What Is Mineral Oil Good For?

Reviewed on 2/26/2021

Mineral oil benefits

Mineral oil is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid
Mineral oil is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid

Mineral oil is a clear, colorless, and odorless liquid obtained from highly refined, purified, and processed petroleum. The benefits of mineral oil may include:

Health benefits:

  • Mineral oil works as a stool softener and lubricant laxative by making it harder for your intestines to pull water out of your stools. Although cheap and effective, you should not give mineral oil to children younger than 6 years for constipation or if you are bedridden. If you have fissures (internal tears) or hemorrhoids (piles), you may also use this oil to help reduce discomfort.
  • It is a great product to protect exposed skin in arctic regions (cold climates).
  • It helps in dislodging earwax. Place a few drops of body temperature mineral oil in the ears before bedtime for up to 5 days. Once the wax has softened, rinse ears with warm water (this can be as simple as tilting your head in the shower), then tilt your head so the wax can drain out.
  • It can be regularly slathered on feet at bedtime to keep the skin supple and crack-free.
  • It can help treat dandruff when applied on the scalp, followed by shampooing as normal to remove any residual oil. Leave it on your scalp for an hour, comb or brush through, and then shampoo and condition. For best results, repeat this process at least once a week.
  • The American Society for Reproductive Medicine recommends that mineral oil may be used as a fertility-preserving vaginal lubricant. However, studies are still being conducted about the efficacy and side effects.

Regular benefits:

  • Mineral oil is used in skin and lip care cosmetic products because they are mild on the skin. It helps protect and clean the skin. Studies over the years have found that it can improve skin’s softness and barrier functions. It is usually used in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments, and cosmetics because it has several advantages as a natural moisturizer.
  • It can be used to remove temporary tattoos. Pour mineral oil on the tattoo and gently rub the ink off.
  • It helps remove oil and latex paint from the skin. It also acts as a primer for the skin. Use a rag dipped in mineral oil to gently rub the paint spots in a circular motion to remove them from skin.
  • Many commercial lemon oil furniture polishes are just mineral oil with lemon scent. Plain old mineral oil will give your wood the same look without the added smell and cost.
  • Mineral oil is a superior coating for wood cooking tools because unlike olive or vegetable oil, it won't go rancid. Oil-treated wood is more hygienic. Dried-out wood develops tiny cracks that are a favorite hiding spot for bacteria. To extend the life of wood-cutting boards, utensils, and salad bowls, wipe them down with a liberal application of mineral oil. Reapply oil until the wood cannot absorb any more. Wipe off excess oil with a rag.
  • After shaving, carefully dry the blade of the razor. Then apply a thin layer of mineral oil to the blade. The oil will keep the blade from rusting and will act as extra lubricant for your next shave.
  • Mineral oil is also used in making candles and brake fluid and for pest control.

Bonus benefits:

  • Mineral oil can be used to remove gum and wax from hair. Work mineral oil into the gum or wax and affected hair until all the gum or wax comes off easily.
  • It can be used to prevent diaper rash and soothe other types of skin irritation such as skin burns from radiation therapy.
  • It is sometimes used to remove greasepaint (theatrical makeup) with ease. It is also great for removing makeup without pulling at the delicate skin around the eyes. It also works as a conditioner for brows and eyelashes, making them less prone to breakage.
  • As per research, it does not cause acne or blackheads. Its molecular structure is too large to penetrate pores, so it moisturizes by creating a barrier on top of the skin that keeps moisture in and dry air out.
  • It is a non-toxic method of killing ear mites in pets such as dogs. It works by smothering the mites.

Summary:

  • Mineral oil is a colorless, oily, almost tasteless, water-insoluble liquid. It’s found in cosmetics, carrier oils, and lubricant laxatives.
  • Its uses include moisturizing the skin; treating dandruff, cradle cap, cracked feet, mild eczema, and other skin problems; removing earwax; and relieving constipation.
  • It’s possible to experience mineral oil side effects such as diarrhea, stomach pains, malabsorption of vitamins, and rarely even pneumonia. Hence, you should take proper advice before using or consuming it.

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References
Mineral Oil: https://www.chemicalsafetyfacts.org/mineral-oil/

MINERAL OILS, UNTREATED OR MILDLY TREATED: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK304428/

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