In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

Best Baby Oil

We tested baby oil from top brands like Earth Mama, California Baby, The Honest Company, and others to find the best
Best Baby Oil
By Molly Bradac ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Wednesday April 27, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Baby oil can be an excellent addition to your baby's routine, giving your baby's skin some loving care and hydration. Our review ranks this year's top 8 baby oils to help maintain that baby-soft skin. To determine the best, we've researched the market, purchased the most popular and promising contenders, and sent them through hands-on testing before ranking the competition. Since babies' skin can be sensitive and prone to skin conditions, we believe a baby oil should use ingredients you feel good about, plus adequately absorb, leave skin feeling soft, and come in a handy bottle that is easy to grab and use. While evaluating and selecting our favorites, we kept these essential qualities and more in mind. We are confident there is a product in our review that works for your needs and budget.

If you are looking to up your Baby skin game or planning your bath time, you may also need a bathtub, washcloths, towels, baby shampoo, or baby lotion. Don't forget the bath toys!

Editor's Note: We performed an overview of this review on April 27, 2022, to ensure product availability and current selection.


1

Overall Best Baby Oil


Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil


Size: 4 fl oz | Pump: Yes
Few ingredients
Subtle scent
Label transparency
Easy to use pump top
Calendula scent

Leaving skin hydrated and soft with only a few ingredients and a subtle scent is the Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil. There's value in keeping it simple, right? We think so. The formula contains calendula-infused oil (grape seed and jojoba), and the calendula's scent is light and earthy. The oil absorbs well into the skin without leaving unwanted stickiness like some contenders, and the bottle's pump is quick and easy to use, a helpful feature when dealing with a squirmy baby. The packaging states it is free of petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, artificial fragrance, or nut oils.

Although we think the calendula scent is pleasant, we recognize that not everyone shares the same appreciation. However, it is subtle and light, not overpowering. So, if you're a fan of calendula, we recommend this product and think it is an excellent addition to your baby's routine for keeping dry skin at bay.

Overall Best Baby Oil
The Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil quickly became a favorite. It absorbs quickly and has a light earthy scent.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

2

Great for Eco-health


Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil


Size: 4 fl oz | Pump: No
EWG verified
Subtle citrus scent
Label transparency
Disc top

Lock in moisture with the Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil. This oil absorbs completely, forms a moisture barrier, and leaves skin soft to the touch, not greasy. It also has a very light fragrance of sweet orange. Again, it is ever so faint. The formula contains vitamin E and other nourishing oils, like avocado, apricot, grape seed, and jojoba. Baby Mantra mentions that this product is gluten-free and vegan, and the packaging states it is free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, dyes, or synthetic fragrances. The massage oil is EWG verified, meaning it avoids EWG's ingredients of concern, provides transparency of ingredients, plus follows good manufacturing practices.

We cannot find any significant downsides to this product. The only element we don't fancy is the disc top, as it can pour out too much oil, whereas a pump offers more control. Besides the top, we think the oil's performance and very subtle citrus scent make this product a top-notch option and one that we recommend.

Great for Eco-health
The Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil is EWG verified, nourishes skin with a blend of oils, and has a light citrus scent.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

3

Our Favorite for Baby Massage


California Baby Body Oil


Size: 4.5 fl oz | Pump: No
Moisturizing
Label transparency
Price
Contains essential oils

The California Baby Body Oil is one of our favorites and a "go-to" for baby massages. The packaging states it is free of gluten, oat, soy, dairy, nuts, petrochemical contaminants, and synthetics. It also uses cold-pressed vegan oils. We think the mild scent (a combination of lavender and clary sage) is soothing and relaxing, and the oil absorbs well yet provides enough time to massage it into your baby's skin.

As one of the most expensive products in our review, this product's price tag is a factor to consider. Also, according to California Baby's website, the formula contains French lavender and clary sage essential oils. Although these ingredients are likely in small concentrations, any essential oil increases the potential for skin irritations. Babies' skin may differ regarding sensitivities, so we suggest spot testing before marinating your little one. We recommend California Baby to families who don't mind a mild scent and seek an oil for massaging baby into sweet slumber.

Our Favorite for Baby Massage
The California Baby Body Oil has a lovely scent thanks to French lavender and clary sage oils, plus leaves skin silky smooth.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

4

Budget-Friendly with Mild Scent


The Honest Company Organic Body Oil


Size: 4 fl oz | Pump: Yes
Easy to use pump top
Label transparency
Mild scent

Are you on a budget but don't want to compromise ingredients? The Honest Company Organic Body Oil may be a match. The formula contains nourishing ingredients like sunflower, coconut, olive, jojoba, avocado, and tamanu oil to lock in moisture and soften skin. The packaging states it is made without silicone, PEGs, mineral oil, fragrances, dyes, and parabens. We experienced no issues with its absorption, and the scent is mild and citrus-like, likely because it contains grapefruit peel oil. The pump is easy to use (a top we favor), and a little oil goes a long way.

