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   J & J Baby Oil  


Duping - Law of the Land

Quoted by MRTPC [earlier version of Competition Commission of India] in Colgate versus Hindustan Unilever fight:

The Supreme Court had ruled that  "the object is to bring honesty and truth in the relationship between the manufacturer and the consumer". And "if the general impression conveyed is false, the most punctilious and scrupulous accuracy in immaterial minutiae will not render the representations true" ...

MRTPC commented that "if the claim of "102"% anti- bacterial superiority is ultimately not found to be true," consumers by and large can be said to have been duped by such advertisement campaign.  'This injury caused to the public in general can hardly be compensated in terms of money, as the feeling of being duped cannot be evaluated in monetary terms'.

Lofty words to lull the public. And Duping goes on at an increased rate as of 2015.


Johnson & Johnson Baby Oil in India is not good for the babies

If I were the President of India,  I will make Johnson & Johnson of India  tender a public apology,  pay for spoiled skins and comply with the rules of the Land or will boot them out  in 24 hours

My views are based on the following details in this page




1. They claim that their 'Baby's Oil is Clinically tested'. It is a false statement

2. The 'Baby Oil is safe'. It is a baseless, unethical claim. 99.8% content is Mineral Oil which is not safe for skin. Use of mineral oil is not allowed even in Soaps as per Drugs and Cosmetics Act.


What is Johnson and Johnson's Baby Oil in India


The formula shows that, Johnson's Baby Oil is almost totally Light Liquid Paraffin [LLP] to the extent of 99.785%.  Other Ingredients: 0.215%

0.1% was Vitamin D.    FDA, Maharashtra commented that the percentage is insignificant to give the benefits J&J claimed

0.1% was Vitamin E, an antioxidant. [200 mg on the skin over a fortnight is insufficient to give any benefit. [It is more a sales gimmick as common perception is that Vitamin E is good]

0.015% was perfume. a superfluous ingredient with no functional value for the skin

[ FDA, Maharashtra observation: the company had not even mentioned LLP / Light Liquid Paraffin oil on the label.]

The labels have to follow the Regulator's guidelines. Here it seems they have been flouted

Despite the strictures about the above formula of 2005, the same formula seems to have continued even in 2013 - after that also


There is no quality standard


Johnson and Johnson gave in writing to the FDA, Maharashtra,  in 2005 that their Baby Products are being manufactured all over the world as per the stringent global standard of the company.

They are Liars and not a dependable company if the quality varies in each Country


American Standard:   Johnson & Johnson's -  Baby Oil


Johnson & Johnson website, America:   From their FAQ on 3rd September 2012.

JOHNSON'S NATURAL products have

No Paraffin   No Petrolatum  [It means No  light liquid paraffin oil and petroleum jelly ]

No Parabens    No Dyes  No Animal By products  No Silicones  No Lanolin  No Phthalates   No Essential Oils

..what does "naturally derived" mean?

All our natural ingredients come from a mineral, plant or fruit-based source not from an animal  or petroleum source.

Johnson and Johnson clearly and categorically say that ingredients from Petroleum source, that is LLP, is not good for the babies. Why do they then sell LLP based Baby Oil in India?


Any explanation by J&J or its hoodlums that what is sold in US is natural baby oil and what is sold in India or such other obliging Countries is 'not natural but plain' baby oil is unacceptable.

Natural or not, whatever be the price, the safety cannot be compromised. It is not for unethical, rogue companies to decide.


What is Mineral Oil and Petrolatum?


Paraffin oil comes in 2 versions. Light / thin and Heavy / thick.

Mineral Oil  [white] / liquid petrolatum

Source: Distillation of high boiling liquid [ 330-390*C] from petroleum fractions. Used in medicine as a laxative. It is used in Cosmetics too. Paraffin oil is another name for liquid petrolatum

Mineral / Paraffin / Synthetic Oil is chemically made from crude oil. It is not good for the skin. They  can dry up the skin. They are not supposed to be used in Toilet Soaps.

The name Mineral oils mean mined from earth / crude and they are different from Vegetable Oils

Note:  Mineral Oil  LLP / Light Liquid Paraffin 

Mineral oils may clog the pores the skin. Cosmetic makers claim that the refined mineral oil used in Cosmetics will not clog the pores


Questionable  Safety


One mother used the J & J Baby Oil for her baby. The baby developed rashes - perhaps some more minor additional nuisance as well. She bought the product on the basis of the 'product's advertised claim'. The company ignored her complaint and also of some other buyers as well.

That lady made the complaint to FDA, Maharashtra. And the complaint reached others and perhaps the Media. Then only FDA woke up / forced to wake up.

There were 39 complaints received by the company in 13 months. That is a significant number because not many bother to collect receipts for minor purchases, retain the receipts if taken and bother to complain.


FDA means Food and Drug Administration. Maharashtra, India.  Cosmetic Products also come under the Drugs & Cosmetic Act in India. They too need manufacturing license.


Cautionary Advice to Mothers / Parents


1. 'Clinically Shown' are the words used by the Company and yet they are unable to provide proof / support !

The baby oil was tested on persons aged between 18 to 57 or so

2. FDA - "We do not agree with the submissions made by M/s. Johnson and Johnson substantiating their claims of Johnson Baby Oil as ideal massage oil for your baby." 

Point to note is that J&J were unable to provide proof for their claim.

3. The company's claim that 'Daily massage has clinically shown to benefit over all Growth and Development lacks solid proof.'  

That is, they were making baseless claims. They could not prove / establish the claims advertised

Why risk?

J&J's baby oil does not provide any meaningful benefit. It is not a safe oil. It has not been tested on babies. It has produced 'rashes' on babies. So why use it at all?

