About the author: Jana Lavin is a beauty-obsessed Public Relations major from Los Angeles. She does not represent any of the brands mentioned. Jana is an expert in (mostly) chemical-free and safe-for-(extremely) sensitive-skin beauty products. For more, please visit our About page.
Mineral oil: Our research on FutureDerm has concluded cosmetic-grade mineral oil is safe for skin, so long as it is not used with pore-clogging ingredients. Still, for those seeking alternatives, we provide them here.
is a popular ingredient found in many cosmetic products. However, this widely used ingredient is currently the subject of a lot of controversy in the beauty world. At FutureDerm, we've reviewed a lot of the research, and concluded that mineral oil is safe when not used with pore-clogging ingredients, as mineral oil can trap these ingredients into the skin. [Read more: Is Mineral Oil Really Bad for Your Skin?
] However, to be on the safe side, I’ve decided to avoid mineral oil like the plague! So for those of you with dry skin who choose not to use mineral oil, here are 4 alternatives that I adore:
Weleda Calendula Oil contains lot of - you guessed it - calendula extract, shown to be a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient.
This soothing oil Is made up of sweet almond oil, Calendula extract, and Chamomile extract. Studies have shown Calendula extract to be a natural anti-inflammatory agent, excellent for taking down redness and irritation (Skin Therapy Letters
, 2000). The invigorating, citrus-like scent is a natural byproduct from the ingredients, so those of you who are sensitive to synthetic fragrances, fear not! This stuff is all plant and nut oils. I even put this oil on the ends of my hair to give it a beautiful shine and leave it soft and touchable. However, it is made up of almond oil, so skip this one if you have nut allergies.
Desert Essence Cuddle Buns Massage Oil is best to use at nighttime, as citrus oils can increase photosensitivity.
This nourishing oil is made up only of 5 oils: Safflower Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, jojoba Seed Oil, and Orange Peel Oil. The orange aroma makes applying this oil all the more pleasant. However, I suggest using this one only before bedtime, because orange peel oil is known to cause photosensitivity (heads up: all
citrus oils increase photosensitivity!).
I love the olive oil in Badger Balm - a calming, hydrating antioxidant. Who could ask for more?!
Another balm with a petroleum-like consistency, this amazing alternative uses olive oil as its moisturizing base. It has been suggested in the journal Toxicology
that regular use of olive oil-containing products - in both food and topical skin care - may protect against UV-induced skin damage. Olive oil also contains small amounts of resveratrol, a potent anti-ager that works by activating sirtuins in the skin. Badger Balm works wonders on chapped lips, rough skin, and even around the eye area. This balm goes on so smoothly, you’ll want to put it all over!
Coconut oil contains a lot of fatty acids, making it hydrating for the skin. A study in Dermatitis in 2004 proved it was more effective than mineral oil for hydration!
I will devote a full post to why I love coconut oil so much--this is my desert island product, for sure. It can be used absolutely anywhere. I douse myself in this stuff after a shower and I am silky smooth for the rest of the day. A 2004 study in the journal Dermatitis
determined that it is just as moisturizing as mineral oil!
These are my go-to products for softening my dry skin in a mineral oil-free way. Of course, improper use of any product can clog the pores, including hydrating natural oils. As you can see, I’m a huge fan of the more natural products. Do you have any natural mineral oil alternatives of your own?