Mineral oil is an ingredient widely found in skin care cream and other skin care products. But is it a good choice or could it actually harm your skin? What are the benefits and the disadvantages of mineral oil in your skin care cream?
What is Mineral Oil?
It is a petroleum by-product, thus it comes from the same source as the petrol for cars. It is also called paraffin wax, liquid paraffin, and petrolatum. Baby oil and vaseline are made entirely by this oil, while most skin care moisturizer creams and lip balms have varied amounts of it.
What Are the Benefits and Disadvantages?
It is used mainly because it coats the skin and keeps in moisture. It doesn’t exactly moisturize your skin, but it makes sure no drying air can reach your skin. The big benefit for manufacturers is that it is cheaper than plant oil and has a long shelf-life.
But as it covers the skin it also clogs your pores. This interferes with your skin’s ability to get rid of toxins, which encourages acne and similar disorders. It also strips the skin from its natural oils which causes chapping, dryness and premature skin aging.
So, in the short term – yes, it makes your skin feel softer. But after using it your skin actually gets drier than it was before.
Is Mineral Oil Safe?
As if the disadvantages above aren’t enough, there is one more thing to consider when it comes to mineral oil. Any derivatives of mineral oil can have been in contact with PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons) which cause cancer. So by using mineral oil on your skin regularly you can increase your risk of cancer.
What Is a Better Choice?
When buying a skin care cream, look for one with cold-pressed natural plant oils, waxes and glycerin instead. These will moisturize the skin deeply without clogging your pores, and many also have anti-aging effects for example jojoba oil and grapeseed oil.
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