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Does Baby Oil Expire? [FAQs You Need to Know]

Does Baby Oil Expire

We understand why you’re here.

We all have to face the concern regarding the expiration date of a baby oil product at one point or another. Now would be a good time to discuss it.

Ready your questions because we got all the answers you’ll need! This article is all about oil, baby.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents

Does Baby Oil Have an Expiration Date?

The simple answer: yes, baby oil does expire.

Most baby oils have their expiration dates stamped on the bottle or container. Look out for this one or dates that follow prompts like “best by” or “use by.”

You’d usually find this to be somewhere between 1-3 years from the date of manufacture.

The expiry date may be specific to each brand, but such is the case for Johnson’s Baby Oil, arguably one of the world’s most popular baby products.

Yet despite this, some manufacturers would recommend you discard baby oil just a year after purchase.

This advice may be useful, especially if you plan to use it on your baby’s sensitive skin.

But, Does Baby Oil Expire?

Does this sound redundant? We’ve already established the expiration date, right?

Well, you’re right for asking.

An expiration date can simply mean a safe period of time for manufacturers to sell their products to ensure their best quality. But we understand that your concern goes beyond that.

You want to know about spoilage, right?

For context, common commercial baby oil comprises 98% mineral oil and 2% fragrance.

These ingredients may reduce shelf life, yes, especially the case for mineral oil. Mineral oil takes up the majority of the concentration.

But if we’re talking about spoilage, then actually: no, baby oil does not spoil in that sense. Baby oil is generally long-lasting.

Expired baby oil generally doesn’t necessarily go bad! Unsafe, yes, as it may become a skin irritant. But bad to the point of spoilage? No, not really.

So for all intents and purposes of consistency, our context for expiration from here on out will be the legal expiration date attributed to it.

What Happens to Baby Oil When It Expires?

What Happens

This is where it gets tricky.

When baby oil does expire, it doesn’t suddenly produce a striking smell or an obvious change in color. This is why the 5-year-old baby oil in your cupboard still looks normal to you!

Despite looking the same, using this on your baby may produce unwanted side effects such as skin irritation or allergic reaction.

No one wants that to happen, right?

Its other applications as lubricants or cleansers, which we will discuss in detail later, may not be affected as much. But would you really want to risk it on your baby’s skin? Even on your skin?

Trust us. The risk isn’t worth it once you finish reading this article. So…

How Do I Know If My Baby Oil Has Expired?

Other than the reassurance from the expiration date, how else can you tell if it’s gone bad already?

Try to see if you can observe any of these major indicators to see if oil has expired:

  • Color: Expect discoloration from its usual clear or yellowish color. If your originally yellowish baby oil fades into transparency, then that’s a sure sign that it’s already expired. You’d have to look at these other signs if it starts to clear, though!
  • Smell: Be wary if you smell close to nothing. Contrary to common knowledge, expired baby oils do not give off pungent scents.
  • Consistency: You should expect expired baby oils to be thinner when baby oil expires. Oil should be fairly dense and thick. Be worried if it’s runny. It’s likely expired if it is.

However, if you end up accidentally using baby oil without knowing it’s expired, immediately look for signs of your skin being irritated.

So a word of advice from us?

Always do a test patch on the inside of your elbow before dousing any other part of your body with the oil.

And if you’re generally just unsure about the product’s age or the cause of your irritation, just throw it away.

Are There Other Uses for Expired Baby Oil?

Other Uses

Yes. A lot actually.

Just don’t use expired baby oil on babies or sensitive skin. Other than that, there really are quite a lot of other uses for expired baby oil.

Like we said, baby oil is multi-purpose:

  • Lubricant: Oil is slippery. As a lubricant, you can use it to ease squeaky hinges, stiff locks, or any kind of machinery. You may opt to use a cotton ball to target a specific part with the oil only.
  • Shiner: Mineral oil is excellent for this purpose. Shining wood and leather furniture, and even shoes and bags, can be made easier using such.
  • Cracked Heels: If you suffer from cracked heels, try applying baby oil to relieve itchiness and dryness.

Now, we know that we have been saying not to use expired baby oil on your skin.

But you know what, you actually can. Again, just not on babies or sensitive skin. Otherwise, you’re free to use them however you like.

