Indecent Ingredients: Mineral Oil

Indecent ingredient mineral oil

I decided to start a new  series about ingredients in hair and beauty products that sometimes get a bad rap. We’re starting with the number one culprit: MINERAL OIL. Anyone that has considered going on a hair journey has heard that mineral oil and petrolatum-based products are EVIL not the best. However, they may not be as bad as you think.

What is it?

Mineral oil is a mixture of light hydrocarbons derived from petroleum distillation. It is lightweight, colorless and odorless.

What is it used for?

Mineral oil has a variety of uses including application in food preparation, biomedicine and heating. Mineral oil is ubiquitous in beauty products. You can find it in high-end and low-end products. It is relatively inexpensive.

Some of the products I have with mineral oil in them

Some of the products I have with mineral oil in them

Why is it considered “indecent”?

Mineral oil is an occlusive agent, designed to keep the moisture in your skin and hair. It doesn’t add any nourishing benefits like other natural oils (coconut, olive, avocado, neem, etc.) However, it is an EXCELLENT sealant. Have you ever used vaseline or baby jelly after your bath? It provides a strong barrier to prevent moisture loss. Conversely, if used on dry hair or skin, it provides a barrier to keep moisture out. Mineral oil can also build up on the hair and it can be difficult to remove.

Can it work for you?

Maybe. Many people have had success using mineral oil in their regimens while others haven’t.

Personally, I don’t like using it in moisturizing products because it tends to build up on my hair quickly. I have used conditioners with it and I’ve been okay. JC of Natural Haven gives some excellent advice if you want to try using mineral oil in your regimen. It may work for you if you have trouble retaining moisture.

Do you have mineral oil in any of your products?

Image Source: Flickr