Baby Massage Oils

Rumination & Education

What Oil for Baby Massage?

This is not a definitive list by any means. Oils are a complex subject. The type of oil you use depends on many factors e.g. cultural preference, family tradition, skin type, allergies, availability, cost, fashion and the overall health of the person who is receiving the oil.

Olive: Fat, thick, sticky, strong smell, warming. If your baby has dry or broken skin, it’s best not to use olive oil as it is high in oleic acid. There is research to suggest that this oil may be harmful to baby’s skin but others but others argue that the effects are temporary and that there is no evidence of long-lasting harm. After all, it  has been used for centuries for massage.

Cold pressed sunflower: Rich in linoleic acid (an essential fatty acid). Sunflower Oil itself is almost odourless and contains several vitamins, including vitamin A, D, and E.

Sesame: This is said to be beneficial for rheumatic and skin conditions and has a natural SPF factor of 3.

Coconut: The nourishing effect of coconut oil, due to its saturated fats, helps to prevent moisture escaping from the skin which helps keep your baby’s skin supple. It is easily absorbed by the skin and helps deliver all the nutrients in the oil to your baby’s body.

Sesame: This is said to be beneficial for rheumatic and skin conditions and has a natural SPF factor of 3.

Coconut: The nourishing effect of coconut oil, due to its saturated fats, helps to prevent moisture escaping from the skin which helps keep your baby’s skin supple. It is easily absorbed by the skin and helps deliver all the nutrients in the oil to your baby’s body.

Vitamin E: Helps to preserve other oils and prevent rancidity.

Shea Butter: Good for sensitive skin and eczema. It helps prevent wrinkles, soothes irritated and chapped skin, and moisturises the epidermis. Shea Butter also enhances cell regeneration and capillary circulation, which helps prevent and minimize stretch marks, inflammations, and scarring.

Apricot: It is good for protecting the skin – due to its nourishing and emollient properties, is readily absorbed, is said to relieve itching due to mild eczema, and is suitable for many skin types, including sensitive, dry, and ageing skins.

Wheatgerm: Rich in lipid (fat) soluble vitamins it is good for dry skin. It is also thought to relieve symptoms of dermatitis, and be helpful for tired muscles. One disadvantage of wheatgerm Oil is its strong odour and it goes rancid quite quickly.

Avocado: The therapeutic benefits of Avocado Oil are considerable, including emollient properties, moisturising, softening, and anti-wrinkle benefits, plus particular benefits for dry skins and for general skin inflammations.

Grapeseed: This has internal (easily digested and does not contain cholesterol) and external (as a good, general, non-greasy, carrier oil for massage and other treatments) therapeutic properties.

Calendula: Usually blended with other carrier oils as it is an expensive oil. Its main uses are for chapped and cracked skin, and for cleansing, softening, and soothing.

COLD PRESSED VEGETABLE OIL
I recommend that babies are massaged with a high quality, cold pressed preferably organic vegetable oil.

The oil that is provided on the course is cold pressed organic sunflower oik which can be purchased from good health food shops (Silver Lane Foods in Stamford), Waitrose or Amazon.

Advantages for use in infant massage

  • Contains beneficial ingredients (Vitamin E)
  • It is non greasy so clothes are not stained
  • Skin is non slippery so it makes handling your baby easier
  • No added odour so infants benefit from their parents’ natural smell
  • Can be eaten so no risk if baby ingests the oil

MINERAL OIL e.g. baby oil

Although it is inexpensive and does not have a short sell by date, baby oil is not ideal for massage. This is not an oil that is ingested so there is an unknown risk factor. Most mineral oils have an added scent which can be too stimulating to be used in infant massage and can interfere with natural smells. It is not absorbed into the skin so it leaves a layer on the skin’s surface.

Don’t let a bad oil come between you and your baby!

Posted in Mad on Oils.

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