Paraffin is a hydrocarbon derived from petroleum that stands out for not having any kind of smell or taste. This compound can be found, either in gel or in blocks, however, its best-known form is oil, which is obtained through subjecting this ingredient to high temperatures. Paraffin oil is a format that is used in various sectors, such as cosmetics and food, due to the various benefits that this liquid gives us.
If you want to know the different uses of paraffin oil, continue reading this article from Easy Fresh Ideas and, in addition, we will explain the benefits of this oil and its possible side effects on our health.
What is paraffin oil?
The paraffin oil, also known as kerosene or liquid paraffin, is a petroleum hydrocarbon which is employed in various sectors including medicine and cosmetics, in which it is used as an ingredient for having the following characteristics
- In its liquid state, it is an extraordinarily moisturizing compound.
- It is odorless, so you can add the perfume or aroma that you like.
- Although at first glance, the color of the paraffin in its solid state may appear white, it is actually completely transparent.
- It has an oily texture and is an ingredient that does not contain any kind of flavor.
Kerosene was first distilled in Canada by geologist Abraham Gesner in 1807 and, a century later, a Polish chemist named Ignacy Lukasiewicz, discovered a simpler method for refining this oil. Currently, we can buy it directly in liquid state or buy it in blocks or gel beads and heat it ourselves, either with specific heaters or in a water bath.
Paraffin oil for cosmetic use
The paraffin oil is widely used in the field of aesthetic and cosmetic as it has a very powerful moisturizing action. In general, this compound is mainly used for manicures and pedicures for the following benefits:
- It’s excellent hydration property is ideal for smoothing the hardest surfaces of the skin, as it eliminates dead cells.
- It also has restorative properties, making it ideal for very dry hands and heavily damaged nail cuticles.
- Finally, this remedial action also relieves the pain of cracked hands caused by very low temperatures.
Although its main use is for hands and feet, this compound, for the properties we have explained, is also ideal for rehydration treatments for the face, since it has the ability to restore softness and firmness to our entire skin.
Medicinal Uses of Paraffin Oil
Kerosene is also used medicinally as an ingredient for some topical drugs such as creams, ointments, and balms to relieve mainly muscle aches. Here we explain the different medicinal uses of paraffin oil :
- It is used as a therapeutic treatment of different injuries such as sprains, contractures and muscular pains due to its relaxing properties.
- Thanks to the heat emitted in its liquid state, it also has a great vasodilating action that promotes blood circulation.
- It is an excellent laxative, so it is also a good medicinal supplement to combat cases of constipation, hemorrhoids, irritable bowel and other intestinal problems.
Food and dietary benefits of kerosene
This compound in the liquid state can also be used as a food condiment as long as it is used in very small quantities. These are the different uses of paraffin in the food and dietary sector :
- Paraffin is used as a food preservative to maintain the quality of food for longer.
- Because of its oily properties and also because it does not give off any flavor, it is also used to give a more attractive and bright appearance to other foods.
- Due to its laxative properties and its caloric properties, that is, practically not absorbed by our body, it is consumed as a food supplement in high-impact diets, such as the well-known Dukan diet. In these cases, it is replaced by the rest of vegetable oils used to achieve weight loss.
In the case of using this substance for dieting, it is important to know that many professionals advise against using paraffin oil as a food condiment, and may have the following side effects: abdominal pain, allergic reactions, diarrhea dehydration, anal itching and vitamin deficiency.
Other uses of paraffin oil
In addition to all the ways of using this product that we have already discussed, there are more uses of paraffin oil :
- Liquid paraffin was traditionally used as fuel for portable lamps and lanterns.
- Its extreme power also makes it used for power jet aircraft engines and space rockets.
- In solid state or gel, it becomes an ingredient for the making of craft candles.
- It also has a use in agriculture, specifically as a component of pesticides for different insects that damage the roots and seeds of crops.
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