When it comes to baby massage it can be difficult to know where to start. Previously I have written a journal post on Baby Massage: Techniques & Benefits to help get you started, and in this post I will discuss the best oil for baby massage and why. There are a huge range of oils available on the market and picking your way through them to decide which will be best for you and for your baby can be tricky. Hopefully this post will help you to understand some of the main pros and cons of each kind and help you to find the perfect oil for baby massage.
What to look out for when choosing oil for baby massage
Baby’s have incredibly delicate skin (much more so than mine and yours), so it is important to make sure that you are selecting a massage oil that has been certified as safe for use on baby’s skin. Some massage oils might have a particular age range they are suited for, e.g. over 5 years of age, or have no mention of age whatsoever which means you can’t be certain that it has been tested to ensure it’s safe for skin that it is as delicate as a baby’s. Always choose an oil that states explicitly what age range it is safe for. Our baby massage oil here at Valley Mist has been tried and tested and is certified as safe for use on baby’s of all ages – as well as adults!
Another thing to look out for is essential oils. As you can see above, our massage oil has two variations: the Pure massage oil which contains no essential oils, and the Soothe massage oil which contains relaxing essential oils of Frankincense and Lavender at dermal-safe levels for baby’s skin. It’s entirely up to you whether you choose a baby-safe massage oil that contains essential oils or not, depending on what you know about your baby’s and your own allergies and sensitivity. Our Pure massage oil is allergen-free, whereas the Soothe option is not because of the inclusion of the essential oils. As I mentioned before, the essential oils contained within the massage oil have been diluted so that they are at a dermal-safe level for babies skin, however you should refrain from using undiluted essential oils on either you or your babies’ skin as this may lead to irritation as opposed to the wonderful relaxing effect of the oils that is intended!
In terms of actual oils themselves there are a variety of ones that you can choose from. Healthline has put together a fantastic list of some of the best oils and their benefits, as well as some of the oils to avoid and why. Oils to avoid include: olive oil, avocado oil, peanut oil, mustard oil, soybean oil and tea tree oil as they can cause skin irritation.
In our Valley Mist massage oils we use a blend of organic sesame and organic sunflower seed oils. Sesame seed oil is often considered the ‘king of massage oils’ and has been used in Ayurvedic practices for thousands of years making it the perfect choice for either a baby or adult massage oil. Blending the sesame oil with cosmetic grade sunflower seed oil creates a versatile, rich yet light massage oil with only 100% natural and organic ingredients. As a result it’s possible to know exactly what you’re putting on you and your baby’s skin. With only three ingredients in our Pure Massage Oil (the two oils mentioned above and Tocopherol, a kind of natural Vitamin E), we believe that simpler is better. Why feel the need to overcomplicate nature’s goodness?
Can you use baby oil as a baby massage oil?
A very commonly asked question and the short answer to this question is yes. Baby oil soothes and protects the skin and is (of, course) safe for use on baby’s skin. However, there are also some negatives that have been associated with the use of baby oil when compared with the benefits and effectiveness of some 100% natural alternatives. Most leading brands of baby oil contain mineral oil which is petrochemical derived. Although cosmetic grade mineral oil has been deemed safe for use on skin it is often not as nourishing as sone natural alternatives. Mineral oil cannot be absorbed by the skin in the same way as natural oils like coconut oil, sesame oil and sunflower seed oil and so, long-term it does not have the same benefits for your skin. Mineral oil is good at creating a short-term protective barrier for the skin, to lock-in moisture, but does not have the same long-term nourishing benefits of many other natural oils. Additionally, it’s nature of being petrochemical derived means that it is not as sustainable or eco-conscious as using natural, sustainable and organic oils, like the sesame oil and sunflower seed oil used in the natural Valley Mist alternative. For more information on the baby oil and it’s pros and cons you can check out Mind Body Green’s blog post here.