Mineral oil is a standard ingredient in many skin care applications including lotions, baby care products and cold creams. The verdict is still out on whether or not mineral oil is a natural ingredient. Mineral oil is the by-product of petroleum distillation for the process of making gasoline. Vaseline is also a by-product of this process. In skin care, mineral oil is said to work as a thin coating on the skin to help trap moisture. It does NOT draw moisture to the skin from the atmosphere. Mineral oil is not easily absorbed by the skin and thus is possibly comedogenic meaning it can clog the pores. Clogged pores slow the skin's ability to eliminate toxins which is never a good thing.
Aside from the cosmetic problems mineral oil can cause, there are some more serious implications. Once mineral oil is absorbed by the skin, it is metabolized and travels through the intestinal tract. Mineral oil will absorb fat soluble vitamins from the body and carries them out with it in bodily waste. Essentially, mineral oil has the potential to steal vital nutrients from our bodies. There have actually been some cases of [lipoid] pneumonia that were found to be caused by mineral oil.