Does Baby Oil Expire? Everything You Need to Know

Written by Daisy
Last updated:
Reviewed by Margaret

Many people, especially new parents, must know the answer to the question, does baby oil expire? It’s important to learn this because using anything expired is not good, as we all know.

Yes, baby oil expires – it has an expiration date. Using it for your baby after its expiration date can lead to skin problems like irritation, rashes, and other unwanted skin conditions.

This article will be comprehensive as we will discuss everything about this topic – from discussing the signs of expired baby oil to how else you can use them!


Please note, this article is intended to provide general information on pregnancy and diet, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. The article has been reviewed by medical expert Margaret Dogwood, BSN, RN.

Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or dietary modifications during pregnancy.

Does Baby Oil Expire?

To answer the question straightforwardly and truthfully, yes, baby oils expire. And in case you were wondering what the culprit is, it’s O2. 

The American College of Healthcare Sciences or the ACHS blames oxygen for this process. Base oil that’s being exposed to oxygen is bad – add up the carbon dioxide to the formula and you got yourself a nasty concoction.

             If base oils are not shielded from air, light, and heat, they will be subjected to this attack. It is also possible with essential oils.”

What Are the Signs That a Baby Oil is Expired?

As humans, it is our hunch to check and see if a product is expired or not. Luckily, with baby oils, these signs are usually evident! Let’s briefly go over some of the things you should look for to determine the usability of baby oils.

It’s Way Past the Expiration Date

The date printed on the container is the most dependable indicator of a baby oil’s expiration. Many infant oils have a two to three-year shelf life from the date of production. Before utilizing a product, always verify the expiration date.

It’s Murky and Dark in Color

Naturally, most baby oils appear light in color and moderately thin in texture. Over time, though, it may darken or even hazy, as many people call it. If you observe a major change in color or if the oil seems muddy, this might indicate deterioration or contamination.

Baby oil that has gone bad may have a sour or unpleasant odor.

Tasha Brown, Exclusive Artists Management makeup artist notes that most skin-applied products are made with certain scents. If you notice that the components are separating and that the smell is starting to turn rancid, it’s time to put it in the bin.

             The most obvious danger indications are odor and product separation. If it smells a little ‘odd,’ or if the product’s oil is laying on top of the remainder of the product, that’s a major red flag.”

It’s Runny

Oils have stabilizers and over time, they break down, resulting in watery and runny texture. This is one of the surest signs that the oil is going bad – or even, already gone bad and that using it, especially for your baby can be detrimental to their skin.

It’s Thick, Viscous, and Tacky

Lastly, check out its consistency. Baby oil is usually smooth and mild – and they’re almost perfect if you look at them. If the oil thickens, clumps, or separates into layers, it has gone bad. Furthermore, the oil may lose its ability to distribute smoothly on the skin, instead becoming sticky or tacky

How Long Does Baby Oil Expire?

Baby oil expires depending on the manufacturing date. Typically, baby oil expiresGenerally, though, they expire within one to three years from the date of manufacturethey were manufactured – that’s usually the expiration date on the labels!

This, however, is not standard and it varies by brand. The timeframe we gave is just a virtual representation of how long your baby oil can go usable.

What Are the Factors Affecting Baby Oil Shelf Life?

We know that the vast majority of baby oil companies print out and include expiration dates on their labels. However, it is also imperative to know and understand some of the factors that play a crucial role on the shelf life of baby oils.

Exposure to Air

The first, and probably the most common reason why baby oils go bad is because they get exposed to air. In case you didn’t know, air contact can also shorten the shelf life of baby oil.

Exposed to air can promote oxidation, which can cause the oil to get rancid or acquire an unpleasant odor. You want to ensure that the container is properly closed after each use to reduce exposure to air.

NOTE: If you’re storing the oil in a pump container, tightly close the pump.

Exposure to Light

Baby oil products are usually stored in clear or translucent containers, which help in enabling light to pass through. Why? It is for the reason of transparency and to show customers that the oils are clean.

