Hear this circumstance: you ran out of your regular massage oil. You want to give yourself or someone else a massage, but among the variety of oils that you have in your home, you aren’t completely certain which one you should use as a replacement.
Your eyes stop on baby oil; it’s great on baby skin, so it should be good to use as a massage oil as well, right? Well, that’s debatable – and you will soon see why. This article should give you some insight into whether you can use baby oil as a massage oil or not.
Pros and Cons of Using Baby Oil as Massage Oil
Baby oil has a way of moisturizing the skin and soothing any potential irritation. Plus, since baby oil is made from organic ingredients that are completely safe for a baby’s skin, it goes without saying that it should work quite well with massages.
At the same time, there is the fact that most baby oils are also petroleum-based mineral oils – which some say is not a good match. You may use baby oil as a massage oil, but some people do not recommend it. Since the minerals tend to get absorbed into the body quite fast, many believe it is not exactly suitable for massages.
However, if you get baby oil that is not petroleum-based, there should be no issues in using it as a massage oil. Natural baby oils are generally the best choice, as they do not cause any irritation and are easily absorbed by the skin. This way, your massage area and the person you are massaging will not become a complete oily mess. They will also allow products such as a neck and shoulder massager to glide much easier on the skin.
Ingredients Typically Found in Baby Oil
Generally, the ingredients found in baby oil will tell you whether you may use it for massages or not. The typical baby oil will usually list the following substances:
- Mineral Oil – This oil has a petroleum origin. Mineral oil has no odor, is colorless, and also has a light consistency. It is commonly referred to as liquid paraffin, and as for its chemical components, it is quite similar to paraffin wax.
- Aloe Vera Extract – Aloe Vera extra is a more concentrated version of Aloe Vera gel, and is usually added to baby oil. In many cases, it is processed to remove certain chemicals that might cause an allergic reaction on your baby’s skin.
- Vitamin E – Vitamin E is generally added to baby oil because it has amazing properties on the skin. This ingredient is also an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from any free radicals and their damage.
- Vitamin A – Like vitamin A, vitamin E is also very useful for the skin. Baby oil generally uses the “retinol” version of vitamin A, an ingredient that you can commonly find in skin creams. Vitamin A is great in treating conditions such as dry skin and chapped lips – but only when it is used in a less concentrated amount. In more concentrated amounts, the effect is actually drying, which is why it is recommended for acne-prone skins.
- Honey – Sometimes, baby oil may also have processed honey in its ingredients’ list. Due to its antiseptic properties, it is quite convenient to use as a massage oil. It has great properties for the skin as well, due to its calming effect.
Baby oils may have other ingredients found in quite a small proportion. These can be artificial and natural aromatic compounds, emollients, but other substances as well. This is why you may want to second-check the ingredients list for any ingredients that might become absorbed too easily and might cause irritation – these substances may not make the product suitable for massage.
The Perfect Baby Oil for Massaging
As you have seen, some of the ingredients found in baby oil are not completely natural and organic. This is why it’s not such a suitable choice for massages. Still, you may find some baby oils for massaging that are 100% natural. In most cases, those products contain the following ingredients:
- Carrier Oil – Typically, olive oil, coconut oil, or jojoba oil is used as a carrier oil. But you may also find products that use sweet almond as a carrier oil – also a great choice.
- Beeswax – With only the carrier oils and without the petroleum-based mineral oil, baby oil will just be very watery. This is why beeswax is generally used to add more consistency to the oil. This is great for massage purposes, as it will prevent the baby oil from dripping all-around your massage area.
- Oils for Vitamin E – If it doesn’t have actual concentrated vitamin E oil, then you need to find baby oil that can provide a certain degree of that vitamin. In most cases, wheat germ oil is used in these circumstances.
- Essential Oils – Last but not least, good baby oil that may also double as a massage oil will need the right essential oil. Lavender is a great choice, as it promotes relaxation, but calendula or tangerine is also a great option. They promote freshness and give the one receiving the massage more energy for the day.
Since 100% of organic baby oils lack the petroleum mineral part of the ingredients list, they are no longer as easily absorbed. This is why you may want to use them for a massage, as they allow the hands of the masseuse to glide over your skin.
Baby oil can be used as a massage oil – but it depends on the type you are using. If you are using petroleum-based baby oil, it might not be so ideal – but if it’s 100% natural, then there should be no issues.