Does Mineral Oil Clog Pores?

Mineral oil can clog pores; it is comedogenic and thus can cause acne problems or block pores. The more refined mineral oil is, the less comedogenic it becomes. But there’s no way to know exactly what grade of mineral oil a cosmetic business used unless they are willing to divulge this information.

Also referred to as liquid petroleum, paraffin oil, or white mineral oil, it has long been used in many industries, including biomedicine, veterinary medicine, mechanical, electrical, and industrial. Despite its many applications nowhere is its use more debated more than in the cosmetics industry. It is a popular moisturizer in skin and hair products. People have used it for decades, and things like baby oil and Vaseline are old favorite applications. But lately, mineral oil has gotten a lot of bad press.

What is Mineral Oil?

A look at this petroleum product

Mineral oil is a colorless, odorless oil made from petroleum. It is a derivative of the distillation of petroleum to make gasoline. It’s been used as a common ingredient in lotions, creams, ointments, and cosmetics. It’s lightweight and cheap and helps reduce moisture loss from the skin. Plenty of standard beauty products have mineral oil for its hydrating properties, but there are also many brands that call out their avoidance of this ingredient.

Mineral oil is in a class of chemicals called hydrocarbons, which are compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen. Standard hydrocarbons are petrolatum, paraffin, and mineral oil, all of which are widely utilized as emollients because of their low volatility and soft texture when applied to the skin. This explains why mineral oil is so popular in skin care products, from pharmacy bargains to high-end prestige products. It locks in moisture to heal dry, inflamed skin and makes products feel silky-smooth and luxurious, because of the barrier effect it has on skin, mineral oil can also clog pores. Creams that have mineral oil and paraffin can damage the skin and increase moisture loss

Is Mineral Oil safe to use?

Yes. Like its relative petroleum jelly, min­eral oil is a cheap byproduct of refining crude oil. While the impuri­ties in untreated or lightly treated mineral oil mostly used in transmission fluid and gear oils, for example, are carcinogenic, these are removed when mineral oil is further refined for use in skin care products and sale in pharmacies.

Concerns regarding the use of Mineral oil

Mineral Oil may contain toxins

Mineral oil is available in different grades. At the bottom of this list, is “technical” grade mineral oil, which is used to grease engines and equipment. The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that this unpurified form contains contaminants linked in studies done to an increased risk of cancer. A 2011 report, stated that untreated and mildly treated paraffin oils are known to contain carcinogens based on enough evidence of carcinogenicity from studies done in humans. Cosmetics, on the other hand, apply “cosmetic grade” mineral oil, which is more refined than technical grade oil.

Studies done on Mineral oil

Studies have not connected this oil with cancer, but scientists have voiced concerns about its use. A 2011 study, reported that pollution could be a relevant source of “mineral oil contamination.” There is substantial evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the prominent contaminants of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 gram per person. Possible paths of contamination include air inhalation, food intake, and dermal absorption.

They went on to remove fat specimens from women who underwent cesarean sections and also accumulated milk samples from the women after giving birth. They determined that both the fat and milk samples contained mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons, and they concluded that these compounds likely accumulated over time from repeated use of products with the oil as an ingredient such as cosmetics.

An earlier 2008 study noted that it might be mineral oil contamination, but it had not been proven convincingly that this contaminant could be tolerated without health issues. It clear that the molecular mass of the mineral paraffin absorbed by our body is higher than what was assumed by the safety evaluation done. Also, a majority of the products are not just ‘white paraffin oils’: they contain at least 30% aromatic component, a substantial proportion being alkylated which adds to the health risk.

In simple terms, that means that these scientists are concerned that a lot of the mineral oil we are exposed to on a daily basis contains contaminants that could be detrimental to our health. But the subject has not been thoroughly researched to get conclusive evidence.

