Perhaps I would have addressed this posting differently had it not been in front of my face once again as recent as yesterday. I was out for a day of “FUN” and shopping with one of my BFF’s when the EVIL Mineral Oil MYTH was brought up again (at least once a week in my life). On a personal note, I am non-confrontational most of the time and make it a practice to steer clear of any arguments with my family or friends. So I just didn’t respond to her mineral oil reference due to the Arbonne Crusade. LET’S GET IT STRAIGHT….MINERAL OIL IS NOT BAD, of course, I would not recommend drinking it on taste alone. Please read on to understand that refined cosmetic grade mineral oil can in fact be extremely beneficial in cosmetics. If you have not asked your Cosmetic Consultant for an ingredient list DO SO BEFORE YOU MAKE ANOTHER PURCHASE! All is not as it seems. Do not simply believe all that you HEAR.
Mineral oil (oil derived from petroleum) is found in many cosmetics, such as moisturizers, make-up and barrier creams. But some people are concerned about its effects.
The claims: Websites reporting the dangers of toxic ingredients in cosmetics say mineral oil is contaminated with known carcinogens. It also dries the skin, causes premature aging and acne, robs the skin of vitamins A, D, E and K, and prevents the skin absorbing collagen from collagen moisturizers.
The facts: Some petroleum oil derivatives may contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), some of which are known to be carcinogens. People who work with such mineral oils have to take precautions to avoid skin contact.
However, the mineral oil used in food and cosmetics, known as medicinal white oil, is highly refined, with extremely low PAH levels. Medicinal white oil has to meet stringent purity requirements defined by the US FDA and international standards, and thereâ€™s no evidence of cancer being caused by this oil.
Unfortunately there are no references provided for the other claims against mineral oil, so we canâ€™t check the validity of the sources. We checked medical abstracts and couldnâ€™t find any published research on the dire effects of cosmetic-grade mineral oil.
Mineral oil in moisturizers acts as a barrier between the skin and air: it doesnâ€™t add moisture to the skin, rather it prevents moisture loss. Thereâ€™s no evidence it dries the skin, causes premature aging, or robs the skin of vitamins. Since collagen molecules in moisturizers are too large to be absorbed into the skin anyway, mineral oil can hardly make things worse. However, some people may find it makes their acne worse. Petrolatum, a petroleum-derived cosmetic ingredient found in lip balms (among other things) has also been found to cause acne in some people.
Thereâ€™s no evidence cosmetic-grade mineral oil causes cancer and as far as we could establish it isnâ€™t bad for your skin. Of course, lack of evidence of harm isnâ€™t the same as evidence of lack of harm â€” but the onus of proof should lie with those making the wild claims in the first place. Many anti-mineral oil crusaders are selling â€˜naturalâ€™ products free from the evil oil.
Please read below a couple of excerpts from the author Paula Begoun. She has written a couple of books that I reference often, “Don’t Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Meâ€ and “The Beauty Bibleâ€ which is common sense approach pertaining make-up and skin care. “…there is no such thing as “all natural” “pure” cosmetics. They don’t exist, and if they did, they would not be good for the skin. Natural is … a term… that is not regulated, so ….if a company wants to call its products natural, it can, and it doesn’t matter what they contain. … Even if “all natural” products did exist you wouldn’t want to use it on your skin, anyway. Think about a bunch of fruits and plants or vegetables sitting in your bathroom. What would happen in a very short amount of time if they did not contain preservatives? They would become moldy and disgusting in just a few days. Skin-care products contain very “unnatural” sounding preservatives …Just think of how many people have hay fever and you will start to realize just how unfriendly natural ingredients can be.
What makes this natural craze so annoying is …it perpetuates myths which can actually hurt a woman’s skin. All of the following natural ingredients can cause skin irritation, allergic reactions, skin sensitivity and/or sun sensitivity: allspice, almond, angelica, arnica, balm mint oil, balsam, basil, bergamot, cinnamon, citrus, clove, clover blossom, cocoa butter, coriander oil, corn oil, cornstarch, cottonseed oil, fennel, fir needle, geranium oil, grapefruit, horsetail, jojoba oil, lavender oil, lemon, lemon grass, lime, marjoram, Melissa, oak bark, papaya, peppermint, rose, sage, tea tree oil, thyme, witch hazel and wintergreen… Furthermore, while vegetable oils may sound better for the skin, dimeticone and cyclometicone (silicone oils) are actually far more beneficial and offer the most impressive benefits for the skin. They are in 80% of all skin care, makeup and hair care products you buy. Yet you rarely hear about them because the cosmetic companies think consumers won’t find them as sexy or alluring as plants or oxygen therapy or cellular repair or a thousand other marketing angles that have nothing to do with what really works for your skin…”
Remember the following:
- Food type ingredients increase the need for additional preservatives to decrease mold and bacteria contamination.
- Plant oils decompose faster than mineral oils and require higher concentrations of preservatives and fragrances.
- Plant oils often contain fatty (saturated) acids that can clog pores and cause acne.
- Food can feed the bacteria in skin increasing the risk of breakouts.
- Plant extracts are no longer plants and the process used to do the extraction is not “natural”
- Yeast or bacteria cultures in cosmetics can exacerbate Rosacea and psoriasis.
- Natural ingredients are almost always synthetically treated so they can be blended into a cosmetic.
There are a lot of natural ingredients but they are no more effective than the so-called synthetic ingredients. In fact, because natural ingredients have a larger range of limitations, synthetic ingredients are often safer and more reliable for the skin. As Dr. Blumberg from Tufts University has pointed out most eloquently “Just because they are in nature doesn’t mean it’s good for the skin.” While plants sound great, pure and natural and all that, and while sesame oil and licorice extract sound far better than capric/caprylic triglyceride and glycrrhetinic acid, they aren’t better or worse. Each has its pros and cons and it would be a delusion to assume otherwise.
Many ingredients such as mineral oil get a bad rap because they are derived from coal tar which sounds unnatural, but is actually as natural as any plant. Mineral oil is actually one of the better, least irritating, least problem-causing ingredients for the skin. Remember the question isn’t whether something sounds good or appears to be good …but whether it is genuinely good.
Mineral Oils: There are two basic kinds of mineral oil–those derived from petrolatum (better known as Vaseline) and those derived from a group of ingredients called silicones such as dimethicone and cyclomethicone. Mineral oil and petrolatum are very common moisturizing ingredients and for two good reasons. First they are inexpensive, and second, they work. Petrolatum and mineral oil do not absorb into the skin because the molecules are too large to penetrate the skin. Therefore they stay on the surface and provide a barrier between the skin and the air. This is a good reason to look for mineral oil and petrolatum listed in a moisturizer. The same is true for the silicones which also do an impressive job of keeping water in the skin….I should mention that some beauty experts feel that mineral oils are a skin care no-no and should be avoided at all costs. They feel they can cause blemishes … I am not sure why these experts pick on mineral oil more than say, lanolin or vegetable oil, which are also known to clog pores and cause allergic reactions. I have not found enough supporting evidence to warrant avoiding any kind of mineral oil if you’re not allergic to it. Besides, you are more likely to be allergic to a lot of other cosmetic ingredients than you are to mineral oil.
Carol Clifton- Lipsense