Is It Safe to Use Mineral Oil for Babies?

Should You Use Mineral Oil for Babies?

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Arti Sharma (Paediatrician)
View more Paediatrician Our Panel of Experts

Your baby’s skin is super delicate and that means you need to be extra careful while choosing baby products for him. You must be very careful while selecting skincare products for your baby and check the ingredients too. Mineral oil, is one such ingredient that is deemed to be safe for baby skin, but is it really safe? Let’s find out! Read this article to know about mineral oil, if it’s safe for babies, and more!

What is Mineral Oil?

Mineral oil or the white mineral oil is a by-product that is derived from refining crude oil that is further used for making petroleum-based products and gasoline. Mineral oil is a transparent liquid that appears to be colourless and is an ingredient in a lot of baby cosmetic products, including the baby oil. When you browse through the ingredients of your baby’s oil, you’ll find ‘paraffinum liquidum’ listed on it. This is what signifies the concentration of mineral oil in the oil.

Is Mineral Oil Safe for Babies?

No, mineral oil isn’t safe for babies. Whether you are using mineral oil for babies’ hair or for their body, it is considered to be unsafe. Mineral oil may lead to toughening of skin that may further lead to dryness. It may also clog your baby’s skin pores that, in turn, may suffocate the skin.

Skin requires space for breathing. It does that with the help of minute pores on the skin. But, when the skin’s surface is covered with a layer of mineral oil, the skin dirt tends to settle down. Such a situation is not at all ideal in case of babies as the dirt may transform into the toxins that may harm the baby later.

Many parents ask if mineral oil is safe for babies with constipation. Well, mineral oil is considered to be a great remedy for constipation as massaging with this oil over the intestinal surface which, in turn, averts water absorption.

Mineral oil is not safe for infants and is not even recommended by doctors for babies under the age of six. Even if you are using mineral oil-based products on kids, it is highly advised to minimize it or stop it altogether.

What Are the Side Effects of Using Mineral Oil on Infants?

Mineral oil has a number of side effects when baby health is a matter of concern. Some of which, include:

1. Skin Pore Clogging

Skin requires breathing for its normal functioning. When mineral oil is applied to the baby’s body, the skin develops a layer that obstructs the dirt and other impurities from escaping.

2. Digestion Issues

Babies have a tendency to put anything and everything in the mouth. Be its hands or the feet; babies can be seen putting them in the mouth. And, when you have recently massaged their hands and feet, the mineral oil is likely to get into the system, which, in turn, leads to indigestion.

3. Negative Impact on Cell Development

For your surprise, mineral oil does not moisturize your baby’s skin. On the other side, mineral oil also resists the moisture absorption from around the air, thus, a negative impact on normal cell development.

4. Candidiasis Vulnerability

In case, you apply mineral oil to your baby’s skin that is lower in weight there are possibilities that they may develop candidiasis or yeast infection.

5. Nutritional Deficiencies

When mineral oil for baby massage is used, the skin usually absorbs it. Once the oil gets absorbed, it makes its way to the intestinal system. In turn, the vitamins get saturated, thus the nutritional deficiencies.

Looking into how mineral oil can harm your baby, take safer alternatives such as the flaxseed oil. And, in case you observe any of the mentioned side effects in your baby, do not hesitate to contact a dermatologist.

Also Read:

Benefits Of Using Almond Oil For Babies
Top Baby Massage Oils

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