Does Baby Oil Expire? Here’s How You Can Tell!


As new parents, it’s easier to buy things in bulk for your baby. It saves money and multiple trips to the store. Additionally, you are usually showered with gifts from friends and family, and this might lead to owning multiple bags of diapers, packs of wipes, and yes, baby oil. While diapers and wipes will vanish before you know it, baby oil is something that you wouldn’t use as frequently. If you’re a new mom who has a few bottles of baby oil, you might be wondering if baby oil will expire.

Baby oil does expire and usually has an expiration date of 3 years from the date of manufacture even if the expiry date is not mentioned. Baby oil is used to massage a baby’s soft and sensitive skin, but you can use it for a lot of different things, like to treat itchy or dry skin or even diaper rashes. If the oil expires but seems to be in good condition, you can still use it for a lot of different purposes. Today, we are discussing baby oil, its uses, its expiration, and everything in between.

What Is Baby Oil?

A newborn baby’s skin is very sensitive and a lot thinner than an adult’s skin. That’s why you need to be very careful about what products you use on your baby.

Babies, just like adults, need a moisturizer to keep their skin soft and supple and because their skin is thinner, they need extra moisturization and care. Baby skin is more likely to dry out, break out in rashes or even peel sometimes, and baby oil is a great way to keep it soft, moisturized, and healthy.

Baby oil is a clear, moisturizing liquid made from mineral oil meant to soothe a baby’s delicate skin. Typically, baby oil is used right after the baby’s bath as it helps lock in all the moisture and keeps the skin soft, smooth, and healthy. Baby oil is even used by adults and is actually quite popular as moisturizer.

How Long Does Baby Oil Last on Skin?

Research shows that baby oil lasts for up to 48 hours on the skin, which is a lot longer than most moisturizers on the market. Being a topical emollient that is non-comedogenic, baby oil moisturizes the skin but doesn’t clog the pores. Basically, it just acts as a barrier on top of your skin to lock in all the moisture.

If you want to make your baby oil last longer on the skin, make sure you use it right after your baby’s bath. When the skin is wet, water acts as a carrier for oil and enables it to go deeper into the skin for longer lasting effect. In case you’re using the baby oil for a diaper rash, then clean the area properly and then wait for it to dry out completely before applying the oil.

How long baby oil lasts on your skin does depend a lot on your skin type, condition, and even area of application. On normal skin when applied right after a bath, baby oil lasts for more than a day.

The best thing about baby oil is that it gets absorbed very quickly and this makes it excellent for anyone with dry skin. Baby oil is also formulated for newborn babies’ sensitive and soft skin, so it’s perfect for all skin types, even the most sensitive ones.

How to Check If the Oil Has Expired

Baby oil like any other baby product can expire. You might notice that the baby oil you’re using doesn’t have an expiration date on the bottle. But as a general rule, all baby oil, including Jonson and Johnson’s, expires after 3 years.

However, because the main ingredient in baby oil is mineral oil, expiration does not necessarily mean your baby oil is completely unusable. But most products include other ingredients like fragrances and preservatives, which over a period of time can break down and expire. This might make the expired baby oil unsuitable for use.

So, how does baby oil expire? There are several ways and things you can look out for.

1.   Scent

While the major ingredient in baby oil is mineral oil, it usually has a sweet and nice fragrance that it’s added to it. If while using you notice that the scent of the oil has changed, then there is a chance that it has expired.

While mineral oil does not expire, the fragrances added in baby oils do, leaving behind a strong chemical scent. This is your sign that the oil is no longer suitable for use on the baby’s skin and should be replaced.

2.   Texture and Consistency

If you have too much baby oil that came in as gifts and are not sure if they are still good to use, here is another way of checking if the baby oil has expired.

Check the consistency and texture of the oil. Baby oils are generally smooth and non-sticky, if it feels sticky and thick, then that’s a clear sign that the oil has gone bad.

If the consistency is thick and does not glide easily on the skin or even gets absorbed, stop using it immediately and replace it with a new bottle.

3.   Color of the Oil

Baby oils are a clear moisturizing liquid. If you notice that the baby oil you own looks misty or dark in color, it means the oil has gone bad.

Mineral oil looks hazy when it becomes bad, and this is a clear indication that you need to stop using it. Sometimes baby oil products get separated into two different layers, which also means the product is unsuitable for use.

