Baby oil and mineral oil have a variety of uses. These inexpensive oils can be purchased over the counter and used for everything, from a skin moisturizer to a cleaning product.
Mineral oil is a byproduct of petroleum distillation and is primarily used as a lubricant laxative to slow the absorption of water from the bowel, which softens the stool, according to drugs.com. Baby oil is mineral oil with added fragrance.
Baby oil and mineral oil can be used interchangeably as a skin moisturizer, makeup remover, shaving gel, stainless-steel or chrome cleaner, wood furniture polish (when mixed with lemon juice) and leather conditioner.
Only use mineral oil as a laxative when recommended by a health care professional. Do not use it regularly because it can cause deficiencies of vitamins A, D, E and K, according to FamilyDoctor.org.
Federal Drug Administration
The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) does not approved the use of mineral oil. The oil predates the current FDA approval process, according to the American Cancer Society.
Inhaling baby oil can lead to serious health problems, irreversible brain damage or even death. According to the court case Ayers v. Johnson & Johnson, a 15-month-old received brain damage after baby oil was inhaled into his lungs. Keep baby oil out of children’s reach at all times.
References and ResourcesDrugs.com: Mineral Oil Liquid
American Cancer Society: Mineral Oil
Family Doctor: Constipation
Ayers vs. Johnson & Johnson
DIY Life: Top 15 Alternative Uses for Baby Oil