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Baby Oil Benefits: Safety, Uses, and Other Reminders

Medically reviewed by Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD · Pediatrics

Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 27, 2022

    Baby Oil Benefits: Safety, Uses, and Other Reminders

    Baby oil is perhaps one of the most common skincare products parents prepare for their little one. In most cases, they use it to moisturize baby’s skin; at times, they believe the oil keeps their little one warm (para hindi pasukan ng lamig). But, what’s the science behind baby oil benefits for babies? Find out here.  

    Understanding Baby Oils: Are They Safe? 

    A popular brand of mineral oil for babies in the Philippines explained on their website that their baby oil is [1]:

    • Hypoallergenic, meaning it is unlikely to lead to an allergic reaction.
    • Specifically designed to cater to a baby’s sensitive skin.
    • Free of harmful ingredients like parabens and phthalates.
    • Dermatologist tested.

    Despite this, some parents worry about baby oils’ safety, particularly because they came from crude oil.

    As harsh as crude oil sounds, it’s a natural source of mineral oil, and extensive studies have already proven that mineral oil is safe and effective, especially for dry skin [2].

    When Can Babies Use Mineral Oil?

    Before we talk about baby oil benefits, let’s first discuss when it’s alright for babies to use mineral oil.

    You see, you shouldn’t apply any skincare product until your baby is past their first month. Experts clarify that early exposure (2 to 4 weeks) may lead to eczema or allergic reactions.

    After a month, their protective skin barrier is already developed, so they might be able to tolerate skin products with no harsh ingredients.

    If your little one is born premature, it’s best to wait until they are 2 months old before even thinking about skincare products [3].

    Baby Oil Benefits: What’s It For?

    Now that we know it’s probably okay for babies to use mineral oil after their first month (2nd, if they were born prematurely), let’s talk about the benefits they can get from it.


    A popular brand of baby oil says their oil can lock in 10x more moisture on wet skin than most lotions can on dry skin. Still, some reports say you shouldn’t use baby oil because it decreases baby’s natural oils [4].

    If your little one has visibly dry skin, baby oil might help. However, to be on the safe side, refrain from using it until their paediatrician says it’s okay.

    Eczema Flare-up Relief and Prevention

    Locking in moisture can prevent eczema flare-up because it prevents dry skin, a known trigger.

    However, if your little one is already experiencing flare-ups, don’t apply baby oil without the doctor’s approval. They might recommend a specific brand of mineral that contains steroids or cortisone, a medicine that heals irritated eczema rashes [5].  


    One of the best baby oil benefits is parents can use it to make massages better. Learn more about baby massage here:  

    Cradle Cap Remedy

    Cradle cap or seborrheic dermatitis in the scalp is common among infants. If your baby develops a dry, scaly, or “dirty looking” scalp, consider applying a small amount of baby oil after shampooing.

    Leave it on, and then the next day, brush their hair gently to remove old skin before shampooing.

    Additional Reminders

    Baby oil benefits don’t include keeping them warm and healing skin infections.

    baby oil benefits

    To keep your baby warm, it’s best to dry them immediately after bath and keep them appropriately dressed. 

    Skin infections, which typically look red and swollen and might be accompanied by fever, need to be checked by a doctor; treating them might require antibiotic therapy.

    Also, remember to buy baby oil only from reputable stores to avoid fakes or counterfeits.

    Finally, when using baby oil, make sure your little one doesn’t put it in their mouth.

    Key Takeaways

    Mineral oil or baby oil is made from crude oil. Extensive studies recognize its safety and effectiveness in locking in skin moisture. Baby oil benefits include skin moisturization, relief and prevention of eczema flare-ups, and relief of cradle cap. Parents can also use it for baby massage.

    Learn more about Baby Care here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Rubilyn Saldana-Santiago, MD


    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. · Updated Jul 27, 2022

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