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Dear Fig+Sage: Mineral Oil In Skincare?

Due to the number of questions we receive each week, it has become nearly impossible to reply to all of them personally so we've decided to pick ones out of our inbox and share them with all of you! Please accept our apologies in advance that we are unable to respond to all inquiries. This one arrived to us just last night:


"Hi there,

I need an answer and you seemed to be the perfect person! (I found you on Gorgeously Green) What do you think of mineral oil in cleansers? I bought a shu uemura Cleansing Oil today and the first ingredient was mineral oil. I remember reading somewhere, years ago, that mineral oil is not good for my type of skin, oily. Your thoughts? Any alternatives? I was drawn to the S.U. cleansing oil because of the one step factor, make-up remover + cleanser.




Hi L.K.!

First and foremost, we're thrilled that you are reading labels and are concerned about what you put on your body! Secondly, and for the quick answer...mineral oil is nowhere close to natural and we avoid it.

Manufacturers use this petrochemical because it is unbelievable cheap. In fact, it's said that it costs more to discard of it then to purchase it (which makes sense since its a polluter). Mineral oil is liquid petroleum, a byproduct in the production of gasoline. It carries numerous health implications such as: it's a carcinogen suspect, an endrocine disruptor, it's linked to reproductive and developmental toxicity, photo sensitivity and aspiration of it can cause chemical pneumonia. It also clogs pores, hindering your skin's ability to breathe (essential since our skin is our largest organ).

We realize that years ago it was all the rage to slather your body with Baby Oil (which is 100% mineral oil) and sunbathe. We also cringe when mothers slather their babies with it and believe if they knew what it was they would find a pure alternative immediately. Sure, some doctors prescribe it as a laxative (and we've even heard that one of our family member's doctors instructed her to take some mineral oil to induce labor). This doesn't make it safe, pure & healthy. It also has ecological implications as the production and removal of it, pollutes the air and water. Look out for mineral oil on labels listed as liquidum paraffinum, paraffin oil, paraffin wax or petroleum.

Now, for the recommendations! You indicate you have oily skin and you want a product that will cleanse and remove makeup. The good news is, you are on the right track with using oil on your face, but it must be totally pure and plant-based to get the results you are looking for. Applying pure oil to your face will likely help in your oily skin dilemma. When skin is dry, you'll produce excess oil to compensate for it's dehydration. (Sounds odd, applying oil to an oily face...but you'll be amazed at the difference in your skin once you've tried it).

Benedetta Rosemary Geranium Creme Cleanser: A 1-step treatment to cleanse, tone & exfoliate and packed full of organic & biodynamic ingredients. (Don't let the website throw's in great need of an update, but the products are totally pure and contain top notch ingredients). This will remove even eye makeup easily. Has a very herbal aroma which we love, but for those of you who prefer citrus scents, see below. (Does not foam).

Stem Organics Gentle Cleansing Milk: More like gel and less like milk. With a mild orange aroma, it's wonderfully refreshing and removes makeup. It’s gentle and it hasn't irritated or caused breakouts for us. Skin isn't tight or dry after washing, it feels cleansed, soothed & silky. This is one of our favorite cleansers at the moment! (Does not foam).

Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser: Packed with nourishing & totally pure oils, combined with fine sugar granules when you need some exfoliating action. Perfect for normal, combo & oily skin. This is one of my (S) all-time-favorite, keep-going-back-to, can't-live-without skincare products. (Very slight foaming action).

Good luck to you in your skincare search and thank you kindly for writing!

Take Good Care,


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