Mineral Oil Sensitivity

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 33900955
Copyright : thodonal

 

Ever since I was a baby, I have had wicked reactions to mineral oil, and consequently have avoided it for the bulk of my life.  My poor mother was unable to apply Johnson’s Baby Oil on me, and had to find other options to moisturize my skin.

Whenever mineral oil is placed on any part of my skin, I experience intense itching within a couple of minutes which starts at the point of contact with the oil, then about a minute or so after that, I develop a fine, sandpaper-like, incredibly itchy rash over my entire body.  I must immediately wash off the oil, then take an antihistamine.  The rash takes hours to subside.

In case you think I am making this up, I have gone for massages and hadn’t paid attention to what oil or cream the therapist was using.  There have been numerous incidents in which I reacted to an oil in the manner I just described above, and upon querying the therapist, discovered without fail that they had applied baby oil, i.e. mineral oil, to my skin.

Strangely, I have never had a pronounced reaction to any other mineral oil based products such as petrolatum, paraffin oil, or paraffin wax, so I have kept items like Vaseline and Aquaphor on hand, and I have never concerned myself with small amounts of mineral oil in body lotions.  However, I have never been comfortable with the fact that mineral oil is ubiquitous, used in everything from lotions, to cold creams, ointments, cosmetics, and personal care products.  Mineral oil is very inexpensive, and helps to lock in moisture, making it desirable for use in skin products.

Source: 123rf.com
Image ID : 81118389
Copyright : Dmitry Pichugin

But let’s think about where mineral oil comes from.  When crude oil is refined to make gasoline and other petroleum products, such as diesel fuel, jet fuel, asphalt, lubricating oils, and biofuels, mineral oil is one of the by-products which is used in household and personal care products.  I know that there are purifying methods used to guarantee that the substances used in personal care products aren’t toxic, but I am a bit bothered by the usage of crude oil distillates and by-products in this way, and would prefer to avoid them.

The reason why I bring all this up is because I had the worst reaction ever to a post-laser treatment cream which I was instructed to use immediately following a fractional CO2 laser treatment which took place in mid-November of 2020.  I hadn’t used the cream much during the first 36 hours following the procedure, but began using it 5-6 times a day from the 36 hour point on.  Within a couple of hours, I began noticing an incredibly itchy, fine, sandpaper-like rash which appeared on both arms, my chest, belly, hips, neck, and shoulders.  I kept using the cream, and the rash became angrier, and completely robbed me of sleep for the next 2 nights before I decided that I had better check the ingredients on the post treatment cream.  Of course the second ingredient listed was mineral oil.

Hence began my quest to find a rich, emollient cream which would soothe my laser torched skin without exposing me to petroleum products.  I couldn’t use Aquaphor because it had petrolatum, so I turned to a shea butter cream I had…which also had mineral oil.  I broke out horribly.  My next idea was to use cocoa butter cream, but that also had mineral oil in it, so the rash persisted.  In desperation, I turned to raw mango butter, but I discovered that my skin wasn’t fond of that substance either.

It has been nearly impossible to find rich, emollient creams which are free of mineral oil.  I have been on the hunt since November, and have looked everywhere.  I know there are others who have sensitive, reactive skin, and I had even focused my search on treatments for eczema and psoriasis.  What shocks me is that the majority of products for those conditions have…mineral oil.  It’s enough to drive one mad.

It has now been over SEVEN weeks since I had the laser procedure, and since that time, I have been on oral antihistamines, gave myself two hydrocortisone injections, and used everything imaginable to try to get my skin not only to calm down, but to also offer hydration.  Incidentally, my skin is so leathery and parched, that I must apply emollient creams every hour to replenish moisture, and I am STILL battling a constant rash and hives all over my upper body.  The combination of the fractional CO2 laser and the mineral oil cream have essentially ruined my skin.

For anyone who even dares to argue that mineral oil sensitivity is not a thing, I challenge you.  Honestly, I’ve lived with this condition for my entire life, and I am extremely irritated by the fact that dermatologists foolishly avoid the subject, as if it was some forbidden topic.  An article by Lisa Mai Møller Jensen is particularly irksome, because she claims that “medicinal white oils have no sensitization potential in human skin, which means they do not trigger allergies.”  I’d like Ms. Jensen to explain why I have had horrible and immediate reactions to baby oil as a baby and as an adult, and why I developed the SAME rash last November after exposure to mineral oil. 