If you notice any of the above when using baby oil either on your baby or yourself, it is best to stop using it. While mineral oils don’t really have an expiration date, the other ingredients in baby oils do. That is why it is best to avoid using the product if it has expired.

What Happens If You Use Expired Oil?

As new parents, we are sure you would have stocked some of the baby oil bottles you received as a gift somewhere in the house and then suddenly one day came across one and found that it had actually expired.

Now, if the oil looks good, and doesn’t smell funny or weird, then you might be wondering if it’s okay to use expired baby oil. The answer is no. Your baby’s skin is extremely sensitive and soft, that’s why you need to be very careful about what you use on it.

Even if it looks good, the chemical ingredients in oil can break down and cause skin irritation for your little bub. So, avoid using it on your baby.

Other Benefits Of Using Baby Oil

Other Benefits Of Using Baby Oil

Baby oil is normally used to moisturize a baby’s sensitive skin post-bath, as it helps lock in all the moisture. Made using mineral oil, which is said to have the same benefits as coconut oil, baby oil is a great way to ensure your baby’s soft skin remains healthy and smooth. It can also be used as a massage oil and is an excellent way to bond with your baby.

But apart from using it for your baby, you can use baby oil for a whole lot of other things. It glides over easily, and you would be surprised by how useful it can be. Here are some of the other ways of using baby oil.

  1. Shaving: Baby oil makes an excellent shaving cream and after-shave lotion. You can use baby oil just like shaving cream and then shave as usual. Its emollient effect makes your skin super soft and moisturized. You can also use it after shaving to moisturize your skin.
  2. Makeup remover: The most gentle and safe way to remove that stubborn mascara or waterproof makeup is baby oil! Simply soak a cotton pad in baby oil and wipe your makeup off. Simple, easy, and excellent for your skin.
  3. Soothing Lotion: Soothe that stinging, red skin after a waxing session with baby oil. It even removes any extra wax stuck to the skin.
  4. Removing chewing gum: Did your toddler accidentally stick chewing gum on your hair? Baby oil can come to your rescue. Just soak the gum in baby oil for some time and it will be easy to remove without actually cutting your hair.
  5. Lubrication: Squeaky door hinges, stuck-up keyholes, rusted screws, or anything that needs a little lubrication can be fixed using baby oil. Its emollient effect makes baby oil an excellent choice for fixing things.
  6. Foot moisturizer: Who doesn’t love smooth and soft heels, right? Simply wash your feet and scrub to remove dead skin cells. Then gently massage some baby oil and cover your feet with socks and leave it overnight. The next morning, wake up to smooth, soft, and supple feet.
  7. Polish for furniture: Baby oil is just the perfect and easy varnish for all your old furniture. Simply dip a cloth in little water and then in baby oil and use it to polish any furniture you want.

As you can see, there are many ways you can use and reap the benefits of baby oil. It’s more than just oil for your little bub. The next time you have some extra bottles of baby oil in the house, use them for any of the things mentioned above before it expires.

How To Make Baby Oil Last Longer?

Baby oil expires like any other baby product. But if you have a few bottles on hand and want to make sure you extend and make use of it as much as possible, there are a few things you can do.

  1. Open the bottle only when you plan on using it.
  2. Close the lid tightly after every use,
  3. Store baby oil in a cool and dark place and avoid direct sunlight.

Final Thoughts

Baby oil is an essential product when it comes to caring for your baby’s soft skin. But if you’re thinking that baby oil will expire, then yes it will. It does expire and that is why it is best to use it before the expiration date.

Baby’s skin is sensitive and soft, and using expired baby oil is not recommended. It’s best to replace baby oil yearly, especially if the bottle has been opened. Always check the expiration date before using the product on your little baby. Most baby oil is made using 98% mineral oil, but the remaining 2% is made of fragrances and preservatives. If that causes skin irritations, you can also opt to use organic and natural oils like coconut oil, avocado oil, and olive oil. What’s important is that you choose the best baby products for your baby because their safety and comfort are all that matter.

Stephanie Edenburgh

I'm Steph, a mom to 3 beautiful children and lover all things having to do with my family and being a mom. I've learned a lot raising my own children and working in education and healthcare roles throughout my career. Living in beautiful Southern California I enjoy documenting and writing about all of the hard work us mom's do on a daily basis.

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