Diaper Rash Cream: Three We Recommend (And Two We Don’t!)

Need a new diaper rash cream for your baby? Here’s your guide to choosing the best diaper cream, plus how to make your own balm.

Need a new diaper rash cream for your baby? Here's your guide to choosing the best diaper cream, plus how to make your own balm.

Uh oh! If you just spotted the tell-tale signs of a diaper rash—red patches, sore spots, and even little bumps—it’s time to grab some diaper rash cream. But which one?! Conventional products can be loaded with petroleum and many diaper rash creams can even ruin cloth diapers. But—don’t worry—it’s not as complicated as it sounds. 

In this post, we’ll cover:

  • How to find organic diaper rash cream
  • The best diaper rash cream
  • Pros and cons of using Desitin diaper rash cream
  • What to do for a yeast diaper rash cream

The Best Diaper Rash Creams

We know that you want to find only the best products for your baby, but when it comes to diaper rash creams, you have a few extra considerations (beside’s your baby’s health, of course). The right diaper cream is one that is:

  • Free from harmful ingredients, such as fragrance or petroleum
  • Safe for your choice of diapers (many diaper rash creams can ruin cloth diapers by affecting their absorbency) 
  • Affordable 

Here, some worthy options:

1. MotherLove

MotherLove – Diaper Rash Cream Three We Recommend (And Two We Don’t!) post by Mama Natural

MotherLove is a woman-owned, zero-waste company that strives to make quality, natural products for mothers and babies. MotherLove Diaper Balm is a soft balm made from organic ingredients such as olive oil, calendula flower, beeswax, and oregano root. It also contains yarrow herb and myrrh gum. 

Why we love it: MotherLove Diaper Balm may come in a small jar, but it is a mighty balm. Free from petroleum and zinc oxide, this diaper balm is safe for all types of diapers. You can even use this balm for a yeasty rash, thanks to the inclusion of anti-fungal herbs. Safe for newborns and older. 

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2. Earth Mama Organics 

Earth Mama Organics – Diaper Rash Cream Three We Recommend (And Two We Don’t!) post by Mama Natural

Earth Mama Organics is proud to provide natural and herbal solutions for every step of the motherhood journey from pregnancy into babyhood.

Why we love it: Earth Mama Diaper Balm is not only 100 percent certified organic, but it also only uses ethically-sourced beeswax. This balm is free from both zinc and lanolin, making it another cloth diaper-friendly option. Olive oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter combine with bottom-friendly herbs (like calendula and St. John’s Wort) and essential oils (tea tree and lavender) to keep baby’s bottom clean and free from diaper rashes. (If you prefer herb infusions to essential oils, MotherLove is a better option.)

3. Ora’s Amazing Herbal

Ora’s Amazing Herbal – Diaper Rash Cream Three We Recommend (And Two We Don’t!) post by Mama Natural

Ora’s Amazing Herbal offers natural herbal salves for a variety of conditions for both adults and babies. From new tattoo balm to vanilla scenting body dusting powder, the power of herbs is truly amazing.

Why we love it: It’s not just for tushies! This amazing herbal blend is good for any area that needs a little TLC such as rolls and neck folds. While the slow infusion of herbs into coconut oil can combat the toughest diaper rashes, don’t miss out on these other uses: drool rash cream, moisturizer, cleanser, and overall moisturizer. 

How to Make a DIY Diaper Rash Cream

The organic diaper rash balms can be quite pricey. Luckily, there are some worthy DIY options, including: 

  • Plain coconut oil: This has worked for me time and time again! Because coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial and antiviral, it does a great job with rashes and irritations.
  • Breast milk: The ultimate elixir, breast milk can soothe and heal skin. Simply express milk onto the rash and let air dry. Just avoid if you suspect yeast as the cause of the diaper rash—the milk sugars can spur further yeast growth.
  • Extra virgin olive oil: Wonderful for soothing skin, and even better for moisturizing rough skin. It provides a nice barrier to help baby’s bottom heal. Plus, it’s safe for cloth diapers (won’t cause urine to repel). Just use sparingly, since they are oils. And, to be safe, use a liner or disposable diaper instead.
  • Non-GMO cornstarch: Mix a tablespoon of organic corn starch with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Be sure to get non-GMO cornstarch, like these. And don’t use this remedy for a yeasty rash.
  • Kefir or live (plain) yogurt: Dab a bit onto a yeasty diaper rash to help clear it.  
  • Raw apple cider vinegar: Dabbing a bit of apple cider vinegar onto a yeasty rash functions the same way as the yogurt or kefir.