Hopefully there is a light at the end of this skin rash tunnel.  There are three emollient creams which I have ordered which are free of mineral oil and other petroleum substances, and I am keeping my fingers crossed that at least one of them will give me blessed relief.

Stress And Your Skin

stressed out woman

Did you know that stress can do a number on your skin? You are probably familiar with the stress-induced breakout, but prolonged, chronic stress can also prematurely age the skin. Stressful situations trigger the release of cortisol, adrenaline, pro-inflammatory cytokines, and angiotensin, all of which rob your skin of collagen and weaken its cellular repairing capabilities. Circulation is diverted away from the skin during stressful situations, which explains the dull, pale appearance of the skin in people who deal with constant stress.

Cortisol in particular inhibits the growth of fibroblasts which are responsible for making collagen, so they can’t keep up with the constant breakdown of old tissue. The result is skin which is collagen deficient, resulting in thinner, more wrinkled skin. Free radicals are formed in response to stress, which then damages skin cells and adversely affects the condition of the skin.

beautiful-look-without-makeup
So how can you fight the effects of stress on the skin? There are three keys:

1. Exercise:

Every cell in the body benefits from exercise, including skin cells The pores of the skin dilate during exercise, and when you work up a sweat, trapped dirt particles are released. In addition, the increased circulation which results from exercise delivers more oxygen and other nutrients to skin cells, as well as carries away waste products and free radicals.

2. Relax:

We all know how frustrating it can be to have a big event looming, only to have an acne breakout right before the big day. The fact is that the stress associated with preparing for the event can trigger excess oil production in the skin, which clogs pores and sets up the perfect environment for an acne flareup. Even other skin issues, like psoriasis, are linked to stress. However, by practicing relaxation techniques, you can increase blood flow to the skin and offset any triggering factors (such as buildup of oil or free radicals) which contribute to skin maladies.

3. Use topicals:

Some of the best friends for your skin are topical agents such as antioxidants and retinoids. I am a big fan of vitamin C, not only because of its general antioxidant benefits, but also because it has a tendency to lighten up brown spots and impart a brighter appearance to the complexion. Retinoids are great for increasing cell turnover, and are potent anti-aging compounds.

Get The Best Skin Ever- Part 1: Lifestyle Adjustments

Beauty face of woman with clean skin

http://www.rxmuscle.com/rx-girl-articles/11853-get-the-best-skin-ever-part-1-lifestyle-adjustments.html

Please read my RxGirl article on making lifestyle adjustments that will transform your skin. You can access the original article by clicking on the link above, or keep reading here for the full article.

“What skin cream do you use? Your skin looks amazing!”

This is a common exclamation from women who admire the flawless skin of those who are either naturally dermatologically blessed or have been proactive about practicing good skin care. Perhaps you are one of the blessed individuals, but most women deal with acne, wrinkles, oiliness, hyperpigmentation, dry skin and dark circles under the eyes, all of which can be addressed with targeted products. If you practice consistent skin care with the right products, you will see improvements in the tone and quality of your skin.

Before delving into topical products in Part 2 of this article, I will utilize Part 1 here to review the many variables which can dramatically influence the quality of the skin.

Sleeping Beauty –
There’s a lot of truth to the adage about getting one’s beauty sleep. When you get adequate sleep, you optimize your body’s ability to repair itself because it has a chance to release human growth hormone in the deep stages of sleep. Conversely, cheating yourself out of a good night’s sleep results in an increase in cortisol release, which increases the amount of inflammation in the body. Basically, the inflammation prevents your cells from repairing damaged collagen, and if this occurs chronically, your skin will adopt an aged appearance. So get some quality shut-eye every night!

Don’t smoke –
I know most of you ladies don’t engage in this habit, but if you do, bear in mind that the habit breaks down the collagen and elastin in your skin, aging you prematurely. Smoking also constricts the blood vessels in the upper layer (epidermis), which interferes with delivery of oxygen and other vital nutrients which are involved in cell renewal. Lastly, the constant pursing of the lips which occurs while puffing on a cigarette causes fine vertical lines (“smoker’s lines”) to develop around the mouth.

