Will run off Vaseline

Potentially carcinogenic : Stiftung Warentest warns against mineral oil cosmetics

A study by Stiftung Warentest raises doubts about the quality of care products such as creams, lotions or lip care based on mineral oils. These oils are unbeatably cheap as an ingredient and are therefore - besides water - often the most important components of these care products. In their study published on Tuesday, the product testers found potentially carcinogenic substances in all of the mineral oil-based products they examined. They had selected 25 products from this group as an example, including creams, body oils, but also special products such as milking fat and petroleum jelly, and examined them for a critical substance that they had previously found by chance in a body oil in another test: aromatic hydrocarbons, or MOAH "(Mineral Oil Aromatic Hydrocarbons).

Completely new knowledge

The foundation writes: "The high MOAH content indicated that it was not a contamination from the production process, but that the ingredient itself was the cause of the find." That means: The raw material used millions of times is apparently through the bank not prepared carefully enough and contains MOAHs substances that cannot be ruled out that they cause cancer. Because the mineral oils used are obtained from simple crude oil. So that the pure and white raw material is created from the black crude oil, it goes through a complex process in which it is processed and cleaned. At the end of this process, all MOAHs should be removed. But apparently the processing procedure is not sophisticated enough.

The findings also have far-reaching consequences insofar as they indicate that the previous analytical methods are inadequate. This is also underlined by Birgit Relender from Stiftung Warentest, who accompanied the project: “With the previous analysis, it was not possible to sufficiently prove these MOAHs,” she says. "In this respect, our findings are completely new."

Mineral oils are not allowed in organic cosmetics

But nobody now has to throw away all of their care products. The consumer advocates only advise avoiding lip care products that contain mineral oils, because a lot of what is smeared on the lips ends up in the mouth. "None of the tested products pose an acute health risk, but you shouldn't eat an apple with freshly creamy hands either," says Relender. What is otherwise smeared on the skin on the outside probably remains there too - despite all advertising promises about the “depth effectiveness” of a product. However, there are still no reliable studies on this. And it is precisely products such as Vaseline or milking fat that are applied to cracked skin or abrasions, i.e. areas of skin whose natural barrier has been disrupted. But the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR) also considers the "presence of MOAH components in a cosmetic product not necessarily questionable," as it writes in a statement.

If you look at the list of ingredients in your body lotion and read the terms Cera Microcristallina (Microcristallina Wax), Ceresin, Mineral Oil, Ozokerite, Paraffin, Paraffinum Liquidum or Petrolatum, you are holding a conventional product based on mineral oil. In natural cosmetics, mineral oils are not allowed at all; vegetable fats and oils are used instead. But it does not necessarily have to be organic cosmetics: There are also conventional products that do not use mineral oils, in which case synthetic fat and oil components are used. Those who are unsure can also turn to them.

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