Oil-based products are a trend in skin care. Oils are also added to decorative cosmetics, but not all of them are beneficial. What about mineral oils?

Mineral oils have many opponents. In the wake of the popularity of natural cosmetics with ingredients of plant origin, they argue that these oils, refined petroleum products, are harmful to the skin in its purest form. At the same time, they turn a blind eye to many nuances that indicate otherwise. Recently, we have already talked about the pros and cons of ingredients such as parabens and silicones.What can be said about the presence of mineral oil in cosmetics? Is it good or bad? Let's figure it out right now.

Mineral oil in cosmetics - what is it?

Mineral oils are hydrocarbons extracted from oil. Unlike technical mineral oil, cosmetic oil undergoes multi-stage processing and purification. Thanks to this, impurities that could harm the skin do not remain in it. Cleaning, by the way, is specially made in such a way as to adapt the properties of the final product to the characteristics and needs of the skin; vegetable oils lack this advantage.

In cosmetics, this ingredient has several functions at once. It is largely responsible for the comfort of the texture. On the skin, mineral oil creates the thinnest film that retains moisture. At the same time, it has “zero” comedogenicity. Also, this ingredient has a dissolving ability - therefore, it is included in the composition of special oils for make-up removal.In other products, this property allows it to exfoliate dead skin particles.

What are mineral oils?

The division of mineral oils into technical and cosmetic ones is not the only one. They differ in their characteristics, such as texture, for example. Paraffin wax, for example, leaves a greasy feel and is often compared to wax. Ceresin is just a mineral wax. Oily vaseline, produced in the form of an ointment, also enters beauty products in the same form. The choice of one or another type of mineral oil depends on the product to which it is added. Creams, for example, need a more viscous texture than cleansers.

It is worth noting that, in addition to the standard cosmetic mineral oil, which is suitable for inclusion in creams and lotions, there is a pharmaceutical or medical mineral oil of the highest quality.Sometimes it is used not only in medicines, but also in cosmetics, increasing the level of confidence in the ingredient. Pharmaceutical oils are used to make care products for the little ones.

Cosmetic mineral oil: good or bad?

We all use mineral oils one way or another. This ingredient is found in so many products, and manufacturers have objective reasons to supplement their cosmetic formulas with such oils.


  • Mineral oils are colorless and odorless. They do not contain allergens that can cause a negative skin reaction.

  • Mineral oils are much less susceptible to oxidation than oils of vegetable origin. Therefore, products with mineral oils in the composition are stored much longer. The same property provides stability to formulas with such a component.You can not be afraid that over time the texture of the cream will delaminate and the product will become unusable.

  • Mineral oils, being on the skin, are not included in biochemical reactions; the influence of these substances can be due only to their physical properties. So, creating a protective film on the surface of the skin, they prevent the evaporation of moisture.

  • Such oils do not clog pores, do not penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and, contrary to popular belief, do not deprive the skin of the ability to "breathe" . Saturation of cells with oxygen is much more closely related to blood circulation; skin gas exchange is only 1-2% of the total processes.

  • As for the benefits of mineral oils for the skin, these substances soften it, make it more tender and smooth, and also save it from dryness and dehydration, helping to maintain moisture reserves. As a protective layer, oils protect the skin from negative external influences.


If we talk about the minuses of mineral oils, it is worth noting that products with a high content of this ingredient in the composition are not recommended for oily and problem skin. During the day, an oily film appears on it, and this effect should not be enhanced.

Many also perceive negatively that the softness of the skin, which these substances provide, disappears when you wash off the makeup from your face. The thing is that mineral oils, as we have already said, do not interact with the skin and do not improve it “from the inside”.

What products contain mineral oils?

Mineral oils can be found in various cosmetics. Let's list the most popular.

  1. Moisturizing face and body creams

    In products with this effect, they are needed in order, firstly, to improve their texture, and secondly, to increase the level of skin hydration, preventing moisture from evaporating.

  2. Cleansers, makeup removers

    The solvent properties help mineral oils in the composition of such cosmetics to effectively remove makeup residues and various impurities from the skin.

    But do not forget that it is important not only to choose a product with the right composition, but also to know how to properly cleanse the skin. The delicate area around the eyes, for example, has its own nuances. Learn more about them in this video.

  3. Face and body oils

    Recently, oils have become a separate category of beauty products, and mineral oils are the basis of the formulas of these beauty products. We are talking about concentrate oils that are used to prepare the skin for make-up like serums, massage oils that create slip, and also baby oils that soften the skin of babies after water procedures.

  4. Foundations

    Thanks to mineral oils, these products improve the microrelief of the skin, making it more even and smooth. The feeling of comfort that the tonal coating provides is also created with their participation.

  5. Lipsticks

    Thanks to the oils, the pigments do not dry out the lips and are easily distributed over the skin with sliding movements.

What is mineral oil used in facial cosmetics?

To find mineral oils in cosmetics, look for ingredients such as mineral oil, white mineral oil, petrolatum liquid, petroleum oil, liquid paraffin, paraffin oil.

Does it make sense to choose cosmetics without the addition of mineral oils?

It will be difficult to avoid cosmetics with mineral oils today, given that most manufacturers use them. Yes, and there is no need for this. Choosing vegetable oil-based products as more environmentally friendly is a delusional decision.

Like other herbal ingredients, these oils can cause allergies; they are not adapted to the properties of the skin. It would be naive to assume that vegetable oils get into cosmetics in their natural form (and that this is due to their benefits). They are also being processed.

defeating the myths about the dangers of mineral oil

What "sins" are attributed to mineral oils?

  1. Mineral oils are carcinogenic

    The use of various substances in medicines and cosmetics is strictly regulated by the he alth authorities.If mineral oils really had carcinogenic properties, they would be banned. Many people are frightened by the phrase “refined product”, but not technical oil is added to cosmetics, but a safe component thoroughly cleaned in several stages.

  2. Mineral oils clog pores

    In addition to information about the “zero” comedogenicity of mineral oils, it is worth saying that these substances have molecules that are too large to penetrate the skin. The oil film remains on the surface and can be easily removed with cleaning agents. It does not interfere with skin "breathing" , given that it is provided primarily by blood circulation.

  3. Mineral oils cause acne breakouts

    You need to know your skin type well and choose targeted cosmetics based on its properties. On problematic skin with increased oiliness in the T-zone, products with mineral oils can really cause inflammation, but it is not recommended to use them with this type - they are much more suitable for owners of dry and dehydrated skin.

What do you know about the properties of mineral oils? Write a comment.