Is Palm Kernel Oil Safe For Babies?


Various products can be used to take care of your baby's skin, especially with the rise of new products daily. Palm kernel oil is a traditional product for taking care of the baby's skin. 


Regardless, palm kernel oil is slowly disappearing from our homes due to the advent of synthesized products and upcoming generations doubting its credibility as a skincare product, especially for babies.


This article aims to unpack what palm kernel oil is and what it has to offer for you and your baby.


What is palm kernel oil?

Popularly known as “ude aki” and “adi dudu” by the Igbo and Yoruba tribes in Nigeria, this product is a popular skincare household product quite predominant in many West African households due to its numerous properties.


Palm kernel oil is a highly stable saturated fat plant oil extracted from the kernel part of the fruit of the African oil palm tree also known as Elaeis guineensis.


It is usually used in the food industry, soap-making industry, and even for its medicinal properties in pharmaceutical industries. 


Palm kernel oil is known to remain as a semi-solid at room temperature. It consists of lauric acid, antioxidants, and various unsaturated fats.



Health benefits of palm kernel oil on the skin

Coupled with anti-aging properties due to the presence of fats such as myristic acid and palmitic acid, palm kernel oil is a great emollient from the skin and can be used to relieve itchy skin and ragged cuticles.


 It also has a glossy appearance which enhances the smoothness of the skin while supporting the lipid barrier thereby protecting the skin. 


In addition to these, palm kernel oil possesses properties that help in skin metabolism and prevent the unnecessary loss of water from the epidermis.


Palm kernel oil helps to protect the skin against fungal and bacterial infections while playing an immunomodulatory role.


It can also act as a pain relief in cases of skin inflammation while aiding in removing dirt, sweat, and sebum from the skin. It does a great job of eradicating pimples, rashes, and skin diseases that may appear on the skin.


Palm kernel oil contains a very high composition of favourable organic compounds good for the skin and potentially used for safeguarding it from various external factors inclusive of harsh weather conditions.



Is it safe to use palm kernels on babies? 

Palm kernel oil is safe for use on babies, it is usually applied to the soft part of a baby’s head to strengthen it and has been shown experientially to work.


You can also use it on your baby's hair to give it a smooth shine, strengthen the hair, and moisturize the scalp. 


How to use palm kernel oil for babies 

In situations of stomach disorder and constipation, the ideal situation would be to give your child 5ml of palm kernel oil once or twice daily. Its purgative effect is related to its fatty phytochemical constituents.n 


For skin conditions, palm kernel oil should be applied as a cream on your baby's body after a bath, the same should be done for scalp treatments or for moisturizing the scalp and providing shine to the hair. 



Just like various traditional products, there may not be a lot of scientific backing to support the use of palm kernel oil; however, its safety has been proven. It is still quite important to maintain caution. 


Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)

  1. Can I rub palm kernel oil on my baby’s hair?

You can rub palm kernel oil on your baby's hair.


  1. Will palm kernel oil make my baby darker?

No evidence suggests that palm kernel oil can make your baby darker.


  1. Does palm kernel oil cause eczema in baby’s skin?

 Palm kernel oil can help alleviate the symptoms of eczema on a baby's skin and various other skin diseases.

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