Hmmm….is there candle wax in my skin cream?
“Elementary my Dear Watson!”

I have discovered that I love ‘sleuthing’ cosmetic labels. (See the first ‘Dear Cosmetic World’ when I finally pulled my head out of the sand).
Do you ever confuse the term PARAFFIN with PARABEN*? If you do, you are not alone. ‘Paraben free’ is a common claim now used in skin care. But Paraffin is never mentioned.

We burn paraffin candles in our homes and restaurants.
We buy cheeses protected in paraffin wax.
Our homemade jams and jellies have paraffin toppings.
We treat various body parts with the melted wax that seems to do all kinds of neat stuff!
We put it on our skin. All the time.

Why am I concerned about paraffin?

Because I have just discovered it can be toxic.
It might be easier to bury my head in the sand again.

I had never thought of paraffin as being dangerous. Until the ice storm back in ’98. If you lived in southern Quebec or eastern Ontario you may remember that storm. We burned a lot of candles for a long time, turning the air quality in our homes into worse than LA or New York. Paraffin candle emissions are toxic. Many people ended up in hospital with lung disorders after the storm! Better to burn beeswax, or soy.

Paraffin is made from crude petroleum, AKA mineral oil. It is in our skin care products.
Mineral oil: Petroleum by-product that coats the skin like plastic, clogging the pores. Interferes with skin's ability to eliminate toxins, promoting acne and other disorders. Slows down skin function and cell development, resulting in premature aging. Used in many products (baby oil is 100% mineral oil!) Any mineral oil derivative can be contaminated with cancer causing PAH's (Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons). Manufacturers use petrolatum because it is unbelievably cheap.
• Mineral oil
• Liquidum paraffinum (also known as posh mineral oil!)
• Paraffin oil
• Paraffin wax
• Petrolatum


It is cheap.
It is mascara and lipstick.
It is cold cream and face cream and lotion.
It is Baby Oil.
It is not good for us. 

So Cosmetic World, let’s continue to clean up our skin care. Do ‘PARAFFIN FREE’ alongside PARABEN FREE. The we can give you double kudos!

My head is out of the sand on this one. Is yours?

*Parabens are carcinogenic preservatives commonly used in skin care products.