We consider the product's fragrance to be moderate - slightly more potent than light, yet not too powerful, and this is a factor to consider if you are scent-sensitive. If not, we think this product is excellent, plus it offers quality ingredients at a budget-friendly price.

Budget-Friendly with Mild Scent
The Honest Company Organic Body Oil may appeal to those seeking quality ingredients on a budget.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

5

Best for Organic Ingredients


Badger Calming Baby Oil


Size: 4 fl oz | Pump: Yes
100% USDA Certified Organic ingredients
Easy to use pump top
Absorbs well
Glass bottle
Mild earthy scent
It contains an essential oil

The Badger Calming Baby Oil stands out among the competition as the only contender to use 100% USDA Certified Organic ingredients. The bottle's pump top is easy to use, and the product absorbs well into thirsty skin, leaving it soft, smooth, and non-greasy. The formula uses cold-pressed oils (olive and jojoba), and the manufacturer claims it contains no chemicals, synthetics, parabens, or GMOs.

The bottle is glass, which may appeal to those who strive to avoid plastic, but glass is heavier than plastic and potentially less likely to survive a fall onto hard flooring. According to Badger's website, the Roman chamomile flower oil is obtained by steam distilling the white daisy-like flower to create an essential oil. In general, any essential oil can increase the possibility of skin irritations, so we suggest spot testing on your baby's skin before full body use. Also, we enjoy the mild and earthy scent but recognize that not everyone feels the same. Nonetheless, we recommend this oil to families who value its organic ingredients.

Best for Organic Ingredients
The Badger Calming Baby Oil is the only product in our lineup that uses 100% organic ingredients.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

6

Option with Classic Scent


Burt's Bees Baby Oil


Size: 4 fl oz | Pump: No
Performs well
Lower price
Strong scent
"Fragrance" label

Featuring Burt's Bees' classic scent, the Burt's Bees Baby Oil performs well, leaving skin moisturized and silky. The formula contains apricot, grape, wheat germ, sunflower, and soybean oil, among other ingredients. The manufacturer claims it doesn't contain phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or SLS.

Some users believe the Burt's Bees aroma is lovely, and although we think it smells nice too, it is strong, and we prefer products with less scent for babies. We don't mind that sweet baby smell. Also, the product lists "natural fragrance" as an ingredient and doesn't disclose this information. We value products with label transparency, even if it is their trademark scent or special recipe. However, if you enjoy the classic scent of Burt's Bees, this product might meet your needs and budget.

The Burt's Bees Baby Oil performs well and is best for scent lovers...
The Burt's Bees Baby Oil performs well and is best for scent lovers as it has a more potent trademark aroma known to this company.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

7

Option with Mineral Oil


Solimo Baby Oil


Size: 20 fl oz | Pump: No
Seals in moisture
"Fragrance" label
Strong scent
Leaves skin greasy

The Solimo Baby Oil boasts a low-price tag, large quantity, and a strong scent that reminds us of Johnson's and Johnson's trademark fragrance. It effectively traps moisture, and the formula's ingredient list is short, listing only mineral oil, aloe barbadensis leaf extract, fragrance, and vitamin E.

Unfortunately, the Solimo's performance was disappointing as the oil did not quickly absorb and left our testers' skin feeling greasy and slick for some time. The product also lists "fragrance" as an ingredient, and we prefer products with label transparency that disclose this information. Although the product's price tag and size make this option appealing, we think the scent is too strong for babies and believe you'll be happier with another product in our lineup.

The Solimo Baby Oil is inexpensive, has a more potent aroma, and...
The Solimo Baby Oil is inexpensive, has a more potent aroma, and leaves skin feeling greasy longer than other products in our lineup.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

8

Option for Scent Lovers


Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil


Size: 20 fl oz | Pump: No
Seals in moisture
Strong scent
"Fragrance" label
Leaves skin greasy

Featuring a tropical scent is the Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil. This product contains mineral oil with shea and cocoa butter. It seals in moisture, softens skin, and comes in a large quantity that will likely last for a generous amount of time.

Although it creates a moisture barrier, this oil doesn't quickly absorb, leaving skin feeling greasy and slick. Also, we prefer to take a fragrance-free or light scent approach when selecting products for babies, and we believe this product's scent is too intense for most babies. We think you may enjoy a different baby oil if you feel the same. However, if you don't mind a product with fragrance, this one may be a match.

We think the Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil has an intense...
We think the Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil has an intense tropical scent and a slower absorption time.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tip: It is best to keep oils in a cool environment and away from direct sunlight to prevent them from going rancid and extending their shelf life.