J & J were making 6-7 products for babies.  Even if the focus of this page is about baby oil, the contents have relevance to all because the same liar who is not bothered about your babies, is making the other products as well. Can you trust them?


Some  products, suspect in safety / quality in US


Please refer to cbs interactive report on J & J; I got it on Google; 3 sentences are below in public interest

.."We want people to have complete peace of mind when they use our products," said Susan Nettesheim, vice president of product stewardship and toxicology for J&J's consumer health brands.

Those include Johnson's baby lotion and bath products and Desitin for diaper rash, as well as adult skin care brands including Aveeno, Neutrogena, RoC, Clean & Clear and Lubriderm. ..

The chemicals in question are 1,4 dioxane and the preservative formaldehyde, ........are probable human carcinogens; formaldehyde also is a skin, eye and respiratory irritant"....

Carcinogen mean Cancer inducing


Advt - Site News - Swapna in the Web


Swapna in  Web Search

On 27th June, 2017

Query: Hairloss control and Hair Growth with supportive proofs:

Top Ten position for this site - about 3.7 Million results:

Back to the page contents  


Additional Points for those who wish to know more

1. Labelling direction by FDA


'Johnson & Johnson's Baby products shall carry prominently safety warnings regarding the side effect that may be caused on account of these products due to the presence of Chemicals like Light Paraffin Oil, Iso Propyl Myristate etc'

There is no compliance of this labelling requirement in 2012 and 2014 labels, when I checked them

For full details of the FDA, Maharashtra report, refer J & J FDA

Johnson & Johnson continues to sell Mineral Oil as Baby Oil in India  - Labels unchanged

8th September 2012:

I checked the lable of Johnson & Johnson's baby oil on 18th September, 2012 at Reliance Stores, Mithakali, Ahmedabad. It is totally mineral oil based. Vitamin E acetate is used but that was only 0.2% / minor percentage. The batch number is BB 1383.

I vaguely recollect having read that Paraffin Oil can inactivate Vitamin E .

5th Feb 2014:

Reliance Fresh, Mithakali, Ahmedabad:   J&J Baby Oil:  BB3294:   Content Nearly the same as the condemned 2005 formulation:   99.8 Mineral Oil: less than 0.2% Vitamin E

Was the 2005 FDA order cancelled or J&J had the audacity to continue with its 'criticised formulation'/


2. Till Oil is a Safe, economical  and proven option for Centuries as Babies massage Oil


Till Oil which is traditionally used by mothers as massage oil for babies / infants is a safe oil. Its use has been proved by Centuries.

I am a Tamilian. Tamil civilisation is over 2500 years old. I am settled in Gujarat since 1977. In Tamil Nad as well as in Gujarat, new born babies are given only Till Oil Massage at least once a week till they are one year old. Even after that, Till oil massage / bath continues until they are 4-5 years old. It categorically and scientifically means that Till Oil is safe for babies and proved by its use for Centuries

To ignore this above fact and blindly ape the West, is an Unscientific Carbon Copy approach. No Dermatology book or any Research proves that Mineral Oil and Petroleum Jelly are better emollients than Vegetable Oil like Till oil. 

Oleic Acid is the main fatty acid in Olive Oil. Oleic acid is a skin irritant. So, I do not think of Olive Oil even for hair. The question of using it for babies is ruled out. EU promotes Olive Oil for their Foreign Exchange earnings.


One other support for Till Oil - From the FDA report

"We refer to the paper titled effect of massage and use of oil on growth blood flow and sleep pattern in infants by professors from the College of Medical Sciences and G.T.B. Hospital Delhi. and published in the Indian Journal of Medical Research 112, Dec. 2000. PP 212,217.

To quote from the study,  Vegetable Oils appear comparatively better in terms of growth and blood flow. Sesame Oil is better choice for massage as it significantly improved growth as well as blood flow as compared to the Mineral Oil ( Johnson Baby Oil) which showed reduced blood flow."


3. Another Offender

Similar watered down order was passed on Himalaya Drug Company on their baby nourishing oil.  Such cheap practices can easily be controlled. The formulations have to be approved by the Foods & Drugs department in the State. Consumer Forums, if any, can be vigilant. The Media can lend a hand. The 'will' is never there


4. J & J oil - one Australian news

2008 news: 2 Australian kids, aged 3 & 4, accidentally played with spilled Mineral / baby oil of J & J. They inhaled and swallowed the oil as well. Medical attention was given forthwith and they were saved though one with oil on lungs was a slightly serious case

J & J now makes child resistant caps for its baby range products in Australia though they feigned ignorance initially. In the US, the Consumer Protection department had ensured that much earlier.

[Mineral Oil is a hydrocarbon oil. It does not have Oxygen in its structure. When an Oil tinker sinks, the spilled out oil kills thousands of fishes. Sea Birds do not feast on them. Fishermen do not bring the dead fishes in truck loads to the market and sell.]


5. J&J caught elsewhere  - 6th May 2017    News perhaps in Business Standard;

i] A US court has awarded a 100 Million Dollars in damages to a Lady who claimed to have suffered from Ovarian Cancer with the use of J&J's Talcum Powder. It seems that about 2400 cases are pending against J&J.  There are complaints against Baby Talcum Powder also. For clear details, please refer to a news channel. The above details are just my recollections

ii] One earlier news

I think they paid heavy damages around 2015 in US,  for selling some 'defective knee replacement' part


What can we do ? Just boycott the products of an offending Company. Please tell others in your circle as well. That would make any company to be careful of the backlash from the public.


Errors and Omissions exempted.  If there be any unwanted oversights, mistake in content or suggestions for improvements,  kindly let me know
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Personal website of R. Ranganathan M.Sc., [ MBA - IIMA]    Main / original content: around 2000: last minor modification:  June 25, 2017