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Because numerous women have asked me to explain the harmful effects of Mineral oil in skincare products, I’ve compiled the following information (gleaned from numerous articles as well as my own opinions) to explain why I am adamantly opposed to the widespread use of this toxic ingredient. I hope that you will find this information helpful, and that you will share it with anyone using commercially manufactured personal care products that contain Mineral oil (or other ingredients that you can’t pronounce nor understand).
Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. (Yes, you are placing this on your skin when you apply “Mineral oil”). Considering the numerous Oil wells around the world, it’s no surprise that Mineral oil is abundant as well as inexpensive. (It costs more to dispose of it than to produce it). Now that we understand Mineral Oil is abundant and inexpensive, consider why personal care products are loaded with it. Although I tend to be pessimistic when it comes to the Oil industry, I believe “the industry” has figured out a way to dispose of it while making a multi-billion dollar profit – make it a key ingredient in skincare products. (In previous articles I addressed the Oil and Beauty Industry’s alignment and how they lobby diligently in Washington for their best interests). Unfortunately, their interests don’t include our well-being.
Mineral oil is foreign to the human body and acts as a thin plastic layer on the skin. Because the skin has difficulty absorbing Mineral oil, it clogs the pores slowing the skin’s ability to breathe and eliminate toxins.
Once Mineral oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. Once the oil is present in the intestinal tract it absorbs all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there, stealing important vitamins from the body. If Mineral oil is absorbed into the skin by habitual use it may affect the functioning of the liver. As the liver works extremely hard to break down Mineral oil it may not be able to break down toxins efficiently, leading to poor health and a weakened immune system.
Baby oil, Vaseline (petroleum jelly) and baby lotions all contain Mineral oil. Petroleum jelly and Mineral oil (its liquid equivalent) attach to your cells and are not water soluble. They are difficult for your body to eliminate causing buildup in various organs. The oxygen and nutrients the skin needs are blocked by the “barrier” created by petroleum.
When Mineral oil is applied to the skin, sweat, oil and toxins are not released and oxygen is prevented from entering. Mineral oil can clog the pores leading to acne and other skin problems. It can also prevent skin cells from developing normally, and when used regularly Mineral oil may cause skin to age prematurely.
Please read personal care labels carefully. If you can’t pronounce an ingredient (or you wouldn’t eat it), don’t place it on your skin. Our skin is our largest organ. It breathes, absorbs and it protects us. Treat it with care – ditch the Oil Industry’s “by-product”.
Elise Muller, Proprietor / Artisan
Mountain Spirit Botanicals