A trial of 115 newborn babies which was supported by the University of Manchester was published in the journal Acta Dermato-Venereologic. It has shown that whilst using olive or sunflower oil increased levels of hydration in the babies skin over a four week period compared to a group who used no oil at all, it actually hindered proper skin barrier development. The study showed “significantly less improvement in lipid lamellae structure compared to the no oil group.”
The effect that olive and sunflower oils have, according to this study, can delay the development of the skin barrier which is needed to lock moisture in to your babies skin. So whilst applying oil may hydrate your baby’s skin in the short term this study would suggest it may do more damage than good in the long term. The natural skin barrier is essential for keeping out allergens and preventing infection as well as helping the skin feel soft and smooth.
More studies are needed to determine the true impact of applying olive and sunflower oils to newborn babies skin but in the meanwhile I would just be aware of this study and perhaps consider a different option as part of your child’s skincare regimen.
A few few of my favorite skin care products for moisturising my baby’s skin include:
- Uriage Xemose Creme – http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/uriage_xemose_emollient_cream
- La Roche Posay Lipikar Balme – http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/la_rocheposay_lipikar_baume_ap_400ml
- Aveeno moisturising cream – http://www.milltownpharmacy.ie/p/aveeno_moisturising_cream_300ml
These are all available by clicking the above links or at www.milltownpharmacy.ie
You can read my blog all about eczema here – https://wonderbaba.ie/2015/05/10/eczema-and-dermatitis-a-parents-complete-guide/
I hope you have found this information helpful and as always don’t hesitate to contact me on the WonderBaba Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/wonderbabacare) with any questions or for one to one advice for your little one! You can also consult with me in person at Milltown totalhealth Pharmacy in Dublin 6 or over the phone on 012600262.
Ref: Cooke A, Cork MJ, Victor S, Campbell M, Danby S, Chittock J, Lavender T. (2015).
Olive Oil, Sunflower Oil or no Oil for Baby Dry Skin or Massage: A Pilot, Assessor-blinded, Randomized Controlled Trial (the Oil in Baby SkincaRE [OBSeRvE] Study). Acta Derm Venereol, eScholarID:281521 | DOI:10.2340/00015555-2279