Petroleum and mineral oil are made from crude oil and can appear as mineral oil, petrolatum, liquid paraffin, and paraffin oil on product labels. Using them can cause a number of different harmful health effects. Read about some of them below. More natural alternatives like plant based waxes, oils, and butters don't have all the risks, work better, and are so much healthier!
What Makes Petroleum & Mineral Oil Not Safe
1. Causes Hormone Imbalances & More. Petroleum products are classified as xenoestrogens and carcinogens. Xenoestrogens are things that have estrogen-like effects and cause more estrogen to build up in the body than what is normal. Having high amounts of estrogen can cause things like breast cancer in women and erectile dysfunction in men, along with many more problems. Carcinogens are things that cause cancer. According to the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, they found that a 100mg daily dose of mineral oil based moisturizer caused a significant increase of cancerous tumor formation in mice that were at already at high risk. Petroleum products can also cause allergies, infections, and different types of pneumonia if inhaled. Long term exposure can affect the health of your whole body!
2. Stays in Your Body Forever! Once toxic mineral oil and petroleum enter the body they can't be broken down. They build up and end up staying there forever more. A 2011 study by the Journal of Women's Health took fat samples before and milk samples post op from 142 women who underwent c-sections and found mineral oil hydrocarbons (MOSH) present in both types of samples. The study concluded that "The increase in MOSH concentration in human fat tissue with age suggests an accumulation over time. Cosmetics might be a relevant source of the contamination." With the mineral oil hydrocarbons being present in breast milk, this also means that they are passed on to your newborn child.
3. Causes Acne & Makes Eczema Worse! When topically applied, petroleum and mineral oil create a film on the skin and trap water, dirt, oil, etc. They clog the pores and don't allow your skin to breathe like it should. This makes it perfect for yeast, acne, and other nasty bacteria to grow and thrive! Hello infection! It's also really bad if you put a petroleum based moisturizer on a sunburn, as it can actually trap the heat and intensify the burn. When put on eczema it feels like it is smothering it and causes it to itch more because it can't breathe.