The information we know about mineral oil was according to our parents, the television, and, gossips. Variety of cosmetics use it as an emollient ingredient for their products. It is time to know what is this ingredient that we are applying to our skin. Let us break down the myths and facts about mineral oil.
First, what is mineral oil?
Like petroleum products and gasoline, mineral oil is a byproduct of a highly-refined and super purified crude oil. It is important for mineral oil to be super purified and highly refined because it is used as an ingredient for a lot of industrial products and services. If this product is just lightly treated and not processed thoroughly, components of it might cause cancer. Mineral oil has many uses. In biomedicine, it is used as a laxative. It can also be utilized for cell culture and veterinary medicine. Mineral oil is highly revered in the cosmetics section. Its moisturizing content is a favorite among cosmetic products. This product is used too in mechanical, electrical, and food industries.
Myths and Facts about Mineral Oil
Can Mineral Oil Clog Your Pores?
You may have heard somewhere in a YouTube channel that oil in general clogs pores. What more if that oil is coming from a petroleum product? This is a myth and has simply no scientific basis. Mineral oil is composed of overly large molecules to penetrate and deposit itself on the skin’s pores. It is such a popular product in the cosmetic and skincare industry because of its ability to moisturize.
However, two people are never alike. Some people might have an allergic reaction to mineral oil. Dermatologists assure the public though that mineral oil is safe and has a low potential to cause an allergy. Yes, mineral oil is safe but we should take precaution too in using it. For example, it may be true that mineral oil has overly large molecules to clog pores but piling up a large amount of it without cleaning your face might clog it anyway.
Can Mineral Oil Cause the Early Aging of your Skin?
No. Mineral oil is an effective moisturizer judging from the cosmetic products, manufacturers infused it with. Mineral oil covers the skin like a sheet or mask. It acts as a barrier from the external foreign contents of air. It also works as a retainer of water to your skin so it will be hydrated and moisturized.
Is it Safe to Use as a Stool Softener?
Effectivity-wise, yes it is but not entirely safe. Hard stools are painful in bowel movement. It could get worse like the patient obtaining hemorrhoids (inside-anal fissures/wound). Mineral oil might help if you take it orally as a laxative. It retains water to the stools, so when it comes out, the feces is smooth and intact. However, if your body becomes accustomed to it, your bowel movement and digestion might depend on it too much. This will lead to a more hardened stool. The oil might also leak from your anus and absorb fat-soluble vitamins. Mineral oil as a stool softener for children and old aged-people might not be ideal too.
Is it Effective in Eliminating Earwax?
Yes. Its moisturizing powers soften the earwax build-up. Douche a generous amount of mineral oil in your cotton bud. Gently clean your ears with it. You may practice this every other two days to prevent build up. The cotton bud with the mineral oil might not entirely scrape off the earwax in one go but it encourages its elimination every time we talk, chew or move our head. Do not self medicate and attempt to use mineral oil for earaches. Go to your doctor and he or she will recommend what you can do about it.
Can Mineral Oil Give You Cancer?
No. Mineral oil is not a carcinogenic substance. It is a highly purified oil. That means, during the refining process, there is elimination of possible carcinogens and toxins. The US FDA regulates mineral oil products and even attests to the purity of mineral oil. There is no published report or medical journal linking cancer and mineral oil.
Mineral Oil Infused Products Prevent the Entrance of Vitamins and Collagen into your skin
No. Collagen has large molecules for it to completely enter the skin’s pores. The entrance of collagen molecules to your skin is the collagen’s problem and mineral oil is not to be blamed about it. Both vitamins and mineral are oil based. There is a misconception that since both are oil-based, mineral oil prevents the skin’s absorption of the essential vitamins. There is no confirmed medical journal or research to link the effect of declining vitamin level on the skin (body) because of the presence of mineral oil-based products.
Does Mineral Oil Damage your Hair?
No. It protects them from external foreign factors like dirt, frost, toxins and so on and so forth. It serves as a protective shield to the hair up to the cuticle. Moreover, it is great as a conditioner for the hair and triggers our hair’s natural oil to shine through.
Do Mineral Oil Have its Side Effects?
Yes. Like every good product out there whether it be synthetic or natural, there will always be side effects. Given the unique genetic differences of human beings, the side effects of mineral oil vary. It almost always is caused by misuse, abuse, and a simple allergy to mineral oil. Side effects of mineral oil include common to serious effects (mild diarrhea, bloating, gassy feeling, rectal bleeding, severe stomach cramps, severe diarrhea, hardening of the stools, and rashes). If you experience these symptoms (rectal bleeding, severe stomach cramps, severe diarrhea, hardening of the stools, and rashes) please seek out help from a doctor.
Mineral Oil is popular in the field of beauty and other industries. It has received backlashes these past few years. It has been associated with silicones and other ingredients that are not accepted for public consumption. Others believe that it is a good ingredient and when used correctly, will give astounding benefits. Yet, we need to be wary of the myths about it and try to correct our perception of it.