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The words mineral oil, paraffinum and petroleum don’t sound like they belong in cosmetic and skincare products, do they? They certainly don’t evoke feelings of nourishment, health or healing either.

Petrolatum (better known as petroleum jelly) & mineral oil are, in fact, petrochemicals (i.e. crude oil derivatives) and both these nasty products are commonly found in the age-old aqueous creams and vapour rubs which many moms have sworn by for generations. A detailed review of these ingredients has revealed that, far from benefitting the skin, they are dangerous, and are harmful to the environment too. It is well known that the petrochemical industry is one of the greatest contributors to environmental destruction and global warming. Whatever your feeling about using these products on your skin, their negative environmental impact alone should be reason enough to avoid using them in any personal care products.

What is it? Mineral oil is a colourless and odourless by-product of the distillation of petroleum to make gasoline/petrol. It’s long been a common ingredient in lotions, creams, ointments, and cosmetics. It is lightweight and inexpensive and can help reduce water loss from the skin. This is one of the reasons its been on our shelves for so long. However, petrochemicals only create the ‘perception’ of moisture, they don’t actually moisturise. They sit on the surface of the skin, instead of being absorbed. Once the product has gone, the need for moisture returns, slowly creating an addiction to the ingredient. We’d understand if you feel you were being tricked by this, as it is not a solution for dry skin at all.

Environmental impact aside, is it really that bad to use these ingredients on our bodies? Well, depending on the grade of mineral oil (which is hard to know unless the company is willing to tell you), you’re looking at differing degrees of toxin contamination. Mineral oils also clog pores and create dermal irritations. They are of no value to you at all. Shea butter and coconut oil are nutrient-rich alternatives with far better outcomes.

Given the plethora of natural ingredients which are wonderfully beneficial to you, why would you choose to spend time and money on products that are in no way feeding or nourishing your skin?

Be inspired and enlightened! Use the knowledge we’ve been gifted with to make informed decisions – it’s time to choose better!


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