Why mineral oils are bad for your skin

21 April 2021 | Blog | 0 comments

Your skin is the largest organ of our body and has specific, essential functions. The excretion of substances (sebum, sweat, toxins) and the absorption of substances (vitamins, fats, minerals and even a little oxygen) are, together with the skin’s protective function, the most important.

won from the petroleum industry

Most regular creams and oils contain mineral oil. Mineral oil is a waste product from the petroleum industry and often the basis for a (non- or semi-natural) cream. Unfortunately, because mineral oils close off your skin with a watertight layer, your skin can no longer perform its essential functions (absorbing, excreting, breathing) properly. They also signal your skin that it’s fat enough, and your own sebum production decreases a little bit. Whereas skin sebum is just about the best anti-ageing cream you can find!

Leads to a paraffin addiction

The use of mineral oil, or paraffin (see below for the different names it can have) therefore makes your skin unbalanced. Your skin will feel increasingly dry, tight or burning and you will feel the need to apply more cream. This effect is known as paraffin addiction. It’s a well-known effect when you use lip balms, but it works the same way on other parts of your skin, such as your face or legs (familiar if you’re a heavy user of body lotions?). Instead of solving the dryness problem, mineral oils only make it worse.

In addition, two types of mineral oil contain certain hydrocarbons, MOSH (Mineral Oil Saturated Hydrocarbons) and MOAH (Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons). MOAHs are potentially carcinogenic. MOSH can accumulate in the body’s fatty tissue and cause neoplasms (both benign and malignant) in the liver, spleen or lymph nodes. This is especially important with lip balms, of which you also ‘eat’ grams per year and thus these mineral oils enter your body.

Why are they used?

So why is it so often used in skincare products? Because it is the cheapest fatty ingredient you can get. For less than a few cents, you can get a jar of fat. Add water and a (synthetic) emulsifier, a (synthetic) perfume and you can conquer the world with your cream.

Witlof Skincare stays far away from the use of mineral oil. We prefer to use vegetable oils with skin-identical fatty acids that nourish and protect, and keep your skin supple and soft. They also provide the necessary vitamins and anti-oxidants. Your skin can carry out its functions as an organ properly (they are even supported) and will remain balanced and radiant. Because a healthy skin is a radiant skin!

And how do you get rid of your paraffin addiction? Do a skin detox! Find out more here.

How are they listed?

How are the different types of mineral oils listed on product packaging? Here is a list:

Mineral oil
Petroleum jelly
Paraffinum Liquidum
Paraffinum Subliquidum
Cera Microcristallina
(Eucerit) Microcrystalline Wax
Liquid paraffin
Liquid petrolatum
Paraffin oil
Petrolatum Liquid
Petroleum Oil
White mineral oil
White oil

Read more…


Jennifer Hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman

Jennifer Hoffman is a well known actress and tv presenter on Dutch television, with a deep interest and passion for all things sustainable. She is always looking for greener ways to travel and wants nothing more than for her stories to make a difference. We had the...

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic Acid

It is almost impossible to pronounce, hy-a-lu-ronic acid, and it also sounds very chemical, but Hyaluronic acid is a super effective, natural substance that can do a lot of good for your skin. What does hyaluronic acid do? Because hyaluronic acid can retain so much...



It's often women who suffer from continuously red, painful skin with bumps. Sometimes even a diagnosis is given: rosacea. But what is it? And how do you best deal with it? Rosacea is a skin condition in which the skin is chronically inflamed. The skin is red, with...


We don’t like all those emails, trust us. That is why we only send you a newsletter if something is really worthwhile. Such as nice discounts or useful natural skincare tips.

    I agree with the processing of my data and would like to be regularly informed about Witlof Skincare news