After suffering a very, very bad case of allergic reaction that caused my skin to wrinkle, peel and flake with Nivea (which by the way took 3 months to recover from), I carefully studied all the ingredients in Nivea and vowed to ostracize them for life.
One of these was petrolatum or mineral oil or paraffinum liquidum. I kept away from any lotion that so much had a hint of this in the ingredient list. Convinced by the huge online propaganda that this is devil’s own skin care lotion and has been put on earth to wreak havoc on all our skins.
Until 2 weeks ago.
I was experimenting at home – making some lotion. I didn’t want to waste my precious almond and jojoba oils, so for the starter experiment I decided to use mineral oil(Johnson’s Baby Oil). Once I got it right I would use the “better = natural” oils.
So I melted some beeswax, added mineral oil, and once it was slightly cooled, whipped in some rose water. Voila, my lotion my ready!
Since this was my first lotion, I didn’t feel like throwing it away. I began using this. Tentatively at first – on hands. Then on my face.
There has been no looking back since then. This thing is an excellent make-up remover. It removes even the most stubborn mascara. Upon removal it leaves behind a light film that leaves my skin very soft. My skin feels cleaner, is softer and blackheads have gone (apparently the oil must have dissolved/melted/dislodged them). I don’t need any other moisturizers now. People have been asking me if I have had some kind of skin polishing done on my skin. It glows. Really. No lying.
I don’t think Mineral oil is as bad as it is being made out to be. In fact studies have shown that it does not cause pimples as previously believed. (read it here). Mineral oil literally melts into skin, flowing into the spaces between cells and the gaps in our lipid barrier. Once there, it re-solidifies, locking itself in place.
This serves two functions: First it helps keep the outside world out - it protects skin from the effects of weather and exposure. Second, it acts like a sealant to help keep the inside world in - it forms an occlusive barrier to the natural water loss of our skin. So skin that is dry and chapped is protected from drying elements, enabling skin-softening moisture to build up naturally from inside the skin itself.
Yes, like all ingredients – everyone reacts to it differently. (Like I just hate Olive Oil – I hate its smell, it is too thick and it just sits on my skin). There are people whose skin cannot tolerate mineral oil at all.
To read some of the common myths of Mineral Oil – busted go here.