Young Living’s Gentle Baby Essential Oil is a popular blend among new mothers and young families. It contains coriander, geranium, palmarosa, lavender, ylang-ylang, roman chamomile, and other premium oils known to be gentle on the skin. It is so named due to its soothing aroma that has been shown to bring peace to parents with active children or babies.
Young Living, however, is notorious in the essential oil community for its tendency to make exaggerated and often dangerous claims about its products.
We think it’s important for a product marketed toward new mothers with small babies to be safe and gentle, so we decided to look into YL’s claims made about the Gentle Baby blend to see if they can be trusted.
A little background before we get started. Along with DoTerra, Young Living is one of two large MLM organizations that sell essential oils. MLM, or Multi-Level Marketing, is a business model in which members earn money by recruiting other members into the company. This often comes with a host of shady business practices, such as making exaggerated income claims and using cult-like tactics to convince people to join.
Young Living is the original essential oil MLM, founded in 1993 by controversial essential oil mogul D. Gary Young. YL is, for better and for worse, the brand responsible for bringing essential oils into the mainstream. It has a huge following, driven by a massive network of part- and full-time sellers, many of whom are average people like you and me.
YL is also notorious for its less-than-stellar business practices, as we mentioned before. Some of these include:
- In 2014, the FDA issued a warning letter to Young Living, accusing the brand of promoting some of its essential oil products as unapproved new drugs for the treatment of all kinds of diseases, including Ebola, Parkinson’s disease, autism, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and dementia.
- In 2017, YL pled guilty and paid $760,000 in fines for illegally trafficking rosewood and spikenard oil in violation of the Lacey Act and Endangered Species Act.
A class-action lawsuit by YL’s members in California claims that over 96% of Young Living members lost money working for the company.
What is in Gentle Baby Essential Oil?
But just because Gentle Baby comes from Young Living doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s a bad product. Let’s start by taking a look at what this blend is made of.
The essential oils in Gentle Baby are:
- Coriander, which has been shown to have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties
- Geranium, known for its balancing and calming effects on the emotions
- Palmarosa, with gentle cleansing and purifying properties
- Lavender, a well-known relaxant and antiseptic
- Ylang ylang, which has antidepressant and euphoric effects
- Roman chamomile, known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties
All of these are considered therapeutic oils, meaning they’ve been shown to have some beneficial effect when used aromatically or topically (when diluted with a carrier oil).
Is Gentle Baby Safe for Parents?
Let’s start by considering whether this blend is safe for parents. The answer is a qualified yes. All of the oils in Gentle Baby have been safety tested and found to be gentle enough for aromatic and topical use.
However, as with any essential oil, it’s important to dilute them properly before using them on delicate skin. YL recommends diluting one drop of Gentle Baby with five drops of a carrier oil before using it topically.
Of course, young parents spend a lot of time in the presence of their children, so it’s important to consider your kids’ risk in addition to your own when using Gentle Baby.
Is Gentle Baby Safe for Newborns and Babies?
Now let’s consider whether this blend is safe around children. For young babies under 6 months, the answer is an unequivocal “no.” Essential oils remain a very new area of study for pediatricians, and there is still much we don’t know about their effects. In fact, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advises against using ANY essential oils with children under the age of two.
The reason for this is that infants’ immune systems are still just in the early stages of development, and as a result, they are much more sensitive to the effects of essential oils than adults are.
Is Gentle Baby Safe for Toddlers and Older Children?
For toddlers and children over the age of 2, the answer is a bit more nuanced. Some oils, like lavender and chamomile—both of which are present in Gentle Baby essential oil—are considered safe for use with children over two years old, but it’s always best to check with your pediatrician before using any essential oil around kids.
Toddlers and older children are considered to have more developed immune systems, enabling them to tolerate a higher dose of essential oils than younger babies.
Still, certain oils must be avoided at all costs. Citrus oils, for example, are not recommended for use with children under six years old because of their high concentration of volatile compounds, which can be irritating to the skin and lungs.
Thankfully, Gentle Baby doesn’t contain any essential oils that have proven harmful to children over the age of 2. So if you have a toddler running around the house, you should feel comfortable using this blend safely, as long as your pediatrician has signed off.
In conclusion, while Young Living’s deceptive business practices have been shown to be deceptive and dangerous, there’s nothing we can find in Gentle Baby Essential Oil that indicates it is not safe for parents and young kids (ages 2+). Babies and newborns, unfortunately, should steer clear of all essential oils until more is known about their effects. (Which sadly means their parents should avoid their use as well.) Always consult with your pediatrician before using any essential oil around kids.
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