Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Mineral Oil - Avoid or Keep using?

There are many things that come into mind when mineral oil becomes the subject of any discussion.It is a fact that more than 90% of all cosmetics and skin products nowadays contain mineral oil. From adult products to baby products, mineral oil is present in quantities that would surprise any common Filipino. All you have to do is to read the labels. It is sometimes called by the following names: white oil, liquid paraffin, liquid petroleum, and a lot more others. Sounds scary right? But before you make a judgement call right now, read further to know more.

Mineral oil is the by-product in the processing of crude oil. When oil tankers from oil producing countries deliver their load to the petroleum refineries in Philippine shores, the story begins. Crude oil is carefully processed to separate the different grades of volatile and combustible materials. The biggest source of energy in the world produces vast amounts of extra materials that aren't useable in powering machines. What will be left are put to further use after more specialized processing. Some, become the basic ingredients of useful compounds, and among these are the mineral oils.
Here's a fact you should know: Mineral oil comes from a natural source deep in the ground, from millions of years ago. The only difference is it had undergone extensive processing before it gets bottled for use. Let this thought stick to your mind: Mineral oil is refined Crude Oil. Putting Mineral Oil in your skin is almost the same as putting Crude Oil.

So what's the real deal with Mineral oil? Many experts claim it is safe and good for the skin. For the past 100 years, people have been using it so why stop using it now? The oil is responsible for keeping moisture inside the skin when applied, making lotions and moisturizers more effective in doing their jobs. Unlike the fruit and seed oils, Mineral Oil isn't absorbed by the body due to its large molecules and cannot be accommodated by skin diffusion. It works the same manner as putting the lid on a jar so nothing can get in or out. Since the skin is a huge excretory organ of the human body, stopping excretion of "waste materials" will definitely have its ill effects eventually. Imagine, putting a nicely scented baby oil on your skin or on your baby. You've just made your skin or your baby's skin have a difficult time functioning well.

On the other hand, fruit and seed oils like olive oil, coconut oil and the rest function differently. They have the capacity to be absorbed by the skin and be used by the human body. Obviously they're biodegradable.

Mineral Oil is biodegradable too, but it biodegrades poorly. Mother nature always gets a hard time breaking down petroleum materials, derivatives and compounds into smaller and safer particles, and it will take a very long time to do so. They become disruptive of the natural process and end up becoming pollutants and contaminants.

The choice is really up to you. There are other countless reasons why you shouldn't use mineral oil and equally countless reasons why its ok. In the end, its about what is important for you. If you don't mind all the effects of mineral oil in your body, go as usual and keep using the products in supermarket's shelves. If you're concerned about the environment, your health and other people's health, cutting down on usage of mineral oil is good. Use nature's produce, they're absolutely good for you and the environment.