(It’s Natural Health Weekend!)
WHAT IS MINERAL OIL?
Mineral oil is a colorless, odorless petrochemical derived from crude oil (yep, the same crude oil used to produce gasoline). It’s cheap and widely available. Mineral oil serves as an over-the-counter laxative when ingested, and is widely found in lotions and other cosmetics for external use on the skin. Other names for mineral oil include petrolatum, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), liquid parrafin, light liquid parrafin, propylene glycol and baby oil.
WHAT’S THE PROBLEM WITH MINERAL OIL?
Mineral oil causes elevated estrogen levels in our bodies (aka, estrogen dominance or hormonal imbalance). It acts as a xenoestrogen, a potent “estrogen mimic”, which also affects the fetus of pregnant women and nursing mothers. Xenoestrogens are administered directly to babies through the use of petroleum jelly and baby oil. Mineral oil products also lead to estrogen dominance in men, low sperm count, low sex drive, testicular and prostate cancers.
[Note: Xenoestrogens are also released from plastic food containers during microwaving, leached from plastic water containers, and found in birth control pills.]
Daily use of products containing mineral oil is linked to the early onset of puberty, various cancers (including breast cancer), thyroid disease, blood sugar issues, weight gain, irregular menstruation and depression, to name a few.
Although women undoubtedly face some level of hormonal issues with age, I have a personal theory that prolonged use of mineral oil products and long-term exposure to xenoestrogens over a period of many years exacerbates hormonal symptoms in older women.
PRODUCTS THAT CONTAIN MINERAL OIL
Don’t just look for “mineral oil” on the label. Get familiar with the other names for mineral oil. This toxic ingredient is widely found in lotions and creams, skin cleansers, cold cream (make up remover), perfumes, shampoos, mascara, lipsticks, foundations and other cosmetics.
HEALTHY, SAFE ALTERNATIVES TO HYDRATE YOUR SKIN
I’m still in the process of 100% ridding my home of mineral-based products. I recently bid farewell to Vaseline and said good-bye to my formerly beloved Lubriderm body lotion. Both are xenoestrogen offenders.
Since I already keep Raw African Shea Butter and Jojoba Oil on hand to condition my hair naturally, I began to use these products on my skin. Their moisturizing effectiveness blows conventional lotions out the water and I have peace of mind that my whole family is using products that keep them safe from exposure to toxic ingredients.
Raw African Shea Butter: Shea butter has been in use for centuries. It’s most often extracted by hand, coming from the nuts of the Shea (Karité) Tree found in West Africa. The use of Shea butter in conventional products is on the rise, but those products are highly processed, stripping Shea of its natural healing properties. These mainstream products may also contain mineral oil. It’s recommended that Shea only be used in its pure, raw form (dense and yellow in color).
Shea Butter Uses/Treatments:
- contains Vitamin F for skin moisturizing & chapped, dry lips
- treats eczema and burns
- aids dark spots, stretch marks and scars
- helps restore skin elasticity
- deep hair conditioner
- natural sunscreen
- Vitamins A & E for skin balance & normalization
- provides collagen for anti-aging benefits
- pain reliever for swelling and arthritis
- massage aid for muscles and stiffness
- diaper rash treatment
- Shea Butter Full Profile
Pure, raw Shea butter is extremely thick, yet does not clog pores. It contains the fatty acids Oleic, Palmitic, Linoleic and Stearic. It will appear to be a yellow, hardened block, yet quickly melts in your hands as you rub it into your body. Shea on the lips provides superior moisturizing results compared to petroleum jelly, Chapstick, or other conventional products designed to hydrate the lips and protect from the elements. Shea is also a superb hair conditioner for all women, and is a top notch daily hair moisturizer for women of color (I use it almost everyday!).
Raw African Shea Butter is very affordable and a little goes along way. I sometime use Shea together with a few drops of Pure Jojoba Oil or several drops of Grape Seed Oil. All 3 of these natural products are found among my beauty supplies.
A “CALL TO ACTION” TO PROTECT YOUR HEALTH
1. Get familiar with the myriad of names for mineral oil.
2. Examine the labels on all of your beauty products to identify the offenders.
3. Get rid of any products containing mineral oil. You just gotta!
4. Explore Shea Butter as a multi-purpose, natural alternative and research other organic cosmetics.
5. Share this mineral oil alert with your loved ones.
6. Give yourself a pat on the back for an anti-mineral oil job well done.
One free bitch slap is available upon request to anyone who ignores this critical call to action.