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Mineral Oil- friend or foe for your skin and health?

Updated on January 2, 2013

Tired of reading labels

Tell me if you can relate to this scenario- I'm standing in the store and looking at the shelf. I want to get a good product and scan the price tags. I see the least expensive, the most expensive, and the middle of the road price tags. The penny pincher in me wants to just pick up the least expensive product and throw it in my cart and not dwell on it. The mom in me wants to make sure that the item I'm buying is worth it's weight in gold, so to speak. What is it about becoming a mom that makes you look at everything through a different lense?

My Lense

My lense changed very quickly one day. What I thought was a clear lense that I was looking through was in fact a lense distorted by advertising and propaganda. As a new mom, I'd been given the typical shampoos, lotions, and ointments by friends and family. With my pregnant brain focused on nesting and my penny-pincher mentality, I didn't even think twice about looking at the ingredients in these products. I mean, these are the companies that moms have known and trusted for years. After my baby was born and I brought her home, I gave her some of her first baths and put these trusted shampoos and lotions on her soft little baby skin.

To my horror and dismay, she broke out in a rash. What did I do? Why, of course, I thought her skin was dry and put more of this lotion on. The rash only got worse. So, I of course called the pediatrician in a panic. My imagination was running wild. She must have some terrible infection.

Of course, after examining her, the pediatrician assured me that she did not have an infection or anything unusual. She just had sensitive skin. Of course, he threw out words like eczema and contact dermatitis, which can make any new mom feel like their child is doomed for life.

He recommended using some so-called gentle cleansers (see the link below about one of these gentle cleansers) and some anti-itch creams to soothe her skin and sent us home with some samples. Of course, we followed his advice and I slathered her little body with this cream and lotion to get rid of the eczema. It took some time, but the really bad patches did go away (I know now that they went away because I was using the lesser of two evils). He also told me to only give her a bath once or twice a week, especially during the winter months.

Her skin cleared up for the most part but still had some dry spots that would appear. Knowing what I know now, I should've never used the gentle cleansers he recommended because they are full of toxins themselves. My baby showed reactions on her skin that made it apparent that something was wrong. The majority of people's skin don't show these types of reactions to these same products and one would logically conclude that the products are fine and that select people just have sensitive skin. I would argue that these products are not fine, but are in fact very harmful to the body and that most people have no idea what they are in fact putting on their skin.

Years ago, I thought that I used healthy products and that I took care of my body. I thought that our products were safe and were rigorously tested. After being educated about the ingredients in products and what such things as mineral oil actually was, I was astonished!


No Way!

Mineral oil sounds healthy because minerals are good for you, right? Yes, minerals are good for you, but mineral oil is not what it sounds like. I have become very passionate about helping to educate others and pass on the information that I'm so glad I learned just a few short years ago.

Are you ready for the shocker? Mineral oil is in fact a by-product of petroleum. That’s right, the stuff that we use to make gasoline to fuel our vehicles. The worst part is that mineral oil (or one of it's synonyms) can be found in just about every lotion that you find in the stores.

Go into your bathroom and look on the ingredient list and you will see that not only is it on there, but it is first. Being the first ingredient means that it is the largest percentage in the product.

Okay, so you might ask yourself- is it really that bad for you? Absolutely! Mineral oil sits on the surface of your skin and does not allow your skin to breathe. Why is that bad? In order for your skin to function as it was designed, it needs to be able to breathe. The mineral oil acts as if you put saran wrap on your skin. Not only is the lotion not going to moisturize your skin, but it’s going to trap any toxins inside your skin instead of being able to be excreted through sweat.

During the winter especially, do you find yourself constantly lathering yourself with lotion and yet your hands are still dry and maybe even cracking? My friends, mineral oil is the biggest culprit. Since mineral oil sits on the surface of the skin, it does not truly moisturize and soak into all of the layers of the dermis, leading to a temporary moisture barrier.

You know what’s even more interesting? In Europe, mineral oil is not allowed to be put into personal care products. In fact, in Switzerland, mineral oil is illegal in the hospitals. That's because they understand how bad mineral oil is and understand that the last thing you want to do to someone who is already fighting an illness is to expose them to anything unhealthy.


You might ask yourself- why is it in all of our products? Guess what it always comes down to...MONEY! Mineral oil only costs a dollar per gallon whereas essential oils (the good stuff that comes from nature) can cost up to $100 per gallon.

The sad part is that people will spend lots of money on “premium” skincare and yet it still has mineral oil in it. Not only is it not going to get good results, but it can also be causing harm to your body.

Now, mineral oil is just one ingredient that is troublesome. If the companies are willing to skimp on such an important ingredient, what else are they willing to risk?

55 Synonyms for Mineral Oil

Adepsine Oil
Bayol 55
Bayol F
Blandol White Mineral Oil
Cable Oil
Carna 21
Crystal 325
Electrical Insulating Oil
Heat-treating Oil
Hydraulic Oil
Hydrocarbon Solvents
Jute Batching Oil
Lignite Oil
Liquid Paraffin
Lubricating Oil
Mineral Seal Oil
Oil Mist
Paraffin Oil
Paraffin Oil, Saturated
Primol 355
Tech Pet F
Triona B

A table containing 55 synonyms for Mineral Oil


Our rate of disease and cancer has grown astronomically in the last 20 years. Why is that? The EPA says it is because of all of the new toxins that are being introduced into our environment.

