So, is mineral oil bad for your skin? Let’s find out. When it comes to skincare – and especially facial skincare- there is a lot of controversy over what’s right and what’s wrong. You might be surprised to learn that mineral oil has been used for decades in medicine as well as in cosmetics. In fact, mineral oil was first patented in 1871 for use as an emollient (the non-greasy stuff that moisturizes your skin by forming a barrier around it).
First let me explain what mineral oil is. It’s a super-hydrophobic (water-repelling) oil that is used in cosmetics for many different purposes. Let’s start with the medical usage of mineral oil: it’s all over the place!
Medical doctors and dentists use it as a solvent for medicine and instruments, as it penetrates well and keeps things sterile (and not just in hospitals). They also use mineral oil to make vitamins and other supplements. In fact, they use mineral oil to make cooking oil because it doesn’t spoil. It’s non-toxic and stores well.
Another common medical use is as a lubricant for dentures and for artificial joints, as it’s very compatible with the human body. It also has many uses in artificial skin surgery, as it’s an excellent lubricant and can keep the skin supple during recovery.
In the cosmetic world, mineral oil is used to dilute and dissolve ingredients for creams and lotions. It can also be used as a thick, non-greasy moisturizer.
The next question, of course, is whether mineral oil is bad for your skin? After all, if it’s commonly used in medicine, could it be a problem for you?
Well, the answer is this: mineral oil is not known to be a bad skin care ingredient as long as it’s not used in very high amounts. In fact, according to a study published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers & Prevention last year, mineral oil might have some of the same anti-cancer properties that olive oil does!
Benefits of using mineral oil on your skin
Mineral oil is very compatible with the human body, making it the perfect ingredient for medicine and skin care products. However, as a cosmetic ingredient, it’s mainly used for one purpose: to help other ingredients sink into the skin. That’s why you’ll find it in almost every moisturizer.
Mineral oil provides a protective barrier over your skin to prevent moisture loss and protect your face from external elements. The result of this is that your skin stays supple and healthy despite the fact that you’ve spent time in the sun or out in the cold.
Mineral oil is also an emollient (meaning it forms a barrier on your skin). That means it adds oil to your skin without making it feel oily. You also won’t experience any greasiness after using mineral oil because the ingredients get absorbed into your skin, not sitting on top of it.
Mineral oil can be used as a moisturizer and can be used as a make-up base, which is why it is often included in facial primer.
It is also known to be great for people with acne and other skin conditions. It might also have some anti-cancer properties, which makes it an amazing ingredient for your skin care products.