This is an ingredient which has been demonized in the bath and body products industry unjustly. I find that when I need a super healing type of lotion which happens in the cool dry winters we have where I live I always want a lotion with mineral oil as one of the ingredients. I want to take the time in this post to simply lay out the facts of what mineral oil is and why it is beneficial to many products.
1. It's a natural ingredient as it comes from the earth
2. It's also a vegetarian and vegan ingredient as it contains no animal by-products
3. It's non-comdogenic (does not clog pores)
4. It helps skin to retain moisture (which is why it is so great in winter skincare products)
5. There are different quality grades of mineral oil going all the way up to food grade
6. The mineral oil found in skin and beauty formulations is very pure, it is also regulated by the FDA to ensure these claims
7. https://www.cremedelamer.com/product/5834/12343/moisturizers/creme-de-la-mer/moisturizer-for-dry-skin#/sku/267667. Some of the most high end skin care products in the industry have mineral oil as an ingredient
8. It gives excellent "slip" and helps products to slide across the skin
9. It is commonly recommended as a post surgical skin protectant after procedures due to its long history of safety, effectiveness and low chance of allergic reaction
Ok so why all the hate?
I did a little googling to see what others are saying about it, here is what I found:
1. mineral oil is toxic
2. mineral oil "may" be carcinogenic
3. mineral oil clogs pores
4. It makes your skin look more aged than it is
5. It damages skin
6. It dries the skin out
7. It sits on top of skin creating a film and "suffocating" the skin
8. It blocks the absorption of vitamins into the skin
This information was obtained from websites that had no scientific evidence to back it up. Some claims did have links to scientific papers that theorized that maybe, possibly these facts might be true but the research was actually done on crude mineral oil which is used in industrial capacities and not cosmetic ones. Some sites quoted estheticians who have famous movie star clients, but that doesn't make them an authority on the matter, while they probably excel at giving a rocking facial they are in no way scientists. They just happen to have a bigger platform to influence unwitting people who find these trash articles and take them as gospel.
The above "hater" points are completely unfounded, meaning I have NO clue where the writers contriver their information so I couldn't do further research. Other points I believe have been handed down over the years and are now regarded as fact. Just know that absolutely ZERO of the above points are true or accurate.
Here are a few reasons that mineral oil is awesome in products.
1. It forms an occlusive barrier to help prevent TEWL (trans-epidermal water loss) Our bodies are in a constant state of water loss, to have a product available to help with this issue is pretty neat. I think of mineral oil containing products as a thin sleeve holding all the other fabulous ingredients close to my skin while they slowly sink in and work their magic.
2. It has been around since at least the 1700's and probably longer than that. The 1700's was the first time Merriam-Webster has record of the term Mineral Oil. The longer the history of use the more we have to go on as far as safety and effectiveness of an ingredient.
3. It is inexpensive! This is actually a good thing. Even the highly refined very pure mineral oil is an excellent price. This is a great addition to a product and gives the formulator extra room in their budget to add other higher end ingredients to make your epidermis sing.
4. It ranks very low on the skin irritant scale, and if you are allergic to nuts and thereby nut oils this may be a great alternative for you
So there you have it folks, mineral oil, the forgotten hero in skin care. If you are having dry skin problems this winter give it a try and see what you think.
The "GO MINERAL OIL" articles
The nay-sayer articles: