Navigating the murky waters of cosmetic ingredients is often complicated for the consumer. Between greenwashing and advertising, the majority of brands sold in supermarkets praise the merits of their products by surfing the profitable wave of ecology and naturalness.
Only here, what is the difference between a vegetable oil and a mineral oil? What are the benefits for you, your skin and your well-being? As a consumer, you have a choice!
The success of mineral oils from petrochemicals
To name a few, you may have already read on the composition label of a cosmetic product words such as:
- mineral oil
- paraffin (paraffin)
- petrolatum (petrolatum)
- silicones (found in the composition with names ending with the suffix -cone, e.g. dimethicone, phenyl trimethicone, etc.)
- liquid paraffin (paraffinum liquidum)
- paraffin wax (cera microcrystalline)
- synthetic wax
These substances come from the distillation of fossil fuels such as petroleum (petroleum jelly), which are then chemically transformed to serve as the basis for most of the big name cosmetic products. This is how we find these substances in particular in creams, make-up and hair care. However, the oils most used by industry are paraffin and petrolatum.
The windy merits are as follows: good hydration of the epidermis and the relief of irritations for more softness and comfort.
You should know that mineral oils are considered inert, since they come from hydrocarbons. In other words, because they are free of vitamins, these oils have no healing or nutritional properties for the skin and hair.
They are non-oxidizable, provide a surface benefit, do not contain fatty acids or vitamins and are occlusive, i.e. they form a film on the skin or hair, which will prevent dehydration. The other side of the coin being that this film is suspected of favoring the appearance of blackheads and acne, because the skin does not breathe optimally.
In addition, there is the risk of the presence of impurities or toxins that the liver will store and which could be potentially carcinogenic since the body cannot assimilate mineral oils.
So why are mineral oils used by industry?
The primary interest is certainly monetary, since the cost of production is much lower than that of a vegetable oil. These oils derived from hydrocarbons are stable (no risk of oxidation and therefore rancidity) and are versatile. Thus, they can be used in multiple ways by industry (beauty products, make-up, cosmetics, care). Finally, mineral oils are colorless, odorless and tasteless, which allows all kinds of mixtures with other ingredients.
The interest of favoring products containing pure vegetable oils
A superior quality vegetable oil is obtained thanks to the extraction by first cold pressing, which will make it possible to obtain a quality oil since it will keep all its nutritional properties for the skin.
The benefits of vegetable oils are numerous:
- The material is alive and therefore a source of a really interesting contribution for the skin and the hair
- These oils are non-occlusive, i.e. they are absorbed deep into the skin for real care, they cross the different layers of the epidermis, let air pass through and therefore the skin breathes.
- The container does not empty quickly, since a small amount daily is enough to obtain maximum benefits
- They are naturally fragrant
- No risk of harmful assimilation for the body since they are edible.
vegetable oils versus mineral oils - comparison
Why are these vegetable oils in the minority on the market?
For the producer, the cost is higher, which will have an impact on the cost of the final product for the consumer. However, the product will be healthier, rich in active ingredients and vitamins, and much more effective for the skin and for health in general.
At Belle Luce we use high quality vegetable oils from organic farming, from first cold pressing and labeled Ecocert IMOswiss AG ECOCERT* certified. Rich in vitamins, they are free of pesticides and dyes.
We also produce macerations of flowers from organic agriculture in Valais.
Discover our vegetable oils and oily macerants as well as their benefits:
There are a host of carrier oils like hemp, lavender, and calendula that meet your specific needs for dry skin, irritation, eczema, oily skin, and more.
Discover our vegetable oils and their benefits:
For the face
- Precious hemp serum for the face. Non-comedogenic, this oil reduces wrinkles and improves the elasticity and firmness of the skin.
- Calendula flower oil with anti-inflammatory properties. It is ideal for the care of the body and face of fragile skin.
- Nettle tonic oil with toning, remineralising, anti-inflammatory, draining and fortifying properties. For body and scalp.
For the body
- Soothing lavender oil with relaxing and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Bust care oil with daisy, ideal for skin tone.
- Massage oil with 7 plants with draining and firming properties thanks to a mixture of the benefits of several plants
*To find out more about the ECOCERT label.