Tuesday, March 20, 2012
Mineral oil or baby oil has been used by many people for dry skin over the years after bathing, on wet skin, to help keep it moisturized.
The research is clear that cosmetic (USP/BP) mineral oil does a better job of that and more, than vegetable oils or silicones, while not clogging pores.
It is natural, and safe, and washes out easily when used in small amounts, even with non sulfate shampoo or conditioner only. It is considered to be vegan.
It has been cleared of causing acne and pimples too.
Mineral oil for cradle cap, the Mayo Clinic
Mineral oil is not greasy, sticky or waxy, like petrolatum.
For common dry scalp, a few very small drops of a lightweight cosmetic mineral oil, like baby oil, or that can be bought unfragranced, may relieve the dryness used on a wet scalp, without leaving it greasy, or causing any problems.
I see no reason why it cannot be used that way too.
Update: I phoned Johnson and Johnson to confirm that there is no expiry date for their baby oil. There is none on the their Original Baby Oil, I purchased and use. The product can last indefinitely. Then I phoned my pharmacist and asked why USP/BP mineral oil sold for laxative use has an expiry date. This is how it was explained to me. Over time any product can become contaminated with bacteria, depending too on how it is handled and stored. Cosmetic mineral oil does not support bacterial growth the way vegetable oils can and is very resistant to degradation. So, why the apparent contradiction? It is about liability concerning products sold for ingestion. For that use of mineral oil, manufacturers make sure they have the issue covered. In other words, as long as the USP/BP mineral oil bought for cosmetic use is not also used for ingestion, it can last and be used indefinitely. Updated information on cosmetic expiration dates can be found, from the FDA here.