by Aarti Kapur Singh
There are several baby massage oils available in the market but here are 6 best oils for baby skin care
Touch is a wonderful thing. Especially between mom and baby. Research has shown that touch between mother and baby not only creates strong emotional bonds but also helps improve the baby’s health. Massaging has lots of health benefits for babies and also plays a huge role in the development and growth of a baby’s body. A good massage makes baby’s bones strong, improves digestion, protects and enhances skin texture and also helps in a sound sleep. There are several baby massage oils available in the market but here are 6 best oils for baby skin care.
There is a caveat that you need to remember though. Before you apply any oil on your baby’s skin, just dab a little on her thigh area and see if it is compatible with her skin. If your baby’s skin develops any rash, then do not use that oil. Do not put any oil in your baby’s eyes, nose or ears as this could lead to infections.
1. Coconut oil:
Coconut oil is considered the best oil because of its light texture and easy absorption into the skin. It is also a cooling oil and this makes it an ideal choice for hot and humid weather. In addition, it is great for baby’s sensitive skin and is an effective treatment for rashes, patchy skin and cradle cap in babies because it is anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. It contains antioxidants that keep the baby’s skin supple. Coconut oil is an effective treatment for sensitive skin and problems like eczema, rashes, patchy skin, dermatitis and cradle cap. You can massage the baby with coconut oil before a bath and apply a little after a bath will keep baby’s skin moisturized. The best bit is that the calming fragrance of coconut relaxes the baby.
2. Sesame oil:
Sesame, or til, as popularly known in India is another alternative to coconut oil (in case you don’t like the smell of coconut). Choose an oil that has been extracted from black sesame seeds. If it is cold-pressed, it is even better. Sesame oil is easily absorbed, has a lovely texture and is high in vitamins (A, B, E) and minerals. Sesame oil especially recommended for sensitive skin and is high in linoleic acid giving it antibacterial properties.
3. Mustard oil:
Mustard oil is the best baby massage oil during winters as it has a warming effect on the skin. It can help reduce cold and cough, great for controlling asthma, good for scalp massage and stimulate hair growth, has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. It can also act as an insect repellent. It is not advisable to apply the oil directly on the skin. It should always be used in combination with other bases – may be mixed with a little almond or olive oil. In northern and eastern India, Mustard oil is heated with garlic cloves and fenugreek seeds. Garlic is known for boosting the immune system, and fenugreek relaxes the baby’s body. Another effective massage remedy is mixing mustard oil with carom seeds. This combination helps to soothe colicky babies. If you do not prefer using mustard oil because of its pungent odor, you can use olive oil or almond oil instead.
4. Olive oil:
Olive oil is also immensely popular as a massage oil for babies. Olive oil is well known for its goodness on health, skin, and hair. As olive oil is rich in healthy fats, phenolic anti-oxidant Vitamin E, squalene and oleic acids, regular massage could help in maintaining good skin tone, promoting bone and muscle health. Additionally, applying olive oil can help in strengthening the baby’s hair, besides softening hair.
For sensitive skin, it is best to avoid olive oil as it has properties that enhance the permeability of the skin. This can allow the moisture to leave the skin faster and further cause dryness and flakiness, enhancing skin problems.
5. Almond oil:
Sweet almond oil is a common ingredient in various massage oils. Sweet almond oil is loaded with a host of goodness that is perfect for your infant’s skin. The oil is rich in Vitamins A, B2, and B6. It is also a good source of Vitamin E, which is essential for a healthy skin. Sweet almond oil also possesses moisturizing and emolliating properties. These keep baby’s skin soft for long hours. A soothing massage with this oil will help relax your baby. Massaging baby before bedtime is a great way to soothe those tired limbs. It improves blood circulation and helps in the breathing process. This will help your little one sleep calmly. Massaging your baby with sweet almond oil reduces the chances of indigestion and upset stomach. It also protects babies from developing rashes. Since the oil is safe for babies, it can be applied to chapped lips to make them soft. It is always better to use pure almond oil instead of the one in which chemical fragrances may have been added.
6. Castor oil:
Castor oil offers numerous health benefits to babies – relief from dry skin, hair and nails; moisturizing tender areas of the skin and promoting hair growth. Castor oil also helps in treating fungal infections and diaper rashes. This oil is also known to be a superb emollient. This is why it is used to treat different skin conditions. It is also great for mommies and can be used to prevent and eliminate stretch marks and heal nipples that are cracked and sore due to breastfeeding. Castor oil is also used as a natural remedy for colic. Experts recommend massaging the oil when it is warm on the baby’s abdomen. It should be rubbed on the baby’s abdominal area using a clockwise motion. To heat the castor oil, boil a pot of water and bring it to a simmer. Place the bottle of castor oil inside the pot and remember to loosen the cap so that the bottle does not burst. Let the oil heat up for a few minutes. Once the oil is adequately heated, test the temperature by dropping a small amount on the inside of your wrist. If it is not too hot, massage your little one’s tummy using the motion mentioned above. Castor oil massage is best done before bath time. Also, while applying castor oil, avoid the areas around baby’s eyes and lips. Most importantly, buy castor oil that is free of hexane.
You might also like: