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Your baby will likely encounter a diaper rash (or five) within their first few years of life. This irritation is common and typically appears as red, warm, inflamed skin with raised bumps.

Diaper rash can be caused by several factors, including diaper change frequency, chafing and rubbing, and sensitive skin.

While it’s important to first determine the cause of the rash, you can give your baby fast relief by applying ointments or creams to the affected area.

For this list, we considered:

  • a variety of price points
  • the use of chemical additives
  • how quickly the ointment treats diaper rash
  • effective ingredients, such as zinc oxide, calendula, aloe vera, lanolin, and petroleum
  • all products have been vetted by our team for ingredient safety, brand integrity, and to ensure there are no risks or recalls

We’ve aimed to present a range of quality products that can help with even the worst diaper rash.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $1.50 per ounce
  • $$ = $1.50–$3.00 per ounce
  • $$$ = over $3.00 per ounce

Best natural diaper rash ointment

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: those who want a rash ointment with natural ingredients
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, sweet almond oil, shea butter, lavender oil, jojoba seed oil
  • Pros: all-natural ingredients; made without phthalates, parabens, or petrolatum; not tested on animals
  • Cons: some users found hard parts in the ointment; can leave a white residue in cloth diapers that can be hard to wash out

If you’re looking for a diaper rash ointment with no phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, or sodium laurel sulfate, check out Burt’s Bees Baby Diaper Rash Ointment.

One of the benefits of this product is that the ingredients are all-natural. The ointment contains almond oil, castor oil, jojoba oil, and shea butter, which all work to soften and recondition your baby’s skin.

Reviews: A few reviewers shared that their tubes had hard granules in the mix. While this ointment claims to be cloth diaper safe, some report that it leaves a white residue that’s difficult to wash out without stripping.

Best ointment for everyday use

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

  • Price: $
  • Best for: everyday use
  • Key ingredients: petrolatum, mineral oil
  • Pros: affordable; can be used for a range of skin issues; easy to find since it’s sold in lots of stores
  • Cons: greasier ointment; doesn’t include as many ingredients to heal rashes as some of the other creams do

Aquaphor is a multipurpose ointment that can be used for diaper rash, chapped cheeks, cuts, scrapes, burns, eczema, and more skin irritations.

It helps prevent diaper rash by protecting the skin. In fact, it’s advertised as being able to relieve diaper rash within 6 hours of application.

Reviews: A few reviewers shared that the ointment is quite greasy. Still, it’s great for sensitive skin because it’s fragrance-, preservative-, and dye-free. “Our daughter has very sensitive skin and has bad reactions to zinc oxide creams, so Aquaphor has been a lifesaver for us,” said one Healthline mom.

Best medicated diaper ointment

Triple Paste Medicated Ointment for Diaper Rash

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: healing tough rashes
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, white petrolatum, corn starch, anhydrous lanolin, beeswax
  • Pros: hypoallergenic; fragrance-free; HSA and FSA eligible
  • Cons: thicker cream; only designed to be used as a diaper cream (i.e., not for chapped lips, cradle cap, etc.)

When other diaper rash treatments fail you, try Triple Paste. This medicated ointment is hypoallergenic, fragrance-free, and “guaranteed” to help heal your baby’s raw skin — or else you can get your money back.

Its active ingredient is zinc oxide, which works to repel water away from skin and create a safe barrier for healing.

Reviews: The reviews are overwhelmingly positive, though there are a few customers who shared that it simply didn’t work to treat their baby’s rash.

Best organic diaper balm

Organic Diaper Balm by Earth Mama

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: those who want an organic diaper balm
  • Key ingredients: organic olive fruit oil, organic shea butter, organic beeswax, organic jojoba seed oil, organic lavender flower oil, organic tea tree leaf oil, organic calendula flower
  • Pros: USDA-certified organic; can be used on skin all over the body; petroleum- and preservative-free
  • Cons: not the most budget-friendly option; you’ll need to buy it more frequently since it comes in a small container

U.S.-made Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm was formulated by a nurse herbalist and is free from toxins, petroleum, mineral oil, vitamin E, phthalates, and parabens. (You can’t miss the USDA certification seal on the box, either!)

The solution is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, with organic herbs and essential oils like calendula. The balm allows skin to breathe rather than creating a barrier that might otherwise trap bacteria against the skin. It also claims to be safe for use on cloth diapers.

Reviews: Though most reviewers rave about this balm, a few shared that it didn’t do much to help their child’s rash. It’s also one of the most expensive products on this list.

