Oil for Baby Massage


There are so many options to choose from; it is a bit of a minefield so I thought I would discuss what I choose and why below;


What oil do I use?

Cold pressed vegetable oil; sunflower oil


What does ‘cold pressed’ mean?

Cold pressed oil is produced by pressing vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts  or herbs mechanically without the use of heat. Cold pressing prevents the oil from being damaged during production. This means that the nutritional quality/ beneficial ingredients in the oil are retained. Conversely oil that is produced using heat reduces the oils flavour and nutritional quality.


Advantages of cold pressed sunflower oil in baby massage:

  • Sunflower oil contains many beneficial ingredients which nourish your babies skin.
  • It is high in vitamin E which is an antioxidant that can help protect skin cells from harmful UV rays from the sun.
  • It is also rich in vitamins A, C & D which also have anti-oxidant properties helpful to maintaining healthy skin.
  • Sunflower oil has no odour. This is essential in baby massage so babies can benefit from their parent’s natural smell. This promotes bonding during the massage.
  • Sunflower oil is edible and recognised by our skin and body as digestible food. It is therefore easily absorbed by your babies skin so enables the skin to maintain its breathability.


Disadvantages of cold pressed sunflower oil in baby massage:

The main disadvantage is that vegetable oils can become rancid after a period of time. However you can ensure longevity of the oil by storing it in a dark coloured bottle and in a cool dark place.


Other cold pressed vegetable oils:

Other cold pressed vegetable oils have similar advantages and disadvantages to what I have listed above so you can try different types of vegetable oils and find what works for your baby.  There are no contraindications to the use of vegetable oils for babies with eczema. However there has been some research to suggests that olive oil can disrupt the skin barrier so this one is not recommended for baby massage.   


Mineral and synthetic oils:

Mineral oil is derived from petroleum, while synthetic oil is produced in the lab. They don’t tend to be recommended for baby massage as the skin does not absorb most of these oils. This leaves a layer on the skins surface making it difficult for the skin to breathe and it also leaves the skin greasy afterwards.

- Geraldine