Choosing the right type of baby massage oil can be a challenge. If you don’t want to use oil marketed as “baby oil”, there are many more natural options that can be used for massage.
1. Vegetable oils high in linoleic acid
Linoleic acid is a type of fatty acid that protects the barrier of skin. Vegetable oils high in linoleic acid include safflower oil, evening primrose oil, grape seed oil, etc. On the other hand, you want to avoid vegetable oils that are high in oleic acid, such as olive oil, avocado oil, sweet almond oil, etc, as they are harsher on the skin.
2. Coconut oil
Coconut oil has a balanced amount of both linoleic and oleic acid. Furthermore, it has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, which gives added bonuses as a baby massage oil.
3. Sesame oil
Sesame oil is easy to absorb. Furthermore, it is high in vitamin A, B, and E. You will also find that it has lovely texture. However, your baby might not like the smell of sesame oil as it can be overwhelming.
4. Almond oil
Almond oil is also easy to absorb, contains vitamins, and has nice texture. It is naturally rich in emollients which intensely moisturizes the skin. Furthermore, it has a nice aroma.
5. Emollient cream
For babies with eczema, skin-sensitive emollient and eczema cream can be a substitute for baby massage oils. Do not use vegetable oils as this might further irritate the skin.
6. Avoid mineral oils
Mineral oil is a by-product of the distillation of petroleum. It is colorless, odorless, lightweight, and cheap. Mineral oil is a component in commercial baby oil. According to some research, mineral oil can actually damage the skin barrier and increase water loss. Furthermore, it acts as a thin layer on the skin which is difficult to absorb and clogs our pores.
7. Avoid aqueous cream
Aqueous cream is said to contain a harsh detergent known as sodium lauryl sulfate. This substance can agitate your baby’s skin. Moreover, it tends to damage the skin barrier.
8. Avoid mustard oil
Although mustard oil is often used for massages due to its high level of vitamin E, its long-term topical application can actually damage the skin. Firstly, it interrupts our skin barrier function and increases water loss. Not only that, it can cause minor skin blisters. Therefore, mustard oil is not a good baby massage oil.
9. Organic and cold pressed oils
Cold pressed oil is healthier and more easily absorbed by the skin. Furthermore, we recommend choosing organic oils to protect your baby from harmful chemicals. Non-organic oils can be bleached or refined which is really bad in general. Hence, when you are shopping for the best oil for baby massage, try to avoid refined oils.
As you can see, you have many options to choose from, some more expensive than others. The best way to find the most suitable oil for your baby is to try applying a little bit over her hand and see if she has any adverse reactions. However, do avoid oils that will damage skin barrier as this is not something that can be observed.
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