Mineral oil, also known as paraffin oil is basically an odorless, colourless, clear liquid by-product of petroleum that is normally used to make gasoline and other petroleum products like baby oil which is a perfumed mineral oil and can be found as an ingredient in cosmetics and for medicinal purposes.
Mineral oil has been used for thousands of years, especially in the treatment of constipation and hemorrhoids. It has been used in ancient times for anointing and is still used for that purpose in recent times, even for massaging.
Mineral oil is a common ingredient in baby products like soaps, lotions, oils, creams and shampoos, lipsticks, eye products like mascara, shaving gel and make-up removers and is considered safe. Mineral oil contains no nutritional value but it may prevent the absorption of certain vitamins and minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E.
Mineral oil can be found at any pharmacy or retail stores worldwide and can be used both internally and externally. Many people use oil as a substitute for vaseline and lotions but people with oily skin would not like it as it adds more grease to the skin which can lead to acne.
Mineral oil is a very good laxative, it works by keeping water in the intestines and stools, even though effective, infants and children should not consume it but can be put the anus externally to stimulate bowel movement. Mineral oil is an excellent choice for the maintenance of a healthy skin and it can also treat eczema, diaper rash, makeup, temporary tattoos and a few drops in the ear can remove the build up of wax. It is used on the skin because it works as a barrier thus protecting it from harmful elements like dust and sun.
Research has shown that mineral oil must not be used on a long term basis because it can be hazardous to the health and it can actually clog the skin pores and suffocates it.
Mineral oil may not have many health benefits but in the end it is a good alternative to have for the body.