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Does mineral oil cause zits?

When you’ve been in the beauty business long enough you learn that you can`t believe everything you read. Take the information about mineral oil from this website for example. They make many claims about the evils of mineral oil. It`s suggested that big companies use mineral oil because it`s inexpensive even though they know it is dangerous and can cause disease and acne.

When you come across information like this you should always ask yourself, what is the motivation for writing it? And surprise, surprise the people writing this information are trying to sell you skin products that don`t contain mineral oil. They use this scare tactic to convince their consumers not to buy from mainstream skin product manufacturers but instead buy from them.

The truth is mineral oil is a perfectly safe ingredient that has been used in skin products for many years. It acts as a barrier on the skin and helps to prevent moisture loss. There is no scientifically valid evidence that it dries the skin, causes premature aging, or even removes vitamins from the skin. The one knock against mineral oil is that there has been some evidence that mineral oil is comedogenic, that is, it causes acne.

But now scientists have made the discovery that mineral oil won`t give you zits! In this study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Joseph DiNardo found that the cosmetic grade of mineral oil used in beauty products is not comedogenic. What the authors of this study suggest is that consumers should look for products that claim to be non-comedogenic not mineral oil free.

Before you fall into the trap of believing everything you read ask yourself, why would these authors write something positive about mineral oil? Well, they are scientists who are investigating a question and endeavoring to get something published in a premiere scientific journal. This isn`t easy either because their evidence is scrutinized by other scientists in the field. Their conclusions aren`t biased by the fact that they are trying to sell you their product. And that lack of bias and scrutiny of their peers makes the information much more believable.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Sarah F. July 30, 2015, 5:41 pm

    I’m so frustrated. I just went to Sephora and the sales associate insisted that mineral oil was comedogenic. Even when I tried to tell her that it was a myth and that I had it straight from cosmetic chemists, she responded, “my son is a chemist.” Sales associate, hope you’re reading this! Look up the literature. It is a myth. Please stop perpetuating it!

    • Randy Schueller July 31, 2015, 7:27 am

      That is frustrating! It’s nice to hear that the sales associate’s son is a chemist but chemistry is a very broad field and it’s easy to be knowledgeable in some areas and not others.

  • MartaFerreira August 16, 2016, 4:14 am

    So, you said that mineral oil is too big to clog pores. But even purifyed, mineral oil is a misture of hydrocarbons. How can I be sure that non of those alkanes enters the pores? And even if it doesnt, could the fact that it sit on top of the gland be sufficient to trap the other ingredients inside the pore, anda stop oxygen from circulating inside the gland? Of course skin doesn’t breath, but if there is no oxygen circulating, and the pore is fullmof nutrients from other ingredients, it may become a great place for bacteria to grow