Mineral Oil Fact Sheet

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by Saasha Plefka

Mineral oil is a common ingredient in many household products. It is found in lotions, soaps, cosmetics and motor oil.[WIDGET1] Mineral oil is a clear, liquid oil with no scent and will not spoil. It is produced as a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Mineral oil is the leftover liquid, and because it is abundant, it is very inexpensive. In fact, it is more expensive to dispose of mineral oil, than to purchase it.

Mineral oil is the main ingredient in many baby care items as well. Baby oil, Vaseline® (petroleum jelly), baby wash liquid soap, and baby lotions all contain mineral oil as a key ingredient. As mentioned above, manufacturers can buy it very inexpensively and it will not spoil.

The problem is that mineral oil is foreign to the human body and has many harmful effects, especially on infants.

  • Mineral oil acts as a thin plastic layer on the skin.
  • It is difficult to absorb and clogs the pores, which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Remember, the skin is the body’s largest organ and plays an important role in maintaining overall health!
  • Once the oil is absorbed, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. And once the oil is present in the intestinal tract, it will absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there. It is essentially stealing important vitamins from the body, which the body will not be able to replace. This can eventually lead to nutritional deficiencies.
  • Studies have also shown forms of pneumonia caused by mineral oil decreasing lung function, known as lipoid pneumonia. Because of these dangers, the medical community has condemned the use of mineral oil taken orally or as an ingredient in medications.

Given these harmful effects, when caring for babies, it is best to use all natural products. Many caretakers know that babies love to put their hands in their mouths. This also means that whatever is on their hands is also going in their mouth, and into their bodies. It is best not to chance your baby’s health with mineral oil and petroleum-based products.

This is especially true for infant massage. Use of an all-natural, vegetable or fruit-based, unscented oil is best. Natural oils are easily absorbed and digested by the body. And oils with added vitamin E will actually benefit the skin and act as an antioxidant.

Certified Infant Massage Instructor

President of Sweet Cheeks LLC

She is also the founder and CEO of Sweet Cheeks LLC, a company that develops and markets skincare products specifically designed for infant massage and babies’ sensitive skin. Sweet Cheeks products can be found on the internet at www.BabySweetCheeks.com and many other online retailers. It is also available at baby boutiques and gift shops throughout the US and Canada.

Saasha is a member of the Junior League of Hartford, where she is actively involved in the community. She has a Bachelor’s Degree from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California and a Master’s Degree from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She is mother to lovely Chloe, a vivacious four year old, Corinna, a newborn who loves massage time, and wife to Tommy, a great dad and partner.


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