Updated: Jan 19, 2022
What is Mineral Oil?
A colorless and oderless oil derived from petroleum (fossil fuel). Mineral oil is a by-product of when petroleum is distrilled to become gasoline.
Also known as “liquid petroleum,” “paraffin oil,” and “white mineral oil,”
What is Petroleum?
A liquid mixture of hydrocarbons that is present in certain rock strata and can be extracted and refined to produce fuels including gasoline, kerosene, and diesel oil. Petrolatum, commonly known as petroleum jelly, is a skin protectant that is a by-product of petroleum. It typically contains the impurity polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which have been linked to cancer.
Heres a quick video that explains a little more on where petroleum comes from.
How is Mineral oil used?
Common uses for mineral oil are "moisturizers" in beauty products, lubricants, even used as laxatives. Baby oil is almost 100% mineral oil with fragrances and other additives. Here are a few more uses I bet you wouldn't think about using mineral oil for. Hint...none of them are for beauty purposes!
Does Mineral oil penetrate the skin?
NO!!! It is designed to create a barrier on the skin, locking moisture in and blocking anything from penetrating. I did a little experiment with submerging a cracker in 100% mineral oil for 24 hours. And....the cracker was 100% in tact. No moisture in or out. It was actually extremely hard and cracked right in half....multiple times.
Is Mineral oil non comedogenic?
In other words, will it block/clog your pores? YES!!!! There is a lot of controversy over this question, and I'm not really sure why. Let's simplify it, mineral oil creates a barrier on the skin allowing nothing to come in or out. Meaning it will block or clog the pores for the duration your skin is in contact with it. Now, if you wash it off it will no longer be clogging your pores.
Lot's of beauty products, such as facial cleansers, shampoos, conditioners and body washes contain mineral oil. Now if you are using cleansing products that contain mineral oil to wash off the mineral oil in your other beauty products your skin is never free of mineral oil. Meaning you skin is indeed clogged!
Are there any benefits of Mineral oil?
Yes, It simply keeps existing moisture intact and blocks out other elements. At the end of the day, mineral oil isn't completely useless or awful. With that said, there are MANY other ingredients companies can use as moisturizing agents. It's really up to you to find something that works for your skin.