Mineral oil may sound plain and simple, but it actually offers a wide range of health benefits.
In this article:
- What Is Mineral Oil?
- What Is Mineral Oil Good For?
- Is Mineral Oil Dangerous? Are There Side Effects from Using It?
- Is Mineral Oil Bad for Your Skin?
- How Do You Use Mineral Oil on Your Skin?
Everything You Need to Know About Mineral Oil
What Is Mineral Oil?
Mineral oil is a transparent and odor-free liquid. It comes from the same raw materials used to make gasoline.
It’s a natural byproduct of processed, refined, and purified crude oil. When crude oil is processed into other useful products, like gasoline or kerosene, it produces mineral oils.
High-quality mineral oil can be used on its own. It’s also a common ingredient in a wide range of everyday products.
What Is Mineral Oil Good For?
Mineral oil has a variety of applications. These include medical, skin care, personal care, and even cleaning uses.
Mineral oil benefits include the following:
1. Moisturizes Skin
Mineral oil is a popular ingredient in skin care products. Studies show that it benefits the skin in two important ways:
- softens the skin
- improves the skin’s barrier function
It works as a moisturizer by softening the skin. As a natural sealant, it also helps prevent dry skin as it keeps the skin from losing that moisture.
By improving the skin’s barrier function, it helps prevent dry skin, which can lead to other skin irritations such as itchiness, discomfort, and infection.
2. Promotes Localized Wound Healing
People with skin conditions which involve dry and cracked skin, such as eczema and psoriasis, may benefit from using mineral oils. Mineral oils don’t only hydrate your skin, but studies show it also helps promote quicker wound healing.
3. Improves Hair Appearance
Research shows that unlike other oils, mineral oil doesn’t get absorbed as quickly into hair fibers. One of the advantages of this is it makes it easier for you to spread the oil on your hair.
It can help liven up dry and dull locks and also help tame wild and frizzy hair. With just a few drops, you can have glamorous and glossy hair.
4. Strengthens Hair
The previous research also shows regularly applying oil on hair can enhance lubrication and prevent hair breakage. On top of that, another study shows mineral oil can help prevent the formation of split-ends.
It also gives the hair a “film effect” which creates a protective barrier that helps prevent friction. Hair friction can tangle your hair, which may lead to further hair damage.
5. Soothes Cradle Cap
Cradle cap is a condition which commonly occurs among babies. It involves red crusty patches on the baby’s scalp.
Experts recommend using mineral oil to help soften the scales on the crusty patches. After applying the oil, shampoo it off and brush off any excess residue to help avoid further build-up.
6. Helps with Dandruff Management
Applying oil on the scalp is a common way to treat adolescent and adult dandruff. Unfortunately, if the dandruff is caused by the Malassezia yeast, it may be counterproductive to treat it with organic oils because this yeast can digest their fatty acids.
Feeding the Malassezia yeast with fatty acids may trigger an inflammatory response and lead to more dandruff. Instead, researchers recommend trying non-digestible oils, like mineral oils.
7. Eases Constipation
Apart from the topical application of mineral oil, certain prescribed amounts can be ingested for medical purposes. Specifically, studies show it’s actually a good laxative.
Mineral oil laxative can emulsify and lubricate fecal masses to help induce bowel movements.
Note: Remember, before you try any kind of medical treatment, it’s best to consult your doctor.
Is Mineral Oil Dangerous? Are There Side Effects from Using It?
Mineral oil is generally safe, but some people experience unwanted side effects, especially when they use it as a laxative. These side effects include:
- Gas and mild bloating
- Stomach cramps
- Skin irritation such as redness, stinging and burning
- Allergic skin reactions such as rashes, hives, and swelling
- Severe allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing and chest tightness
Aside from that, long-term use of mineral oil as an oral or rectal laxative may also have some unwanted side effects such as:
- malabsorption of vitamins
- anal seepage
- lipoid pneumonia
What is lipoid pneumonia? It is a medical condition which causes inflammation to the respiratory tract because fat enters the lungs.
If you experience any of these side effects, it’s important to consult your doctor right away.
Keep in mind that most of these side effects are more common when it’s ingested. Studies show that the topical application of mineral oil is safe.
Is Mineral Oil Bad for Your Skin?
As long as you’re not allergic to mineral oil, it’s good for your skin! Not only does it moisturize your skin and improve barrier functions, but research shows that cosmetic grade mineral oil is also a non-comedogenic substance.
What are non-comedogenic substances? These are substances that don’t block your pores. On the other hand, comedogenic substances are compounds that have the tendency to block your pores which may lead to skin problems such as blackheads, whiteheads, and acne.
How Do You Use Mineral Oil on Your Skin?
Rather than applying pure mineral oil directly on your skin, it’s more convenient to use skin care products that use cosmetic grade mineral oil as an ingredient. That way, you get to enjoy its benefits along with the other skin care ingredients’ nourishing properties—just like Purple Tea’s Firming Eye Cream!
Remember, the skin around your eyes is delicate and is more prone to show signs of skin aging such as wrinkling and sagging. So, it needs more than just a regular moisturizer.
This product doesn’t only contain mineral oil, but it also has purple tea extract. Purple tea is a super-ingredient that grows in the highlands of Kenya.
It has powerful anti-aging properties because it’s packed with antioxidants. In fact, it has two times more antioxidants than green tea!
The other ingredients include alpine rose stem cells, vitamins C, vitamin K, and lactic acid. When you put all these ingredients together, you have a product that has moisturizing, brightening, tightening, rejuvenating, firming, healing, and smoothening properties.
Mineral oil has a lot to offer, especially when it comes to skin care. So the next time you’re choosing a skin care product, find one that lists it as an ingredient!
Do you think your skin could benefit from mineral oil? What are your skin care concerns? Let us know in the comments section below.