.
Why do we use it in formulations? Turkey Red Oil can work as a solubilizer. It will self-emulsify in water, and will help disperse other oils in water as well.
Do you need it? No; I’d recommend something newer and less irritating instead.
Strengths It is considered natural, but it’s also very old formulation technology (100+ years!). I haven’t used it for years as there are many more modern, safer-for-skin alternatives.
Weaknesses It is irritating to the skin in high concentrations.
Alternatives & Substitutions Polysorbate 80 is a good option. Please read this FAQ for more information.
How to Work with It Use it to create bath products that emulsify into your bath water, and to emulsify small amounts of oil in larger amounts of water (things like room sprays and hair mists).
Storage & Shelf Life Stored somewhere cool, dark, and dry, Turkey Red oil should last around a year. I find castor oil is quite prone to oxidization.
Tips, Tricks, and Quirks It is different from castor oil (USA / Canada) and can’t be used as an alternative for it in anything.
Recommended starter amount 100mL (3.3fl oz)
Where to Buy it  Buy it from an online DIY ingredient supplier or Amazon.

Some Formulations that Use Turkey Red Oil


Posted on

September 2, 2016