Mineral Oil can clogs pores

Mineral oil is regarded as a comedogenic substance, which means it can cause your pores to clog and increase the occurrence of acne and blackheads. The more it is refined, the less comedogenic it becomes, but there’s no way to know exactly what grade a cosmetic company used unless they are willing to divulge this information. The highest grade available is pharmaceutical grade, also known as mineral oil USP.

Even this high-grade paraffin oil can trap dirt in your pores, however, because the oil is an occlusive agent; meaning that it forms a corporal barrier over your skin to minimize moisture loss. So if you already have some bacteria on your skin, which is most likely the case, or if you have other ingredients in your product that are comedogenic, even the most refined mineral oil will keep all of that dirt close and tight to your skin, increasing chances of breakouts.

Mineral oil is not beneficial for the skin

Paraffin oil contains no nutrients, so other than being occlusive and potentially clogging your pores. It’s not giving hydration that goes into the skin where it counts. It’s sitting there on the top of the skin preventing moisture loss.

Today we have better alternatives. We have plant extracts, nut butter, natural oils, and more than provide more benefits, like essential fatty acids that plump up the skin, antioxidants to protect free radical damage, and nutrients to aid in maintaining skin firmness.

Why is mineral oil used in skincare products?

Mineral oil is a basic ingredient in skin care products due to its ability to prevent moisture loss. In this way, it is comparable to ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which also has just one purpose of drawing moisture to the treatment area.

However, this simplicity may lead some to underrate the benefits of mineral oil for the skin. Certainly, it may not have antioxidants or skin brightening attributes, but stopping moisture loss is a desirable property. This is especially true for persons who live in harsh environments with very cold, dry weather. In such cases, the benefits of other ingredients and mineral oil can be very helpful for skin.

Lastly, it’s important to note that skin care companies use mineral oil in skin care applications because of its low cost. By avoiding more expensive alternatives to this ingredient, the consumer has access to more low-cost skin care goods.

What Skin Care Products Contain Mineral Oil?

Mineral oil is added to many skin care products, like sunscreen, diaper cream, lip gloss, under eye cream, and deodorants, among others. It’s low cost, and ample availability makes it a popular ingredient with many manufacturers.

The side effects of Mineral Oil use in Skin Care

Though the oil may seem to be quite mild in skin care applications, it’s still important to note that some studies point to potential side effects. For instance, one of the concerns with this chemical is the potential for bioaccumulation. Its molecules are typically too large to enter the skin, regular use of products with this ingredient can cause them to accumulate in the body due to penetration through broken skin or because of use in lip balms. There isn’t definitive proof as to what long term effects this bioaccumulation can have. However, some investigations suggest that large quantities of mineral oil on the skin can lead to an allergic reaction and/or toxicity of the immune system. To avoid serious side effects, it’s vital to confer with a dermatologist before using mineral oil for skin care.

Can Mineral Oil Cause Cancer?

Misinformation about this ingredient has led to many articles on skin care blogs about how this ingredient is a potential carcinogen. However, mineral oil for skin care use is of a different type of purity than industrial grade mineral oil. It is all dependent on the refining process and the purity that is obtained during manufacturing. The oil that is refined for use in skin care products is much purer and does not contain carcinogens. The only time mineral oil that was derived for skin care purposes could have dangerous levels of cancer-causing chemicals is if there was an error in the manufacturing process, leading to impurities.

Does Mineral Oil Cause Acne?

Another common worry with mineral oil in skin care is whether it can clog pores, thereby resulting in acne. Unfortunately, the data on this inherent side effect is inconclusive. Some skin care experts suggest that because there is no way for mineral oil to cause acne if the pure form of this chemical is used. However, others cite weak evidence that this petroleum derivative may cause problems when used in large quantities.

Myths and facts about mineral oil

Ever heard that mineral oil can dry out your skin, and even result in premature aging? Mineral oil is one of the most used oils in skin care products, but it often gets bad claims. Below are important truths and myths about mineral oil.

How to tighten skin?

To make our skin tighter, eat healthily, exfoliate your skin, limit UV exposure, and use

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