Natural organic oils vs mineral oils: What’s the difference?

Natural organic oils vs mineral oils: What's the difference? 1

With such a big variety of oils on the market these days that it’s important to gain an understanding of what each type of oil is, and what it does, so that you can use it to your advantage. After all, not all oils are created equal, so it’s important to know what you’re putting on your skin.

Two of the most common oils used in cosmetic products are natural organic oils and mineral oils. Different in their make-up and origin, they’re often put up against one another in the quest to find the best skincare treatments. Understanding the differences between them will help you make an informed decision – and it could save the health of your skin!

Natural organic oil

What is it?

The term “organic” is often misused in the beauty industry, leading to confusion and misinformation. An ingredient or product is “organic” if it adheres to certain standards and requirements during the sourcing, production and processing phases. This includes practices like avoiding the use of prohibited substances (for example pesticides) and other potentially harmful additives.

Natural organic oils are oils sourced organically, from organically-grown plants, fruits, nuts, flowers, bark, leaves, roots and stems. These oils are highly concentrated and filled with natural nutrients.

Pros

  • These oils absorb into the skin quickly and can actually penetrate the skin through pores and the intracellular matrix.
  • Natural organic oils offer a wide variety of skincare benefits. They may be moisturising, antimicrobial, soothing, clarifying, detoxifying, balancing and rejuvenating.  
  • Natural organic oils are free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives and are safe to use on skin.
  • Many of these oils have been used for centuries, providing us with the peace of mind that their long-term use is safe and beneficial.
  • Organic farming practices are eco-friendly; they help restore soil health and prevent harmful chemicals from entering water sources and soil.

Cons

  • Natural organic oils may be more expensive than other oils.
  • In a very small percentage of people, the use of certain natural oils may lead to skin sensitivity or irritation.
  • The terms “natural” and “organic” are not well-regulated, and are often used in misleading ways. When purchasing natural organic oils, make sure you are buying from a reputable brand that’s transparent about the source of the ingredients.

Mineral oil

What is it?

Despite being a popular ingredient in cosmetic products, mineral oil is known to arouse quite a bit of suspicion. It is, essentially, a derivative of petroleum (as in crude oil). But unlike untreated crude oil, mineral oil is highly refined and stripped from potentially harmful carcinogenics like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons before it is used in cosmetics (mineral oil is popularly used in antiperspirants and moisturisers).

Despite being refined, there is still a lot of concern over the trace amounts of chemicals present in mineral oils, and their potential to pose health risks.

The pros

  • Mineral oil has the ability to protect the skin’s natural barrier and to lock in moisture.
  • It has hydrating, softening and smoothing properties.
  • It is well-tolerated and inert, and while some plant-based oils may cause irritation, mineral oil is unlikely to trigger sensitivity or irritation.  
  • It is inexpensive.

The cons

  • Depending on its level of refinement, mineral oil may be comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores, causing blackheads and breakouts.
  • It is highly occlusive, which has led to concerns that it may prevent toxins from leaving the body through the skin.
  • There are concerns over the trace amounts of chemicals present in mineral oil, which are present despite the refinement process.
  • It is derived from a non-renewable resource.
  • While it is effective at forming a thin barrier on top of the skin to prevent moisture loss, it can leave a heavy feel on the skin, so it needs to be combined with other ingredients to improve its cosmetic appeal.

While we know that mineral oil goes through a refinement process, some companies use more refined mineral oil than others, and as a consumer, it is very difficult to know how refined the oil in your product is. If not highly refined, it may include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are carcinogenic. Typically, mineral oils used in the USA are not as refined as those used in Europe.

Medical News Today recommends*, “People should avoid buying products that contain mineral oil unless the label states that it is fully refined as white petrolatum or white mineral oil. White mineral oil is highly purified and meets specifications to ensure that it is safe to use in over-the-counter products.”

Considering both the pros and the cons of natural organic and mineral oils, it is clear that natural organic oils are not only better for your health, but also for the environment. 

Looking for top quality natural organic oils to nourish and protect your skin?

BaoCare is a proudly South African skincare brand that harnesses the power of organic baobab oil to offer consumers 100% natural healing baobab oil serums suitable for the whole family.

Why baobab oil?

The baobab tree is known for offering an abundance of treasures, with almost every part of the tree (roots, leaves, fruit etc) being utilised by people living around it. The discovery of the beauty benefits of baobab oil has led to this natural oil gaining international recognition and popularity in the beauty industry.

A lot of lotions and moisturisers on the market are water-based, which means that they require added stabilizers, synthetic preservatives, performance enhancers and fragrances to keep them stable and improve the user’s sensorial experience. Natural organic oils rarely need any of these additives, and baobab oil in particular is a very stable oil that does not require preservatives (it has a natural shelf-life of two years or more!).

Natural organic oils vs mineral oils: What's the difference? 2

Baobab oil is a naturally light oil made up of very small molecules and therefore absorbs quickly and easily into the skin. It leaves your skin with a soft satiny finish without clogging pores or leaving a greasy residue. It’s one of the many reasons you’ll enjoy using Baocare Baobab Oil – with its unique fatty acid profile that actively replenishes and regenerates new skin cells, baobab oil gives a natural glow to your skin.

For a healthy glow, try Baocare Radiance Baobab Oil (R200.00 for 50ml). This rich, luxurious blend of exceptional botanical oils will smooth, soften and plump up your skin giving it a satiny finish and a naturally radiant glow. Enriched with jojoba oil (which supports youthful elasticity), pomegranate (which protects against damage from UV light), vitamin E, ravintsara, ylang ylang, rosemary and lavender essential oils, this beautifying oil deeply nourishes and hydrates, leaving your skin glowing.

For dry skin (and perfect for the harsh winter months!), try Baocare Nourish Tissue Oil (R175.00 for 50ml). It’s also helpful to reduce the appearance of scarring and stretch marks. It’s a skin serum that penetrates deeply to feed your skin yet absorbs quickly without leaving an oily residue. Think of Nourish Tissue Oil as the perfect partner for your skin – always there when you need it, always caring and helpful, always nourishing.

Keen to try BaoCare’s Baobab oils but not sure which one is for you? Baocare Skincare Kit (R220.00) contains five BaoCare oils. Each serum helps with the skin conditions you or your family are struggling with such as dry skin, eczema, teenage problem skin, adult acne, scarring, stretch marks, wrinkles, aging skin and baby skin irritations. Making an ideal starter pack or gift, the serums come in easy-to-use 10ml bottles. The pack fits easily into any bag, perfect for travelling or when you’re on-the-go.

Baobab Oil is known to have innate skin healing properties, thus each BaoCare product uses organic and wild-harvested baobab oil as its key ingredient. Each BaoCare serum is uniquely formulated with a blend of baobab oil and other natural skin-enhancing ingredients, which have been carefully selected for each skin condition.

When selecting a natural organic oil for your cosmetics products, you’re not only choosing the healthy option for your skin, but also the better option for the environment.

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