Does baby oil contain ingredients that really work?

Livelovelaugh longs to learn…I’ve noticed that Johnsons have variations of their regular baby oil – Johnsons baby oil lavender, and Johnsons baby oil with aloe vera and vitamin e. Do these extra ingredients actually have any benefit, or are they just a gimmick to jack up the price of what would otherwise be cheap mineral oil?

The Right Brain replies

Johnsons Baby Oil With Aloe Vera & Vitamin E sells for 20 ounces for $4.50. Likewise, the same amount of regular plain old Johnson’s Baby Oil also costs $4.50 (at least on So while these ingredients may be a gimmick it’s not a gimmick that jacks up the price very much. (BTW, Sarah Bellum says it’s much cheaper when you buy it in 55 gallon drums which makes me wonder exactly what she does in her spare time. But that’s another story…)

Mad about mineral oil

Mineral oil is the main ingredient in baby oil. And based on comments we’ve gotten on our previous posts on mineral oil, many people consider it to be the cosmetic equivalent of the Anti-Christ. We won’t open that can of worms here today but we will restate our belief that, based on available data, mineral oil is a safe and effective moisturizer. The other ingredients you asked about are more in question.

Baby oil bamboozle?

Here’s our take on the “featured” ingredients used in Johnsons Baby Oil: Lavender oil can make baby oil smell better but it can also be irritating (and some people say it causes young boys to grow boobies.) Aloe Vera does have some beneficial properties but it’s not oil soluble so it’s highly unlikely that there’s enough in the mineral oil to make a difference on your skin. Vitamin E also provides some skin benefits and it is oil soluble. But the question is, how much is in the formula and how well is it stabilized. If the cost of the formula is the same with and without the vitamin, that’s a pretty good indication that it’s present at too low of a concentration to provide a measurable effect.

Beauty Brains bottom line

Extra ingredients like lavender oil and aloe vera provide little, if any, additional benefit in baby oil. But as long as it doesn’t raise the price, why not indulge yourself with the “special” version? (Unless you’re one of these people whose skin reacts to lavender oil, of course!)

What do YOU think? Do you buy products based on the ingredients you see featured on the front label? Leave a comment for the rest of the Beauty Brains community.