6 Benefits Of Baby Oil For Skin, Tips To Use, & Side Effects

Medically Reviewed by Dr. CP Thajudheen, MD
By Arshiya Syeda

If you think the benefits of baby oil are only limited to babies, you are mistaken. It has plenty to offer for the adult skin too. Yes, you heard it right! Baby oils are free of dyes and other allergens as they are primarily formulated for babies. So, they are safe and gentle for your skin. If you are still wondering how that is possible, this article is for you. Read on to know the benefits of baby oil, potential risks, and many more.

What Is Baby Oil?

Baby oil essentially is 98% mineral oil and 2% fragrance. The mineral oil used in baby oils is highly refined, transparent, purified, and colorless. It is composed primarily of alkanes and cycloalkanes and is related to the common petroleum jelly derived when crude oil is refined.

Contrary to popular belief, mineral oil has several benefits for skin and hair. Apart from being completely safe for both babies and adults, mineral oil is also regulated by FDA (1).

So, is baby oil good for skin? Find out below.

Is Baby Oil Good For Skin?

Baby oil is formulated to be hypoallergenic and is free from dyes, phthalates, and parabens. Hence, it is safe for most people. Anecdotal evidence suggests that baby oil is safe for the face.

You can use baby oil to achieve healthy, well-maintained, and hydrated skin. It may even make your face glowing without makeup. Wondering how? Keep reading.

Top Skin Benefits Of Baby Oil

These benefits are based on anecdotal evidence. Further research is warranted to substantiate them.

  • Acts As An Excellent Moisturizer

Baby oil as a face moisturizer is excellent if you have sensitive or very dry skin. It contains all the natural ingredients that help soothe skin sensitivity issues. Its deep rich formula penetrates the skin and restores moisture. However, make sure to apply baby oil on the skin after a shower, to ensure your pores absorb it better.

  • Helps With Makeup Removal

Baby oil is an excellent alternative for a makeup remover. It helps dissolve makeup and buildup from the skin. Massage a thin layer of the baby oil on your face for a few minutes and wipe it away with a cotton washcloth. Follow up with a facewash to wash away all the residue.

  • Is Good For Foot Care

Baby oil contains vitamin E that has multiple rejuvenating and restorative properties. It is suitable for treating cracked heels. However, you need to warm the oil for maximum benefits. Use it either as a daily foot moisturizer or for a home pedicure. Apply the baby oil to your feet after a shower and before going to bed at night.

  • May Work As Shaving Cream

Baby oil gives your skin a distinct shine and leaves it moisturized and smooth. It could be a great substitute for shaving cream. Using baby oil as shaving cream can also protect your skin from bumps and cuts from the razor.

  • May Work As Under-Eye Gel

You also could use baby oil as under-eye gel. Take a few drops of baby oil in your hand and gently massage the area with your fingers for 1-2 minutes. Wipe the excess oil with a tissue.

While baby oil has important skin benefits, can you use it on your face?

Can We Use Baby Oil On The Face?

Mineral oil is known to offer similar benefits as coconut oil. You can use it on your arms, legs, elbows, and dry areas of the body.

However, most experts recommend against using baby oil on the face. It is believed that baby oil with mineral oil content may clog your skin pores and lead to acne or signs of premature aging.

Also, baby oil is not recommended for sensitive and acne-prone skin as its added fragrance can irritate the skin. While using baby oil on the face for makeup removal is fine, do not use it by itself. You may instead look for other mineral oil-free options for facial skin.

So, how does baby oil clog skin pores? Read on to find out.

How Does Baby Oil Clog Pores?

Mineral oil, by itself, is non-comedogenic – it does not clog pores or cause acne or breakouts. Mineral oil molecules are big and do not deeply penetrate the skin. They tend to stay on the skin’s surface without harming it.

However, avoid baby oil if you have acne. The oil creates a barrier on the skin and prevents leakage of excess moisture. This may cause the acne to worsen as the skin is exposed to excess moisture.

