Mineral Oil for Skin: Good or Bad?

A woman with a bottle of oil

There is a lot of controversial information about mineral oil available today. Some beauty blogs and magazines claim it’s an almost magical solution for a great number of skin problems. However, there are quite a few sources claim it to be dangerous and even toxic. Which of them should you believe?Today we will try to help you answer this question by providing an unbiased review of all the strengths and weaknesses of mineral oil. We’ll start with explaining what exactly this substance is and why it’s used in the beauty industry.

Mineral oil is indeed oil. It’s derived from petroleum, but before you start throwing away everything that has this ingredient listed on the label, you should know that it is one of the most common substances used in a wide range of cosmetic products because of its unique chemical properties:

  • It’s neutral and rarely causes allergic reactions.
  • It doesn’t solidify, so it cannot clog pores.

Another commonly used product derived from petroleum is Vaseline. In fact, it’s a semi-solid form of mineral oil. Aside from cosmetics, it’s widely used in medicine as it facilitates the healing of wounds. It’s also believed to be one of the most effective moisturizing ingredients in existence.

Considering all this, you shouldn’t dismiss mineral oil simply because it’s derived from petroleum. Although, this is the main reason that makes many people claim the ingredient to be dangerous for skin.

It may sound surprising, but petroleum is a natural substance that we get directly from the earth. Before it becomes an ingredient that can be used in the cosmetic or pharmaceutical industry, petroleum is filtered and cleansed numerous times. The final product of these cleansing carries no resemblance to petroleum used to fuel your car. Therefore, high-quality mineral oil used in various beauty products is 100% safe, unlike fragrant oils that are often included in creams and toners.

Mineral Oil and the Environment

If you are one of the conscious people who advocate “green” energy and support the initiatives that aim to reduce the level of environmental pollution, you might be concerned about the impact of petroleum extraction on the planet. Some people argue that mineral oil itself is a non-renewable resource, so its extraction deals damage to the environment.

The latter isn’t true at all as mineral oil is not a resource that is extracted. It’s a by-product of the oil purification process. However, there is no denying the fact that oil extraction is indeed extremely harmful to our planet. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that people will stop using this particular natural resource anytime soon because we have yet to invent a better fuel. Don’t forget that plastics that are used literally everywhere today are also a by-product of the oil extraction industry.

Mineral Oil vs. Plant Oils: Which Is Purer?

One more argument that many anti-mineral oil oriented people use is highlighting the fact how it’s more contaminated with dangerous chemicals as compared to plant-derived oils.

This is another common misconception as the process of purification that produces mineral oil removes all traces of dangerous chemicals. The final product meets every safety standard set by specialized organizations that monitor the quality of cosmetic and pharmaceutical ingredients.

Plant oils aren’t better by default because plants are also exposed to dangerous chemicals due to the use of herbicides and environmental pollution. However, plant oils are purified as well, so by the time they get into your cream jar, they become 100% safe.

Is Mineral Oil Bad for You?

The answer to this question is a definite no. This ingredient may not seem like the best choice due to its greasy feel and unappealing look, but it’s absolutely safe for your skin and cannot clog pores. Girls with dry and sensitive skin can benefit from it greatly as it’s an excellent moisturizer.

Back to blog

Leave a comment