I have recently been have an inner battle with myself as to whether I should allow mineral oil (paraffinum liquidum & petrolatum) in my hair and skin care products.
It is found in things like baby oil, moisturisers, hair moisturisers and conditioner.
One thing that I am sure about is that it is not absorbed AT ALL!!!
Other than that it does not have any good or bad properties and is not harmful at all unless you ingest it, in which case it may prevent nutrient absorption.
It will coat your skin or hair and form a layer around it that prevents water from going in or out. I guess this is great if you want to seal in moisture however it requires a surfactant to remove. This is bad news for my hair as I only plan on shampooing once a month and mineral oil can cause build up on the second day of use.
As for my skin, well since I shower/bathe every other day, build up on my skin is not a problem. I have used baby oil (which is basically mineral oil with a bit of scent) on my skin as a moisturiser and it did not absorb onto my skin at all. However I have decided that I don't mind it in moisturisers as long as they absorb into my skin.
So what we have here is the N-spa body lotion. I bought it in ASDA for 1.50 but it's usually £3 (aren't I lucky)
It contains paraffinum liquidum and petrolatum at the top of the ingredients list however it absorbed into my skin faster than another body lotion that also contains mineral oil at the top of the ingredients list. This was the I Love...lemons and limes body lotion. It was sticky, didn't spread well, and didn't absorb quickly either.
I also don't get on with the I Love... body butters however their hand creams are lovely and possibly the best ones I've come across which also contain mineral oil. This n-spa lotion was much better that the I Love.... body lotion and smells divine. This body lotion also spread easily and made my skin incredibly soft, supple and shiny.
I guess mineral oil is not the determining factor of how good a body lotion is so I am no longer concerned with it being in my skin care products.
I also use baby oil to remove the last traces of make up on my face and since I am going to cleanse afterwards anyway I don't mind using it in that way since it will be removed by whatever surfactant is in my cleanser. It also makes the cleansing process much more gentle on my face which usually feels relatively softer when I do use it before cleansing.
However I do not recommend using baby oil or pure mineral oil as a moisturiser. It does no good to the skin by itself and will end up on your clothes more so than your skin.
As for my hair products, well I think it would be better to avoid it. There is no way on earth that I am going to be shampooing my hair every 2 days to remove build up as I think that will do more harm than good. It looks like the oil moisturiser I just bought is going into the product reject box. It's just as well I'm not using the product shown below because I din't like the smell of it too much. I cost £2.50 ish but it will take quite some convincing to make one of my sisters adopt it.
When I think about it, most of the products that I have used in the past probably contained mineral oil which would explain the greasy build up they used to give me.
This ingredients business is really starting to hurt my wallet as I am throwing/giving away more products than what I am keeping and I'm getting sick of it. I really do hope that this is it for a while now because I genuinely only have enough to cover my body and skin care and most of my hair care. I am struggling to find a good deep conditioner/mask and a moisturiser/styler.
Hope you found this interesting or informative, there is some good info on mineral oil on the naturally curly website, links here: