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One of the best things about cuddling a baby is the feel of baby’s smooth skin — there’s just nothing like that newborn softness!

Newborn skin doesn’t necessarily need much help to stay soft. In fact, you’ll likely not need to use any lotions and oils on your baby for the first month or so while their skin matures and develops outside the watery environment of the womb. Even if your newborn experiences flaking, peeling skin, it will likely go away on its own.

After that time though, baby oil can be very useful in a variety of situations. That’s why we’re here to help you narrow down the field with some suggestions of the best baby oils in a variety of categories.

Baby oil is a popular skincare product originally made for babies, but some adults also use it. Baby oil works by forming a semi-breathable barrier over the skin. It is usually made of mineral oil and a bit of fragrance.

Though it’s a synthetic substance, mineral baby oil is gentle and rarely causes allergic reactions. Plant-based baby oil could be more likely to cause allergic reactions or contact sensitivities in some babies.

You can use baby oil to moisturize skin, as a massage lotion, or to help treat diaper rash and eczema.

Baby oils come in a variety of styles:

  • Scented vs. unscented. Many baby oils have a fragrance, but some are fragrance-free.
  • Organic vs. non-organic. Organic baby oils avoid synthetic substances.
  • Multi-use. Some baby oils advertise themselves as being particularly great for massage, treatment of eczema and diaper rash, etc.

Baby oil is most commonly used to moisturize baby’s skin, help treat diaper rash and eczema, and as a part of regular baby massages.

Plus, there are a million other uses for baby oil regardless of your age! Some of our favorites for adults include:

  • makeup remover
  • shaving lubricant
  • cuticle moisturizer

When looking at baby oils, you’ll want to check out the ingredient list, as it’s important that you feel comfortable with anything you put on your baby’s skin.

Next, you’ll want to consider things like:

  • whether the oil is pumped or squeezed out
  • whether it’s thicker gel or more liquid
  • if there is a heavy scent
  • if it has any additional uses or special features

Safety notes

Always check with your pediatrician if your little one has an ongoing skin condition.

Before slathering baby in a new product, err on the side of caution by spot testing any oil on a small patch of their skin.

You’ll want to make sure that any older children in your home don’t try to drink baby oil, and you’ll want to keep the bottle out of the hands of your baby.

Warm up baby oil naturally by rubbing your hands together before applying.

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When choosing our favorite baby oils, we took into account the ingredients, price, texture, absorbency, and of course, reviews from parents like you. Read more about our product selection process and content integrity guidelines.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $5
  • $$ = $5–$10
  • $$$ = $10–$15
  • $$$$ = over $15

Best baby oil overall

Burt’s Bees Nourishing Baby Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: no synthetic fragrance, no animal testing is done, 100% of the ingredients are of natural origin
  • Cons: heavy apricot scent, not the most budget-friendly

One of the many things we love about this oil from Burt’s Bees Baby is the ingredient list. It’s a 100 percent natural oil that includes grapeseed and apricot oil to heal skin while also ensuring it stays moisturized.

This oil is designed without a synthetic fragrance (though it does tend to have a subtle honey scent) and is nongreasy once absorbed. You can add it to your baby’s bath or apply it directly to them afterward, and since a little goes a long way, one bottle can last you a long time!

Best baby oil for newborns

Motherlove Birth & Baby Oil

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: made with only USDA certified organic herbs, certified cruelty-free by Leaping Bunny, can be used for perineal massage
  • Cons: not the most budget-friendly; some users complain that with only two ingredients, they could make it themselves

When thinking about newborn safety, we’ve already mentioned that it’s not advised to use products on newborn skin in the first month. However, if you’re eager to introduce some added moisture to baby after that point, this oil is a great starter as it includes only two ingredients — apricot seed oil and lavender flower.

In addition to using on baby’s skin, many moms say this oil is great for perineal massage to prepare for birth. Reviewers also say a little of this oil goes a long way.

Best baby oil for massage

Weleda Baby Tummy Oil

  • Price: $$$$
  • Pros: 100% natural, many users enjoy the scent, specifically designed as a massage tool and not just a moisturizer
  • Cons: not budget-friendly, some babies may have cardamom allergy

Specifically designed by midwives and pharmacists to use as an abdominal massage tool to encourage the gas out of baby’s stomach, this product includes ingredients like sweet almond oil and essential oils of cardamom and marjoram. It’s also deemed 100 percent natural by the International Natural and Organic Cosmetics Association.

One downside to this product is that it tends to be pricier for the amount you get. But, based on the encouraging reviews, if you have a colicky or gassy infant on your hands it might be worth every cent.

Best baby oil for eczema

Pipette Baby Oil

  • Price: $$
  • Pros: fast-absorbing, scentless, cheaper than many other oils on our list, sustainably packaged
  • Cons: some users felt this oil was too thin and wished it had a better scent

Parents rave about this fast-absorbing, scentless oil for treating eczema and cradle cap. But beyond being an effective moisturizer, Pipette Baby Oil (and all their products for that matter) truly goes the extra mile in terms of eco-consciousness.

It’s EWG certified, sustainably packaged, and the formula features sugarcane-derived squalane as a moisturizer. One mom even uses it on her own face as an overnight oil!

