Why Should You Avoid Using Mineral Oil On Your Skin?

As a massage therapist, I spend a great deal of my time in close proximity to skin. The care of skin is pretty important to me. I want to let you all in on some information about mineral oil.

Mineral oil is a common ingredient in many household products. It is found in lotions, soaps, cosmetics and motor oil. Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no sent and will not spoil.  The word “mineral” makes this product sound like a nutrient, but in fact it is produced as a by-product of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Mineral oil is the leftover liquid, and because it is abundant, it is very inexpensive. In fact, it is more expensive to dispose of mineral oil, than to purchase it.

Remember the skin is the largest organ in the body and the only protective barrier you have. The importance of your skin’s health is immeasurable.

The problem is that mineral oil is foreign to the human body and has many harmful effects:

  • Mineral oil acts as a thin plastic layer on the skin.
  • It is difficult to absorb and clogs the pores, which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins.
  • Once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. When the oil is present in the intestinal tract, it will absorb all of the fat-soluable vitamins found there. It is essentially stealing important vitamins from the body, which the body will not be able to replace. This can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies.
  • Studies have also shown forms of pneumonia caused by mineral oil decreasing lung function, known as lipoid pneumonia. Because of these dangers, the medical community has condemned the use of mineral oil taken orally or as an ingredient in medications.

In my private massage practice, I have started using a lotion from all natural ingredients. It wont clog my client’s pores or leave them feeling greasy after they leave my office.

Here are some other helpful links about mineral oil:

Material safety Data Sheet from JT Baker http://www.jtbaker.com/msds/englishhtml/m7700. htm

Call For Change To Mineral Oil Label http://www.personalmd.com/news/a1998122802.shtml

Thanks for reading, PJ Harris, LMP. http://www.pjharris.com/


15 responses to “Why Should You Avoid Using Mineral Oil On Your Skin?

  1. Hey, I really love the blog. Love what you’ve done with the layout and everything else. Good writing too! Take care now!

  2. I enjoy what you are doing on this blog. I never really thought about using mineral oil in my practice but I don’t know if I would’ve thought it was a bad idea. Thank you for the information.

  3. I use the edgar cayce almond Oil. Often though, if you go to an Asian massage palor, they will use mineral oil because it is cheap. I usually bring my own, but will definetly after reading this article

  4. Isn’t baby oil mineral oil with (nauseating) scent added ?

  5. @shortlea – Pretty much

  6. This is important info about the mineral oil and i’m hearing more and more people talk about this. Many beginning therapists don’t know enough about what they are about to put on their clients bodies…

  7. Didnt really know much about mineral oil.. thanks for the information.

  8. wow! i didn’t know about this. Thanks for the information. It is really handy. Now I know that i should use it cautiously.

  9. What kind of massage oils should we use? can you suggest some?

  10. When using massage lotion I use this vegan product: http://www.wakinglifemassage.com/shop/item.aspx?itemid=613

    For oil you can use almond oil or grapeseed oil.

  11. Pingback: Wednesday Wisdom | Natalie Duhamel - Holistic Health Coach | Nutritionist | Personal Trainer | Life Coach

  12. Great tip to remember on the oils. I’ve heard about Grapeseed being really good.

  13. I love that you think about your clients. I got a massage from an, otherwise good massage therapist, and asked him what massage oil he was using. He replied I don’t know it’s a firm which supplies us with it. I never stepped into his office again.

  14. Pingback: Four Things You Need for a Good Home Massage

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