Mineral oil is one of the most commonly used ingredients in beauty care products. So much so that recently, there has been an influx of information regarding this oil and its side effects. Also known as liquid petroleum, white mineral oil and paraffin oil, this substance has been used in over-the-counter beauty products for eons. What many people aren't aware of though is that it's also used in industries that use harmful chemicals regularly. The electrical, industrial and mechanical industry to name a few. If we think about it critically, would you want something on your face that's also used on or in a machine? Probably not.
Products like Vaseline and baby oil are part of the very fabric of our beauty product history. However, due to mineral oil, that's starting to shift and change, as more and more information is being uncovered about the substance and potential health concerns linked to its usage. One of the reasons that this oil should be avoided is because it acts as a barrier on the skin, which prevents the skin from breathing as it is meant to. This will cause pores to be blocked, so oil and dirt will be trapped against the surface of the skin with nowhere to go. This leads to breakouts and a myriad of skin issues. The barrier that the oil leaves the skin encased in has often been compared to plastic wrap. Not good.
Mineral oil is also known to be dangerous because it can so easily be contaminated. Because it is used in so many different industries and forms, it is available in different grades. The lowest grade is obviously the least pure, which means that it can easily be contaminated by incredibly toxic and harmful chemicals. Due to its multifaceted use, it often is mixed and exposed to different toxins. In a study conducted back in 2011, the National Toxicology Program found that traces of mineral oil could accurately be deemed a carcinogen based on sufficient evidence that was uncovered regarding contamination in their study. This means it can pose an increased risk to cancer. That's incredibly scary.
In addition to this already daunting information, it has also been proven that mineral oil has no positive benefits on your skin. It doesn't provide the skin with any type of vitamin or even moisturize it. So essentially there's nothing in the product that will nourish or revive or even benefit your skin at all. The only function it carries is as a sealant. But as such, it locks the skin up and away from other ingredients and products that would have holistic and nourishing effects. So essentially mineral oils sole purpose is to act as a filler for beauty products and because it's so inexpensive, it's used so readily and commonly.
We should demand more from our skincare products. We should hold manufacturers and companies responsible for the ingredients they use, and once information is released regarding specific health hazard, companies should do their due diligence to change the formula and eliminate the toxic ingredient from its products.
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