Does Baby Oil Help You Tan? Things You Need to Know

Check out this article for an answer to the “Does baby oil help you tan?” and must-know facts about this tanning method.


For years, people have used baby oil for a healthy tan. But really, does baby oil help you tan? Many people have applied this method but do not fully understand the effects of baby oil on your skin when exposed to the sun.
Therefore, in the article below, we will share the most detailed and honest information about using baby oil for a tan. Let’s take a look!
Baby oil is used for skin tanning.
Baby oil is used for skin tanning.

What is Baby Oil?

Baby oil is a petroleum-based product sold as a moisturizer and hair treatment. The primary ingredient in baby oil is mineral oil, which is an oil found in plants, animals, and humans. Mineral oil was once used as a lubricant and carrier for other ingredients added to the product.
Baby oil is often used in the bath to soften water, but it can also be used as a moisturizer for dry skin. It can help heal dry, cracked hands or feet and prevent diaper rash from developing. Baby oil also helps protect your child’s skin from sunburn during the summer months by helping maintain healthy skin cells and preventing premature aging of the face and body.

Does Baby Oil Help You Tan?

Baby oil is a quick way to get a tan because it can help your skin get darker and sun-kissed in the shortest amount of time. However, oil can’t stop the sun’s rays from passing through your skin. Baby oil contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects cells from premature aging and damage.


It also has a moisturizing effect on the skin, helping it retain its natural oils and moisture. This means that you’ll be able to stay hydrated while getting a deeper color than you would with regular lotion alone.
However, using baby oil will also cause some skin disease risks for users. This issue will be covered in more detail in the following sections.

Why Is Baby Oil Used For Tanning?

Many people use baby oil as a tanner because it can tan their skin faster. The skin tans faster when using baby oil because it helps attract and absorb UV rays.
However, you need to know one problem before using it: baby oil does not provide sun protection. This is extremely dangerous and can lead to skin cancer.

Is it Safe to Use Baby Oil For Tanning?

Baby oil tanning is not a safe method.
Baby oil tanning is not a safe method.

Reality shows that lying in the sun while slathered in baby oil is not a wise decision you can make for your health. Dermatologists have advised people not to use baby oil for tanning. Anything that tans your skin is not safe. Tanning isn’t healthy.
Baby oil can make your skin tan faster because it helps absorb the sun better. However, if you apply this, you will also face the risk of skin cancer.
A study by Dr. Massick indicated that one in five Americans would develop skin cancer by age 70, about 1 American will die of melanoma every hour, and just one childhood sunburn can increase the risk of skin cancer by 50 percent.
Using baby oil for a tan is not a safe way.

The Perks of Using Baby Oil for Tanning

Baby oil has a lot of benefits in getting a tan.

It Works Quickly

As mentioned above, baby oil can help you get a tan quickly because it allows the sun’s rays to penetrate your skin more deeply. However, we recommend not using baby oil too much to avoid harming the skin.

It Gives You a Deep Tan

Baby oil can help you achieve a deep tan. This oil tends to blend into the skin and create a nice, even tan. It also gives you a quicker and more dramatic tan than other options.

Cheap and Easy to Use

The main reason why people prefer using baby oil is that it’s more affordable than other methods such as lotions and creams. The first step that you need to take before applying baby oil is washing your skin properly. Once you’ve done this, apply a small amount of baby oil to your skin and massage it into your body to absorb quickly and evenly without leaving any marks or streaks on the surface.

Risks to Tanning With Baby Oil

As mentioned above, tanning with baby oil can harm your health. Here are some details about the risks you may face when using baby oil for tanning:

Damaged and Pigmented Skin

When you apply baby oil, your skin will likely absorb more UV rays, and your melanocytes will also be stimulated and produce more pigment. This can cause uneven pigmentation, sun spots, dark moles and worsen your skin problems like melasma.

Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

Because baby oil attracts UV rays more strongly and allows them to penetrate your skin more deeply, it increases the risk of cell damage and can lead to skin cancer. Even people who use baby oil may accidentally burn more quickly and efficiently before they realize they’re getting a sunburn.
With its ability to absorb powerful UV rays and make them penetrate deeper into your body, baby oil can put you at a considerable risk of skin cancer.

Premature Aging

Tanning skin with baby oil can cause skin aging faster.
Tanning skin with baby oil can cause skin aging faster.

Even without baby oil, UV exposure during tanning causes collagen breakdown, increased wrinkles, sun spots, and thinning of the skin. Accordingly, you may already know that the aging process will be many times faster when using baby oil.

A Higher Chance of Getting a Sunburn

Baby oil can increase your risk of sunburn because your skin will be penetrated deeper by ultraviolet rays and can cause problems other than pain, itching, and discomfort.


Severe sunburns can cause your skin to burn and blister, leading to scarring and increasing your risk of skin cancer. Plus, sunburn can also make you dehydrated. So it’s not worth it when you face so many health dangers to get a tan this way.

Can You Wear Baby Oil Over Sunscreen?

Most dermatologists disagree with the use of baby oil on sunscreen.
Mainly because baby oil doesn’t contain any SPF protection and thus won’t affect combating harmful rays, you should not mix any sunscreen with other oils to use, nor should baby oil be considered a sunscreen protectant.
Therefore, applying baby oil with sunscreen will not bring protection to the skin; but on the contrary, it can be harmful to the skin. The important thing is that these two are two completely different products.
Sunscreen blocks out UVB rays (the kind that causes sunburn), while baby oil absorbs more.

Alternatives for Luscious, Tanned Skin

If you want a tan with less risk than using baby oil, check out these alternatives:

1. Self Tanners and Fake Tans

Nowadays, you can easily find tons of tanning agents, tanning waters, and other fake tan products on the market. However, many types can help you achieve your goals and take less risk. We recommend three of them: Tan Physics Self Tanners, Loving Tan, and Mystic Tan Self Tan.
These types will be most effective if you know how to use them correctly. Ideally, you can use a tanning mitt and use care when applying a self-tanner to your back.

2. Tanning Towers

Tanning towels can fulfill your wish if you want a tan but don’t want to bask in the sun. Rub tanning towels over your body and wait a few minutes for the application to dry. Afterward, you’ll notice a tan that can last for a few hours.

3. Spray Tans

Spray tans are also a valuable alternative to baby oil. Most sprays contain the chemical DHA, which helps make your skin appear darker. However, this method can cost you a considerable amount of money and also your time.
Besides, if you spray too much or use less quality tanning solutions, your skin will lose its natural look.

4. Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil, a natural product derived from coconuts used for many years to tan and protect skins, will leave your skin feeling soft and smelling nice. It helps keep skin healthy too.
You can mix coconut oil with suntan lotions to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

Final Thought

Unlike other tanning oils and lotions, baby oil doesn’t contain any UV inhibitors. This means that while it may help your skin absorb the sun’s rays, it won’t protect you from getting burned by them. And when you get a sunburn, your skin can only go so dark before you reach your maximum exposure level. And since baby oil doesn’t protect your skin, you may face the risk of skin cancer. So when it comes to sunscreen, use that—and don’t waste your time with baby oil!

Sheena

Think of Well-Kept Beauty as your personal beauty professional – advising you on whether to switch up your beauty routine, re-up on a must-have product you are running low on, and even pinging you the best deals on the market. Now, let's take your beauty routine to the next level and keep your products doing what they promised!

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