Mineral based makeup has exploded onto the cosmetics scene in the last 5 years, so why shouldn’t mineral oil be just as applauded…? Well, it’s not quite as earth sourced and nourishing as it sounds and really only gets its title by virtue of the fact that it’s neither animal nor vegetable. Allows us to explain….
Mineral oil is a general name or umbrella term for lots of different types of oil from a non vegetable source, and is otherwise known as white oil, liquid paraffin or liquid petroleum. Mineral oil is a by product in the manufacture of gasoline, and is produced when petroleum is distilled.
The World Health Organisation classes untreated mineral oil as a ‘group 3 carcinogen’ – carcinogens are any type of product which is involved in causing cancer. Not sounding too good so far huh? Treated mineral oils aren’t thought to be harmful to humans, however the World Health Organisation doesn’t consider their to be enough research into untreated mineral oils to class them as harmless.
There is also evidence that mineral oils prevent the absorption of certain vitamins into the body, and some mineral oils are thought to be comedogenic…which means they cause or aggravate acne!
So what is mineral oil used for?!
Rather a lot actually! Mineral oil is used in IVF, veterinary vaccines, beekeeping…and cosmetics. It can also prevent brittle eyelashes, and a thin layer of mineral oil on the skin will prevent the loss of moisture and obviously has benefits for dry skin.
Mineral oil also goes by another name….Vaseline!
Along side many a beauty queens handbag favourite…mineral oil is also found in literally hundreds of everyday products, Baby Oil, L’Oreal eye shadow, La Roche Posay (not Effaclar Duo though!), Olay products,
So if L’Oreal use it….it must be ok…right?
Hmmmm…well, actually, no. When applied to the skin, it clogs pores and hinders the skins abilities to eliminate toxins that cause spots and acne breakouts. As if that isn’t scary enough…once it’s been broken down and absorbed into the body, it passes through to our intestinal tract and absorbs all the good vitamins that live in our guts. Cheers Vaseline! On top of all that, some studies have shown links between Pneumonia and mineral oil which can decrease lung function if absorbed orally.
Oh. That doesn’t sound so good….but it’s in so many products…how do I avoid it?!
Wellllllll….we like to take the hard work out of avoiding the bad stuff, so here’s a handy link showcasing all products that contain mineral oil, and the ones that don’t. You are welcome!
We hope you found this post interesting….please leave us a comment below, share with your friends, print this article out and sleep with it under your pillow…you know, all that fun stuff.
Love, WITS x