When a product is labeled oil-free, it typically means it doesn’t contain mineral oil and implies that it won’t clog pores. But is the idea of mineral oil as zit trigger an outdated one?
A 2005 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology purports that long-dreaded mineral oil, specifically cosmetic-grade, isn’t comedogenic-or capable of causing whiteheads and blackheads-after all. (Industrial-grade mineral oil probably is, but it would never be found in quality skincare products.) Based on their findings, the researchers at Pharma Cosmetix Research believe it should be removed from the time-honored list of comedogenic substances frequently cited by dermatologists and beauty companies.
You’ve probably been told to avoid products with mineral oil for most of your life, so we don’t blame you if one study doesn’t ease your mind and open it to more moisturizers. If you really want to play it safe, though, your best bet for avoiding product-prompted breakouts is to look not for the phrase oil-free, but for the word noncomedogenic, which covers all possible pimple culprits.