If you suffer from dark circles or crow's feet, you may be in the market for an eye cream. But before you try just any old drugstore option, listen up. The skin around you eyes is very thin and fragile, so you'll want to protect it at all costs. And according to dermatologists, there's one ingredient in many anti-aging eye creams that could be causing some major damage to that delicate area.
Watch out for mineral oils. They're often used to create the thick texture of an eye cream but they can clog pores. This can also lead to infection and other skin problems (like acne!) when the formula is applied to the area around the eye.
And once these oils get into your body, they can be very harmful. According to a 2011 study published in the Journal of Women's Health, "there is strong evidence that mineral oil hydrocarbons are the greatest contaminant of the human body, amounting to approximately 1 g per person."
Dr. Raymond Peat, Ph.D, also supports these findings. "Certain components of mineral oil (which is in many cosmetics) are toxic, and any that does get into the system does not metabolize," he told the Beautyeditor.
Another reason to avoid mineral oils? They've been linked to cancer. A 2009 study published in the Joural of Investigative Dermatology found that mice were at a higher risk of developing cancerous tumors when they received a topical application of 100 mg once a day, five days a week for 17 weeks. While the study hasn't been tested on humans yet, this data definitely raises some red flags.
The FDA currently deems the use of mineral oils safe in cosmetics, but even if the danger risks are low, your skin speaks for itself. If you've ever used one of these creams and broken out or developed a rash, now you know why! And you can take the necesary steps to prevent future blemishes and irritation.