How do you feel about using personal care products with mineral oil and other petrochemical ingredients? One of the first red flags that lead me to Neal’s Yard Remedies was a warning on a well known “healing ointment.” This ointment is often recommended by doctors and pediatricians and it claims to be advanced therapy for dry, cracked, irritated skin. I was using it on my granddaughter’s chapped lips and hands. There was a warning “for external use only,” yet it was recommended for dry, cracked skin and lips. It certainly isn’t going to stay external with those recommended uses, as what you apply to your skin ends up in your bloodstream. I much prefer something safer for applying on lips. I’m guessing that sore, chapped skin allows even more of the product to end up in your bloodstream than healthy skin would. The main active ingredient in the ointment? Petrolatum.
Mineral oil products go by many names, so it’s important to know what to look for on your beauty product labels. Many of the names sound pretty harmless. Here’s some of the ingredients to watch out for:
All of these are by-products of petroleum distillation in oil refining and making gasoline. They are cheap, abundant ingredients and you will find them in face creams, body lotions, make-up, hair care, deodorants and even baby products.
For every article you find that claims petrochemicals are dangerous in your personal care products, you will find another that says the opposite. I always say when in doubt, do your own research, and “follow the money.”
Dangers of Mineral Oil
Mineral oil and other petroleum by-products may be carcinogens. Petrolatum and petroleum by-products can be contaminated with polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. (PAHs) The European Union considers it a carcinogen and restricts the use.
Mineral oil clogs pores. Skin needs to breathe to rid the body of toxins, and mineral oil coats the skin like a layer of plastic wrap and can seal in dirt. It aggravates acne and rosacea.
There are no benefits to your skin.
Mineral oil cannot be metabolized and builds up in your body.
Mineral oil readily penetrates your skin.
Petroleum-based products are classified as xenoestrogens, even the refined varieties, and may disrupt the endocrine system and disturb hormonal balance.
Petroleum by-products are possible neurotoxins.
It’s not eco-friendly, and is derived from crude oil.
You can trust Neal’s Yard Remedies to use the safest possible ingredients. They choose ingredients that will nourish the skin. You can count on Neal’s Yard Remedies to fully disclose ingredient information on the packaging where space allows and on the website.
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