Baby oil is made of mineral oil. Mineral oil is something completely foreign to the human body. It is a synthetic oil which is a byproduct of the distillation of gasoline from crude oil. Wait, gasoline? crude oil? Why do we slather this stuff all over our children? Well, mostly because its cheap and abundant so manufacturers sell it to us and tell us it's good for our skin. The honest truth is baby oil is actually harmful to our health.
Mineral oil acts as a thin layer on the skin. It is difficult to absorb and clogs the pores, which slows the skin’s ability to eliminate toxins. Our skin plays a large role in the body's detoxification through sweat. If pores are blocked, the toxins remain in the body for a longer period of time. This alone can be harmful. If mineral oil is ingested, it is broken down by the liver and passes through the intestinal tract. Once in the intestines, mineral oil can absorb all of the fat-soluble vitamins found there. So all those organic foods and vitamin supplements you spend all your money on will get robbed by mineral oil and your body never gets the benefits.
There are claims that mineral oil can cause damage to the lungs, nervous system, skin, and even causes premature aging. An unbiased study released by the Cancer Prevention Coalition in June 2002, contained the following: “Cancer and health experts just concluded reviews that indicate mainstream cosmetics and personal hygiene products including lotions, soaps and shampoos, pose the highest risk exposures to the general public.” It is clear that mineral oil and petrochemicals have no place in skin care products and should never be used on babies or adults.
Unfortunately, baby oil isn't the only thing we need to be concerned about either. There are thousands of unsafe chemicals being used in personal care products that have never been tested for safety.
What should you use instead of baby oil?
There are so many amazing and natural oils that you can use in place of mineral oil or petroleum containing lotions. Some of my favorites are:
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil (you can even infuse it with herbs like calendula)
- Shea butter
- Pure Body Butters – like this one