She Blinded Me With Science, or Is My Lotion Really Going to Give Me Cancer?

Working on a tiny midwinter update & doing some light reading 😉 This article’s a few years old, but raises some interesting data regarding mineral oil-based moisturizers & tumor growth:
I dropped out of college after a year & a half, but one of the classes that has always stuck with me was an animal behavior & cognition class. We talked about how stupid chickens really are (not very, as a matter of fact), & how trainers arrest behavioral development in sheep guard dogs, but mostly, we learned how to read & dissect scientific papers.
There is a LOT of bad science out there. A LOT. And a ton of it gets poorly referenced in click-bait-y “expose” journalism that relies on reactionary rage to get us all in a lather about what’s really in our food/cosmetics/medications/etc.
That’s how I found this article: a friend had posted a “YOUR LOTION IS GIVING YOU CANCER” link on FB, & I went digging through the links until I found the original data source. Then I went over the study itself, looking for consistent control methods, sample sizes, & overall good scientific method – if any of those things were weak or non-existent, the study would prove nothing.
Turns out, this is a pretty solid start, with some data that suggests mineral oil-based moisturizers encourage tumor growth in existing cancerous subjects. No, your lotion is not giving you cancer. But if you have a personal or family history of skin cancer, this study suggests you might want to ditch the mineral oil.
(FWIW, I don’t use mineral oil in any PBSW products, nor have I ever. It’s an occlusive, preventing moisture from leaving the skin, which is awesome. But it’s a REALLY GOOD occlusive, meaning that it forms a formidable seal over your skin, triggering breakouts & irritation for many users. It’s also a petroleum product, which, really, isn’t something we need to be slathering all over our bodies; not when there are equally effective plant- & animal-based oils available.)
So, go forth, browse the internet as you will, but always remember to do your research. Friends don’t let friends perpetuate bad science 🙂

About Hayley

I'm a trained pastry chef, DIY queen & mother with my heart in west England, my soul in Chicago, & my feet in south-central PA. Paintbox Soapworks was born out of my love for handicraft, beautiful fragrances & clean hands. I play around with colors & scents & soothe my insomnia by dreaming up new ideas. I pull heavily from music (Waits, White Stripes, Wilco), books (Tolkien, the avalanche of children's books in C's room) & my own fertile imagination.
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