We often see the advice that people should avoid mineral oil at all costs. This idea is propagated by numerous “natural” companies. Well, this advice is just bogus. It’s not based on any scientific studies. Mineral oil is a perfectly fine ingredient and has been used in cosmetics for over 100 years.
Here are the top 5 Myths that companies tell people to make them afraid of mineral oil. In part 2, we look at why “natural” companies would be trying to scare you.
Mineral Oil Myths
1. Mineral oil is contaminated with carcinogens.
While it’s true that some petroleum derivatives contain carcinogenic materials (like some polycyclic aromatic compounds) the mineral oil that is used in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industry is highly refined and purified. It’s purity is even regulated by the US FDA and other international regulatory agencies. There is absolutely no evidence that cosmetic grade mineral oil causes cancer. And there has been plenty of testing done to ensure that fact. We could find no published reports in any of the dermatological or medical journals indicating a link between mineral oil and any forms of cancer.
2. Mineral oil dries the skin and causes premature aging.
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. Quite the contrary. It will provide moisturization.
3. Mineral oil robs the skin of vitamins.
Since many vitamins are oil based, people assume that mineral oil will pull them out of your skin. There is no legitimate scientific evidence that this is true. Mineral oil has no effect on the vitamin levels in your skin.
4. Mineral oil prevents absorption of collagen from collagen moisturizers.
Collagen in your skin lotions and moisturizers is too big to actually penetrate your skin. Therefore, mineral oil will have no effect on whether the collagen gets absorbed or not.
5. Mineral oil causes acne.
In some people, mineral oil can exacerbate acne problems. However, most people will not experience any problems.
So, if it is not for safety concerns, why would companies be telling you to avoid mineral oil? We’ll look at that in part 2 of our series.