Baby oil is a drugstore product conventionally used for babies. In difficult economic times, however, adults have turned to the product to cure their own skin ailments. Baby oil, which can treat dryness, is sometimes used for acne. However, the oil tends to make acne worse and should be avoided for use on the face or other breakout-prone areas.
Baby oil is used to combat dry skin. In infants, baby oil is used for dry patches attributed to cradle cap and eczema. Adults can utilize the moisturizing effects of baby oil for dry elbows, knees and feet. Baby oil can also help reduce cuticles. Due to its lubricating benefits, this type of product is sometimes used for shaving extra sensitive skin in place of conventional shaving gels.
Baby oil is not endorsed by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) as an effective form of acne treatment. The Acne Myths, Etc. website explains that there is a misconception that baby oil can heal acne. The misconception may lie in the fact that baby oil is also a softening product that may reduce the appearance of inflammation. Baby oil contains mineral oil, which Acne Talks reports can help reduce inflammation caused by acne.
The AAD reports that acne has more than one cause and excess oil production plays a role in breakouts. By applying baby oil to the face, you are essentially adding more oil onto your skin. This can cause more acne problems if you already have pre-existing acne or if you have an oily skin type. Also, the Acne Myths, Etc. website points out that baby oil is difficult to wash off of your skin, as there will still be a residue left behind. Baby oil residue will hamper the skin cell turnover process, leading to more acne.
Your best defense against acne breakouts is to take care of your skin. The AAD recommends you wash your face twice a day and use medicated ointments as directed by a dermatologist. Take care in using cosmetics, lotions and sunscreens and make sure they are oil-free. Oil-free cosmetics are often labeled as "non-acnegenic" or "non-comedogenic." Baby oil does not fall into this category, and thus, should be avoided as an acne solution.
Mineral oil by itself is not linked directly to clogged pores, according to Acne Talks. Keep in mind, however, that acne is caused by a combination of factors. The AAD explains that bacteria, dead skin cells and oil are all acne culprits combined. Avoiding baby oil can help reduce your chances of facial breakouts, but your acne may not clear up entirely.