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Petrochemicals: Why Paraffin and Mineral Oil are so Bad

This is a "sticky" situation since the world is so "invested" in paraffin.  Fortunately, our product works in existing warmers and with existing accessories.  We do agree the application of heat to the skin accelerates therapeutic values of natural materials, but it does not need to be counterproductive materials such as  Petrochemicals.

First of all Paraffin is a gas by product and comes in the form of a wax or a liquid, derived from the petroleum refining process. Paraffin wax is a grey sludge which needs to be bleached & processed before it is deemed suitable to work with. It forms the base of many skincare creams. It is used as a lubricant & emulsifier. (1)

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and the State of California, under its Proposition 65 Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act, have identified at least seven major toxins in paraffin wax. Paraffin wax is the final byproduct in the petroleum refining chain and is basically the "bottom-of-the-barrel", even after asphalt is extracted.  (3)

Only 11% of the 10,500 synthetic chemicals used in the cosmetics industry have been tested for safety. Of this small sample of chemicals that have been tested, many are now known or are strongly suspected of causing cancer, genetic mutation or birth defects.

Most people don't realize the Food and Drug Administration doesn't evaluate cosmetic products for safety before they're sold. Yet many nail polishes, perfumes and moisturizers contain phthalates (pronounced THAL-ates), which can increase circulating levels of estrogen and testosterone in humans, according to the National Academy of Sciences. In June, a study linked phthalate exposure in pregnant women to abnormal genital development in boys, and the research is mounting. (1)


Petrochemicals are the by-products of the petroleum industry. This includes paraffin wax (see below). Petrochemical ingredients include perfume & fragrances, emulsifiers, petrolatum, propylene glycol & mineral oil. Mineral oil is manufactured from crude oil and should not be used on the skin.

Paraffin is a petroleum by-product, but what does that really mean? First of all, do some research and as we have found, paraffin starts as the grayish-black sludge which oozes out of the backside of the petroleum refineries. It is the substance left over after producing many of the other common petroleum products such as gas, oils, pavement, etc. (2)

This grayish-black crud is then bleached with 100% strength bleach (creating dioxins, which are toxic), while we only use 10% bleach in our laundry. This white ooze is then processed into ‘solid’ paraffin using various. carcinogenic, solidifying chemicals, a common one is called acrolyn.

Paraffin wax is then sold to many very nice companies and people who add various other ‘texturizing’ chemicals, artificial dyes for colour and synthetic fragrances.  Further paraffin wax contain volatile organic compounds formaldehyde and vinyl chloride and produce human carcinogens benzene and toluene when burned.

Do more do you need to know about Paraffin? 


1. Manuka Living

2.  Philoxia

3. Oraganic

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