I am often asked to explain why I am opposed to the widespread use of Mineral Oil in skincare products. To fully answer these questions, I’ve compiled the following information (gleaned from numerous articles as well as my own opinions) to explain the harmful effects of this toxic ingredient. I hope you find this information helpful and that you share it with anyone using personal care products containing Mineral Oil.
1. Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil: yes, you are absorbing this into your body if you use any product containing Mineral Oil. Considering the numerous Oil wells around the world, Mineral Oil is inexpensive (it costs more to dispose of it than to produce it). Although I tend to be pessimistic when it comes to the Beauty and Oil industries, I believe they’ve discovered a way to dispose of it while making a multi-billion dollar profit ~ make it a key ingredient in skincare products. The Beauty Industry is a multi-billion dollar organization aligned with the Oil Industry. They lobby Washington on their behalf, not ours. (Fact, not opinion).
2. Mineral Oil is foreign to the human body and acts as a thin plastic layer on the skin: the skin has difficulty absorbing Mineral Oil and inhibits its ability to breathe and eliminate sweat, oil and toxins. It also clogs the pores leading to acne and other skin problems and can also prevent skin cells from developing normally.
3. Once Mineral Oil is absorbed it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract: once present in the intestinal tract, Mineral Oil absorbs all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there, stealing important vitamins from the body. If absorbed into the skin by habitual use (daily moisturizing) it may affect the functioning of the liver. The liver works extremely hard to break down Mineral Oil and may not be able to break down toxins efficiently ~ leading to poor health and a weakened immune system.
4. Baby oil, Vaseline (petroleum jelly) and baby lotions all contain Mineral Oil: Petroleum jelly and Mineral Oil (its liquid equivalent) attach to your cells and are not water soluble thus difficult to eliminate causing buildup in various organs. The oxygen and nutrients the skin needs are blocked by the barrier created by petroleum. (Consider if Johnson & Johnson cares about babies or sales).
Note: Long ago I learned a valuable lesson while trying to procure “a deal” on an ingredient. The ingredient is exquisite, organic, and thoughtfully crafted by women in Africa. My phone call resulted in “the straw that broke the back” of its supplier. She told me (actually she yelled at me) “if you’re getting a deal someone and someplace is not getting a deal”. I never forgot our conversation (we’ve since become friends) and I understood that if I got a deal “someone and someplace” paid the price.
Yes, mass-produced skincare offered by CVS, Wal-Mart or other chain stores is inexpensive. I can’t compete with their pricing nor will I embrace their practices. As an example, my moisturizers cost approximately $20.00 and last 60/days (.30 cents/day). I’m guessing here, moisturizers at chain stores cost around $9.00? Can we pronounce the ingredients? Do we know what they are? What ecosystem was polluted in its sourcing? What machine made it? What “umbrella” corporation actually owns the product and what their practices are?
To exemplify the difference: my business, ethics and ingredients are an open book (as are my suppliers). My website is powered by wind; I’m close to zero waste in the office; I procure ingredients from suppliers with ethical standards (who hold numerous awards for sustainable and green practices); my ingredients are pure plant materials which provide vital nourishment for the skin. Remember, the skin absorbs. Applying plant based skincare we absorb plant nutrients; applying skincare containing Mineral Oil we absorb the by-product of crude oil.
With respect, I carry the mantle “it’s expensive” while attempting to educate consumers on the far reaching benefits of moisturizing with plant material (vs.) the by-product of crude oil. As a woman formulating Organic skincare, I don’t procure ingredients or offer products that incite wars, encourage divisiveness, destroy ecosystems, inhibit a woman’s ability to send her child to school, and I will never encourage you to moisturize with a by-product of crude oil.
If something is “cheap”, it is. Our ecosystems and quality of life have paid its true price.
What we procure not only affects us, but all life.
We’re in this together. Our purchasing power is extremely powerful.
Peace on Earth and Goodwill towards all
Elise Muller, Proprietor / Artisan ~ www.mountain-spirit-botanicals.com