Main menu


Mineral oil: Uses - Specifications - Types


Mineral oil: Uses - Specifications - Types  What is mineral oil?

Mineral oil

Mineral oil, baby oil, or mineral base oil, is made from natural crude petroleum oil. It dissolves in gasoline, ether, petroleum ether, carbon disulfide, and volatile oils.[1]



Overview of mineral oils

Mineral oils are defined as refined petroleum oils that are processed with other additives to meet the exact specifications of different conditions and temperatures, where the mineral oil constitutes more than 95% of the crude oil and the rest consists of additives. For old car and motorcycle engines, mineral oils differ from edible vegetable oils as they are a light, odorless and colorless mixture of higher alkanes from a mineral source, especially petroleum distillates.[2]


Mineral oils (medium and low viscosity) are a subset of the family of mineral oils and waxes. They are made from crude mineral oils through a series of different refining stages, including crystallization, extraction, and distillation, and then refined using acid processing. Mineral oils require a long series of processing stages. To provide the physical qualities and purity required for cosmetics, food, and medicines to be safe for consumption.[3]


It should be noted that mineral oils have many benefits and uses in industries such as: medical uses, skin and skin care, uses in veterinary medicine, in mechanical machines and electrical devices, and in prevention, and also in some food industries and in cleaning products.[2]



Mineral oil uses

Mineral oil has many uses in our daily lives, including the following:


1. Food Industry

Mineral oil can be used in the preparation of some foods, and is used as a binding agent during the yeast industry. It can also be added to various grains such as barley, oats, wheat, and rice to prevent dust from sticking to them. Mineral oil is used in the manufacture of some types of gummy candy, because it contributes To reduce the sticking of candy pieces together.[4]


2. Relieves Eczema

Eczema is a chronic condition and one of the symptoms that is accompanied by dry skin, change in color, it also causes a feeling of itching, and may cause dermatitis, and the use of mineral oil on the skin may help alleviate these symptoms.[5]


3. Cosmetics and personal care

Where mineral oil is a pure and light oil, it is used in the preparation of many cosmetics and personal care such as baby oil, ointments, moisturizing creams, and creams removing cosmetics, and mineral oil contributes to maintaining skin moisture because it reduces the amount of water that is lost through The use of cosmetics containing mineral oil does not cause clogging of the pores of the skin, and these products do not spoil in case of exposure to humid or hot weather.[4]


4. Dandruff

People who suffer from dandruff are advised to put mineral oil on the scalp and leave it for an hour, then comb the hair, then wash it well using shampoo. The mineral oil helps moisturize the scalp, causing a feeling of comfort and relieving dandruff.[5]


5. Reducing the condition of cradle cap in infants

Cradle cap in most cases does not require treatment because it disappears over time from the infant's head, but some methods can be used to relieve it, and these methods include adding some drops of mineral oil to the infant's scalp and leaving it for several minutes or hours This oil helps to make this crust soft and can be moved, after which the infant's head is washed, and it is not recommended to leave mineral oil for a longer period on the child's head, which may worsen the problem of cradle cap.[6]


6. Relieve constipation

The oil in question is a lubricant, and it can also be used as a laxative, so it is possible to take mineral oil, or use it as an enema to relieve acute constipation, and unlike other laxatives, mineral oil affects the intestines and stimulates its movement.[1]



Precautions for using mineral oil

In general, mineral oil is considered safe to use on the skin, but when taking it, it is important not to take it for more than a week without consulting a doctor, and women during pregnancy are not advised to take mineral oil, and inhaling mineral oil is not safe for health and may cause pneumonia, Using it on the skin may cause increased exposure to ultraviolet rays, which increases the risk of skin cancer.[1]



Mineral Oil Specifications

Mineral oils have many specifications in terms of characteristics, types, and others, which can be clarified as follows: [7] [8] [9]

1.      Mineral oils are lightweight, clear, transparent, and inexpensive liquid natures made from petroleum that has been completely refined, purified, and processed.

2.     Mineral oils are chemically inert and stable, and have a long history of safe use in topical treatments, as they can be used as an active ingredient in some over-the-counter drug products, such as rectal medications, skin preservatives, and eye moisturizers, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

3.     Mineral oils that have not been refined or purified are referred to as "raw" materials as all sectors of the automotive, railway and aviation sectors use these types of mineral oils.

4.     Mineral oils have some health benefits, such as: contributing to relieving dry skin, as it can moisturize and soften the skin, in addition to relieving constipation and eczema, removing earwax, and others.

5.     Mineral oil can be used in the manufacture of some basic foodstuffs, as it can be used as a binding material in the manufacture of yeast used in making bread, and it can also be used for cereals such as; Cereals of rice, oats, wheat, barley, etc.; To help prevent dust from sticking to these grains.

6.     Mineral oils are very pure oils that can sometimes be used in therapeutic care products such as; use in some ointments, baby lotions and cold creams, and use in a variety of other cosmetic and personal care products; This is due to its ability to help the skin retain moisture and prevent water loss.




Types of mineral oils

There are three basic types of mineral oil, which is safe for human consumption and approved by the Food and Drug Administration for personal care, cosmetics, and food additives; Mineral oils include the following types:[10]


1. Paraffinic oils

Paraffin oils contain paraffin wax and are the most commonly used base in lubricant products. Paraffin oils’ qualities include high oxidation resistance, higher viscosity index, pour point and low volatility. These oils are also used in the cosmetics industry, and processed mineral oils are used in the rubber, textile and paper industries. , and in the lubrication of industrial machinery and the manufacture of motor oils.


2. Naphthenic oils

Naphthenic oils do not contain paraffin wax, but naphthene oils have qualities of good stability, low viscosity, low pour point and high volatility, and this type of oil is generally used for applications with narrow temperature ranges that require a low pour point, such as the manufacture of metalworking fluids and transformer oils.


3. Aromatic oils

Essential oils are used vital to the manufacture of tires, and contrary to their name, these oils do not have a pleasant smell, have a low volatility and are used to facilitate the processing of rubber compounds, and they are essential to the technical performance of tires, especially their adhesion to the road.





1.      Cherie Berkley (4/2/2021), "What Is Mineral Oil?", verywellhealth, Retrieved 16/1/2022. Edited.

2.     "MINERAL OILS (MEDIUM- AND LOW-VISCOSITY) AND PARAFFIN WAXES", inchem, Retrieved 3/2/2022. Edited.

3.     What Is Mineral Oil?", verywellhealth, Retrieved 3/2/2022. Edited.

4.     "Mineral Oil", chemicalsafetyfacts, Retrieved 16/1/2022. Edited.

5.     Scott Frothingham (30/9/2019), "6 Ways to Use Mineral Oil: For Hair, Skin, Feet, Ears, and More", healthline, Retrieved 16/1/2022. Edited.

6.     "Cradle cap", mayoclinic, Retrieved 16/1/2022. Edited.

7.      "Mineral Oil", chemicalsafetyfacts, Retrieved 3/2/2022. Edited.

8.     "What Is Mineral Oil?", verywellhealth, Retrieved 3/2/2022. Edited.

9.     "Material Safety Data Sheet Mineral oil MSDS", harpercollege, Retrieved 20/4/2022. Edited.

10.  HELEN HARVEY, "Types of Mineral Oil", itstillruns, Retrieved 20/4/2022. Edited.