READ THE LABEL [CHAPTER 9] What is mineral oil? What is baby oil?

One of the questions I hear most from moms-to-be is, “What’s wrong with baby oil if it’s made for babies?”

Okay, well at least you’re asking. Here is the real answer:

Mineral oil – is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil.
Baby oil – is mineral oil with artificial fragrance. Here’s more information about what artificial fragrance really is.

Loving mom applying baby oilWhat mineral oil is used for:

  • Defoamer in food
  • Preservative on fruit
  • Skin protectant
  • Hair/skin conditioning agent
  • Dehydrated fruits
  • Binders for capsules/pills
  • Used in curing pickles
  • Dust control agent for most grains
  • Lubricate tires for race cars

Mineral oil is used in carsWhere you’ll find mineral oil:

  • Baby oil
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Chrome cleaner
  • Makeup removers
  • Lubricating eye drops
  • Baby wash liquid soap
  • Baby lotions
  • Animal feed
  • Some drink it as a laxative

Mineral oil is incredibly inexpensive to produce because it’s left over liquid from the drilling process and it’s abundant. It actually costs more for mineral oil to be disposed of, so these drilling companies sell it to other market segments with nice brand appeal.

What’s the big deal if I put baby oil on my skin or on my baby?
If you go back and read, READ THE LABEL [CHAPTER 1] The Purpose of Your Skin, you’ll understand that the skin is the largest organ in/on our body. The purpose is to release toxins and control body temperature. When you apply baby oil or mineral oil to your skin, it essentially clogs the pores, and with repetitive use, you’re deliberately preventing your skin from functioning properly in the detoxing/body’s self-regulating process. It can also cause skin problems like eczema!

Guess what, you can feel safe! (being sarcastic) The FDA recognizes mineral oil as GRAS; Generally Recognized as Safe!!  But, they must be closing their eyes to the fact that, “Inhaling baby oil can lead to serious health problems, irreversible brain damage or even death. According to the court case Ayers v. Johnson & Johnson, a 15-month-old received brain damage after baby oil was inhaled into his lungs. Keep baby oil out of children’s reach at all times.”

MSDS for Mineral OilAlso, according to the MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet posted by a MANUFACTURER of mineral oil, they state on their hazard label the following:

Mineral Oil Health Hazard
SYMPTOMS: Symptoms of exposure to this compound include eye irritation. Inhalation of vapor or particulates can cause aspiration pneumonia. Excessive doses may result in anal seepage and irritation. Other symptoms include lipid granuloma, lipid pneumonia, eczematous dermatitis, contact dermatitis, folliculitis, oil acne and melanosis. Ingestion of this compound dissolves and prevents absorption of vitamin A from intestinal contents. When taken for 2-3 days, it can penetrate and soften stools, and may also interfere with absorption of water. Source:

Not sure about you, but I certainly don’t want those vapors to cause pneumonia, nor do I even want to think about anal leakage! By the way dermatitis can be eczema!

What’s the big deal if I drink mineral oil to help with constipation?
In some societies, this is taboo, but in others, drinking mineral oil is a home remedy for mild constipation. (I’m not endorsing this.) If taken internally, once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. Mineral oil absorbs all of the fat-soluble vitamins – basically, it steals vitamins, leading to nutritional deficiencies.

In summary, just because it has “baby” in the name doesn’t mean it’s safe. Don’t trust what these big business people tell you when it comes to the products you put in and on your body. Be smart and read the label! Consider reducing your overall exposure to chemicals.
Would like to hear your experiences with mineral and baby oil.

Stay tuned for more excerpts from my presentation “READ THE LABEL: Understanding Natural and Organic Skin Care.”

Written by Dahlia Kelada, from her presentation READ THE LABEL: Skin Care Ingredients to Avoid  © 2014 All Rights Reserved

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