Mineral Oil is Not a Suitable Carrier Oil for Essential Oils
Mineral oil is commonly used in a wide array of commercial beauty and personal care products due to its low cost and its virtually colorless and odorless appearance. Most "baby oil" is simply mineral oil that is scented with synthetic fragrance. Even some of the "lavender baby oils" that I've seen dressed up to look like they're more natural contain synthetic lavender fragrance.
Mineral oil is a by-product of petroleum production, and the safety of its regular, repeated use is questionable. Additionally, mineral oil can clog pores.
Although it can be argued that ancient botanical material (as well as animal fossils) may be the partial origin of petroleum products, mineral oil isn't considered of natural botanical origin in the way that we define pure carrier oils that include jojoba, sweet almond oil and rosehip seed oil. Carrier oils are typically vegetable oils pressed or extracted from the fatty portion of a plant, usually from the seeds, kernels or the nuts.
Mineral oil pretty much only serves as an occlusive barrier to the skin.
Carrier oils are superior to mineral oil in the nutritive and emollient benefits that they offer. Within the scope of holistic aromatherapy, carrier oils are compatible with the underlying intent to use pure, botanical ingredients.
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General Safety Information
Use caution when trying any new ingredient, including carrier oils on the skin or in the hair. Those with nut allergies should consult their medical practitioner before coming into contact with nut oils, butters or other nut products. Do not take any oils internally without consultation from a qualified aromatherapy practitioner. Safety information can be found by visiting the Safety Information page. For very in-depth information on oil safety issues, read Essential Oil Safety by Robert Tisserand.
Carrier Oil Book Suggestions
Click on a book's title to view details and read a full review for the book. Visit AromaWeb's Books area to find details about many other essential oil and aromatherapy books.
The Carrier Oil Palette: Fixed Oils, Butters, Herbal Oils, and CO2 Extracts of the Carrier Oil Palette
Authors: Jade Shutes & Sherilyn Siegmund-Roach
Power of the Seed: Your Guide to Oils for Health & Beauty
Author: Susan M. Parker
Carrier Oils for Aromatherapy & Massage
Authors: Len Price with Ian Smith & Shirley Price