We have previously looked in to some very controversial ingredients which are found in many cosmetics. Some of these such, as parabens are avoided by many manufacturers and smaller cosmetic producers, who genuinely try to only include natural ingredients. Of course, there are many products out there which claim to be ‘natural’, although to anyone who is merely mildly educated, it is obvious that the ‘natural’ claim is very ambiguous or even deceiving. It can be extremely confusing for consumers who want non-toxic cosmetics, as labelling appears to be ‘flexible’ in regards as to what is classed as ‘natural’. Even more confusing to consumers is when cosmetic producers who usually stick to natural ingredients, start adding ingredients such as mineral oil to their formulas. Mineral oil does actually sounds natural and we believe this combination of reasons make it incredibly controversial.
As we say, as a name ‘mineral oil’ sounds very appealing. It does have other names too, although cosmetic producers tend to avoid use of these as they do not sound quite as appealing. Here are some of the names to watch out for if you want to avoid mineral oil in products you may buy:
Adepsine oil, lignite oil, petrolatum, albolene, liquid paraffin, paraffin oil, white oil, drakeol, Mineral seal oil, Baby oil, adepsine oil, alboline, bayol 55, cable oil, bayol f, blandlube, blandol white mineral oil, carnea 21, clearteck, crystol 325, crystoso, diala-X, AX, electrical insulating oil, ervol, filtrawhite, fonoline, frigol, glymol, heat-treating oil, hevyteck, hydraulic oil, hydrocarbon oils, jute batching oil, kaydol, kondremul, kremol, LHM, lignite oil, liquid paraffin, lubricating oil, master Shimmer, mineral oil (saturated parrafin oil), mineral oil hydrocarbon solvent (petroleum), mineral oil mist, mineral oil, aromatic, mineral oil, paraffinic, mineral seal oil, molol, neo-cultol, nujol, oil mist, oil mist, mineral, severely refined, refined mineral oil, petroleum, paraffin oil (class), parol, paroleine, peneteck, penreco, perfecta, petrogalar, petroleum hydrocarbons, petroleum, liquid primol, primol 355, primol d, protopet, saxol, tech pet, f triona b, uvasol, univolt N60, 80 and voltesso 35.
There may be even more names out there which we have not managed to bring to your attention here. We are strongly of the opinion that compounds should have only one name to stop consumers being misled. Even the most ardent pursuer of truly natural ingredients is going to struggle evading toxic ingredients, when just one substance can come under so many names. You have to question why manufacturers go to such lengths to find so many names, if the ingredient is healthy and beneficial.
So, what exactly is mineral oil and what is it used for? This odourless and colourless liquid is a by-product of petroleum distillation, in the production of petrol/gasoline. Its use in creams, cosmetics, ointments and lotions is very common. It is lightweight and reduces water loss from the skin, furthermore it is cheap, which gives it appeal. If you search out the benefits of mineral oil online, one of the first things you will find is that it is excellent for constipation. By the end of this article you may think twice about wanting to put it on your skin, let alone orally ingest it. If anyone reading this is suffering from constipation, there are many other truly natural ways to combat this. You will find mineral oil used in eczema treatments also. Considering that many eczema sufferers are children, we think you should be very careful in using a formula containing mineral oil. Considering that cracked skin also accompanies eczema in many cases, toxins can get into the bloodstream with a far greater ease. Formulas for nappy rash also use this oil and babies do not need toxins smearing all over them. We have an eczema balm of our own which is having startling results and hope to get it to laboratory testing and released later in the year. Every ingredient is organic.
One of the disturbing things about mineral oil toxins is that they are not metabolised and released by the body. Concin, N. et al (2011) reported in their study, that there is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the GREATEST contaminant of the human body. They state that hydrocarbons amount to approximately 1g per person, with the routes to contamination possibly being via air inhalation, food intake and dermal absorption. Fat specimens were taken from 142 study participants, who were undergoing C-sections, whilst milk samples were taken both 4 and 20 days after the surgery. Both milk and fat samples were found to be contaminated with mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons which led the researchers to conclude:
“The increase in MOSH [mineral oil saturated hydrocarbons] concentration in human fat tissue with age suggests an accumulation over time. Cosmetics might be a relevant source of the contamination.”
This is a very disturbing finding and one which leans on the beliefs that our children are being bombarded with toxins from their earliest stages of development inside the womb, let alone once they are delivered into this world. As we have reported in previous articles, studies have also found over 200 chemicals present in umbilical cord blood samples. Could the explosive rise in autism spectrum disorders be linked?
There are multiple studies which certainly link polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons to autism. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are evidenced to limit the expression of the MET receptor tyrosine kinase gene, which is vital to early life neurodevelopment. It is also significantly reduced in autistic brains. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons affect us via traffic pollution, industrial pollution and even through the cooking and burning of meat. Indoor air purifiers are certainly worth considering in a bid to counteract such toxic exposure. These toxins are inescapable to a degree, but if the body accumulates hydrocarbons, is it really wise to then top up internal toxin levels by using products with mineral oils in? We CAN avoid these and damage limitation in the long term can have a profound effect on our health, our children’s health and the health of any future children you may plan on having. We have labelled a section of our references specifically for further reading on study links to autism via polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. We recommend reading these to enhance understanding.
