The following is a summary of “Effects of Topical Oils on Neonatal Skin: A Systematic Review,” published in December 2022 issue of Advances in Skin & Wound Care by Aksucu, et al.

For a study, researchers sought to locate research that aimed to ascertain the impact of topical oils on the skin of newborns.

The authors searched the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials, Science Direct, and PubMed databases. With the use of the terms “skin,” “neonatal,” “baby,” and “oil,” datasets that had been published up until February 2022 were searched. The study included 14 randomized controlled studies that fulfilled the requirements for inclusion. Investigators utilized the PRISMA (Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses) reporting criteria to direct this systematic study. Independently, the papers were examined and rated by two authors.

A total of 5,683 neonates, the majority of whom were preterm, were used in the 14 research that made up the study. Blends of sunflower (n = 8), coconut (n = 5), almond (n = 2), olive (n = 1), mustard (n = 1), and vegetable (n = 1) oils were utilized in the included research. The investigations examined how topical oils affected the skin’s integrity and function as a barrier. To assess the skin’s barrier functions, most research employed noninvasive measuring tools; to assess the skin’s integrity, they used various scoring systems. Eleven investigations came to the conclusion that the oils used in newborn skincare significantly increase the skin’s barrier functions. However, three investigations revealed inconclusive, negative, or mixed findings.

Although existing data showed a possible advantage, further research with a high level of evidence on the issue was necessary.