According to the currently available scientific knowledge, no health risks are to be expected for consumers who apply cosmetic products to their skin, in the view of the BfR. Accordingly, there have been no reports up to now of any effects on health through the mineral oil components contained in these cosmetic products, even though they are used over many years and often on a daily basis.
In addition to possible absorption via the skin, oral exposure has to be considered, especially with lip care products, which can also contain mineral oils. As low-viscosity mineral oils can easily be absorbed orally, medium- and high-viscosity mineral oils and microcrystalline waxes are recommended for use in lip care products. Certain highly purified food grade medium and high-viscosity mineral oils and microcrystalline waxes were subjected to a health risk assessment by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) and approved for use in the food sector.
Values for acceptable daily intake (ADI) were derived for these mineral oils and waxes by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) and by EFSA. Cosmetics Europe, the European trade association for the cosmetics and personal care industry, has advised manufacturers of lip care products only to use those mineral oil fractions for which ADI values apply.
The dose of mineral oils ingested orally via lip care products contributes to less than 10% of the ADI value. If the recommendation of Cosmetics Europe is complied with, no health effects are to be expected from oral intake in the opinion of the BfR.