Did you know that skin creams containing paraffin have been linked to many fire deaths? Apparently, people using these creams regularly are at risk of setting themselves on fire as the creams soak into their clothes and bed sheets, making them flammable.

No, we’re not talking hypothetically. You can literally set yourself on fire by accident if the weather gets too hot, should that be your unlucky day. And everyone knows how unforgiving the Malaysian heat can be..  🔥

What is Paraffin?

Liquid paraffin is a petroleum derivative that is also commonly referred to as ‘mineral oil.’ It’s typically used in candles, polishes, for sealing/waterproofing purposes and many well known cosmetic products – such as petroleum jelly-based skincare items and E45 dermatological creams.

On top of being used in nappy creams, paraffin-based creams are famously used to treat common conditions like eczema and psoriasis and are often recommended by doctors. However, there are natural products available to treat these conditions.

Why is Paraffin bad?

It is used as a barrier on the skin supposedly to retain moisture, creating a somewhat greasy but smooth feeling on the skin, giving the user a sensation of moisture. In reality, these kind of products just add a greasy film to the skin which prevents the skin from breathing, and can cause clogged pores, acne and skin irritations. (‼️)

Therefore, some argue that the moisturising effects of liquid paraffin are simply a sensory illusion. Just ask yourself, does the cream creates a feeling of moisture or does liquid paraffin actually moisturises the skin?

And also; if this ingredient is so good for the skin, why do some eczema sufferers seem to experience an exacerbation of symptoms when using creams with this chemical?

Read the ingredients label

Because of the widespread use of this chemical, those concerned with possible side effects should carefully inspect product labels of all skin care products before purchase, and to look for the alternate name ‘mineral oil’ as well. Regulatory agencies have repeatedly warned of the dangers of paraffin-based creams and have advised they should contain a warning on the packaging.

Would you stop using products that contain paraffin? I know I have. 

[Source 1, 2]