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Baby Oil Mysteries - What Are Its Ingredients?

Updated on November 28, 2013

What is the Hidden Answer?


This is a trick question, isn't it?



No, baby oil is not made from babies.

However, baby oils contain ingredients like some of those listed below that I have found in a different few brands of the product.

I remember when baby oil that was available at the supermarket was always 100% mineral oil, packaged differently from that avaiable in the pharmacy, and sold at a slightly higher price. Customers likely thought that it was a different, higher grade of product. At the same time, people occssionally purchased plain mineral oil from the pharmacy or used petroleum jelly instead of the baby oil available. Then, with industrial progress, other ingredients began to be added to the baby oils, as discussed below.

NOTE: The cosmetics-grade mineral oil and petrolatum/petroleum jelly that we buy in many types of storess have been called the "safest, most nonirritating" moisturizers in existence , according to the publications Cosmetics & Toiletries, January 2001, page 79; and Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2000, pages 44–46).

These elements keep some air from penetratikng the skin, but this is necessary for a portion of the healikng process from burns and chaffing - especailly in cases of dry skin. These elements of skin products have also proven effective in wound healing, according to Cosmetics & Toiletries, February 1998, pages 33–40.

In decades past on the farm in rural America, people sometimes used herbal remedies for diaper rash and dry skin. If nothing else was available, they even used lard, which worled just as well as oils and hand lotions today, although with less of a pleasant scent.

In some countries, whale oil is used for skin protection, especailly protection from high winds. In fact, the Indigenous peoples of Alaska and Northern Canada still use whale oil for these needs.


Skin Care Emergencies

Th subject of using whale oil for health and beauty applications reminds me that honey and sugar were used on the farm to heal wounds. In isolated areas of our country, these ngredients are likely still used in emergencies, coupled with standard First Aid techniques.

In urban areas, hospitals send wound treatment mobile units out into lower income neighborhoods to hlp residents with chronic wounds that are not healing. This is particularly true of those with diabetes and those who are elderly. A number of techniques and treatments are used, as needed, including hospital-grade honey and probably a variety of lotions and oils as well.

Honey is hydroscopic, meaning it attracts water or moisture and helps to seal a wouind. Many honeys are 80% sugar and 20% water. Honey is also antiseptic, killing bacteria. This leads me to think that honey was probably used at times to treat diaper rash.

All this reminds me to say that putting butter on a burn has no good effect at all and may do harm. For a 1st Degree burn, apply ice or cold water, or it will burn all the way to the bone. Afterward, maybe honey can help the burn to heal, but ask your doctor.


Ingredients In Top Brands Of Baby Oil

Soft and Silk Baby Oil

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Aloe Vera Extract, Vitamin E, Acetate, Fragrance.

Johnson's Baby Oil, Lavender scent

Ingredients: Mineral Oil, Fragrance

Burt's Bee Baby Bee Oil

Ingredients: prunus armeniaca (apricot) kernel oil, vitis vinifera (grape) seed oil, tritium vulgare (wheat) germ oil, tocopheryl acetate, fragrance, tocopherol, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract, glycine soja (soybean) oil, canola oil

Buddha Baby Oil

Ingredients Prunus amygadulas dulcis (sweet almond) oil and Lavendula augustofolia (lavender) oil.

Baby Moon Oil

Ingredients: Lavender, tangerine and "other" essential oils, in sweet almond and olive oils.

A successful home recipe for Baby Oil from a friend

Apricot kernel oil, avocado oil, organic jojoba oil, vitamin E oil, lavender oil, mandarin orange oil..

Science Fun with Baby Oil


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    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      Olive oil would be my first choice, but for chapped hands in winter and no time or way to go out in the snow, any cooking oil can help a little.

      Just don't use oils to treat burns - no oils, no butter, no margarine; they do not work and can make infections happen faster. 1st degree burns need reduction in heat immediately with cool water and/or ice or ice cubes in a water bath. 2nd and 3rd degree burns need medical attention.