Internal antioxidants –
We have all heard of the benefits of daily antioxidant intake and how these nutrients boost the body’s immunity, decrease inflammation, and even improve cognition, so it shouldn’t surprise you that antioxidants also promote cellular repair in the skin as well. Make sure to incorporate foods and supplements which have antioxidants such as vitamins A,C, E, cofactors like CoQ10, and polyphenols like resveratrol in them.

Hydrate from within –
Drink plenty of water, and you will be rewarded with glowing, healthy skin. Every time I have told a patient who suffered either from dry skin or from stubborn acne to drink plenty of water, I have seen dramatic improvement in the quality of their skin after they began drinking at least three liters of water per day. Adequate hydration will ensure that toxins are flushed out of cells and the cells are filled with water.

Healthy fats –
One of the hazards of competing is the tendency for coaches to completely strip dietary fat from contest prep diets. What results is a gaunt, unhealthy, aged appearance in the face which looks terrible and just screams for dermal fillers. Rather than wreak havoc on your youthful appearance, why not keep healthy fats like avocado, MCT oil, coconut oil, olive oil, flax seed, almonds, cashews, and fish oil in your daily regimen?

Limit alcohol –
Alcohol is notorious for dehydrating the skin and for that reason alone should be ingested in moderation. Also, since alcohol is toxic to the liver, it impairs the body’s ability to remove other environmental toxins which will be reflected in the quality of the skin. And for those of you who suffer from rosacea, that relaxing glass of red wine with dinner is a big no-no because it will aggravate the condition.

Clean makeup brushes –
When was the last time you cleaned your makeup brushes? Makeup brushes should be thoroughly washed on a regular basis to remove product build-up, bacteria and oils. If you suffer from acne, you need to be especially diligent about cleaning your makeup brushes regularly. As a general rule, clean foundation and concealer brushes at least once a week (twice a week if acne is a major issue). Eye makeup brushes should be cleaned every two weeks, and other brushes should be cleaned monthly. There are some excellent brush cleaning solvents, but you can mix one part baby shampoo with four parts water for an excellent and cheap brush cleaner.

Sanitize cell phone –
Cleaning your cell phone on a regular basis is a good sanitary practice to adopt, and can also save your skin from acne breakouts and rashes. Think for a minute how much you touch your phone and how much dust, ear wax and fingertip residue can accumulate on its surface. It’s no surprise that putting this bacteria- riddled device next to your cheek can cause skin flare-ups to occur. The best way to clean your phone is to use a soft cloth which is lightly sprayed with a dilute isopropyl alcohol solution (equal parts iso alcohol and water).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this article which will cover topical products and treatments for luminous, youthful skin!

Mineral Oil Sensitivity

I was compelled to revisit this topic because I foolishly went against my better judgement and used a product which I happen to hate, with disastrous results. I hate Lubriderm products and think they are a scam due to the presence of mineral oil. Mineral oil is a very cheap filler which is used in skincare products and cosmetics. What many people don’t realize is that some individuals suffer from mineral oil sensitivity and truly cannot come into contact with it. Sadly, I am one of those people.

Lubriderm is touted as a “dermatologist tested” product, which basically doesn’t mean a thing. Apparently the dermatologists who tested this product weren’t aware of the fact that mineral oil can be a very reactive substance for a segment of the population. I for one have ALWAYS been reactive, though I could never understand as a child why I always broke out in itchy rashes within an hour of being exposed to baby oil. To this day, a high concentration of mineral oil will drive me into an itchy frenzy. This was the main reason why I hesitated when the idea of trying Lubriderm once again, but my stubbornness won out.

I used Lubriderm lotion for normal to dry skin for one week, and during that entire time, experienced itchy skin which only got worse at night, as well as a diffuse papular (raised) rash which covered my shoulders, arms, and thighs. On the last day in which I used the Lubriderm, I actually broke out into hives on my thighs!

As soon as I stopped using Lubriderm, the rash cleared up without any intervention. This was a clear sign that I was indeed still very sensitive to mineral oil, and that it was tragic that products could still be found which listed mineral oil among its top 5 ingredients.

PIt’s important to bear in mind that mineral oil is manufactured from crude oil, and as a result can cause pronounced reactions in people who are sensitive. Such reactions aren’t confined to skin rashes, but also include headaches Mineral-Oilor joint aches. Mineral oil can also disguise itself as petrolatum, paraffin, or propylene glycol.

lease please please be aware that mineral oil sensitivity is very real!