What You Can Do with Expired Baby Oil

We suggest the following:

  • Insulation– Oil can provide warmth and insulation on a cold night. Haven’t heard about this? Baby oil not only moisturizes but also warms the body easily.
  • Massage Oil: Massage oils are expensive products that are infused with fragrance to suit the atmosphere. But as a substitute for any essential oil, expired baby oil can still do the trick!
  • Make-Up Remover: Yes, you can apply baby oil on your face to remove make-up. Baby oil is also a lot cheaper than your typical skin care product.
  • Cuticle Softener: You can also use baby oil to soften your cuticles! This is a great substitute for store-bought cuticle oil during manicure sessions. Dab the baby oil with the use of a cotton ball.
  • Moisturize Scalp: Do you have a dry and itchy scalp? You can maximize the moisturizing properties of baby oil for this. Not only does it make the baby’s skin soft, but your scalp can benefit from it as well! You may use this as hair oil if you would like, too.
  • Body Paint Remover: As it suggests, baby oil can also help remove paints. You’ll find that soap doesn’t work as well in removing paint from your skin. Try using baby oil next time, and the results might just surprise you!

A lot, right?

By now, you should’ve realized that expired baby oil can be used similarly to regular baby oils.

So don’t worry if your baby oil products have expired or if you think they are about to go bad. Because if we’ve established anything so far, it’s that you may well use baby oil past its expiry date.

Just don’t use expired baby oil on babies or sensitive skin.

How Can I Store Baby Oil to Make It Last Longer?

How to Store

All you have to do is follow the storage guidelines! You can never go wrong with that one.

Remember that the ingredients list on the side is specific to each brand, thus affecting the shelf life of some baby products.

But generally, just make sure you take care of your baby oil product by following these:

  • Keep the baby oil bottle closed until you are ready to use it. Expiration dates for oils take into effect only after the bottles have been opened.
  • Seal the bottle tightly when not in use.
  • Store in a dry place at room temperature away from direct sunlight.

Are There Any Other Natural Alternatives to Baby Oil?


For whichever purpose this may be for, we want to ensure that our recommendations are safe to use on your baby’s skin and hair.

We understand that there are parents reading this guide, so we want to be extra sure!

These ingredients are natural and organic alternatives to mineral oil-based products:

You may also raise similar concerns for these recommendations.

  • Do the other kinds of oil expire, as well? Yes.
  • Can you use these as a moisturizer for the baby’s skin? Of course.
  • Does baby oil break down or expire faster than them? Sometimes.
  • Will I get allergic reactions to shea butter? You may.
  • Are they okay to use directly on my skin and hair? Yes.
  • Are they safe to use? Definitely.

Expected the answers to these questions?

If anything, the differences and benefits of these alternatives and baby oil aren’t that far off. They are more similar than they are different, really.

Baby oil really is just more accessible, cheaper, and convenient to use. We particularly love almond oil because it’s a unique ingredient.

Why Do I Need Baby Oil?

We’re here to remind you that despite having limitations once the oil has expired, there are just far too many benefits for you not to use baby oil.

A mother would definitely feel the need for it. Parents all over the world agree as well:

  • It works as an excellent moisturizer for a baby’s skin!
  • It also works well to take care of the cradle cap and diaper rash.
  • It can also be used as a bath oil for your baby.
  • Baby oil can be used as a massage oil when you want your baby to relax.

Mineral oil, the main ingredient in baby oil, is highly refined and purified enough to be perfectly safe for external use on the skin. Likewise, this makes baby oils perfect for babies!

But these benefits do not just benefit babies but adults as well. This product has given rise to numerous skin care products, most often as a moisturizer.

Soft to the touch, baby oils are just perfect for the skin and hair. Coconut oil is a very popular oil that many parents favor.

Final Thoughts

Final Thoughts

Does baby oil expire? Yes, your baby oil product does expire. Remember to replace baby oil yearly!

But they are still perfectly usable! Just be careful when using them on your skin. Never be too complacent with any product.

So the next time you find a bottle in your cupboard and find yourself asking, “does baby oil expire?”… You finally have your answer.

If you need something a little bit more moisturizing than oil, then you can check out our article on the Best Baby-Safe Lotions for options.


January 2, 2023 – added 1 new article link

August 8, 2022 – minor content edits

July 23, 2021 – updated article links

About the author

Angelica Graham

A few years ago, Angelica found out about all the plastic and toxic ingredients that got into most children’s products. And this worried her to no end. Because of this, she began to research what the best ingredients and materials were for children and made it her mission to share this information with other mothers.