Babies (like most humans) loooove massages. All that hands-on contact boosts oxytocin (the feel-good hormone), improves circulation, encourages relaxation, and promotes good sleep. The best baby oils should do two simple things: 1. Be safe for actual babies, 2. Absorb nicely into their delicate skin. Which is why we’ve scoured the web for the most natural baby massage oils that really deliver on both fronts.
Shopping for baby oil for your infant shouldn’t be stressful, but there are so many pretty (and pricey) products out there, it can feel a bit daunting. When it comes down to it, you want to look for a plant-based option, like shea butter or calendula oil, and steer clear of things like petroleum-derived mineral oil (which is actually considered a possible immune system toxicant or allergen by the National Library of Medicine—yikes!).
So how can you tell if a product is truly clean? There’s an app for that. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) offers a rating system for thousands of cosmetics, skincare, and cleaning products we use every day. To make it easier for you (um, you’re busy!) we’ve already researched each of the products below to find their rating on EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, so you can trust that these formulas are tried, tested, and deemed safe for your precious little one. All of our selects fall within the level 1-2 category, which are considered “low hazard” based on the available scientific research for the ingredients included. We’re also highlighting a couple of products that are EWG verified, which means they are 100% free of toxic ingredients and meet the highest standards of health.
So rest easy, mama, and scroll through our picks below.
Burt’s Bees hypoallergenic baby oil (rich in antioxidants and vitamins) is safe, effective, and natural—for both YOU and baby. It’s formulated without parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS to keep your little one’s skin cuddly soft. To use, add to bath water or apply directly to baby’s delicate skin after bathing. It protects against dryness by locking in moisture and is gentle enough to use daily. The lavender vanilla scent isn’t too shabby either. EWG ingredients rating: 3
Fear not, mama, Cocobelle’s organic coconut oil is here to save the day by keeping baby’s skin nourished from day one. Recommended for dry skin and Eczema—among other conditions—this 100% natural body butter is filled with nutrients. It doubles as a bottom balm and baby massage oil so get ready to reap all the benefits that this chemical-free HG item has to offer. Pssst: The next time you find yourself stuck in a pickle, this multi-purpose moisturizing oil can also be used as a lip balm, hair mask, or makeup remover. EWG Verified
The Knight in Armor body oil from Gryph & Ivyrose lives up to its name: the nutrient-rich formula (goji berries, citrus peel) helps protect your little one’s skin barrier from the elements (you know the ones—wind, sleet, other kiddos). Work it into your baby’s post-bath routine for a soothing, protective session. EWG ingredients rating: 1
For a lovely bonding session pre-bedtime, use Tubby Todd’s Baby Massage Oil in gentle, circular motions on any dry patches from head to toe. It’s lightly scented with lavender and rosehip, which means LO is sure to drift off into dreamland, stat. EWG ingredients rating: 1
Skin-care obsessives, take note. The plant-derived squalane in Pipette’s clean formula locks in moisture with a weightless, super absorbent feel. It can be used daily and is EWG verified, plus dermatologist- and pediatrician-approved, making it a true winner in our book. BRB, slathering this on myself ASAP. EWG rating: Verified
Formulated with just four ingredients, including olive oil, jojoba oil, and extracts of calendula and chamomile (two flowers used in traditional herbal medicine for calming and healing skin), Badger Baby Oil is beloved by both babies and adults alike. “I use it every night (sometimes on its own, sometimes layered under a lotion) and it has been working great. This soaks into my skin quickly and doesn’t leave an oily residue. It has a slight smell, but nothing irritating, nor does my nightgown smell like it the next morning (which has happened with other scented products),” says Elizabeth W., a grown-up on Amazon. EWG product rating: 1
Just two (two!) ingredients in Motherlove’s Birth and Baby Oil, and you can use it for two very different uses. The apricot seed oil and lavender flower—not lavender essential oil—are great for two super sensitive spots: massaging your perineum before birth, and also for massaging baby’s soft skin once she’s born. EWG ingredients rating: 1
This 100% organic, vegan, non-GMO and cruelty-free baby oil from Zoe Organics is one we’d slather on day and night. Work in a mini aromatherapeutic massage as a sweet part of bb’s bedtime routine, and watch as it helps clear up everything from dry skin to that pesky cradle cap, too. EWG product rating: 1
We know you already love The Honest Co. line of diapers and wipes, but add their body oil to your cart next time you’re on a Target run (or browsing on Amazon). The completely organic, lightweight oil absorbs quickly and locks in moisture, especially after a two-step skincare routine (step 1: warm bath; step 2: towel dry). EWG product rating: 1
If you’re looking for an unscented oil, Earth Mama’s Calendula Baby Oil is the neutral option you’ve been waiting for. With powerful healing properties, calendula is a time-honored herb that we should all use a little bit more of, tbh. Tip: it’s especially good on those tiny baby fingernail scratches! EWG product rating: 1
In Ever Eden’s line of baby-friendly skincare, you’ll never find sulfates, parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances or any of the 1400 ingredients banned in the E.U. Their baby oil is made with grapeseed, coconut and sunflower oil and is sure to keep those chubby cheeks feeling silky smooth. EWG Verified
With sweet almond oil, citrus peel and rosemary extract (a natural preservative), Erbaviva’s organic, vegan-friendly baby oil is a nutrient-rich way to hydrate Baby’s delicate skin—and yours, too. Use it whenever bb’s a little fussy and needs help getting to Snoozeland. EWG ingredients rating: 1
Simplicity is the name of the game with this four-ingredient oil (one of which is the organic calendula flower petals floating in the bottle!). And it’s hard to argue with the hyper enthusiastic reviewers: “Bought for baby, love it for me,” says Jaimey W. “I’m 6 months pregnant and I bought this to test on my skin before the baby comes and now I’m hooked. I was experiencing major dry skin and this has cleared it up, without clogging pores or being too heavy on my face. Needless to say, I highly recommend it!” EWG ingredients rating: 1
And for your other BB needs, check out our baby gear round-ups right here.