While baby oil is largely very mild and gentle, it has its share of side effects. Check the next section.

Side Effects Of Baby Oil

Baby oil is not recommended for acne-prone skin.

Certain baby oils available on the market may have a controversial petroleum origin. If not adequately refined, baby oil (mineral oil) may contain potentially carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that may harm overall skin health (2).

Baby oil is thought to attract the sun’s UV rays. It may cause sunburn in some. However, research is limited in this regard. Avoid stepping out in the sun right after applying baby oil. You also may want to apply sunscreen to reduce the risk of sunburn.

Baby oil may also cause skin tanning in some.

Useful Baby Oil Care Tips

Keep the following tips in mind:

  • Always use the product as directed. Follow all directions on the product package. If you have any doubts/questions, ask your doctor or pharmacist.
  • The frequency of using baby oil should depend on the product and your skin condition. For instance, if you are using the product to help treat skin burns or radiation therapy, check with a doctor to see if your brand can be applied before radiation therapy.
  • Avoid applying baby oil to sensitive areas such as eyes or inside your mouth/nose unless the label or your doctor directs you otherwise.
  • Check for the skin types the oil can go well with. Be aware of your skin type before using the oil.
  • Seek immediate medical care if you experience rashes, redness, or aggravated burns.

Other Uses Of Baby Oil In Your Beauty Regimen

  • Helps Reduce Stickiness Post Waxing

Baby oil helps clear the sticky feeling that waxes generally leave on the skin. It can either be used directly on the skin or as a baby oil-soaked tissue.

  • Offers A Flawless Manicure 

Use a cotton ball soaked in baby oil and carefully trace it around your cuticles before painting your nails. The oil will keep your nail polish from falling off to the sides. You can also use baby oil to tidy up any mess resulting from the nail polish.

  • Works As A Hair Mask

Baby oil as a hair mask can work as a great rinse-out treatment. It can do wonders for your dry scalp. It also helps seal moisture and makes your hair smoother and shinier.

  • Works As An Eye Gel

Baby oil is a perfect alternative to under-eye gels. Take a few drops of the gentle baby oil on your fingers and slowly massage your under-eye area for 1-2 minutes. Once done, use a dry tissue to remove all the excess oil.

The benefits of baby oil are not just limited to babies. Anecdotal evidence suggests that baby oil may keep your skin moisturized, easily removes makeup, and may be used as an under-eye gel. Even though baby oil is safe for use, individuals with acne-prone and sensitive skin are recommended against using it. This is because the mineral oil present in baby oil may clog your pores and increase acne breakouts. Keep in mind to avoid putting baby oil inside your mouth and follow the instructions on the product package.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does baby oil darken skin?

No, there is no scientific evidence proving that baby oil darkens the skin.

Can baby oil remove stretch marks?

Baby oil may help keep your skin moisturized, but there is no scientific evidence that it can remove stretch marks.

Is baby oil good for older skin?

Yes, it is safe to use baby oil on older skin. It helps keep the skin moisturized and supple.

Key Takeaways

  • Baby oil is primarily made of mineral oil, which makes it safe for most people.
  • It is gentle on the skin and helps moisturize and soothe it.
  • Baby oil does not clog pores and also works well as an under-eye gel, shaving cream, and hair mask.
  • However, it is not recommended for acne-prone skin or UV protection.

Sources

Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Check out our editorial policy for further details.

  1. CFR – Code of Federal Regulations Title 21
    https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/cfrsearch.cfm?fr=172.878
  2. Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons in mineral oil, tar, and pitch, excluding petroleum pitch
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/009174357690044X
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor at StyleCraze. Prior to that, she was a content writer and combined her writing and... more

Dr. CP Thajudheen

(MD)
Dr. CP Thajudheen has over 20 years of experience in various lasers, light-based devices, and other advanced equipment. He was... more

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