One of the reasons people are drawn to mineral oil is its ability to lock in moisture. This is a very double-sided sword and many formulators may be the victims of limited research here. In cases of dry skin and particularly eczema type conditions, there is not enough moisture in the skin to start with. Once you start applying mineral oil you not only stop moisture getting out, you stop it getting in. Mineral oil has been found to create an almost plastic like film over the skin. This stops atmospheric moisture being able to benefit the skin. Considering the skin is the bodies largest organ and also used to detoxify toxins from the body, it is not wise to be restricting its ability to function in this way. There is a study from 2005 Journey of Cosmetic Dermatology which states that although industrial grade mineral oil is comedogenic, cosmetic grade is not. You can test this yourself if you are a proponent of mineral oil, by simply applying it to one half of your face daily for a week. Most people will get break outs of zits within a few days. To us personally, whether it is comedogenic or not is irrelevant. There are far greater concerns with it, which will stop us ever using it in our products.
Petroleum products are classified as xenoestrogens, which when present in the body mimic the hormone estrogen. This causes an endocrine disruption and hormonal imbalance within the body. Dr Anna Soto of Tufts has performed multiple experiments on xenoestrogens and concluded they are undoubtedly cumulative. Estrogen dominance has been extensively linked to cancer and Dr Roby Mitchell, speaking on the influence of xenoestrogens and cancer, states:
“that’s one of the reasons why we see such a proliferation of cancer in the West. We’re seeing it more in third world countries now. Because of our exposure to environmental and pharmaceutical estrogens, that has the effect of throwing more gasoline on the fire”.
Vrabie, DM et al (2011) further evidence petroleum based products are xenoestrogens with their studies, which were released in the Environmental Toxicology Chemistry journal. They state:
“The present study indicates that oils contain compounds with possible endocrine-disrupting potential, some of them acting via the hormone receptors.”
To further confound ‘natural’ formulators or product seekers, we find with much alarm, that there is further concern that mineral oil is highly at risk of contamination… by carcinogenic compounds! EWG researchers assessed 15,000 cosmetic and personal care products ingredients and discovered that 22% of all products may be contaminated with 1, 4-dioxanne. The finding was confirmed by new products tests finding the cancer-causing chemical in 18 of more than 2 dozen products, of which 15 of the products were for babies and children! EWG believe that 80% of all products may be contaminated with one or more of 2 dozen recognized cosmetic impurities, which are linked to cancer and other health concerns. The trace contaminants in petroleum-based ingredients, in many cases, penetrate the skin with ease (according to government and industry studies). Disturbingly, they are permitted at any level and are under NO restriction limits by government safety standards.
With such lunacy present in the law, YOU have to determine what you are willing to leave yourself open to. You cannot trust slick marketing and claims of being ‘natural’ or ‘organic’. They alone mean nothing when they are only attached to an ingredient. You NEED to know what that ingredient is!!! We only use organic plant based oils in our So Luscious eyelash growth serum, because they are TRULY derived from nature. In a time when we have never been open to the access of so much knowledge, we collectively as the human race, have never been so ignorant. Everybody wants a quick fix, they haven’t got the time, they are so busy…the list of excuses goes on and on. You have to educate yourself. You cannot trust what anyone alone tells you, which is why we always add references and always recommend you read them for further learning. An informed mind is an educated mind.
You cannot trust government guidelines, they often change. You cannot trust your favoured ‘natural expert’, the one who claims to be able to cure all. We are all on an ever-learning journey and such ignorance can be lethal. It is also lethal, to remain ignorant and to not check-up on what you hear is a great ingredient or the next ‘big’ thing. Just check out things with your own research also, you have been given divine intuition to help you through this life… many have thrown it away or surrendered it. If that is you, get back on your track to rediscover it. We know that to some, this article is going to be our most controversial yet, simply because so many ‘natural’ formulators choose to include this ingredient. There are undoubtedly supporters of it, you may even choose to still use it yourself after reading this. It is your choice, and we respect that and whatever you choose, we wish you well.
As a company though, we strive for the best because we believe that beauty should not come at the price of toxicity and the two should never mix. We would rather absorb the extra cost to produce high-grade products, than get profits at the expense of your health. The research into these articles always opens-up our own eyes, as much as anybody else’s. This article in particular, has stunned us. The potential for such levels of toxicity, for something that offers NO nutritious benefits and from what we find, only traps in moisture already present in the skin, is crazy! That it is directed at babies and children as much as adults, troubles us deeply. When these products came out decades ago, people knew no better and trusted wholly that if a product is available for sale, it must be safe. We now know much better, ignorance does not save lives.
With the technological advancements that have made over the last 30 years alone, we should be witnessing lives being lived for much longer. Instead, we see a huge surge in cancer, dementia and with our children, autism. These things do not happen for no reason and toxicity likely plays a role. Toxicity taxes YOUR lifespan and its quality. It is surely time to really start to make wise choices and reclaim your health. If nothing else, we hope you have found this article thought provoking. Until our next article, we wish you a healthy, happy and toxic free time.
Mineral Oils: Untreated and Mildly Treated,” Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition (2011), National Toxicology Program, Department of Health and Human Services.
Concin N, et al., “Evidence for cosmetics as a source of mineral oil contamination in women,” J Womens Health 2011 Nov; 20(11):1713-9.
Wiley-Blackwell. “Mineral Oil Contamination In Humans: A Health Problem?” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 November 2008
Specific in vitro toxicity of crude and refined petroleum products: II. Estrogen (alpha and beta) and androgen receptor-mediated responses in yeast assays
Mineral oil and synthetic hydrocarbons in cosmetic lip products.
Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology
References for Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and autism
Traffic-Related Air Pollution, Particulate Matter, and Autism
Specific in vitro toxicity of crude and refined petroleum products: II. Estrogen (alpha and beta) and androgen receptor-mediated responses in yeast assays.
The genetic and neurobiologic compass points toward common signaling dysfunctions in autism spectrum disorders
Disruption of cerebral cortex MET signaling in autism spectrum disorder