We'd like to begin by saying this article is NOT about the possible carcinogenic effects of mineral oils (baby oil) or the fact that it is sourced from unrenewable resources We'll leave that to other bloggers. This post intends to discuss which oil is better for your skin.

Mineral Oil Benefits

Not Comedogenic

  • It is not reported to cause acne. Safe for use by acne sufferers.

Skin Barrier

  • As the molecules of mineral oil are too large to penetrate skin, it acts as a barrier for the skin against the environment.


  • It can be used as a make-up remover, lubricant and moisturiser.

Mineral Oil Drawbacks

Does Not Penetrate Skin

  • Depending on what you need your skin care to do, the inability of mineral oil to penetrate skin may be a drawback. If your skin has the ability to hydrate itself i.e. you are healthy then requiring a barrier to trap moisture in your skin is enough.

Contains No Nourishment

  • My opinion is that mineral oil will maintain the condition of your skin. If you are trying to improve it, mineral oil does not contain any Vitamins or minerals (ironic isn't it) to do it.

Vegetable Oil Benefits

Penetrates Skin

  • Depending on which oil, in general, botanical oils have compounds which are small enough to penetrate skin thereby treating it form the inside and out.

Moisturisering / Nourishing

  • Because the active compounds in essential oils are able to penetrate the skin, they are able to stimulate the skin into a state of repair or draw moisture to the dermal (deeper) layers of the skin. So, people who have naturally skin or are suffering from unusually dry skin may benefit from the 'active' ingredients found in organic oils.

Vegetable Oil Drawbacks

Know Your Oils

  • There is only 1 type of mineral oil but many refining grades. Essentially, the properties of all cosmetic grade mineral oils are the same. Flower oils, vegetable oils and nut oils have different properties and again different properties depending on which organic material it was extracted from.
  • So, whether the oil is good for you will be totally dependent on which oil you choose. E.g Argan is a highly nutritious nut oil which promotes collagen and repair qualities of the skin but it doesn't hydrate very well. Castor oil is hydrating but not very nourishing. Neither of these 2 have skin beautifying effects like frankincense or mandarin essential oil. So, a mixture of Argan, Castor and Mandarin essential oil would be a great skin oil. These 3 oils are non-comedogenic. They do not cause breakouts.
  • While a combination Coconut Oil (comedogenic) and Eucalyptus Oil (burns the skin) would not a great mixture.


Both oils have their benefits and drawbacks like everything else. However, mineral oils generally maintain skin while essential and carrier oils have the power to enhance skin. Which one you need will depend on what you want to achieve.

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