The main purpose of massage oils is to lubricate the skin to reduce friction while performing a massage.
A baby massage oil should be edible, but be aware that not all edible oils are suitable for a baby massage.
Before you try any oil on your baby's skin, just dab a little on his or her hand and see if it is compatible with the skin. If the baby's skin develops any rush or redness, then avoid using that oil.
If your baby has eczema it is better to use his or her medical omollient cream or ointment.
Vegetable oils high in linoleic acid may be gentler on your baby’s skin.
Linoleic acid is an essential fatty acid that helps to protect the barrier element of the baby’s skin.
Vegetable oils that that usually contain a high proportion of Linoleic acid include:
grape seed oil
Oleic acid can make some layers more permeable, which helps oil and water to be absorbed into the baby’s skin, but it can mean that oil and water are lost, rather than trapped in, which causes dry skin.
Example of such oil is:
high-oleic sunflower seed oil
Unfortunately, labels on vegetable oils don't tend to list the oleic or linoleic acid content, but they list the proportions of polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats. As a general guide:
Vegetable oils that are higher in linoleic acid are higher in polyunsaturated fats.
Vegetable oils that are higher in oleic acid are higher in monounsaturated fats.
One of the most popular massage oils among massage therapist
Almond oil does not treat skin diseases completely, but reduces skin inflammation and heals skin cells
The fatty acids and vitamin A and E helps to repair dry skin
Anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties
Not good for people with coconut allergies (and possibly latex allergies)
Improved skin barrier function
Better weight gain
Light, non-greasy oil which will not leave skin feeling oily.
Rich in linoleic acid, palmic acid, and stearic acid (component of healthy skin)
Vitamin E and fatty acids which help nourish the skin
Can go rancid quickly so store in dark, cool area. By placing vitamin E into the bottle will prolong its freshness
Mineral oils or petroleum-based ointments
Good for premature baby
Helps to seal moisture
Improve skin barrier function
Works well after a bath on a damp skin
Commercially sold massage oils
Many on the market which are safe to use
Always check the ingredients and the age suitability
Oils to avoid
Unrefined peanut oil
Aqueous cream (contains sodium lauryl sulphate)
Essential oils for baby younger than 3 months
Not suitable for babies bellow 3 months of age
Up to 2 years of age put 5 drops of essential oil into 30 ml of carrier oil
After 2 years of age 10 drops of essential oil into 30 ml of carrier oil
Lavender and chamomile essential oils are most suitable for babies
Do not use Eucalyptus or rosemary oil on children bellow 10 years of age
Never apply essential oil on baby’s hands, face or near the eyes