The Hazards of Mineral Oil Based Baby Oils and the Benefits of Natural Baby Oils
Parents and caregivers unknowingly use commercial baby care products that are mass-marketed to appear gentle or natural. Instead, these products are potentially harmful for babies. A baby's skin and organs are especially precious and sensitive to chemicals. The skin is our largest organ. Whatever you put on baby's skin may also wind up being ingested by baby. Let's take a look at baby oil...
The "oil" in the majority of mass-marketed baby oils is mineral oil. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are both byproducts of petroleum refinement. Manufacturers use mineral oil in skin care products because it is cheap and easy to obtain. Mineral oil, however, has several dangerous hazards associated with it. Mineral oil clogs the pores and prevents the skin from "breathing." Mineral oil hinders the natural release of toxins, and it blocks the absorption of any beneficial ingredients that are applied to the skin, even when applied separately. Babies put their fingers in their mouths all the time, leading to additional hazards with ingestion of the oil. Mineral oil may possibly cause vitamin deficiencies because it is absorbed into the skin, gets processed by the liver and then nutrients get bound by the oil and their absorption becomes blocked.
As I recently browsed the baby aisle of a large store, I noticed several brands of baby oil. As they have for years, each baby oil product included mineral oil as their main ingredient. Most of the baby oil brands had only two ingredients. Mineral oil and fragrance. "Fragrance" on an ingredient label indicates that the fragrance is synthetic. One popular mass market brand markets "Lavender Baby Oil." In herbal and aromatherapy circles, pure lavender essential oil is known to be one of the gentlest essential oils for babies and the natural constituents in lavender is calming and soothing to babies. The popular "Lavender Baby Oil." that is sold under a well known name, however, doesn't include lavender essential oil. Although the name sounds gentle and even natural, there is nothing natural about this mass market brand's Lavender Baby Oil. The "lavender" aroma is derived from synthetic fragrance, and the oil used in the product is once again cheap mineral oil.
One label stated prominently that the product it contained is "pure baby oil." Its only two ingredients are mineral oil and fragrance (synthetic), just like the other brands. The word pure leads one to believe that the ingredients are of high quality and that it hasn't been adultered/blended with inferior ingredients. In this context, the manufacturer is taking advantage of the multiple meanings that the word pure can take on.
Nutritive Oils for Baby Are Readily Available
Natural and beautifully smelling oils are available that are safe for babies. Look for artisans that create baby oils that contain cold pressed vegetable oils and that use only natural botanicals like calming and soothing lavender essential oil. A dilemma for artisans is that consumers often want products that have a potent aroma. Natural baby products, by their nature, should have a delicate fragrance and should be fragranced only with natural botanicals that are gentle for babies.
Essential oils that are generally known to be the safest for use with babies/children when properly diluted:
- Chamomile (English and Roman)
- Rose Otto (Steam Distilled Rose Oil)
- Tea Tree
Vegetable Oils for Baby
Look for products that are made with nutritive, cold pressed vegetable oils. Organic oils are ideal. Vegetable oils that are especially good for protecting and moisturizing baby's delicate skin include but aren't limited to the following oils:
- Acai Berry
- Almond, Sweet
- Apricot Kernel
- Broccoli Seed
- Chardonnay Grapeseed
- Cherry Kernel
- Cranberry Seed
- Flax Seed
- Fractionated Coconut
- Kiwi Seed
- Kukui Nut
- Macadamia Nut
- Passion Fruit
- Peach Kernel
- Perilla Seed
- Pumpkin Seed
- Raspberry Seed
- Rice Bran
- Riesling Grapeseed
- Strawberry Seed
- Watermelon Seed
Shop Confidently for Child and Baby Care Products With Beauty By the Batch
Beauty By the Batch is a practical resource for assisting you in finding artisans that provide natural and nearly all-natural baby care products. Begin your search by visiting the Children's Care category of Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Directory. Not only do the artisans that appear within the Artisan Directory support the efforts of Beauty By the Batch, but they have all agreed to adhere to Beauty By the Batch's Artisan Code of Conduct. By agreeing to our Artisan Code of Conduct, artisans promise to abide by truthful and accurate marketing and a number of other practices that are in the best interest of consumers.