Choosing An Oil

Learn how to choose the right oil for baby massage at our classes in Brampton.

Download PDF: Choosing an OilClick here to download pdf version.

Selecting an Oil to Use for Massage

Our skin is the largest organ in the body.  What we apply on our skin is absorbed through the epidermis and dermis layers, and into the bloodstream.  It circulates throughout our blood and lymphatic systems.  For these reasons it is important to be informed about what types of oils we choose to use on baby’s sensitive skin.

What does cold-pressed mean?

Cold pressing of oil is a technique used to extract oil, using pressure without using heat or chemicals.  This process protects the oil’s natural nutrients, and health benefits.  Cold pressed fruit and vegetable oils are nourishing to the skin, and many contain vitamins and essential fatty acids.

What is the difference between heat and cold-pressed oils?

Heat pressing increases the amount of oil removed from seed, nut, fruit or vegetable.  It uses both pressure as well as heat.  However, heat causes denaturing of the natural protein of the oil.

What are expressed oils?

This process uses heat to assist with the extraction of oils from nuts and seeds that wouldn’t otherwise allow for extraction of the oil through cold-pressing or milling.  Such examples include sweet almond oil.

What are refined oils?

This process involves the use of heat and chemicals to extract the oil.  The use of this method alters the natural properties of the oil.

What is mineral oil?

These oils form a barrier on the skin, not allowing the oil to be absorbed.  They are chemically extracted from crude petroleum.  There are no nutrient or health benefits to using these oils on baby’s delicate skin.

What are essential oils?

These oils are natural extracts from plants.  They are concentrated and have various effects on our systems throughout the body.  It is not recommended to use essential oils on babies younger than 12 months of age.

Storage of oils:

You should store cold-pressed oils in a cool place, away from direct sunlight. 

Common fruit and vegetable oils and their properties:


A rich, heavy textured oil. Yellow/green in colour. It contains good levels of essential fatty acids, alpha linolenic acid. Often suggested for dry, and irritated skin.
Jojoba Oil
Easily absorbed into the skin. It contains vitamin E, B complex, and the minerals silicon, chromium, copper, and zinc. Good for all skin types.
Avocado Oil
A rich, heavy textured oil that is deeply penetrating. Green in colour. Rich in vitamins A, B1, B2 and D, amino acids, lecithin, potassium, monounsaturated fats – but most of all prized for its rich vitamin E content. Often suggested for those with eczema, psoriasis, or any sensitive or problem skin irritations that require a vitamin-rich oil.
Grapeseed Oil
A light textured oil, with a mild aroma. It contains more linoleic acid (omega 6 fatty acid) than many other oils. Often suggested for those with skin sensitivities, because of its natural non-allergenic properties.
A light textured oil, almost colourless. Sunflower oil is rich in vitamins A, C and D, especially vitamin E. Often suggested for those with acne, eczema, inflammation, general redness and irritation of the skin.
Apricot Kernel Oil
Apricot Kernel
A light textured oil, golden in colour. Rich in both oleic acid and linoleic acid. Good for all skin types, but particularly helpful for dry, delicate, mature and sensitive skins. Can also soothe inflammations.
Coconut Oil
Virgin oil is solid at room temperature, very fragrant and white in colour. Fractionated oil is heat treated, liquid at room temperature, colour and odorless. It contains Lauric Acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. Good for all skin types. Often suggested for its antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial properties. * Some skin types are sensitive to coconut oil *
Sweet Almond Oil
Sweet Almond
A light textured oil, easily absorbed into the skin. Rich in fatty acids – almond oil is made up of 62% monounsaturated oleic acid (an omega 9 fatty acid), 24% linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated omega 6 essential fatty acid) and 6% palmitic acid (a saturated fatty acid). Often suggested for irritated and sensitive skin types.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *