The FDA regulates the use of mineral oil because it is used in a wide array of products, including food. The FDA is quite specific as to how much mineral oil can be used within a food product. It also permits the use of mineral oil as an active ingredient in specific over-the-counter categories such as skin protectants and ophthalmic emollients .
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Baby Oil Uses
Baby oil is commonly used to moisturize the baby’s skin. Aside from that, it is also an effective mild antiseptic. Research has shown that baby oil for dry skin is beneficial for use on maturing infant skin. Baby oil is often composed of mineral oil and a small amount of fragrance. Mineral oil penetrates the upper layers of the skin. Contrary to popular belief, mineral oil is non-comedogenic, which means it will not clog pores. It also helps to retain water .
Baby Oil in hair
Baby oil is an excellent remedy for cradle cap. Place a small amount of oil into any scaly patches and surrounding areas. Massage gently. Use a soft brush to remove the baby oil and loose patches. Do not scrub or force removal. Afterward, wash thoroughly with an organic shampoo formulated for babies.
Baby oil for dry skin
Massage gently into the skin, especially any areas that include dry and scaly patches. Use only a dab. Or, you can run a baby oil bath for dry skin. However, only add a few drops so that neither the bath or water becomes too slippery. Or, put a small amount on your baby before a bath to protect their delicate skin from further drying out.
Baby oil for diaper rash
Is baby oil good for dry skin when it comes to diaper rash? Yes. Clean the entire diaper area and allow to dry before applying baby oil. Only add a small amount onto the skin.
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Baby Oil Safety Concerns
There has been a lot of contradictory regarding the side effects and safety of mineral oil. It is derived from petroleum, and some questions arise as to its purification. According to EWG, the safety of mineral oil depends upon its formulation and usage. An aerosol version is not recommended for usage, as there is limited evidence of cancer. There is also concern about it being an allergen. However, overall, it is ranked as “low” as an overall hazard. The FDA has authorized mineral oil for over-the-counter use. For those that do not want to use mineral-based baby oil, you can use a plant-based one  .
A word about fragrances in baby oil
There is an on-going controversy over the safety of baby oil. Part of this debate revolves around the use of fragrances. Because fragrances are considered trade secrets, manufacturers don’t have to reveal their formulas. A report by the International Fragrance Association (IFRA) published a list of ingredients that fragrances used in consumer products. An astounding 3,163 ingredients were found, some deemed toxic. Critics of baby oil are quick to point out that you may be putting your child at risk of absorption of toxic chemicals .
Always check baby oil labels
The best baby oil for baby dry skin are those made with organic oils. Label check for ingredient contents and certifications. Avoid those with parabens, dyes, or phthalates. Check for labels that reflect the baby oil is certified organic and made with naturally derived ingredients. Call your pediatrician for their opinion when in doubt.
When using baby oil for dry skin, also check the label for directions. Some formulations must be shaken before use. Others may require you to soak the skin before application. Regardless, only apply to the skin. Avoid the eyes, mouth, nose, vaginal/groin areas (unless otherwise specified.)
DIY Baby Oil For Sensitive Skin
For those who prefer not using mineral oil, you can choose plant-based organic vegetable oil. Check the label for proper documentation that the product is certified organic. An alternative to purchasing baby oil over-the-counter is making your own baby oil. This is an excellent way to customize your oil. Here’s a sample recipe.
Homemade Baby Oil
- Measure 1 cup of an organic vegetable base oil, such as coconut oil, almond oil, olive oil, or jojoba oil.
- Add 2 TBS of each additional ingredient to customize your baby oil. These may include aloe vera extract (anti-inflammatory), vitamin E (antioxidants), and Vitamin A (skin conditioner).
- Add only a few drops of essential oil for fragrance if desired.
- Heat the mixture in a double boiler for about an hour (or until the oil takes on the color and scent).
- Remove the baby oil and allow the pan to cool to room temperature.
- Strain the mixture to remove any herbs and place in a glass jar with a tight-fitting jar.
- Store in a dark spot. Your baby oil should have a shelf life of 6-9 months.
Baby Oil For Dry Skin Resources: Cosmetics Information; Mineral Oil.
 U.S National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health, The Infant Skin Barrier: Can We Preserve, Protect, and Enhance the Barrier?, Lorena S. Telofski, A. Peter Morello, M. Catherine Mack Correa, Georgios N. Stamatas, September 04, 2012.
 EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetic Database; Mineral Oil.
 U.S. Food and Drug Administration; White Mineral Oil, September 04, 2004.
 Ifra; A Sense Of Responsibility.