Prolonged exposure to light, particularly sunshine, can cause the oil to breakdown more quickly. Sunlight’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation can degrade the oil’s components, resulting in a shortened shelf life.

So, to avoid light exposure, baby oil should be stored in a cool, dark area. Try keeping it away from the window, like inside a dresser or a cabinet of some sort.

Heat and Temperature

Another culprit would be high heat or temperature. High temperatures advance the degradation process of baby oil. This is because when oil is exposed to heat, its chemical structure changes, resulting in autolysis. This, then leads to the breakdown of the product faster and quicker.

Keep your baby oil from turning rancid or losing its potency by keeping it away from direct heat sources! Radiators and other man made heat sources or sunshine are among the top culprits.

Quality of Ingredients

The overall shelf life of baby oil can also be influenced by the ingredient quality.

When compared to lower-quality components, high-quality oils and additives have longer expectancies as they’re produced, created, and extracted with better vitals.

Therefore, it’s always best to get baby oils from reputable sources and manufacturers; those that are known for their high-caliber and safety requirements.


Think about it, when outside things, such as water or germs, come into touch with the baby oil, contamination can develop.

These pollutants can introduce microorganisms into the oil, causing it to deteriorate or become unsuitable for use.

At most, try to avoid handling the oil with dirty and unwashed hands. Moreover, you also want to avoid using unsterilized utensils to be safe from contamination. You want to use a clean and dry spoon or dispenser when using the oil.


Last but most definitely not least is packaging. Yes, I never thought of this is a constituent, but it actually is! The choice of packaging also has an impact on the shelf life of baby oil.

Containers that are made of lightweight, oxygen-resistant materials, like dark glass or opaque plastic actually helps keep the oil fresher for longer periods. Thanks to its oxygen-resisting nature, they’re less likely to be penetrated by oxygen.

Furthermore, airtight packaging that reduces air exposure also assists in increasing the shelf life of not only baby oils, but other products, too.

Does Johnson’s Baby Oil Expire?

Yes, even this big-brand baby oil is not safe from degradation. Be sure to check the expiry date on the label to ensure that you’re only getting the best out of a product.

Is Expired Baby Oil Safe to Use?

No, expired baby oil is dangerous and can actually cause rashes and other unwanted results not only for babies, but adults, too. Applying it onto your skin or inhaling it is bad as it can cause rashes and skin irritation.

What Can You Do With Expired Baby Oil?

Although expired baby oil is not safe for use, you can use it for other things. Some of the best alternatives that you can use expired baby oil for are:

  • Leather Shiner or Conditioner
  • Wood and Metal Polish
  • Household Lubricant
  • Household Polish
  • Toilet Shiner

NOTE: Just be mindful of the smell because some oils release a pungent odor, making it difficult to work with. So, try to mask the scent with essential oils.


We prepared a few of the questions that are more commonly asked about baby oils expiring. Here are some of them!

Can I Use Expired Body Oil?

Yes, they expire, and using them or applying them to your skin may lead to trouble. In addition, it can be bad to your health when you inhale them, so be extra cautious.

Does Expired Baby Oil Clog Pores?

Baby oil is considered and categorized as noncomedogenic. This basically means that they won’t clog your pores. However, if the oil is expired, it may not hold the effects it originally had when it was still good.

Can I Use Expired Baby Oil On My Hair?

Using expired baby oil on your hair or any part of your body an be dangerous. It may cause skin irritation, rashes, or any other problem related to your skin. Plus it may smell unpleasant, too.

Final Verdict

So, the question, does baby oil expire or not might be something you think is not important, but it is in all aspects. For first-time parents, you might need to delve deeper into it and gain a better understanding of how it works in order to make sure that your little angel is kept safeguarded from conditions and diseases!

Photo of author
Daisy Martinez, a Certified Financial Planner and mother of two, blends finance expertise from Ohio State and Anderson School of Management with hands-on parenting insights. Founder of "" and "", she's passionate about guiding parents in financial and parenting realms.

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