Complementary Therapists Association - Forums
Posted by Deborah Sheppard, Apr 2 2016 5:21PM

Please do not use forums to advertise courses.

Forums Disclaimer

OIl for infant massage


I would appreciate members’ advice please.

I work mainly as an infant massage instructor and massage in schools instructor these days. I give my clients 100% organic, cold pressed sunflower oil to use on their babies, who are usually at least 6 weeks old when they start my classes. I also work with parents with babies from 3 weeks old on a 1-2 basis, but we don’t use oil at these sessions.

I have just read an article on the University of Manchester’s website, which states that using olive and sunflower oil on new born babies’ skin weakens the skin’s natural defences. I know that we don’t recommend the use of olive oil on babies’ skin anymore, but I always thought that sunflower oil was perfectly safe.
The study only mentions new borns, and it does state that “the skin of babies given oils tended to be better hydrated.” You can read the article here:

I would appreciate all comments. I have also emailed the Royal College of Midwives and the IAIM, for their opinions.

All replies will be gratefully received!
Heather Birch
Apr 2 2016 6:05PM
You could use Johnsons baby talcum powder of Johnsons baby Oil (esp. good and recommended for their delicate skin). Or try Tisserand oils - if you email them they will recommend an oil for you.


Heather Birch
Alison MacColl
Apr 3 2016 9:28PM
Hi, thanks for your post.

I wasn't able to download the full research article and would question the ages of the babies selected for the study. Apologies if this was something I have missed.

You already mention that you do not use a massage medium for babies 3 weeks old and given what you already do I wonder if the babies recruited for the study were of a similar age.

I have worked with babies 6 weeks and older and have never had any adverse reactions whilst using sunflower oil. I've never been a fan of olive oil for massage.

Would be interested to hear of your replies from IAIM and the Royal College of Midwives.


Shakunthala (Shaku) Burrell
Apr 20 2017 11:30AM
In India we only use warm organic coconut oil for babies - most safe.

Post Reply |

| Back Up to Therapy Lecturers Association