Best plant-based diaper rash cream

Babyganics Diaper Rash Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: those who want a diaper cream focused on plant-based ingredients
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, shea butter, neonourish seed oil blend (company’s own specific blend of tomato, sunflower, cranberry, black cumin, and raspberry seed oils)
  • Pros: not tested on animals; free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil, artificial fragrance, and dye
  • Cons: some children’s skin has reacted to the ingredients; not as thick or long lasting as some of the other creams on our list

Plant-based ingredients are the focus of Babyganics Diaper Rash Cream. The solution contains zinc oxide, calendula, aloe, and jojoba oil. These ingredients work to both treat and prevent diaper rash.

Babyganics Diaper Rash Cream is also free of parabens, phthalates, petroleum, mineral oil, artificial fragrance, and dye. As with many other natural products, this cream wasn’t tested on animals.

Reviews: Several reviewers shared that the product doesn’t go on the skin smoothly and isn’t quite thick or long-lasting enough to get the job done. A few even mentioned that their children had an adverse reaction (stinging) to the ingredients.

Best ointment for severe rashes

Boudreaux’s Butt Paste

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: getting rid of severe rashes
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, castor oil, mineral oil, paraffin, Peruvian balsam, petrolatum
  • Pros: free of dyes, parabens, preservatives, phthalates, and talc; easy to buy (sold in a wide range of stores); gets high praise from parents for healing tougher rashes
  • Cons: ingredients aren’t as natural as those used in some other creams on our list; really only designed to be used as a butt paste (i.e., not for dry skin, chapped lips, etc.)

Got a really rough rash that refuses to go away? Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is a popular choice among new parents. It boasts an easy-on, easy-off formula along with a pleasant scent to avoid overwhelming your baby.

It’s not the most natural of the bunch, though. It has boric acid, castor oil, mineral oil, white wax, and petrolatum on its ingredients list. Still, it’s effective and contains a solid 16 percent of zinc oxide.

If you’re concerned about some of the contents in its classic paste, Boudreaux offers an all-natural cream as well, which contains 40 percent zinc oxide.

Reviews: Several reviewers highly praise this product, even for the worst cases of diaper rash. Reviewers also say that the product has a thick consistency, so a little goes a long way.

Best tried and true diaper cream

Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream

  • Price: $
  • Best for: those who want a tried and true classic
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, mineral oil, petrolatum, beeswax
  • Pros: affordable, widely available and easy to find, hypoallergenic
  • Cons: only intended as a diaper cream (i.e., not for chapped lips, dry skin, etc.); not everyone loves that it’s packaged without a safety seal

Desitin diaper creams have been around for a long time. The company’s diaper cream uses zinc oxide to create a barrier on your baby’s skin to help soothe and prevent rashes.

Desitin Daily Defense is fragrance-free, contains no allergens, and has a creamy formula to help keep baby’s skin moisturized.

The ingredients work immediately against inflammation that causes the redness, warmth, and pain. It also happens to be one of the most cost-effective options on this list.

Reviews: Several people complained that the product doesn’t have a safety seal.

Best cream for sensitive skin

Weleda Diaper Care Cream

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: those who have sensitive skin
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, coconut oil, sweet almond oil, sesame seed oil, beeswax, sunflower seed oil
  • Pros: no synthetic preservatives, fragrances, or petroleum; made especially for sensitive and atopic skin; sourcing of its ingredients is certified by NATRUE and the Union for Ethical BioTrade
  • Cons: not the most budget-friendly option; comes in smaller tubes, so you’ll need to buy more frequently

Formulated by German midwives, Weleda Diaper Care Cream comes in calendula and white mallow flower-scented versions. It’s one of the more expensive options on this list, but it’s made with fair-trade beeswax and pharmaceutical-grade zinc oxide.

The cream is also free from synthetic preservatives, fragrances, and petroleum. Plus, it’s formulated especially for sensitive and atopic skin in babies.

Most affordable diaper rash cream

A+D Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Treatment cream

  • Price: $
  • Best for: those on a tight budget
  • Key ingredients: zinc oxide, dimethicone, aloe barbadensis extract, benzyl alcohol, coconut oil, cod liver oil, fragrance, glyceryl oleate, light mineral oil, paraffin, synthetic beeswax
  • Pros: affordable; paraben- and dye-free; available in a wide range of stores
  • Cons: not the most organic option; includes paraffin and fragrances

Know that you’ll be using a lot of diaper cream and want to keep the cost down? A+D Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream is an affordable option you may wish to consider. It includes zinc oxide as well as dimethicone to treat itching and aloe vera to moisturize.

The cream creates a barrier between wet diapers and your baby, so their skin has a chance to heal.

A+D also offers preventive Original Ointment for baby’s everyday use that contains lanolin and petrolatum, which combine to help seal out wetness.