Best baby oil for hair

Earth Mama Infant Calendula Baby Oil

  • Price: $$$
  • Pros: comes with an easy pump bottle, no nut extracts are used, cruelty-free formula
  • Cons: not everyone loved the smell and there are more budget-friendly options

One of the best features of this grapeseed-based oil from Earth Mama is its convenient pump bottle — this means you can easily spray it on hair and brush or comb through without having to get your hands messy. The formula includes calendula oil, known for its anti-inflammatory properties, and parents say it works well on cradle cap and general dry skin or scalp.

A special aspect of this formula is that it includes no nut extracts and is safe enough that NICUs have been known to use it. But while it doesn’t include artificial fragrances, some users have commented that it smells like cooking oil.

Best baby oil for dry skin

SheaMoisture Baby Oil Rub

  • Price: $$$$
  • Pros: not tested on animals, no mineral oil, made from certified organic ingredients
  • Cons: has a stronger scent (though people like it!), more expensive option

This formula includes raw shea butter (long revered for its moisturizing power), soothing chamomile, and healing argan oil. In addition to moisturizing skin, parents say they use this oil to treat hair and help with rashes or inflammation.

Worth noting: This product also gets rave reviews for a honeysuckle-like scent, but if you’re not a fan of smells this might not be the pick for you.

Best budget-friendly baby oil

Johnson’s Creamy Baby Oil

  • Price: $
  • Pros: very affordable, hypoallergenic, dermatologist-tested
  • Cons: not organic, too thick for those who prefer thinner oils

Despite its very low price point, this oil has a lot of attributes that make it stand out.

For starters, the thicker texture makes it easy to apply. Fellow parents also love the scent and that it includes aloe vera and vitamin E to soften skin and keep moisture in.

Though unusual (but definitely a plus), some reviewers mention this baby oil seems to repel mosquitoes. How convenient! Parents say it’s a product you’ll want to bring if you’re going camping with your baby anytime soon.

Best organic baby oil

Badger Calming Baby Oil

  • Price: $$$$
  • Pros: USDA certified organic, cruelty-free, can be used for diaper rash
  • Cons: one of the more expensive options on our list, has a slight scent

Made with only four ingredients, this oil from Badger is USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, and cruelty-free. It gets good reviews for soaking in quickly and not leaving a residue. It does have a slight scent, but not one that most people find particularly irritating.

Because the ingredients are ideal for nourishing and soothing, parents say that one additional benefit of this baby oil is that it can be used to help treat and prevent diaper rash. The only real downside? It’s one of the priciest oils on this list.

Burt’s Bees Baby Nourishing Baby Oil$$no synthetic fragrance; 100% of ingredients are natural
Motherlove Birth & Baby Oil$$$made with USDA-certified organic herbs
Weleda Baby Tummy Oil$$$$100% natural; good scent
Pipette Baby Oil$$fast-absorbing; scentless
Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil$$$no nut extracts used
SheaMoisture Baby Oil Rub$$$$mineral-free oil; certified organic ingredients
Johnson’s Baby Creamy Oil$affordable; hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested
Badger Calming Baby Oil$$$$USDA-certified organic ingredients

Is baby oil safe for babies?

Baby oil is designed for babies. Although it is synthetic, mineral-based baby oils tend to be gentle and don’t normally cause allergic reactions.

To minimize the chance of skin irritation, you may wish to choose one without a scent.

Plant-based oils, in this case, can irritate babies’ skin a bit more.

Before applying any oil to your baby’s skin, it’s a good idea to discuss it with their doctor. The use of the baby oil should be discontinued if a negative reaction is noted.

What is the best way to warm up baby oil?

The safest way to warm up baby oil is to simply place some in your palms and rub your hands together. This ensures the oil won’t get too hot or have hot spots hidden in it. After rubbing your hands together, you can place them directly on your baby’s skin and massage if you wish.

When can you start using baby oil on a newborn?

The National Health Service (NHS) advises against applying oils and lotions until a child is at least 1 month old. This is because the top layer of a baby’s skin is very thin and easily damaged at birth. (As the baby matures, the skin develops and forms a protective barrier.)

Can I use adult oil on a baby?

Adult health and beauty products are not always appropriate for babies. These products may include additives, such as fragrances, dyes, and alcohol, that irritate a baby’s sensitive skin.

Since the term “baby” is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) when used for topical products like lotions and oils, products labeled specifically for babies may be less likely to contain these potentially irritating ingredients.

If you have any questions or concerns, talk with your pediatrician before using an adult oil on a baby.

Is baby oil good for babies with eczema?

Baby oil is frequently used to help moisturize skin and treat eczema. If your child does have eczema, you’ll want to discuss a care plan with your pediatrician. They can advise you on whether baby oil is recommended, how often to apply it, and any concerns to watch out for.

What’s the best way to store baby oil?

Since too much heat and light can impact the quality of the oil, it’s best to store baby oil in a cool, dark place. This can be as simple as a closet or dresser drawer.

You’ll also want to remember to keep the lid on so that air and water don’t get in causing the oil to change consistency or evaporate.

Is scented oil OK to use on babies?

At least one study from 2012 has shown the application of lavender-scented oil with massage may be useful in reducing colic.

That said, not all essential oils are safe for infants and young children.

Additionally, fragrance can increase the likelihood of skin irritation, rashes, and allergic reactions. You may wish to discuss benefits and potential risks with your pediatrician before using a scented oil.