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The Showdown: mineral oil vs plant oil

The cosmetic industry has been using mineral oil based creams, lotions and potions for over 100 years. You’ll find it in products like Bio-Oil, Vaseline, sorbolene cream, Lucas Papaw Ointment and Johnson’s baby products.

It’s a refined petroleum by-product that is added to cosmetics to provide a skin barrier, preventing moisture loss. It does this job effectively and cheaply so why does it have a bad rep?

When did mineral oil become an ingredient to avoid? And why? Put simply, it was when we started putting health before vanity and started examining the ingredients contained in cosmetics. We started to ask ‘Is this ingredient going to help in the long term or is it just a quick fix, cover up?’

Mineral Oil vs Plant Oil

The biggest point of debate is whether the barrier provided by mineral oil is good or bad.

Mineral oil coats the skin like plastic preventing moisture (and also toxins) getting out, and also stops anything getting in. Your skin’s ability to produce sebum (its own protective oil barrier) can be affected, leaving your skin dryer. It oil doesn’t contain any beneficial vitamins, fatty acids or minerals for the skin.

On the other hand, plant oils provide a protective barrier and some even have properties similar to sebum. They provide moisture as well preventing moisture loss whilst allowing the skin to breathe and function normally. Plant oils also provide essential vitamins, fatty acids and minerals, improving overall skin health.

Which do you choose?

If plant oils are your choice, why not check out our TLC Moisturising Oil?