Mineral oil appears to moisturize skin. However, using it comes with risk, including when using it in an attempt to develop a tan.
Mineral oil is an ingredient commonly found in creams, lotions, baby care products and cosmetics. But when using one of these products with mineral oil while trying to get a tan, the ingredient could strip the color of your skin and prevent tanning.
According to Just Natural skin care (see link in References), using products that contain mineral oil may actually burn your skin.
Mineral oil is like a plastic cover on your skin that acts as another layer. It helps keep other elements within the environment off your skin. Since it is foreign to the body, however, it is hard to absorb. Even if it is absorbed, the oil can be hard on your organs.
According to Heat Wave Tanning (see link in References), mineral oil is man-made, from crude oil. Gasoline is also made from crude oil, and mineral oil is a byproduct of gasoline manufacturing.
A product with mineral oil as an ingredient may also dehydrate the skin.