Are you looking for some information about the benefits of mink oil and its uses for healthy skin and hair? If yes, then read on. This post gives you insight into mink oil’s benefits, side effects, and tips to purchase and store mink oil.
Let’s begin with the basics.
What Is Mink Oil?
Mink oil is a product manufactured from the fat obtained from the fatty tissues of minks that are reared on farms for their fur. This fat is treated and refined under high temperatures and then saponified to produce mink oil.
Mink oil has similar properties as human sebum, a thin layer of lipids produced by the body’s sebaceous glands coat the skin and scalp to protect and moisturize them. It’s why mink oil is used to formulate skin and hair care products, such as moisturizers, cleansers, and conditioners.
But did you know that mink oil is also used for conditioning leather products? To know what all mink oil can do, let’s dive into its history.
History Of Mink Oil
Mink products came into the limelight in the period after the first world war. During this time, mink fur became the new favourite of the fashion industry as silver fox fur lost its charm, and platinum (or grey) mink caught everyone’s eyes.
Platinum mink was the genetically mutated breed of mink with attractive, light fur colour. William Whittingham and Charles Whitaker were the two ranchers from Wisconsin who worked on the mutation independently.
After platinum mink fur became a luxury item, mink rearing became rampant. It’s the time when the rearers first noticed that the fat from minks might also have some use. The first obvious market that the manufacturers tapped was conditioning leather items, such as leather boots, using mink oil.
Post that, different industries used mink oil’s luxury tag to market a line of products, such as makeup or cosmetics and skin and hair care products. These days, only a handful of brands manufacture mink-oil-based products, especially cosmetics and personal care. The reason is that mink oil is more expensive than its alternatives, such as sea buckthorn oil and macadamia nut oil.
Possible Benefits Of Mink Oil
Based on the usage, mink oil may confer several benefits, such as:
Benefits Of Mink Oil For Skincare
Mink oil for skin acts as an occlusive moisturizer, similar to sebum, which traps moisture into the skin. It’s why topical application of mink oil is said to hydrate, moisturize, and protect the skin.
In addition to this, mink oil is known to cause no irritation or allergic reaction upon topical use, meaning it’s hypoallergenic. It’s why several mink oil-based skin care products are considered to be suitable for people with sensitive skin or those with chronic skin issues, such as dry skin, eczema, and acne.
Mink Oil Benefits For Haircare
Physical damage to hair due to pollution or chemical treatment, such as ironing and colouring, can make the hair and scalp dry and flaky. Since mink oil for hair can trap moisture into the skin, its use in hair care regimens is considered to moisturize the scalp, making the hair look shiny, lustrous, and supple.
Several brands manufacture mink-oil-based shampoos, conditioners, hair sprays, and styling gels. Before using any such products for specific hair or scalp issues, such as dandruff, consult a trichologist.
Also, See: Amaranth Oil Benefits for Hair
Benefits Of Mink Oil For Sun Protection
Mink oil for skin doesn’t absorb UVA and UVB radiation. UVA and UVB radiations are two main ultraviolet rays that deeply penetrate the skin causing premature skin ageing and wrinkling. Since mink oil sets a barrier on the skin against these radiations, its use for sun protection is promoted. As a result, several brands manufacture mink oil-based cosmetics and skincare products with sun screening properties.
Benefits Of Mink Oil For Leather:
Mink oil for leather is known to repel water and soften the leather. These properties make it a good choice for conditioning and preserving leather products, such as leather boots and jackets. In addition, several well-known brands, such as kiwi, use mink oil to manufacture leather care products, such as leather care lotion, cream, and balms.
Besides these, some brands use mink oil to manufacture pet care and personal hygiene products, such as hand sanitisers. However, if you wonder about using mink oil for cooking, remember, “consuming milk oil as an edible product is not advisable due to the lack of safety-related data.”
Note: Most uses and benefits of mink oil are inadequately researched. Hence, one should consult an expert before using mink oil-based products, such as cosmetics or skin and hair care items.
Mink Oil Side Effects
Like any other product, mink oil, when used under guidance, is likely safe for adults. However, it may cause side effects in some sensitive individuals, such as mild irritation. Additionally, in rare cases, mink oil allergy may also occur. Hence, do thorough research and discussion with an expert before using mink oil and mink oil-containing products.
Before using the product on your entire skin, do a patch test by applying the mink oil on the back of your hand or elbow. Discontinue use if you experience signs of intolerance or allergy, such as burning sensation at the affected side and itching.
Tips To Buy And Store Mink Oil
Buying a good mink oil and storing it is vital to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Here are some simple tips you can follow to get the best use of mink oil:
- Buy pure mink oil from a trustworthy seller and manufacturer after consulting an expert.
- Check the ingredients list carefully to know whether the product contains pure mink oil or not.
- Store mink oil in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight in a tinted glass bottle. Remember, mink oil is rich in unsaturated fatty acids that readily go rancid under poor conditions.
- Keep the mink oil in a locked cabinet away from children and pets as its ingestion can be toxic.
Mink oil is a useful animal product that can care for luxury leather items to the skin and hair. However, how mink oil works depends largely on its quality. Good quality mink oil can confer several benefits and stay useful for a long time if stored properly. It’s why some brands sell mink-oil-based cosmetic, hair, and skincare products. Whether or not you should use those products depends on your choice.