Mineral oil (paraffin oil, Nujol) is an inexpensive byproduct of petroleum. It’s chemical properties are similar to petroleum jelly, except mineral oil is a liquid, making it a common ingredient in skincare products and cosmetics because it’s lightweight, inexpensive, odorless and tasteless. Mineral oil has the ability to cut through the minute amounts of grease and dirt, making it possible to strip off the layer of makeup easily and prepare the face for cleansing. It can even be used in and around the eye to remove makeup without irritating the eye. Rubbing a small amount of mineral onto the skin can create a softening or soothing effect. In fact, baby oil is simply mineral oil with added fragrance. One common complaint about mineral oil is that it is thought to contribute to clogged pores, however a study reported in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology (2005) found that the type of highly refined and purified mineral oil found in cosmetic and skincare products is non-comedogenic (does not clog pores).