Oils in Cosmetic Products

Many of us apply cosmetic products to our face and skin on a nearly daily basis. It is such a common step in our personal care that we do not always take the time to read the ingredients on the labels. Unfortunately, because we often assume these products are safe, instead of caring for our skin, we may be damaging it or even harming our overall health by applying products containing unsafe oils. These oils can be irritants, cause allergic reactions, potentially be carcinogenic, and even negatively affect natural hormonal levels.

Lanolin Oil

Lanolin oil is often found in products such as moisturizing creams (including nipple cream and hair moisturizer) and lip balms. Lanolin oil is a sheep secretion that is obtained during the processing of sheared wool. Unfortunately, since it is obtained after shearing, it must be separated from the wool as well as dirt, feces, sweat, and other debris. The lanolin is of course processed and refined, but the specifications for the process can vary from one manufacturer to another. Since it is obtained through wool, it can cause skin irritation to anyone sensitive to wool and cause an allergic response to anyone allergic to wool. Additionally, ingestion can lead to lanolin poisoning.

Petroleum Oil and Mineral Oil

Crude oil is the base from which petroleum oil and mineral oil are created. They can be found in many of the cosmetic products we use often, such as baby oil, sunscreen, lipsticks, self-tanners, hair dyes, skin moisturizers, hair moisturizers, and an abundance of others. Certain chemical components in the oils cannot be metabolized by the human body, though these chemicals can be absorbed through the skin and into the body. Many experts believe and support research and studies that have shown these oils to be known animal carcinogens and possible human carcinogens. When mineral oil and petroleum oil are used in cosmetic products and applied to the skin or hair, they create a barrier between the skin and the environment. This barrier is meant to provide protection against the negative aspects of the environment; however, it also means that it prevents the release of moisture, oils, and other natural secretions from the body. Pores can become blocked and this can interfere with the natural transfer of nutrients to and from skin cells. Additionally, moisture (sweat) cannot be released and can build up under this barrier, creating an ideal bacterial and fungal breeding ground directly on the skin.

Negative Effects of Oils in Cosmetic Products

Oils used in many cosmetic products contain unhealthy and possibly even dangerous chemical compounds and toxins that are absorbed directly through the skin, many of which cannot be metabolized and can build up in the body, creating toxicity or illness. Even before absorption, they disrupt the skin’s natural care process and can create or worsen acne, eczema, and other skin conditions.

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