There’s been a lot of talk lately about the use of two petroleum derived ingredients:
Mineral Oil: commonly used in mass market lotions, creams, ointments, cosmetics and baby products.
Petroleum Jelly: commonly used in lip balms, hair wax, and skin lubricants.
First, let’s figure out what these ingredients are:
Mineral oil is colorless and odorless oil that’s made from petroleum—as a by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline. It’s long been used as a common ingredient in lotions, creams, ointments, and cosmetics. Petroleum Jelly on the other hand also a type of mineral oil, is a semi-solid mixture found first found as a coating in oil-rigs.
Many argue that these are safe as they’ve been used for 100s of years in cosmetics but many say they have problems with their use.
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However at Just Herbs, we believe that if there is a controversy around the safety of an ingredient, we will not use it. Here is why we took this stand:
Many claim they dry out skin and clog pores: Petroleum jelly and mineral oil both form a film on the skin thus helping seal in the moisture but what they deliver is merely an illusion of moisturized, hydrated skin, dermatologists say. While the surface of the skin feels softer as a result, you’re actually drying out your pores keeping the air and moisture out.
Non -absorbing and zero nutritive value: Both of these are ‘dead’ inert products with no nutritional value to your skin. Some even say that these products being water repellent and non absorbent may clog and dry-out pores potentially causing breakouts
Might contain traces of carcinogens: Since mineral oil and petroleum jelly are components that are removed from the oil during the refining process, they may have carry traces of other substances which are carcinogenic (cancer-causing) in some cases. Although big mass market brands claim they have all these components removed, there are probably plenty of petroleum jelly imitators, and one doesn’t always know the extent that they’re removed.
Not for sensitive skin: Formulas that contain these substances may not suit sensitive skin. Dr. Alan Dattner, founder of HolisticDermatology.com says “People suffering from skin conditions like acne and rosacea should stay away from petroleum jelly altogether, since such thick emollients can aggravate those conditions.”
Not eco-friendly: Mineral oils are not eco-friendly as they come from an unsustainable source – As a by-product of the petrochemical industry; mineral oils are non-renewable resources that contribute to our dependence on fossil fuels.
For our creams and lotions we rely on certified organic cold pressed plant oils that are ‘living’ active ingredients, better absorbent with proven nutritive value for the skin. Most of our formulas for dry skin use ingredients such cold pressed safflower oil, sweet almond oil, jojoba oil and avocado oil.
Our hair oils use cold pressed vegetable oil blends such as castor, coconut and sesame as in Javakusum Hair Oil while our massage oils made for spas use mostly cold pressed sweet almond oil as the base.
Our lip balms use a base of certified organic beeswax, certified organic cold-pressed oils of Avocado, Safflower and Sweet Almond along with ultra moisturizing Shea Butter
There may be skin conditions, where the use of mineral oil could be useful and the skin may benefit from an inert carrier that locks in the moisture but since our mission is to bring about results for your skin in a safe manner using plant material, we’ve decided to give these ingredients a miss.