Think about all of the things that we put on our skin and body. When you put lotion on your skin or shampoo in your hair, those things are being absorbed straight into your bloodstream.

Think about the latest craze with eating organic food. People are worried about all of the chemicals that are in their food (as they should be). One positive concerning the food we eat is that our liver eliminates toxins from our body. At least when we ingest something toxic, we have an organ that is responsible for getting it out of our body so it doesn’t harm us.

However, when we put things on our skin, it is absorbed without a filter into our bodies. So, when we buy cheap, and even expensive or prescription creams, we can be poisoning our bodies without even realizing it.


Unfortunately, the tireless job of reading labels is necessary. As long as the majority of companies are more concerned about their bottom-line instead of their consumers' health and wellness, we will continue to have to read product labels indefinitely.

It is possible to find products that don't contain mineral oil, but it does take a little work. I now use products that use essential oils (oils extracted from plants) that truly moisturize and benefit our skin. I no longer have to examine labels for the majority of the products I use and can trust that what we're using is safe and good for our bodies.

I am extremely grateful that I stumbled upon this wisdom and can help my family to be healthy and well. Although I love to find ways to save money, I've come to the conclusion that sacrificing my health and the health of those that I love is a sacrifice I'm just not willing to take.

If it means that we have to eat out less and have less money to spend on things, then that's find by me. At the end of the day, I can know that I've attempted to do the best I can to give my children the best. They may not have the latest and greatest toys, but their little bodies are not gunked up with processed foods and toxic sludge.

I hope that after reading this hub, you will think twice when looking at the ingredients in the products that you buy and use and will become more aware of what you put on your skin.

* Be sure to take a look at the links below for more information about ingredients besides mineral oil that may be in the products you're using.

What do you think is most important when choosing products?

See results


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    • Lovely Day Treasures profile image


      2 months ago from Wisconsin

      I'm diggin on your articles hardcore FYI :)

      This one stood out to me mainly because I use mineral oil on my wooden cutting boards. I wonder if this is a bad decision yet I'm unsure of what else to use. Do you have any suggestions or information about using it for this purpose?

      I'd like to add that I stopped using lotions about 6 years ago in favor of coconut oil and I haven't looked back. You can get a huge container of organic coconut oil from Costco for like $15 (I think) and it lasts for a long time. I use it to make sugar scrubs that I use in the shower and they are so nice and hydrating. They do make the shower a little slippery but it helps motivate you to keep your shower clean (haha). If you're interested I am going to post an article with my sugar scrub recipes soon. The thing is I always thought I had sensitive skin because I would use all these products and nothing seemed to work. This goes especially for facial care. Well one day I was skimming through some things on Pinterest and I came across the idea of washing your face with coconut oil. It seemed totally counterproductive and it actually took a few months for it to start working for me. But after spending hundreds of dollars on all these fancy products that were supposed to get rid of acne (and all failed) I wanted to try and stick with it. To my surprise, that small change not only cleared up all my acne, but I noticed that I no longer had oily skin, my acne scarring lightened up significantly, my skin was noticeably softer, and I just felt better in general. Skin/beauty products are just as important to consider as what we eat. It makes a big difference!

      Thanks for another great article!

    • fitmom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I know it! I definitely think that the companies do it to deceive. What other reason would they have? It's very sad! Thank you for reading and commenting. :) Best ~ fitmom

    • profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 

      8 years ago from Germany

      That's an amazing list of names - I wonder if the manufacturers use so many different ones to confuse shoppers and 'hide' their ingredients. I know I have sensitive skin, so home-made lotions and simple soaps are best for me.

    • fitmom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      You're welcome, LauraGT! Yes, it would be great if the big companies were squeezed by the consumers into making better products. Thank you for reading and for your comments.

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      Thanks fitmom! This is great information. I'm glad you've made reading labels and choosing the healthy route a priority. If more people did that, we could gently put (financial) pressure on the big companies that produce unhealthy products.

    • fitmom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I know! You know if there's different names for the same product, there's a reason for it. I love essential oils!

      I'm glad you enjoyed reading. Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • fitmom profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago

      I think most people just have no idea. We feel protected by the agencies in our country, but they really don't regulate all of the ingredients in lotions, shampoo, etc.

      If you search for information on mineral oil, I think you'll be surprised how much information is out there. We just have to spread the word.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • vespawoolf profile image

      Vespa Woolf 

      8 years ago from Peru, South America

      I couldn't believe all the other names for mineral oil! I also avoid it, mixing my own oils like argan or coconut with essential oils like chamomile or ylang-ylang. Then I know what goes into my skin care products and I don't have to read labels. Thank you for an informative hub!

    • kwade tweeling profile image

      kwade tweeling 

      8 years ago from USA

      I've been researching the same kinds of things over the last several years. It is amazing to me how much people just accept the status-quo without question. Then they violently defend it.

      Do you have some references to your sources you can post for people to see?

      Thank you for sharing your experience.


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