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What is mineral oil used for?

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Quick Answer

Mineral oil is used for curing constipation and other bowel-related complications, according to Drugs.com. It also finds use as a topical treatment measure for alleviating itchy, dry or rough skin, reports WebMD. Manufacturers use mineral oil in the production of hairsprays, insulators and solvents, notes Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Full Answer

Mineral oil as a topical solution is a natural moisturizer, notes WebMD. It is helpful for such irritations as skin burns, diaper rash or burns from radiation therapy. Mineral oil helps dry skin by adding more moisture to the surface. Mineral oil is a natural lubricant when it is ingested, and it works by slowing down water absorption in the bowels, allowing fecal matter to pass through more easily, as explained by Drugs.com.

The substance is useful when applying makeup or as a general personal care product, according to About.com. The oil is a common element in polishes and cleaning products and is sometimes an ingredient in wood treatment chemicals, polish, air fresheners and toilet bowl cleaners. Mineral oil is an ingredient in stainless steel cleaners and in certain pesticides. The oil is employed when making different lubricants for engines and various forms of equipment. It is a natural lubricant for human food, and it is a common ingredient in animal feed.

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