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What is it?

“Mink oil is an oil used in medical and cosmetic products. It is obtained by the rendering of mink fat which has been removed from pelts destined for the fur industry.” Wikipedia

What are the effects?

This substance belongs to the groups:

Mink oil is derived from the mink animal; a furry small creature around 55 cm (22 in) long. The mink belongs to the same species family (mustelidea) as otters, weasels and ferrets. While they way between 600 g to 1 kg (1.3 lb to 2.2 lb) in the wild, factory farmed bred minks can weigh up to 3.2 kg (7.1 lb).

From the farm bred animals fat is scraped from their hides that are later rendered to mink oil. The animals are most often bred for their fur (the oil is a by-product), and they live in small battery cages under conditions that reportedly harms both their physical and psychological health.

The organisation Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) has numerously reported on animal suffering on fur farms around the world, including mink farms.

PETA has also brought to attention the environmental impact that the farms have; “Each mink skinned by fur farmers produces about 44 pounds of feces. Based on the total number of minks skinned in the U.S. in 2014, which was 3.76 million, mink factory farms generate tens of thousands of tons of manure annually. One result is nearly 1,000 tons of phosphorus, which wreaks havoc on water ecosystems.”

This substance can be found on PETA’s “Animal-derived Ingredient List”.

Some countries, including the U.K and Austria (but not all in the EU), have banned fur factory farms. The Norwegian government has recently decided to phase out fur farms by 2025. Get more and information and a global list of “full” and “partial” farm bans from the Fur Free Alliance.

How is it used?

Ingredients derived from mink oil are used in different types of conditioning cosmetic products. The oil can be found in products such as creams, lipsticks, hair conditioners, and similar, and also in some medical products.

The oil is a pale yellowish liquid that is believed to function as a water-retainer, enhancer of hair texture, and to overall improving feel and appearance of skin and hair.

We use the European Commissions definition of Cosmetics:
“Cosmetics range from everyday hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste to luxury beauty items including perfumes and makeup”.

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