Demystifying Mineral Oil

Perhaps no other oil used in beauty has been so maligned. Mineral oil. Your first instinct is to run for cover, as you’ve likely been conditioned to asking for ’oil-free’ foundations, or inquiring about the type of oil used in your night cream. Tongue-twisted and shy, the highly feared, yet dermatologist-approved mineral oil has gotten such a bad rap for:
  • Clogging pores
  • Causing zits
  • Trapping toxins
  • Mineral oil is contaminated with carcinogens
  • [Insert your horrid skin calamity]
Let’s take a look at some facts about this over-hyped oil, which is a mainstay in beauty products still today, but is often substituted or reinforced with synthetics.
  • Mineral oil that is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is highly refined and purified as proven by science.
  • Mineral oil works as a barrier between the skin and the air. It acts as an occlusive agent, which prevents water from naturally leaving your body through your skin. It will not dry out your skin or cause premature aging. In other words, it does not put moisture in, but does prevent moisture from escaping out.
  • Manufacturers use petrolatum (liquidum paraffinum aka fancy mineral oil) because it is unbelievably cheap.
While it isn’t the most aristocratic of oils to slather onto our skin, mineral oil isn’t so bad. What sounds like a dichotomous choice between good & evil is truly nothing more than electing to use cheap alternative as opposed to opting for refined essential or botanical oils. Hence, mineral oil's popularity and preference in beauty treatments and colour. Fine oils with distilled from nature’s bounty are what add that intangible distinctiveness to the composition of a good beauty oil. I, wholeheartedly, can attest to beauty oil veracity from a week long experiment (when I tested a mineral oil based cream vs. a thick, viscous oil on my sock-wrapped tootsies). The softer stems arose from oils not the over-the-counter, mineral oil based cream.

A well-balance symphony of ingredients is what makes all the effectual difference and adds a personal and unexpected twist to the otherwise mundane use of an oil. Your move, marketers…