natural oils and flowers

There have been many articles in the press regarding the use of natural oils (olive, sunflower, coconut etc) on new born babies, recently based on a study undertaken by researchers at the University of Manchester. [

Eczema is something of specialist area for me as a pharmacist, so the various articles a few weeks ago caught my attention.

As with anything regarding pregnancy, babies and children, there is a plethora of conflicting information, and us parents are excellent at remembering the bad things!

So to disperse the scare-mongering, we thought we’d clarify a few points.

Firstly, there is no risk of the use of olive oil or coconut oil causing permanent skin damage. They do contain ingredients that are good for skin health. Eczema is quite common in babies and children and in most cases will disappear before they start school.

The articles I’ve seen correctly state that babies’ skin is very delicate and more fragile than adult skin. There is no need to apply anything but water to babies’ skin until they are at least 4 months old, as in the majority of cases, your Bundle of Joy arrives with peachy skin with sufficient defence.

In the majority of cases, if you have applied any of these oils to your baby, there is likely to be no effect on their skin. However, they contain oleic acid (which can make skin more permeable and therefore susceptible to allergies), linoleic and palmitic acids which have been reported to trigger eczema so it is best to avoid these.

Again, in most cases, if something applied does cause eczema, and you stop using it, the symptoms would disappear. A natural oil is unlikely to cause an immediate reaction (which is more likely to be an allergy), instead it is most usually built up over time.

It’s perfectly safe to use natural based creams and oils on infants over 1 year of age.  

And should your baby, child, or anyone else in your family be affected by eczema, we highly recommend the following:

Recommended products for Eczema

Click for Shea Mooti Baby's Everything Balm

Click for Hope's Relief Moisturising Lotion

Click for Weleda Dry Skin & Eczema Relief

Click for Salcura Bioskin Junior

All of our eczema products can be found here:

If you have any questions about eczema in general, or anything else we can answer or clarify for you, please let us know.