Liniment Oleo Calcaire

I am a total French pharmacy groupie. And I really thought that I knew every product available and then, recently, I stumbled upon yet another French wonder product! Linement Oleo Calcaire (I guess this translates to oil and calcium ointment) consists of only two ingredients: olive oil and calcium. The most common use for it is cleaning babies bottoms with it — instead of wipes. It cleans fantastically well and leaves a film of oil to stop irritations. Lots of people over here use it at home instead of wipes — so much cheaper and better for the baby and the environment — a no brainer!

And there is more: it’s also good to wash dry skin or skin prone to ecxma, massage, use on sunburns and minor burns and also as a make-up remover. It must be the most multi-functional product in the world! You can buy the ointment ready made at most pharmacies in France or the pharmacist should be able to mix up a bottle for you. Alternatively you can get it online here in France and here in the  UK and the USA.



Comments (22)

June 8, 2011

I’m a french mum and I LOVE this product. I’m still using it for my son who is 21 months and will surely use it for the little girl I’m expecting!

June 8, 2011

I love this as well. I actually tried making it when my son was born, with organic olive oil and the calcium liquid i bought at the pharmacie, and it was a total disaster! there are many online recipes, but it’s like mayo, if it doesn’t take, it is over! It is really multipurpose and I have even put it in a smaller bottle to use with me on the go.

June 8, 2011

A definite fave too, used it on my three kids and always have a bottle in at home.

Tanya in Paris
June 8, 2011

For an organic version, check out Melvita or Cattier. The Oleo combined with Weleda’s Crème de change meant only the slightest diaper rash while teething (diaper rash treated fabulously by our homeopath who prescribed simple “sits” baths in a red product; no heavy pharmacy creams, or anything).

June 8, 2011

In Argentina too, this is THE product that mums use for cleaning newborns’ bottoms. If you don’t like wipes on their gentle skin (I personally don’t mind unscented ones, but hey), this is the best alternative out there! MUCH better than the “cotton wool and water” option that they recommend here in the UK, which is rubbish for cleaning, and means that you have to slightly warm up the water first or you’ll have a screaming little ‘un – not an ideal process when there’s poo everywhere!

June 8, 2011

This is the 2nd time this week I have heard how great French pharmacy is. Gwyneth Paltrow is apparently a groupie too as she mentioned France pharmacy on her blog, GOOP.
Just one more reason I need to get to France!

Esther in Amsterdam
June 8, 2011

Sounds amazing! Should pick it up when we’re in France this summer! xxx

Emilie in Paris
June 13, 2011

I had no idea it was so popular. I am so gutted I only found out about this liniment AFTER my kids were potty trained!

August 31, 2011

Excelent! thanks for the recommendation! I found it in Chicago in Autrepart ( probably the only place in Chicago that carries it!

January 10, 2012

It’s a good product but you can make your own for much much cheaper!! You just mix 0.5L of lime water (saturated calcium hydroxide solution, that you can buy in pharmacy) and 0.5L of olive oil (the finer the better) to make a litre of liniment. It’s exactly the same. According to the quality of your oil, the solution may separate, but you just have to shake your bottle a little to mix it again.

February 15, 2012

Emilie I think you might want to redact that last paragraph. I’m an American in France and we use this stuff on my baby all the time. According to the French Wikipedia, these “additional uses” are the result of a recent spike in popularity of the product and some irresponsible marketing. Because it has a very basic pH, oil-chalk ointment can really burn the skin, so using it for eczema, makeup removal, etc., is highly discouraged. Word to the wise.

February 15, 2012

Hey Vincent, I am surprised by your comment. I actually do it very often for the above mentioned purposes, with a lot of success. Two of my cousins are French pharmacists and use this the linement for all sorts of purposes.

January 23, 2013

Nearly a year after bookmarking this, I received the product and love it. It made my hands feel so soft! Maybe I’m too late for a response and this is a silly question, but I’m wondering what sort of applicator you use with the linement when using it to wipe the babies bum? A tissue?

January 23, 2013

Absolutely not a silly question! I used cotton pads or squares. Hope that helps?

July 2, 2013

Hello !

I hope I’m not too late to post a question but I was looking into making this on my own but I’m having a huge problem finding a pharmacy that even knows what saturated calcium hydroxide solution is ! Is there another name for this solution (other than lime water which the pharmacies also have never heard of) or does anyone know where I could buy it ?

Thank you so much !!!!

October 21, 2013

So happy to have found this thread – have been trying different wipes, boiled & cooled water, to sooth & heal baby’s sore bum. They gave me a bottle of this from the hospital and I hadn’t worked out what it was for (they may have explained, I was possibly too tired to absorb the info!), and having found your article, the penny drops!! Have started to use already, fingers crossed it will work. Silly question…. it can be used to clean the whole area at change time, ie fanny too?? thank you in advance, Rx

Emilie in Paris
October 23, 2013

I never used it to clean the fanny area, actually, which I only used water for. Hope it works for you, it made a huge difference to my girls!

March 17, 2014

Hi does it also work on skin blemishes?

March 17, 2014

Hi Angie, I am not sure. We do have a new product over here in France called bio oil that I swear by for blemishes!

April 29, 2014

Hi Emilie

Just because I used bio oil for treating scars before I knew what was actually in it I wanted to let you know that straight up Vitamin E oil is so much better for your blemishes – try googling bio oil harmful ingredients if you need more convincing:)

September 21, 2016

Here is how to make it for baby’s bottoms. I’ve used it on my baby for 8 months. His bottom is always the healthiest it can be.
Dissolve a teaspoon of pickling lime (Walmart) in a liter of water. Let is stand for 2 days. If there’s white powder at the bottom, it means it’s a saturated solution. Weigh out 300gm of this after straining through a coffee filter. In another jar, weigh out 300gm of olive oil. Warm it to dissolve 10gm beeswax (this will keep it from separating). The warming will also help with emulsification… add the lime water to the oil mixture and blend with a stick blender until you “feel” the mixture thickening. It’s ready to use. I make mine in a ball jar and use it with a plastic pump top. You can use vinegar to clean up the stick blender.

Anya Gonzalez
February 11, 2017

Neha, so you use the water after being filtered, not the powder lime itself? thank you

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