Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum that is commonly found in commercial skin care products, such as lotions and creams. This odorless, colorless oil is not easily absorbed by the skin, so using skin care products that contain mineral oil can clog pores.
According to Future Derm, mineral oil is an occlusive agent, which means its function is to fill in the spaces between skin cells to make a smooth surface. However, in filling in those spaces, mineral oil creates a thin layer of film over the skin, which traps dirt in and clogs pores.
Future Derm discourages consumers from purchasing and using skin care products that contain comedogenic ingredients and mineral oil. Comedogenics are pore-clogging agents, and when used in conjunction with mineral oil, the pores will become rapidly clogged because the occlusive nature of mineral oil will trap the comedogenics in the skin. Besides the potential for breakouts, another unfortunate side effect is that the skin is unable to breathe properly. Clogged pores hinder the skin’s ability to release harmful toxins from the body.
Using skincare products that contain natural oils, such as olive or coconut oil, is healthier for the skin. Many consumers are actively avoiding products that contain mineral oil due to the questionable side effects.
- Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images