    • profile image

      Mike 5 years ago

      Hi! Thanks for the information. I notice you dont mention olive oil (or i didn't see it metnioned at least). Do you know if any of the common cooking oils we all have at home are good for skin protection as well?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 5 years ago from North America

      Mineral oil is produced from mineral sources and sometimes this includes petroleum. Kerosene can also come from petroleum. Both mineral oil and kerosene can be distilled from petroleum.

    • profile image

      soniya 5 years ago

      mineral oil means it kerosene its base

    • romari profile image

      Rose Maria Rica D. Fuentes 5 years ago from Heaven


    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 6 years ago from North America

      Good question, lisa! I suggest examining all sorts of vegetable oils and find a substitute from one of those or a combination.

    • profile image

      lisa 6 years ago

      patty what do you think can be used as a substitute for whales? doing a school project and very interested to know what will be good to use, i love oil but i love whales more.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      Thanks Caryl! This was fun and informative at the same time, The best things always are imo. :) I'll try the Papaya cream in summer for dry skin. Sounds like it has a nice smell too.

    • Caryl Oliver profile image

      Caryl Oliver 8 years ago from Australia

      This really did start off as a bit of a silly question that I thought would be a bit of fun, but what a rich vein of knowledge it has opened up!! Thanks Patty and the rest....

      I use Papaya cream instead of chemicals as a deodorant.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 8 years ago from North America

      Papaya oil is especially good as a hair conditioner, in my opinion.

    • profile image

      michael 8 years ago

      can it be a papaya oil?

      its my experement for our research....

      can it be???????

    • 2patricias profile image

      2patricias 9 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

      I never knew any of this.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Indeed true. I don't use anything containing shark or whale squeezings, or ambergris or other wasteful products. In fact, I don't use any manufactured beauty products at all.

      How many people look up this basic information? Not many. So, Americans slather petroleum on their babies with Johnson and Johnson's or the store brands and wonders at their health problems later on...

    • chantelg4 profile image

      chantelg4 9 years ago from Northern Ontario

      Any bottle that says mineral oil is just crude oil (black gue). What you gas up with, is what you put on your skin. You think it's sad for the whale, Sqalene is squeezed out of a shark's liver, and they are also an endangered species. It is used in a lot of skin care products manufactured by Unilever. However, they have announced they will discontinue this practice, but it's not regulated by the FDC.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      O boy, what fun! :) :) heehee

    • compu-smart profile image

      Tony 9 years ago from London UK

      Next time i oil myself down with baby oil i will be thinking of you Patty;)

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Hii Abhinaya, the oil from each animal or plant lifeform is a bit different. I have never seen whale oil up close. Cod liver oil is a lighter oil than some marine mammals' and fish oils, though. And a cod is a fish, smaller than a whale. The whale fat must be called blubber because it is so thick. I actually do not know if the whale oil is different from the melted blubber. It might be.

      Maham - thank you for visiting.

    • maham profile image

      maham 9 years ago

      nice hub

    • profile image

      Abhinaya 9 years ago

      Patty I always love the pictures in your hub.This is great information.Is whale oil same as cod liver oil which sounds good for health when taken orally?

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      Thank you Rapidwriter. This Hub was fun to do.

    • Rapidwriter profile image

      Rapidwriter 9 years ago from UK

      Fascinating as usual, Patty.  I really enjoyed it. And I really love the visuals.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 9 years ago from North America

      That makes me happy about so many fans, too, Z!

      If whalers didn't catch too many and then waste them, or catch them and lie and say they dondn't, it would not be so tragic. The Native Americans used Bear Fat, you know. :)

    • Zsuzsy Bee profile image

      Zsuzsy Bee 9 years ago from Ontario/Canada

      Whale oil ??? I never knew that. How sad that our magnificent giants have die because a diaper rash...Super info Patty. Awesome picture of the whale...congrats on 302 fans

      great hub regards Zsuzsy