Alternatively, if you’ve got a little time on your hands, you can whip up a more involved  batch of your own diaper rash cream fairly easily. 

Homemade diaper rash cream recipe

What you need:

What to do:

  1. Melt the beeswax pellets, coconut oil, and shea butter in a double boiler.
  2. Remove from heat.
  3. Let cool (but not harden).
  4. Add the essential oils.
  5. Whip with your hand mixer until the mixture is thick, whipped, and creamy.
  6. Store in a glass jar in a cool, dry area.

What About Desitin?

Desitin is a popular diaper rash cream, thanks to its high zinc oxide content. It’s a powerful paste that wipes out diaper rash stat.

The problem? Desitin is rated as a 4 in the Environmental Working Group database, but some individual ingredients rate up to a 5. These scores classify Desitin as a “moderate hazard.” Not exactly what you want to hear when you think about applying it to your baby’s delicate bum. 

According to EWG, the highest concerns include:

  • Irritation to your baby’s eyes and skin
  • Organ toxicity
  • Irritation to lungs

The Maximum Strength version is even worse. As a whole, EWG ranks it as a 4, but the list of ingredients is worse. The Maximum Strength Desitin contains fragrance (ranked as an 8!), talc (which is known to contain asbestos fibers), and petroleum. (source

Beware of Greenwashing Brands…

There are some popular “natural” brands out there that may look like a good choice at first glance. Unfortunately, though, greenwashing is just as prevalent in diaper creams as it is in other products, like makeup.

Honest Diaper is probably one of the most common choices among parents trying to choose a cleaner diaper rash cream, but it’s a choice that should give you pause. Their diaper rash cream contains zinc oxide, which can tackle a rash, but ruin your cloth diapers. It also contains castor oil, which can irritate babies with eczema or contact dermatitis. (source)

Maty’s is another organic company that is popping up in many retail stores (including Whole Foods). They offer a variety of products from all-natural cough syrups to diaper creams. Although Maty’s is much better than most conventional diaper creams, note that it is only 99% organic. It also includes castor oil and zinc. This may not the best option if you cloth diaper, as zinc can build up and make your diapers less absorbent. 

Preventing Diaper Rash in the First Place

The bottom line: Though diaper rash cream is great for treating flare-ups, the best way to treat diaper rash is to try and prevent it. It’s not always possible, but these are the best tips for reducing the risk of diaper rashes: 

  • Go diaper free when possible. This helps air out baby’s bottom. Warm, moist areas are more prone to rashes.
  • Change baby’s diaper more often. Some babies just get diaper rashes more easily than others. If your baby seems to have extra sensitive skin, try adding a few extra diaper changes into the day to keep baby’s bottom as fresh and dry as possible.
  • Air dry. Let your baby’s bottom air dry before putting a diaper back on after changes.
  • Don’t fasten the diaper too tightly. This can limit air flow and increase the risk of a rash.

What About You?

Do you have a favorite diaper cream? Or a favorite DIY recipe? Share with us!

Genevieve Howland

About the Author

Genevieve Howland is a childbirth educator and breastfeeding advocate. She is the bestselling author of The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth and creator of the Mama Natural Birth Course. A mother of three, graduate of the University of Colorado, and YouTuber with over 85,000,000 views, she helps mothers and moms-to-be lead healthier and more natural lives.

2 Comments

  1. Hi :]
    Is petroleum harmful? If so, why or why not?

  2. Thanks for this info. How long will the homemade diaper rash cream last ? Thanks!


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