What Essential Oils Are Good For Cradle Cap? – How to Use Them and Recipes

I have two toddlers and both of them had cradle cap when they were younger. If I had known then what I know now, I would have used some essential oils on them. Their cradle cap lasted about a month before it went away. I would comb it and gently peel the loose pieces off. Little by little, it went away. It didn’t seem to bother them and it didn’t get worse, thank goodness.

What is Cradle Cap?

When a baby has cradle cap, you’ll see flaky and crusty bits on the scalp. Even though it looks bad, it actually doesn’t itch or hurt. It usually goes away on its own. Cradle cap is the common name forĀ seborrheic dermatitis in infants.

The cause is unknown and it can be treated with medicated shampoos and lotions. Some doctors may even prescribe anti-fungal medications and steroid creams. It has been suggested that changing hormones cause the oil glands in the scalp to secrete too much oil leading to the flakes.

What Essential Oils are Good for Cradle Cap?

Even though doctors don’t know what causes cradle cap, the following properties seem to help relieve the condition.

Anti-fungal properties seem to help as do astringent and antiseptic properties. Sometimes, when the flakes peel, it leaves the scalp’s skin a little open and it can bleed. So astringent and antiseptic properties will help prevent possible infections.

The essential oils that others moms have used that have been effective for cradle cap are these.

Although, in reading the comments from other moms (here and here), it sounds as if Melaleuca is the main essential oil that does most of the work.

Essential Oil Recipe for Cradle Cap

So, here is a recipe you can use to treat cradle cap in your baby.

Mix your oils in together in a bowl and then massage this blend over your baby’s scalp targeting the affected areas. Let this blend sit on your baby’s scalp for a few minutes. (It helps loosen the flakes.) Then use a fine-toothed comb to gently brush as much of the flakes off as possible. Then wash with a gentle shampoo to wash the oils off. You’ll usually only need 1 or 2 treatments before your cradle cap is gone.

Here’s what another mom said about this recipe.

Finally something that worked! I have all three oils so did one drop of each. First night it cleared up most and now 2 nights later I did it again and its all gone! Wish I tried this earlier.
Thank you again

The Lemon and Geranium are there to help the skin heal while Melaleuca is the main agent that helps clear the cradle cap. The following recipes can also be used.

  • 2 tablespoons Almond OIl
  • 1 drop Melaleuca
  • 1 drop Lemon


  • 2 tablespoons Almond Oil
  • 1 drop Melaleuca
  • 1 drop Geranium

If you don’t have Almond Oil, you can substitute with olive oil but Almond Oil is easier to wash out.

Dilution Chart

Please refer to this dilution chart when diluting your essential oils. It is recommended that you dilute any essential oil that you use regardless of brand. Essential oils are strong and very potent and many can and do cause skin sensitivity, especially with children.

Plant Therapy has this awesome dilution chart you can reference.

You can download a free PDF version here or purchase the magnet here.

For babies, dilute at 0.5% or even 0.25% (half of the 0.5% amount. So, use 3 drops of your essential oil and dilute it in 4 teaspoons of carrier oil for 0.5% or 8 teaspoons of carrier oil for 0.25%.

Use the 1% dilution ratio for daily use. Mix 3 essential oil drops for every 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.

If you need a stronger dose for a short period of time, use the 5% dilution ratio by adding 15 essential oil drops for every 2 teaspoons of carrier oil.

For really, really severe situations, you can up it to 10 percent dilution ratio for small acute areas of concern. For this, you would mix 15 essential oil drops for every teaspoon of carrier oil.

Recommended Essential Oil Brands

Because essential oils have therapeutic properties that make them so useful in our lives, you want to make sure that the essential oils you purchase are pure and contain all of the healing components that you are looking for. Unfortunately, there are some unscrupulous companies out there that sell diluted oils or even fake oils that will do you harm if you use them for therapeutic purposes.

The companies that I recommend and who consistently receive positive reviews on their essential oils are these:

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