The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients
The material selection platform
Cosmetics Ingredients


CAS Number 8002-74-2 / 64742-51-4
Chem/IUPAC Name: 2-(3,4,5-trihydroxyphenyl)chromenylium-3,5,7-triol;chloride
EINECS/ELINCS No: 232-315-6 / 265-154-5
COSING REF No: 77094
Liquid paraffin is a very highly refined mineral oil used in cosmetics. It is also known as paraffinum liquidum, paraffin oil, liquid paraffin oil, mineral oil, white mineral oil, or Russian mineral oil. It is made up of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons and contains saturated hydrocarbons, the majority of which have carbon numbers between 15 and 50. It is a clear and odorless liquid that has emollient and skin conditioning properties.

What is PARAFFIN used for?

Paraffin works as a hydrating, cleansing, and conditioning agent in skincare and haircare products. The term "liquid paraffin" refers to highly refined mineral oil different from the non-medical grade mineral oil, which has not been properly purified and is not ideal for use in cosmetic formulations.

Due to its capacity to aid in reducing water loss from skin and keeping it moisturized, it is used in baby lotions, cold creams, ointments, and many other cosmetic and personal care products. It is a highly purified, lightweight ingredient. The highly refined, purified form is known to be non-comedogenic.


Paraffin can be produced through hydrogenation, acid treatment in combination with hydrogenation, or the intensive sulfuric acid and oleum treatment of a petroleum fraction. The processing operation may also include additional washing and treating steps.

What does PARAFFIN do in a formulation?

  • Emollient
  • Moisturising
  • Skin conditioning

Safety profile

White mineral oil or paraffin has a long history of being safe to use by humans in orally ingested and topically applied products. After a review of the literature, which included findings of negligible skin penetration for topically applied white mineral oil, the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association’s (CTFA), now known as the Personal Care Products Council determined that there was no valid scientific evidence in the published literature of any hazard identified for topical exposure to white mineral oil at any dose in multiple species. This determination is supported by the long history of safe human use of white mineral oil in drug and non-drug topically applied products.

The US FDA also permits the use of paraffin as an active ingredient in the following OTC drug product categories: anorectal drugs, skin protectants, and ophthalmic emollients. It may be used in cosmetics and personal care products marketed in Europe according to the general provisions of the Cosmetics Directive of the European Union.

PARAFFIN Alternatives

Technical profile

Property Values
Boiling Point 360°C
Melting Point 0°F
Solubility Soluble in benzene, chloroform, ether
Insoluble in water
Viscosity Kinematic viscosity not less than 38.1 centistokes at 37.8°C

Commercial Selection : Grades containing solely PARAFFIN

Back to Top