Considering genetic, diet and environmental factors are helpful in picking the right oil for an infant. Oils benefit their skin by preventing rapid water loss, regulating melanin production, and acting as a gentle cleanser.
American- eumelanin children are more likely to have:
- Eczema and other atopical skin conditions
- Food allergies
- Skin discoloration
- Rashes or breakouts
Before my daughter was born, my partner and I agreed to delay bathing, and only wiping and moisturizing when necessary to increase the chances of boosting her immunity.
The first week home our baby had extreme scalp dryness, temporary discoloration, bumpy texture, and peeling on her face and creases. And yes, it is perfectly normal in dark skin babies!
There are some skin disadvantages derived from genetics, weak immune systems, poor living environments and outdated knowledge. I considered all factors as a guide for choosing the best oils in her journey that I thought may benefit others.
Natural Baby Oils for EUmelanin Infants
Every oil has been thoroughly used since the first weeks of life. In the list we chose high end to affordable quality alternatives to coconut, shea butter, and olive oil for infant care. I wanted to keep EBT-cardholders in mind so I incorporated baby friendly oils to save on actual cash. This tiny list of oils are nut, soy, and sesame free.
Some of the qualities we strongly looked for are:
- Carotenoid properties for protection against UV ray exposure and eumelanin care.
- Anti-microbial for protection against pathogens (Extremely helpful in delayed bathing)
- Moisturizing properties for cold, dry seasons to using for thick textured hair. We also wanted dry oils to use on hot, humid days and thinner hair.
- Multi-purpose oil for hair, skin, diaper changes, massages
Ximenia~ Rich lubricating properties
Rich in the rare ximenynic fatty acid, Ximenia is a non-comedogenic oil that contains anti- inflammatory, anti-microbial, emollient, soothing properties. It's best used as a natural remedy for skin irritations, dryness, dehydration, and atopic disorders.
Ximenia oil is a frequently used oil we use for sealing moisture in our baby skin. It has a soft, velvety-like texture that's easily applicable to her dark skin. We found it really helpful in reducing her dry appearance in the skin peeling and cradle cap phase, early in the journey. Due to its smoothing properties, ximenia oil is one of the top sealants for thick curly and coily head infants--Hands down. It's thick and gooey unlike any other oil I've tried and I love it's sweet floral aroma. So we also use ximenia oil as a substitute for diaper powders and creams, to healing cradle cap and massaging oil combined with Touloucouna oil.
(About 2 weeks old)This was used with 100% pure Ximenia oil. Within a few sprays of herbal water and oil rubbed on it. It was so easy to lift the flakes from her scalp with my finger. As you can see I left the flakes in there so it could fall out on its own.
Sapote~ Very sweet smell
Sapote oil has a generous amount of vitamins A, B, C, and E. Great for it's cellular regeneration, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory capabilities, sapote may be used to treat skin problems like dermatitis, patching, flaking, itching, sebum regulation to softening the hair and healing sensitive scalps.
We used this oil in detangling sprays in combo with ximenia oil as a moisture sealant. It has a super sweet scent that isn't too overpowering. I liked the sheen it gives on afro hair. Since she has 2 textures, I do prefer to use sapote oil on her curls vs her coils since its light-weight and easily absorbent, because oils like ximenia and black castor can be too heavy and thick.
Date oil~ Hypoallergenic dry oil
Babies are typically prone to acne due to their sensitive skin. Luckily the oil in date seeds is hypoallergenic friendly that can moisturize infants without without breaking out their skin, or clogging pores. Date oil contains omega 6 and omega 9 fatty acids (polyunsaturated oil) that carries anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial properties to phytochemicals and carotenoids properties. This oil can be used for dandruff, acne, hair growth, protection from free radicals, scars, sunburns.
When it gets hot, date oil is our go-to for mixing with other SPF oils (against UV rays) we've got listed below. I love it for it's light weight abilities and how it gives a satisfying sheen on her melanin skin. What we loved was its carotenoid properties since melanin skin contains them in order to regulate melanin! So we used it either by itself, or combined with other oils during the hotter days for easier absorption. It is also another oil that is good for curly or soft hair; which we loved since our little one was going through hair texture changes.
Grapeseed (SNAP eligible)~ Lightweight
Grapeseed oil has anti- microbial, phenolic antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory qualities similar to date oil. High in omega 6 fats, it's used as a natural remedy for evening out skin tone, acne, dryness, to promoting shine, hair growth, cleanses pores due to its antiseptic properties.
Almost every store carries grapeseed oil. If we run out of an oil that was purchased online, grapeseed oil is our go-to for melanin skin. It is light weight, easily absorbent, and non-greasy. I use this oil as a base for many of my DIY oils for our baby's skin. Her hair loves grapeseed based oils after hydrating with herbal waters, and good for coil definition.
