As far as skincare goes, one particular component we can’t just do without is oil.

Almost every formulation on the market contains oil, and they even act as a nourishing ingredient for the skin. However, oil comes in two different forms, each having its own unique purpose. We’re specifically talking about natural plant-based oil and mineral oil.

But what exactly are the key differences? Why is natural oil the better option? And what are its benefits?

Let’s find out.

What is the Difference Between Natural and Mineral Oils

To understand the differences between the two types of oils, let’s have a brief overview first.

What is a “natural vegetable oil”?

Natural vegetable oils, such as Jojoba and Argan oil, are extracted from certain plants via cold pressing.

The use of this method allows the fatty acids from those plants to get extracted, which then results in plant-based oil.

What is a “mineral oil”?

Mineral oil is a common ingredient in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments, and cosmetics. It is a lightweight inexpensive oil that is odorless and tasteless.

Mineral oils are derived from by-products of petroleum such as paraffin and silicone. This allows them to leave a slippery film on your skin after application.

To refer to mineral oils, pharmacologists use the terms “paraffinum perliquidum” for light mineral oil and “paraffinum liquidum” or “paraffinum subliquidum” for more viscous varieties. The term “paraffinum liquidum” is often seen on the ingredient lists of baby oil and cosmetics. 

Now that we know where each type of oil is derived from, let’s talk about the differences.

What is the Difference Between Natural and Mineral Oils

As far as application goes, natural vegetable plant oils tend to be the better option as a carrier or base oil. This is simply due to the fact that they can penetrate the skin particularly well without any complications on your end. 

On the other hand, mineral oils form a layer of film on the skin instead of penetrating it. This makes them not ideal for use as a carrier oil for essential oil applications since they will hinder the latter from penetrating deep into the skin.

Next is the effectiveness. Mineral oils have the ability to make your complexion smooth and supple. The problem is that this is only on the surface level as they’re not capable of penetrating the skin deeply. In a sense, mineral oils don’t really provide any added value other than just simply forming a film on the skin. 

With natural oils, however, you can enjoy well-moisturised and nourished skin since they contain certain ingredients that are already found on the skin. They even come with vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, D, E, and K which are all essential for improving the skin. They are far better than mineral oils due to their added value in moisturising and nourishing the skin.

Perhaps one such advantage that mineral oils have compared to natural oils is that they have a much longer shelf-life. Natural oils can easily react to various environmental factors and can even lose potency when exposed to light and heat.

Mineral oils don’t have this problem at all. You can even leave them out in the open without any major impact on their quality, which is why they are chosen for long shelf-life products. But then again, there’s not much going on for mineral oils as far as nourishing the skin goes.

What is the Difference Between Natural and Mineral Oils

Why You Should Go for Natural, Plant-Based Oils

To sum it up, natural plant-based oils come with a lot of major benefits that mineral oils don’t have. They’re as follows:

  • They come from plants while mineral oils are derived from petroleum.
  • They are rich in vitamins and natural antioxidants which are vital for the health of your skin.
  • They’re quite effective in moisturising and nourishing the skin.
  • They can easily penetrate the skin and work excellently as carrier oils.
What is the Difference Between Natural and Mineral Oils


This concludes our article on plant-based and mineral oils and which is the best to use on the skin.

Don’t be afraid of using natural plant-based oils on your skin, as long as you use the correct one, it will help keep your skin healthy and soft. Check out this blog post to find the best natural vegetable oil for your skin type.


With love,


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