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Published on August 24th, 2016 | by Rima J Pundir

Mineral Myths Blasted

Many cosmetic agents proudly proclaim ‘mineral oil’ as an ingredient, while organic-beauty fanatics denigrate it as a petroleum derivative. What is the truth behind mineral oil then?

Mineral oil is a petroleum derivative, yes. It’s also as natural as any other nature-derived substance. Again, yes – it is derived from crude oil but how does that make it any worse than say bat droppings or bull semen – commonly used as exotic and effective skin care ingredient in today’s search for youth’s elixir! Let’s dispel some myths about mineral oil…

Myth: Mineral oil “suffocates” skin

Truth: Mineral oil does form a barrier between the skin and the environment – but that is what any good moisturizer does. Mineral oil forms a thin layer on your skin, keeping in the hydration and being what a good emollient does – act as an occlusive agent – keeping moisture in where it belongs.

Myth: Mineral oil strips skin of vitamins

Baseless, fact-less and definitely research-less. Propagated by brands that do not have mineral oil as an ingredient – this is just a beauty claim that is unsubstantiated but since the beauty industry is not regulated so much when it comes to claims, it has become a successful negative propaganda.

Myth: Mineral oil causes allergies

If you are proven to be allergic to petroleum-derivatives, yes, you can have an allergy to mineral oil. Else, mineral oil in fact is used in many rash and burn creams to soothe and treat damaged skin.

Myth: Mineral oil prevents collagen absorption

Let’s face it, most collagen molecules in creams are too big for them to be absorbed by the skin in first place. Even if they are small enough, they do not bond with the skin’s natural collagen. But it has no effect on collagen absorption, in any case.

Myth: Mineral oil is unsafe

Mineral oil is actually pretty regulated – USP (United States Pharmacopeia), BP or IP are the current standard followed in India. Mineral oil is an inert substance – in that it primarily is un-reactive and rather helpful for the skin, and hair. Go ahead, and do give it a try!

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