5 Best Diaper Rash Creams of 2023
- April 27, 2022
- by Melissa Lawrence
Hello, parents! One of these days you’re going to go to change your baby’s diaper and, oh . . . what’s that? Your baby’s skin is red or bumpy! They can’t be happy about that. You’ve got a case of diaper rash in your hands.
I’ve dealt with diaper rash more times than I can count over these past two decades of raising six kids, and at CloudMom I have all the resources you need to assuage your poor baby’s rash. First, an ounce of prevention is worth of pound of cure, so read my article on tips to prevent diaper rash. Second, if it’s too late to prevent it, then watch my video on when and how to use diaper cream.
What Is Diaper Rash Cream?
Diaper rash happens when moisture accumulates on the skin and feeds bacteria or yeast. It can be exacerbated by friction and the irritants in your baby’s waste, the diaper, or bath products. So diaper rash cream remedies the problem by forming a layer over the skin to protect it and minimize moisture.
There are two types of diaper creams:
- Petroleum-based products, like Vaseline and Aquaphor. These products are best suited for mild rashes.
- Zinc oxide-based products, like Desitin or Balmex. These products are stronger and are the ones you want for a moderate to severe rash.
What Is the Best Diaper Rash Cream?
1. Best Cream for Mild Diaper Rash
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
$9.58 for 7 oz
- Petroleum-based cream
- Perfect for preventing diaper rash or treating a mild rash
Aquaphor Healing Ointment is a bestseller, and for good reason. It’s a petroleum-based cream that relieves mild diaper rashes in about six hours, and also functions very well when used preventatively. That is, consider applying some of this when changing your baby’s diaper to prevent rash from happening in the first place.
Parents also find it useful for eczema and for treating chapping from drool. Note that it should not be confused with Aquaphor Diaper Rash Cream, which is a less popular option for more severe diaper rashes.
2. Best Cream for Severe Diaper Rash
Desitin Maximum Strength Baby Diaper Rash Cream
$6.87 for 4 oz
- Highly effective for severe rashes
- Most powerful over-the-counter diaper rash treatment
If you’re dealing with a severe diaper rash, then Desitin diaper cream is your best bet for restoring your baby’s comfort. This cream contains 40 percent zinc oxide, the highest potency that can be gotten over the counter. I and other parents like to call Desitin, also known as the Purple Cream, the “big guns” for when nothing else works. This one’s sure to kick that rash, and in spite of its strength it won’t irritate your baby’s skin, because its hypoallergenic formula is paraben-, phthalate-, dye-, and soap-free.
3. Best Natural Diaper Rash Cream
Cetaphil Baby Soothe & Protect Cream
$8.99 for 6 oz
- Best cream with natural formula
- Contains no zinc oxide, and contains calendula for soothing skin
- Better for mild rashes
Cetaphil Baby Soothe & Protect is a more natural option. Its relatively simple formula relies mainly on two ingredients to treat irritation. These are allantoin, which eases dryness and itchiness, and calendula, an extract from the marigold flower that is a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory oil.
Parents find this cream effective for mild diaper rashes and appreciate the more natural formula, but if you’re dealing with a moderate or severe rash, this one might not quite cut it.
4. Best Cream for Cloth Diapers
GroVia All Natural Magic Stick Baby Diaper Balm
$17.95 for 2 oz
- Best for cloth diapers
- Leaves no stains or build-up
You might know that I’m a little bit of an enthusiast for cloth diapering. If you are too, then you might know that some diaper creams stain or build up in cloth diapers. So here’s GroVia Diaper Balm coming to our rescue! This one is a fairly simple formula that applies like deodorant instead of taking the form of a cream. You won’t get any goo on your fingers, and you won’t have to worry about washing it out later. But, again, it might not be strong enough for bad rashes.
5. Best Organic Diaper Rash Cream
The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream
$8.99 for 2.5 oz
- A widely recognized organics brand
- Plant- and mineral-based formula with a small touch of zinc oxide
- Includes chamomile for soothing
The Honest Company is one of the most recognized names in all things organic and diaper! And sure enough, they don’t disappoint when it comes to organic diaper rash creams. This one is almost totally made of plant- and mineral-sourced products, relying on a gentle touch of non-nano zinc oxide to do the heavy lifting. Parents have mixed results with its efficacy, tending to find it better on milder rather than more severe rashes. But they love the chamomile scent, and widely agree that it’s great for sensitive skin.