Liquid Paraffin and Its Use in Moisturising Creams

There has been some adverse comment about the use of aqueous emollients in our moisturising creams and natural hand and body creams, with these detractors claiming superior benefits from animal or plant based oils. Aqueous emollients are mineral based and commonly known as emulsifying ointment from liquid paraffin. They are used by 95% of the medical and cosmetics industries in creams, eye make-up removers and most cream based products. Liquid paraffin, sounds terrible with some people saying why would we use mineral based products on our bodies and faces to be impregnated into our skins and of course we use this precious mineral to make candles, plastics and even in the making of our car tyres.

The simple truth is that what we use in our moisturising creams is a very different refined product and most importantly, it works. This mineral is diverse and comes in many forms, crude, adapted and refined. So this refined liquid paraffin product ends up as a smooth and effective ointment. Yes it is relatively inexpensive at this stage because it is an abundant mineral, but it is what we put into it that turns it into a cheap or expensive product. So everything that dominates our lives is animal, vegetable or mineral. We as humans are animal and most soaps are rendered from animal fat and is greasy until refined and processed and used on our skin as soap. Soap on the whole has never been good for our skins, it is just effective as a cleaning process for instance for loosening industrial dirt, effective in the days of steam engines and mining coal.

Vegetable oils, both nut and vegetable oils, for example olive oils and seed oils, can be good as a base or a carrier for vitamins and essential oils used with creams or for massage, but for me, most of these oils are better used for cooking, for example olive oil. Linseed oil is very good for our digestion but better used as seeds as additive to our morning cereal. The oil has a disgusting taste and smells as if it should be used on wood as indeed it commonly is. So vegetable, nut and seed oils are not all that compatible as skin products as when mixed with water they separate. They are all right when mixed with essential oils and used as massage but the last thing we want on our skins is an oily substance that cooks us. This was very fashionable in the 1960s with suntan oils. Sun creams now are mostly cream based emollients.

Mix liquid paraffin with water and it turns into a tasteless, odourless, beautiful cream. But the most important point in its favour is that it is extensively used by the medical profession as their preferred ingredient to help relieve itchy skin irritations such as eczema and other allergy related skin problems. Some dermatologists use it to make up creams for themselves and oncologists recommend it as a moisturiser for cancer victims. Then along come the cosmetics companies who give liquid paraffin a bad reputation by mixing in chemicals, perfumes and vitamin derivatives and anything deemed fashionable, much of which makes us itch and have an allergic reaction.

So look for moisturising creams that have no preservatives, colourings or chemicals. Remember most products have to have a long shelf life and therefore have to include preservatives, but there are small companies with pure natural hand and body creams which contain no additives and preservatives, so read the ingredients carefully next time you buy a moisturising cream and do not let the ingredient liquid paraffin put you off. It is refined pure and qualified dermatologists confirm that it works and is the best skin cream for wrinkles.

Michael Ortiz

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