Baby oil is a great way for parents to keep their baby’s skin soft and supple. At the same time, massaging the oil on the baby serves as an excellent physical bonding moment between a parent and their baby. However, some parents might wonder whether or not baby oil actually expires.
Baby oil does expire. Some companies should have an expiration date listed on the bottle. A manufacturing date can also be helpful since baby oil should last up to three years after manufacturing. If such dates are unavailable, there are telltale signs to check if your baby oil has already gone bad. The most common way is to check if it smells differently. Expired baby oil can also look and feel differently.
Aside from answering the main question, “does baby oil expire,” this article will talk all about baby oil, the ingredients in it, simple ways for parents to check if it’s still alright to use, and even ways to reuse expired baby oil.
What is Baby Oil?
Baby oil is a general inert oil meant for keeping skin soft and supple. It is typically used to protect the baby’s skin. At such a young age, a baby’s skin is significantly thinner and more sensitive than that of an adult’s. This makes their skin more prone to drying out, peeling, infections, and blisters. Hence, baby oil is used to add a protective layer to the baby’s skin.
Although it is primarily used for babies, adults have also been known to use baby oil to keep their skin soft and moisturized as well. It is also commonly used by athletes to prevent chafing and other skin problems.
Does Baby Oil Expire?
Yes. The short answer is that baby oil does expire. If you can find an expiration date on the packaging, then it is best to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
While some manufacturers might not place an expiration date on the baby oil packaging, check if a manufacturing date is present – it could either be listed on the label or on the bottle itself. Most would agree that it is a good rule of thumb to replace such items three years after manufacturing. Aside from baby oil, this rule can be extended to moisturizers, lotions, and other cosmetics.
However, expired baby oil is not comparable to when food goes bad. Baby oil is mostly made of inert oils such as mineral oil. High-quality mineral oil does not have an expiration date per se. Thus, baby oil that’s completely made of mineral oil shouldn’t expire. However, there are other ingredients used in your typical bottle of baby oil.
If baby oil is mostly made of mineral oil, then the tiny percent left would be made up of fragrances. These are additives that help give baby oil its sweet and calming scents. Although the mineral oil component represents the bulk of the product, the additional fragrances contribute to the degradation of baby oil products.
Aside from fragrances, baby oil can also include some preservatives. Companies add preservatives to control microbial growth. These substances are important in keeping the baby’s skin free from harmful pathogens, as well as keeping the product free from microbes.
Other baby oils can be made of vegetable oils such as coconut oil, palm oil, avocado oil, and so on. If your baby oil is made of vegetable oils, then you should be able to see an expiration date on the baby oil packaging because vegetable oils would not last as long compared to mineral oil.
How to Make Baby Oil Last Longer?
While baby oil can last up to three years, there are some things parents can do to make sure baby oil can last as long as it can.
For example, store the baby oil in a cool, dark place. If you can’t find an expiration date on your bottle of baby oil, then it’s best to store it away from direct sunlight and other sources of light.
Keeping the cap tightly closed is another way to make baby oil last longer. This reduces the amount of air that comes into contact with baby oil, thus preventing it from oxidizing too quickly.
Lastly, make sure to open the bottle only right before you plan to use it. If you open it and don’t use the baby oil right away, then put the cap back on tightly. This way, even if there’s still some amount of air entering your bottle of mineral oil-containing baby oil, at least there would not be as much oxidation happening inside.
How to Check If Baby Oil Has Expired?
Fortunately, there are some quick and easy ways to check if whether your baby oil is still good or not.
One of the most obvious ways to check if baby oil has expired is by looking for an expiration date. If your baby oil is already expired, then that’s a surefire way to know if the product has gone bad or not.
Even if an expiration date is present, it’s still a good idea to be familiar with the other ways to check if your baby oil is still okay. Even if the expiration date has not come yet, a change in product quality can always occur due to certain factors (e.g., factory defect, improper storage, etc.).
If the baby oil’s scent has changed, then it might be a sign that the product is no longer good. As mentioned before, mineral oils do not expire. Thus, a change in scent would point to the degradation of the fragrances.
Aside from the added fragrances, a change in scents can also be due to the degradation of the preservatives. Some baby oil products might have preservatives to help prolong their shelf lives.
In some cases, a strong chemical smell means that the product has gone bad. In other cases, the baby oil would simply lose its overall scent.
Color and Appearance
Another easy way to check if baby oil has expired is by looking for changes in its color and appearance. Expired mineral oils would eventually become hazy. If you notice such a change, then it might be time to stop using the product on the baby.
Aside from these, look out for changes in your baby oil’s appearance. If the product has separated into two layers – a top and bottom tier, then it might be time to dispose of the baby oil as well.
Consistency and Texture
In addition to changes in color and appearance, another easy way to check if baby oil has expired is by checking the consistency of the product.
If the baby oil is sticky and has become difficult to apply to the skin, then it might be time to stop using the product. If you find that your baby oil no longer absorbs into the skin or evaporates quickly upon contact with air, then you should stop using it immediately.
The texture of the baby oil can also change when its quality has decreased. Although it might be more difficult to explain, you should be able to feel the difference after using the same oil for some time.
What to Do with Expired Baby Oil?
When your baby oil has expired, the only thing you should do is to stop using it on your baby. However, it doesn’t mean you have to throw it away. Here are some other ways to make the most out of expired baby oil.
First, check if your product is made up of mostly mineral oils or not. If it’s a mix between vegetable and mineral oils, then that’s fine because both are still safe to use even if they have expired.
A great way to reuse expired baby oil is by using it as a household lubricant. You can try using your baby oil as a lubricant for locks, hinges, doorknobs, and other metal objects.
You might also find it useful to use the baby oil on sliding doors or windows too because mineral oils are great in terms of preventing rusting and corrosion. Doing so would make opening and closing these types of household items much easier and smoother.
Another great way to reuse your expired baby oil is by using it as a leather conditioner. The mineral oils in the product will help moisturize and soften up dry or cracked leather surfaces, allowing for an easier cleaning process too. By using this method, you’ll be able to extend your expensive leather products’ life for many more years ahead.
Vanity and Skin Care
If you’re done with your baby oil, then there is a plethora of ways for you to reuse it on yourself! For instance, mineral oils can be an effective natural makeup remover.
You might also find it useful to use expired baby oil as a facial moisturizer. Mineral oils are great for moisturizing skin because they can help seal in moisture, which is especially important during the winter months (or any other time where your skin might be dry or flaky).
Aside from that, mineral oil-based products like baby oil have been found to effectively treat dandruff as well. Mineral oils can work to unclog pores and remove any built-up dirt, grime, and dead skin cells that might be clogging up the scalp – all of which contribute to dandruff development.
Wood and Metal Polish
Aside from leather surfaces, mineral oils can also work as great wood polishes. Mineral oil-based products are especially effective in improving the shine of your wooden furniture or flooring without leaving any nasty residues behind.
Lastly, you can also use your baby oil as a metal polish. Mineral oils are great for removing rust and tarnish from metals like brass, copper, aluminum, silverware, etc. Just apply some of the product on a piece of cloth or cotton ball, then gently rub it against any rusted or tarnished surface to see its shine restored.