We recently noted an article about mineral oil as an ingredient in lipsticks* and why it should not be used. Lip products often contain ingredients that those of us in the natural and organic products industry would prefer to avoid.
One particular ingredient is mineral oil – a mixture of complex saturated hydrocarbons hydrocarbons.
Once upon a time, we (yes, that includes the DLG Naturals team) used to slather mineral oil on our skin after too many hours in the sun, or massaging sore muscles for that nice, slick attribute it offers, or on baby’s bottom (we use natural oils now, including Ximena).
While mineral oil has been a commonly used ingredient in many skin care products, there are several reasons why you might choose to avoid it:
- Potential pore clogging: Mineral oil is classified as a comedogenic substance, meaning it has the potential to clog pores. This can lead to the development of acne or worsen existing acne-prone skin conditions. And who wants acne on their lips! Yuck!
- Lack of nutrient value: Mineral oil is derived from petroleum and is essentially a byproduct of the oil refining process. It does not provide any significant nutritional benefits to the skin and merely acts as a barrier on the skin’s surface. Consequently, it does not deliver essential vitamins, minerals, or other beneficial ingredients – applied topically or consumed (blah… no one recommends that!).
- Occlusive nature: Mineral oil forms a film on the skin, creating a barrier that can inhibit the skin’s natural processes and hinder moisture regulation, potentially leading to dryness and dependence on the product. (Ever find yourself using that lip chap stick frequently during dry, cold weather, and it does not seem to help? Maybe it has mineral oil in it.)
- Potential sensitivity and irritation: Although mineral oil is considered relatively inert and has low allergenic potential, certain people can still develop adverse reactions. (Note, however, that products with mineral oil usually have other ingredients. Could be one of those causing the reaction.)
- Alternative ingredients: Many skin care brands offer plant-based alternatives that include natural and organic certified oils and butters, such as DLG Natural’s Marula oil, Nilotica shea butter, Kalahari melon oil, and other ingredients that offer nourishment and hydration to the skin. (A blog article promoting DLG Natural products? Who would have thought!)
* Some DIY lipstick recipes call for crayons to add color. However, some crayons contain parafin, which is made petroleum, coal, or oil shale.
Better to leave the crayons to the kids and their works of art.