Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Is Mineral Oil Bad for the Skin?

What is Mineral Oil ?
Mineral oil is the byproduct of distillation of gasoline from that of crude oil.  It is the leftover product which is quite inexpensive.  This byproduct does not have any major usage and as such is abundantly available.

Most of the companies producing Cosmetics or baby products use this Mineral oil in the making of their products. This is due to its clear and liquid properties with no smell as such.  The products that we use in daily care such as baby oil, Vaseline or liquid soap contains mineral oil as a key ingredient.  Almost 98% of all cosmetics use mineral oil may it is eye shadow, blush, lipstick, shaving cream, moisturizer or sunscreen lotion.

Now, the main question is – Is it harmful to the skin?
The answer to this is not clear.  There are two opposite views on this.

Those against the use of mineral oil have the following points to say.
·        Mineral oil is harmful to the skin.  It is even more harmful to baby skin due to its usage in many baby products.
·        The most important effect of using mineral oil is that it clogs the skin i.e. it forms a thin layer on the skin which does not have any way to breath.  It is not easily absorbed by the skin.  As such the pores of the skin gets clogged and results in slowing the process of eliminating toxins by the skin pores.
·        Even when the mineral oil is absorbed by the skin after a long process, it is broken down  by the liver and while passing through the intestinal tract, it absorbs the fat-soluble vitamins which are so very important for our health and overall growth resulting in loss of important vitamins.
·        Ever wondered why we get a tan more quickly when we use the sun lotion.  Because mineral oil in these lotions burn the skin quickly as your skin continues to dry out quickly.  This is not tanning but burning of the skin.
·         Use of cosmetic products containing mineral oil masks the skin problems and makes them worse.
·        Dehydration of the skin is another ill-effect of using mineral oil products as mineral oil dissolves the natural oils of the skin and as such the ageing process is seen to take place faster.
·        Certain derivatives of mineral oil like propylene glycol have been linked with kidney damages, liver disorders and even cancer.

On the other hand, there are whose who are in favor of using mineral oils in cosmetics and skin care lotions.  Their argument in favor of this is as such –
·        According to their views, the mineral oil used in these cosmetic products is highly refined and purified.  Also it is tested for all the side-effects before being passed. As such there is no serious cause of concern regarding its ill-effects.
·        Also, mineral oil does not dry out the skin causing ageing process.  In fact, it is said to retain the water and oils in the skin making the skin more fresh and healthy.
·        Studies have also showed that the vitamins do not get reduced due to the use of mineral oil which enters through the skin.

As such it all depends on the individual user to decide whether he/she wants to use mineral oil based cosmetic products or go for organic cosmetics and moisturizing products.

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