Mineral Oil. Petroleum.
Being in this beauty blogging community you hear & see those words and warning signs, skulls, exclamation marks are throwing up in front of your eyes. Steer clear!! They don't help the skin it coats what it touches and don't allow anything to breathe. One of the biggest person I heard mentioning mineral oils was Caroline Hirons and the points she brings up are true, it is cheap and it's normally put into products as a filler and also because it doesn't oxidize your products can have a longer shelf life. It's also colourless and fragrance free making it a top option to put into products. Mineral Oil also known as soft paraffin, is the liquid form of petrolatum.
Where does mineral oil come from?
Mineral oil comes from crude oil, this is true but that does not mean it possesses the same properties or even similar that you'll find in petrol. "Crude oil is formed when biological material (from algae and plankton) gets buried under the sea. Over millions of years, the pressure transforms the carbon-containing compounds in the once-living tissue into the carbon-containing compounds which make up crude oil."
Paraffin wax which you'll find in most candles come from mineral oil but we all know that petrol and flammable components do not mix. Just because it comes from the same original source doesn't mean it's act, look or be the same. Cosmetic grade mineral oil isn't comedogenic, industrial mineral oil on the other hand is comedogenic.
"John Hopkins University named mineral oil in cosmetics and moisturisers as the number two cause of aging (first being direct exposure to sun). It may also cause allergic reactions and dryness, as well as promote acne and other skin disorders."
According to this study in 2005 we shouldn't look for products that say they are 'mineral oil free' but 'non comedogenic' (doesn't block the pores). Mineral oil doesn't cause breakouts as once thought. Like a lot of statements to come out of the 70's such as sunbathing in baby oil, we shouldn't be quick to follow blindly ones views. Mineral oil does sit on the skin but it also moisturises, if you suffer from dry skin your not going to get much benefit from mineral oil because your skin lacks water to begin with so there's not much to retain. Our skin does not breathe, we are not amphibians but our skin does absorb such things as vitamins and some oxygen. Our skin is there as a cover to protect our organs from harmful toxins & the environment.
-Marilyn Monroe was known to smoother her face in petroleum jelly & even layer her powder on top.
Man-made vs Natural
There are labs around the world that are developing these new marketing ploys that help wrinkles, fight anti-aging, trying to source that fountain of youth in a chemical. I was looking at the Charlotte Tilbury Magic Cream ingredients and noticed she has an Swiss patented bio-nymph peptide ingredient, made in a Swiss laboratory. Researching this ingredient it's derived from the South American tobacco plant (which is the parent plant of the plant that tobacco is sourced from). Let's not forget that chemistry is everywhere in ingredients, natural ingredients don't come with a list of ingredients but what if they did this post was interesting and backed up the fact that even natural ingredients are essentially a chemical too. Don't get me wrong, I love to use natural products on my skin but I've also used products that have told me they help spots / acne and broke me out even more! Our own skin reacts differently to someone else. Follow with caution and find out what's best for you. I'm not saying everyone needs to now go ahead and use mineral oil but why is it that such things as mineral oil that is man-made is automatically labelled toxic? Some essential oils are labelled toxic even Parsley in high doses can be abortive in pregnant women. Dosages for essential oils have to be taken note of! Man-made - natural. It's all a chemical! Is there scaremongering tactics by companies and the media?
Dispelling The Myth!
I'm just trying to dispel myths for my own sake, Natural products work well for me but I wouldn't 100% snub a product that has mineral oil in. Sometimes I feel we've got people who have become name brand & price tag snobs and will look upon others who use budget products as less than. I've seen it and it happens. Everyone loves to see luxury and god forbid if you use Nivea instead of Crème de la Mer (even though one of the highest ingredients is Petroleum) it costs no more to make it's just a fancy name brand. I look at it is when I was younger I was bathed and moisturised in products with mineral oils of cosmetic variations and I never suffered with acne or any skin problems.
I just stress to DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH before firmly saying it's this and that because a few people said so and it's worked for them, look for yourself if you're so concerned, look at how your skin reacts and judge from your own point of view. You might just be saying it's the mineral oil in the product that broke you out, instead of the combination of the ingredients as a whole. Note:- I used a natural facial toner and I was burned by it, the company was helpful and did tests and did say that it could of been the combination of other products I used with it that gave it that reaction (read more here). Every industry man-made / tested on animals / organic would love you to think theirs is the better option, that's how money is made. This depends on how deeply you want to look into this and the trust you have in companies. I've heard mineral oil has been linked to cancer and it's very divided We never know what they could be putting into our skin products (medicines, food etc.) it's just our own trust and opinions on these things - after research.