A recent study has been published about the use of sunflower oil in baby massage.
The study in question is: “OLIVE OIL, SUNFLOWER OIL OR NO OIL FOR BABY DRY SKIN OR MASSAGE: A PILOT, ASSESSOR-BLINDED, RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL” (the Oil in Baby Skincare [OBSeRvE] Study) – Cooke A, Cork MJ, Victor S, Campbell M, Danby S, Chittock J, Lavender T
Read the full study here: http://www.medicaljournals.se/acta/content/?doi=10.2340/00015555-2279&html=1
This study does not show that either olive or sunflower oil leads to eczema, it only concludes that the lipid structure of the skin barrier “appeared altered” on the babies who used the oils. To theorise that this might lead to the development of eczema is a big leap and the study also concludes that further studies, including a “long-term observational study”, would be required to establish whether there is a possible link between the use of oils and Atopic Eczema.
Sunflower oil has been used for many years as a massage oil without any sign of problems and there are plenty of studies that corroborate the health benefits. The article below summarises over 30 studies:
SELECTED EVIDENCE-BASED HEALTH BENEFITS OF TOPICALLY APPLIED SUNFLOWER OIL – Mihaela Stoia and Simona Oancea.
Read the full article here: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275328801_Selected_Evidence-Based_Health_Benefits_of_Topically_Applied_Sunflower_Oil
The official IAIM recommendation on oil has always been to use an organic cold-pressed vegetable oil, of which there are many different varieties available, and in the UK sunflower oil still remains the most popular one used.
An infant massage instructor should ideally provide parents with a choice of oil and allow them to decide which to use, as the IAIM belief is that the parents are the experts on their own child.