Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mineral Oil...Do or Do Not?

Hey, ladies! Today's topic is a hot topic among naturals lately. It's our famous mineral oil.
Oh, the horror! How dare you speak such blasphemy! (covers mouth in shock)
So we probably all know by now that mineral oil, (aka baby oil) has gotten a very bad rap in the natural community. Some people still swear by it; others avoid it like the plague. Mineral oil is a super cheap form of liquid petroleum (Vaseline) that is supposed to seal moisture in to our skin and hair. But some people debate that it's the opposite.
Frankly, I don't really care. If it works for your hair, then by all means, stick with it. Me, personally, I hate the stuff. Before I became fully natural and I was stretching my perms by 6 months or so, I went through pink lotion like water. I had to use it every night when I got home from college or wherever I'd gone because my stringy, processed twist outs and braid outs were parched dry again. I used it every night to re-twist or re-braid my hair, but it was never as moist as I hoped it would be. It would always be dry by like, mid day. I wasn't doing much protective styling because I didn't know about that then, but either way, I didn't like the ingredients on the bottles of these products. However, there are some people who use it consistently and they still have healthy looking hair going down their back. O_O
I don't use mineral oil because I don't believe that it works for me. It isn't natural and in my opinion, does nothing but sit on your hair and prevent water from getting in. Then it takes a sulfate shampoo to wash these chemicals out, and I REFUSE to go back to using sulfates on my hair. It's been doing so well without it. I believe that once you go natural, there are certain things that you can always go without. Mineral oil is one of them.
It's basically Vaseline. I've never liked using Vaseline as a lotion. Yeah, it makes your skin all shiny and supple for the time being, but I always knew, even when I was younger, that it was unnatural and it was only 'sitting' on my skin. I'm a huge lotion fanatic... mostly because one of my biggest pet peeves is dry skin. I HATE dry skin... any form of it. Dandruff... ick. It just looks like dirt to me. When I saw lotions or hair products not holding in moisture, the first thing I used to look at were the ingredients. Mineral oil was always on the list. These commercial lotions out there... Vaseline, Jergens, St. Ives, even the awesome smelling lotions from places like Bath and Body Works or The Body Shop... all laced with mineral oil. They don't seal in moisture. It's only an illusion of it being a sealant.
If it's a lotion and it's job is to seal in moisture and keep it there at least for an entire day, then you shouldn't be ashy by 2:00.
So, I don't use anything with mineral oil in it. Not because I'm bashing anyone who does; it just doesn't work for me. For body lotion now, I either use a natural oil or I use my whipped shea butter that I can use for hair AND body. I like being versatile with my beauty products. My whipped shea butter will keep me and kid's skin moisturized for at least TWO whole days. They're not ashy when they get up in the morning, which has been such a blessing to me. Like I said, I HATE dry skin. I even hate it when my hands are super dry because my nails feel scratchy. Then I don't want to touch anything because it'll give me the 'nails on a chalkboard' feeling, even if I'm not scratching anything. Eh, I'm just weird like that. But I like that about myself. You won't catch me or my kids being ashy, unless I was just lazy that day or forgot to moisturize.
Other beauty products have mineral oil in them as well, like make up, lipstick (I think), facial cleansers, and lip gloss. I don't use make up at all anyway, and I am on the hunt right now for an all natural lip gloss/lipstick besides my trusty coconut oil. ;-) Same goes for my facial cleanser. Right now, I use my trusty Dudu Osun black soap for my face and it's doing just fine.

I've pretty much eliminated the stuff from any regimen of mine, and I am happy to have done so. Do or do not? I do not!

Questions? Comments? Hit me up here or somewhere else. =)

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Peace out, curly mamas!

~Epic Realist~