Avocado oil (SNAP eligible)~Naturally fatty
High in monounsaturated fats (omega 9), Avocado oil is another natural source of vitamin E & A that contain components similar to the previous mentioned oils. Babies who may have sensitivities to grapeseed, coconut, and other nut oils may reap the benefits of avocado oil. Avocado oil promotes healthy melanin skin to softening baby hair.
Compared to grapeseed oil, avocado is my favorite carrier oil to use as a base in hair formulations when it comes to availability, Avocado oil improved frizziness and shine in daughter's multiple hair textures with its fatty texture. Our little one had dryness for months and there were time's we were unable to buy high quality moisturizes online! So after a good bath, avocado oils was highly effective in our baby care regimen. Perfect for nearly all purposes.
Hempseed oil (SNAP eligible) ~ High amount of Omega 3
Hempseed oil contains the highest amount of omega 3 fatty acids, while also containing omega 6. It is gentle for infant skin care oils due to promoting smooth skin, or enhance the appearance of soft, straw-like hair. Hempseed oil is considered a dry oil!
The omega 3 properties was what we were interested in for melanin infant care. Not only did we apply hempseed all over her, but used it in our food! Because I exclusively breastfeed, I includes hempseed oil (and other hemp products) in my diet to enhance my fatty milk composition. Adding hempseed oil into our lifestyle organically contributed to our baby's overall health. It also a variety substitute when in rotation with other soothing oils.
Red Raspberry Seed Oil~ Protects against UBV rays
Meet one of the oils that naturally offers UBV sun protection and vitamins A and E! Red Raspberry seed oil is great for soothing skin, retain moisture and hydration in the skin, non comedogenic, and gently protects skin from transepidermal water loss to softening the hair, holds shine, and seals in moisture.
Red Raspberry seed oil is a staple in our regimen. When our little one shows a little skin irritation around her bottom, we use pure 100% red Raspberry seed oil for a quick recovery. Raspberry oil is also easily absorbent in our baby skin so we used it pretty often in DIY sunscreen oil since its advised to avoid sunscreen use until at least 6 months. A little protection is better than nothing at all, right?
Touloucouna oil ~ Used as baby massaging oil
The oil is anti-inflammatory and soothing. It contains high quantities of essential fatty acids, including oleic, palmitic, stearic, linoleic acids, as well as Vitamin E, that help to protect, moisturize as well as soften your skin. It is the perfect conditioner to regenerate, restore and smoothen your hair. Touloucouna oil is traditionally used in treating skin problems including eczema, acne, psoriarisis with muscle relaxing (invigorating benefits) and anti-inflammatory properties.
Touloucouna oil is mainly used as a massaging oil and as a natural insect repellent oil for outdoor activities. Because locals Senegalese mommy's used this oil for infants, we decided to give it a try during bedtime. We infused it with dry chamomile flower and herbal carrier oils, like 100% black castor oil to encourage quality sleep, relaxed muscles (she'd always be tense!), and soak up the benefits it provides.
Sustainable Red Palm Oil~ Protects against UBV rays
Like Red raspberry seed oil, sustainable red palm oil is another alternative for UBV protection and vitamin E benefits; which can temporarily replace sunscreen in newer infants. High quantities of beta-carotene antioxidants are found in sustainable palm oil which gives it a vibrant red color.
Red palm oil is consistently used for outdoors. And so far we haven't had any visible burns, irritations, or uneven skin during the times she was accidentally exposed. Besides offering high amounts of vitamin E, red palm oil did help to improve her texture. I also added this into my diet to increase the chances of her easily absorbing it through breastmilk.
What to look for in natural baby oils?
There are dozens of baby body care brands that are not 100% organic to having added allergenic ingredients (like fragrances) that may increase skin flair-up's. What's worse, it disrupts the health of dark skin composition that leads to permanent damage at an early age.
When searching for clean- cut ingredients, make sure it has these key words on the labeling or site. This puts parents in control of what goes on their babies skin.
Here they are certified :
- Non- GMO
- cold pressed, virgin, or unrefined
- Black owned (If you are looking for black own carrier oils)
Within this list ximenia, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, Touloucouna, hempseed oil, and red palm oils are best persevered in amber dark bottles for highest quality.
Where to buy organic baby oils
Oils like avocado, grapeseed, and sunflower are sold in almost every grocery store. Hempseed is sold in health food stores like Whole Foods or herbal markets. We chose these oils due to its availability when on a budget. Even better, for my low income families they can purchase them with their EBT cards as an alternative to spending $$-$$$ on cosmetics.
What we exactly used
Will be editing soon!
Other non-reviewed brands
Will be editing soon!
[…] Black castor oil is safe for infants; However be sure to patch test for allergies and side effects. If you'd like you can mix with 9 Moisturizing Oils for Melanin Infant Care! […]
Ahhh so much good information I need to print this out!! In my head oil is oil, ha this is great is information
Yes! There are bunch of other oils that I want to get and try to use in our formulations but it moisturizes her afro and melanin well.
Glad it helped you!