Mineral Oil Benefits

You may have seen mineral oil in the ingredients list of one of your personal or skin care products. In fact, cosmetic-grade mineral oil makes up more than 50 percent of the ingredients used in cosmetics. Did you know that baby oil is actually mineral oil that is enhanced with fragrance? On the other hand, you may also have heard of the news claiming mineral oil to be dangerous to your health. In truth, scientific studies have proven the benefits of mineral oil. But the question is which type of mineral oil are we talking about?

What is Mineral Oil?

Mineral oil is actually involved in the manufacture of food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic products. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless and exhibits excellent emollient, lubricant, and solvent properties. In most industrial applications, mineral oil is used to ensure long shelf life. Depending on the application, cosmetic-grade, pharmaceutical-grade, and food-grade mineral oils may be used. These types of mineral oil are highly purified and refined to meet the stringent quality standards set by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Hence, from their original petroleum derivative form, they undergo numerous purifying and refining processes to be rendered safe and acceptable for industrial use.

Role of Mineral Oil in Cosmetic products

Mineral oil is an ingredient that serves as a preserving agent and assists in retaining moisture. Aside from moisturizing skin creams and lotions, it is also used on skin supplements, foundations, and makeups that are intended for use on dry skin. Its solvent properties are honed when it is used on cleansers and other liquid formula that are intended to use in removing oil-based makeup and in removing the accumulated dust and dirt on oily skin types. On beauty treatments, it is an agent that enables the skin to absorb UV rays without drying the skin.

Mineral Oil Explained

With the discovery that mineral oil is derived from petroleum, there has been a concern on how safe it is to be used on the skin. With similar compositions to oils used as engine and equipment lubricants, there has been a concern on whether or not it is actually harsh or toxic on the skin. As mentioned earlier, different grades of mineral oil are used for different applications. For instance, on makeup and skin creams and lotions, only cosmetic-grade mineral oil are used, the type of mineral oil ingredient that is approved by the FDA. The fact that FDA approves the use of mineral oil means that it is safe. Such declaration follows stringent laboratory tests and studies on its actual effect and benefits on the skin or health.

Don't believe the hype

Cosmetic-grade mineral oil went through a series of purification and refining measures to totally remove its contaminants. It has through a series of quality assurance measures to meet the exacting standards and specifications required by the manufacturers and in compliance with the FDA mineral oil regulations. In the study published by the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, the mineral oil that qualifies as cosmetic-grade, pharmaceutical-grade and food-grade have excellent records of safety. Numerous articles in medical literature have proven that it is non-comedogenic, as some people claim. Meaning, they do not clog pores and cause comedones such as blackheads and whiteheads. With that, it is safe to agree that FDA-approved forms of mineral oil are safe and highly useful.

So the next time you buy your lotion or makeup, do not get easily be lulled by "mineral-oil-free ads" because it sure makes no sense in the cosmetic or dermatologic standpoint.

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