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Mineral Oil: Good or Bad?

Cosmetics such as creams, lotions, body butters, and the like must contain some kind of a fat. It can be either natural oils or synthetic ones, but the most popular is mineral oil.

I was always sure, that mineral oil (also known as paraffinum liquidum, petrolatum) is a bad thing and I should avoid it. Why not – I thought – it is a by-product of petroleum, so it didn’t sound like something I would like to put on my face or body. Honestly, I wanted to write an article about the disadvantages of using products based on mineral oil, but while researching the topic I’ve  found completely opposite opinions. I don’t know whether they are true or false, but I want to share my discoveries with You.

(image credits:by Mr. T in DC)

So what I have heard before:

Mineral oil dries the skin and causes premature aging.

Mineral oil robs the skin of vitamins.

Mineral oil causes acne.

Information I have found in the “ Toxic cosmetics ingredients “:

“Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin’s ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH’s (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.”

But there is a different opinion, which claims, that this information was created by companies producing natural cosmetics to promote their products and make people buy it. Let’s think:

– Companies, which produce natural products are often small, because of the big manufacturing costs (we all know, that natural and ecologic ingredients are more expensive , less efficient cosmetics (natural things do not work as fast as a innovative chemical formulas), due to this, they have smaller markets and often higher prices. All in all, they want to attract people to buy it and the best way to do this may be to prove that natural cosmetic is better.

Moreover, according to mineral oil manufacturers, there are no scientific evidence which prove, that mineral oil causes cancer, acne or dries skin. I haven’t found any  scientific evidences  on the Internet either.

For the end, I don’t know whom to believe. In our capitalistic world where dollar means everything you can’t trust any information. Good marketing and PR can make us  believe whatever companies want. Still, no matter what, we can only be sure of the fact that natural oil isn’t harmful. So instead of taking the risk I choose natural oil based cosmetics. A bit more expensive, but it is pleasant to know, that I use something made from plants rather than something made from petroleum.

What do you choose?

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