Saturday, February 5, 2011

Let's take another look at mineral oil!

As I mentioned the other day, the thickening posts and Iron Chemist will be delayed a few days until the weather warms up enough for me to enter my workshop! I'm willing to suffer for my beloved chemistry, but not so much that the headaches return and keep me in bed for days! 

I thought I'd take another look at mineral oil today. I know that some people think of it as the sum of all evils, but it has a valid place in cosmetic formulating. (For my original posts on mineral oil, please click here and here.)

Although I don't use it often, I do like it for a facial moisturizer for my oily, rosacea prone skin that breaks out when I put most oils on it. Mineral oil is non-comedogenic and occlusive, so it's a great choice for a moisturizer for skin that might break out with vegetable oils and for skin that needs some protection during these colder winter months.


15% mineral oil
5% Polawax
2% cetyl alcohol

10% lavender water
10% aloe vera
47.5% water
2% water soluble calendula
2% cromoist
0.5% allantoin

2% panthenol
3% honey quat
0.5 - 1% preservative

Follow the basic lotion making instructions for this product.

To me, this is a great starting point for all kinds of wonderful ingredients. You can include extracts, cosmeceuticals, and all kinds of things that benefit your skin. You can make this with BTMS-50 instead of Polawax. You can include some mineral oil and some esters or vegetable oils and so on. Heck, leave the mineral oil out and make it with something else.

So there's a recipe with mineral oil!


sfs said...

I have heard that mineral oil is horrible, but beyond that I've heard nothing. What is supposedly wrong with mineral oil? Anyone out there know?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

If you click on the links in the post, you'll see my previous posts on mineral oil. I don't think it's horrible - some people don't like it because it is derived from petroleum (which is silly because so many of our ingredients are derived from petroleum and no one complains about those), some people say it creates a "plastic wrap occlusion" on your skin (which is silly because we want occlusion, it's a good thing), and some people say it causes cancer (absolutely no proof of this!). Again, I've addressed these and more in the links!

kontakt said...

Are all mineral oils the same? Don't they have different chain lenght, which should give them slightly different properties? If I remember correctly, I saw a study where the version which probably should be called something like "solid paraffin" was used as a positive control for comodogenicity. So perhaps that one should be avoided, while some others are fine for some purposes (and cheaper than the vegetable oils).

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi kontakt. There are tons of different kinds of mineral oil based on chain length - I'm just talking about the most common one we might find at our suppliers. I have found waxes made of mineral oil and I have found heavier versions as well. I don't tend to use mineral oil all that much - my local supplier doesn't carry it any more - but it is nice to know we have options if we want. But with any ingredient, I hope that people will look into it before using it - for instance, if they come upon something with a different INCI - and ask their suppliers or do some research before choosing to include it.

Thanks for the comment!

zaczarowany pierniczek said...

I've read that mineral oil can prevent other valuable ingredients like vitamins to be absorbed into the skin, is that true?
You are writting that it is great and very efficient occlusive agent, but is such occlusion really necesssary for acneprone and oily skin in everyday skincare routine?

zaczarowany pierniczek said...

I've forgotten one more thing. Aren't less occlusive oils and mostly humectants better of oily skin?

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Zaczarowany. I haven't heard that mineral oil can prevent your kind from absorbing any other ingredients - can you provide a link or some other information about this? Some people with acne prone or oily skin can use mineral oil (like me) and some can't.

Occlusion is a good thing for all skin types (transepidermal water loss. Both of these things are beneficial for all skin types.

When it comes to acne prone or oily skin, we want oils that won't sink into our skin, so occlusive ones tend to be better choices than light ones that might penetrate into the pores. Humectants are definitely an oily person's best friend, and I find that my products that contain tons of humectants make my skin happier than those with a ton of oils.

As I mentioned in the post, mineral oil works for me but it doesn't mean it will work for everyone with oily skin or everyone with rosacea or acne prone just seems to work for me, which surprised me as I didn't think my skin would like it.