Tag Archives: carcinogenic

The Truth about Mineral Oil

Woman looking into a microscope

There’s been much debate about whether or not the colorless, odorless mineral oil is actually good for skin, and the answer seems to vary depending on who you ask. However, there are quite a few fans out there, and with good reason. For a long time, mineral oil has been used as part of many a beauty regimen and using it has numerous benefits including helping to make the skin feel softer. Here are some truths that you should know about mineral oil so you can make a choice about whether or not you feel it’s the right product for you.

Highly Refined
Mineral oil is made from petroleum, specifically, it’s a product result of distilling of petroleum. It is one main reasons why some are turned off even before using it. Even the association is enough to have them choose something else. However, mineral oils that are used in beauty products are purified and highly refined, which leads to…

Mineral Oil and Cancer
The extensive purification process that mineral oil goes through allows it to be completely safe for use in beauty products. According to the Report on Carcinogens, Thirteenth Edition on the National Toxicology Program site of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, mineral oils that are untreated and mildly treated are “known to be human carcinogens.” There are different grades of mineral oil, and while some are untreated or mildly treated, those in beauty products are, as previously stated, purified and highly refined. According to the World Health Organization International Agency for Research on Cancer on their List of Classifications, Volumes 1 – 115 page, “Mineral oils, untreated or mildly treated” are labeled as Group 1 while “Mineral oils, highly-refined” are labeled as Group 3. According to their classification system, Group 1 is described as “Carcinogenic to humans” while Group 3 is described as “Not classifiable as to its carcinogenicity to humans.”

Mineral Oil and Acne
Another one of the biggest debates regarding mineral oil is that it blocks pores and could cause acne. One of the best ways to tell about the chances of that happening is to look at its comedogenic rating. The system ranges from 0 which means that the oil won’t clog pores to a 5 which means that there’s a very high chance of the oil clogging your pores. When it comes to the comedogenic rating of mineral oil, it has a score of 0. So you really don’t have to worry about acne and breakouts while using skincare products which use mineral oil.

The Feel of Mineral Oil
Mineral oil can feel greasy (some will be put off by the feel more than others), so if you have oily skin, it may not feel particularly comfortable to use, but on other skin types, it shouldn’t feel off-putting. To see how it might feel on your skin, do a patch test instead of immediately slathering it all over your skin. It can also give you a good idea about whether the mineral oil and your skin are compatible.

There are several myths out there about mineral oil, but the truth is that many people who use it won’t experience problems, and instead, can reap the benefits of using it. If you’re thinking of using mineral oil on your skin, it is best to consult your dermatologist first. This is an especially important step if you have skin sensitivities or you’re taking medication. You want to make sure you don’t do anything that could cause your skin to get irritated, so a quick and simple conversation with your dermatologist work wonders and also let you reap the benefits of mineral oil.