Credit: Pavel Ilyukhin © 123rf.com

Why You Should Trust Us


The BabyGearLab team has been testing baby products over the past decade, and it is safe to say that we have become baby gear experts. Leading our review is Molly Bradac, Senior Review Editor, professional Nanny, and Newborn Care Specialist with over 14 years of experience. Molly's expertise and knowledge of all-things baby make her a pro at identifying top-notch products and offering recommendations.

We purchased each product for hands-on testing, and to evaluate performance among the competition, the contenders experienced side-by-side comparisons. Also contributing and influencing our overall ranking was feedback from testers who tested and applied the oils over an extended period.

The Badger Calming Baby Oil sports a pump that is quick and easy to...
The Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil features a child-safe...

Analysis and Test Results


With multiple baby oil products on the market, it's hard to know which options are best for you and your family. While hands-on testing, we evaluated important details, such as ingredients and bottle ease of use, to help you select.

Ingredients


Science shows that newborn skin anatomy is different than adults, mainly in function and structure (fun fact: it is thinner). It continues to change during the first year of life and tends to be more vulnerable than the skin of grown-ups. Therefore, the products you apply to your baby's delicate skin command attention. While evaluating the competition, we looked closely at ingredient labels and ranked products with worry-free ingredients and label transparency higher than those that don't offer transparency.

Influencing our evaluation are resources like the Environmental Working Group (EWG), which breaks down the health and safety of ingredients. We realize that some ingredients lack sufficient data, but we consider this source extensive and insightful. Also, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, manufacturers are not required to disclose "fragrance" ingredients and hidden behind this term could be hundreds of chemicals and complex mixtures. In our opinion, even the term natural fragrance leaves us with reservations as it lacks ingredient transparency, which can be misleading to consumers. Therefore, we prefer products with fewer and worry-free ingredients and little to no fragrance. Frankly, less is more, plus we think babies don't need fragrances to smell amazing.

Our review doesn't include a fragrance-free option, but those with a light scent include Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil and Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil. However, the Solimo Baby Oil, Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil, and Burt's Bees Baby Oil have stronger scents, resulting in ranking lower. Plus, they have ingredient labels that list "fragrance" or "natural fragrance," which mean mystery chemicals masked behind this one ingredient.

Some products in our lineup use flower oils and extracts, ingredients obtained through distillation, or soaking plant material in a substance for a long time. They provide a lovely aroma and are an alternative to synthetic fragrances. Although they are in a carrier oil, the amount is unclear, and they can also increase the chance of skin sensitivities.

Regardless of which product you select, we advise discussing your selection and plan with your pediatrician before incorporating it into your baby's skincare routine. Also, test a small amount on your baby's skin to look for skin irritations before slathering.

Important: Avoid using adult products on babies as they are not formulated for sensitive baby skin and can increase the chance of skin irritations.


The California Baby Body Oil sports a unique cap that you can open...
The Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil has a disc top that is easy to...

Bottle Ease of Use


Having an easy-to-use bottle can make the difference, especially when you have a wiggly baby. Our lineup includes various bottle tops, and given the option, we prefer and provide credit to bottles with a pump top. It is quick and easy to use, plus it pumps an adequate amount of oil without the mess or hassle of holding a greasy bottle. Products that feature a pump include the Earth Mama Calendula Baby Oil, Badger Calming Baby Oil, and The Honest Company Organic Body Oil.

Disc top caps, seen on the Burt's Bees Baby Oil and Baby Mantra Calming Massage Oil bottles, don't provide as much control and require some attention to avoid pouring too much as oil comes out quickly. Also, the Solimo Baby Oil and Johnson's Shea and Cocoa Butter Baby Oil have child-safe twist tops that require you to push down and twist to open, a two-handed operation.

If you have narrowed down multiple attractive options to a small selection that you are interested in purchasing, and they perform equally, consider how easy a bottle is to use to help your decision-making.

Using a soothing and moisturizing oil can be a great addition to...
Using a soothing and moisturizing oil can be a great addition to baby massages as there is less friction than lotions.
Credit: Smith Assavarujikul © 123rf.com

Tip: Oil works best when the skin is wet to trap moisture for ultimate hydration, leaving it soft and moisturized. After your baby's bath is a great time to apply, and within a few minutes of rubbing, the oil should absorb.

A Note on Infant Massage


Adding baby oil to your baby's routine naturally brings us to the topic of baby massage, which is highly beneficial. It can have a calming effect, increase baby's quality of sleep and facilitate parent-child interaction and bonding. Honestly, the power of touch is incredible, and if time allows, we suggest taking a few minutes to incorporate therapeutic massage. Massaging oil on your baby's scalp before shampooing may help treat cradle cap issues.

Credit: Abriah Wofford

Conclusion


Babies' skin can be dry and scaly, and baby oil can be a fantastic way to hydrate and moisturize your baby's delicate skin. If you are ready to add oil into your baby's routine, we are confident our review provides you with the necessary details so you can find a product that meets your needs and budget.

Molly Bradac

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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