Reviews: Some reviewers don’t like that both products contain paraffins, which are possible carcinogens according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Best cream for dry skin

Cetaphil Baby Soothe & Protect Cream

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: those with dry skin
  • Key ingredients: allantoin, organic calendula, shea oil, sunflower seed oil
  • Pros: nongreasy; free of parabens, fragrance, and petrolatum; hypoallergenic
  • Cons: does not include zinc oxide; more effective with dry and chaffing skin than bad cases of diaper rash

If you or your little one have sensitive skin, Cetaphil Soothe & Protect Cream is a more natural option. Its active ingredient is allantoin, which helps prevent dry, itchy skin as well as minor skin irritations.

You won’t find any parabens, fragrances, or petrolatum in the mix. Plus, its non-greasy formula is suited for the most sensitive skin types.

Reviews: Reviewers share that this cream works great for prevention and mild rashes, but it doesn’t do much for the worst irritations.

Most versatile diaper rash ointment

Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment

  • Price: $$$
  • Best for: handling a range of skin problems
  • Key ingredients: amber petrolatum, anhydrous lanolin, natural vitamin E, balsam of Peru extracts
  • Pros: hypoallergenic; can be used for a variety of skin problems; made in the United States
  • Cons: not the most budget-friendly option; includes petrolatum (which not all parents want in their diaper cream)

Willing to pay a little more for your diaper cream if it can serve a lot of purposes? Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment claims that this product also works well for eczema, heat rash, minor burns, cradle cap, and more.

In addition for a range of uses, it gets high scores for being safe for cloth diapers, going on clear, and being manufactured in the United States.

This brand doesn’t contain zinc oxide. But it does have vitamin E, lanolin, and amber petrolatum, which is used as a healing and protecting agent.

Reviews: A few customers aren’t happy with the petrolatum content, since it’s a byproduct of petroleum. Others revealed that, despite the claims and positive reviews, their cloth diapers didn’t fare well with use.

Best soothing balm for diaper rash

Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Daily Bottom Balm

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: soothing sore skin
  • Key ingredients: beeswax, aloe, calendula, chamomile, castor oil, canola oil, sunflower seed oil
  • Pros: more natural, plant-based ingredients, texture and consistency is less messy than many products, no strong smell, rave reviews from parents (especially those with babies who have sensitive skin)
  • Cons: doesn’t have petrolatum or zinc oxide, which are considered the best barrier ingredients for diaper rash

Zarbee’s Naturals is a brand known for their natural, chemical-free baby products. Their daily bottom balm receives rave reviews from parents with have babies who have sensitive skin or want a more natural ointment to treat diaper rash.

This balm features beeswax, aloe (if you’ve ever put aloe on a sunburn, you know how soothing it can be), chamomile, castor oil, canola oil, and sunflower seed oil. Thanks to the beeswax, this balm has a much better consistency than many of the other options on our list.

According to parents, it “stays put” and isn’t greasy. You can use this balm as a daily skin soother and prevention for diaper rash, or to treat diaper rashes that have already started.

Reviews: One Healthline mom told us, “I became super passionate about Zarbee’s Bottom Balm with aloe. My daughter doesn’t get rashes frequently, but when she does, they are bad. This was the only one that really seemed to soothe her when the rash got bad.”

Best diaper cream for painful diaper rashes

Pinxav Diaper Rash Ointment

  • Price: $$
  • Best for: treatment of mild to severe diaper rashes
  • Key ingredients: 30% non-nano zinc oxide, aloe, vitamin E, eucalyptol, oil of clove, menthol, petrolatum, lanolin, wintergreen, aluminum hydroxide
  • Pros: the company and product have been around since 1927, features many of the ingredients recommended by expert, positive reviews from parents, heavy duty ingredients that help clear up severe rashes
  • Cons: some parents report that it stains clothing, some people may not love the smell

Pinxav is a product that has been around since 1927. This pink ointment features a load of powerhouse ingredients that are backed by research and recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).

It contains multiple barrier ingredients to allow inflamed skin to heal, including a whopping 30% non-nano zinc oxide. It also features lanolin and petrolatum. Soothing ingredients such as vitamin E, eucalyptol, and menthol help relieve the pain that babies may experience with bad diaper rashes.

The company has a helpful rundown of ingredients on their website, so you can understand what you’re putting on your baby’s bum and why.

Reviews: Many parents love this reasonably priced option that helps clear up even severe diaper rashes. A few parents didn’t feel like it worked better than other products, and some comment that it stained their clothing.

NamePriceKey ingredientsBest forFeatures
Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Diaper Ointment$$• zinc oxide
• sweet almond oil
• shea butter
natural ingredientsfree of phthalates, parabens, and petrolatum
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment$• petrolatum
• mineral oil
everyday usecan be used for a range of different skin issues
Triple Paste Medical Ointment for Diaper Rash$$• zinc oxide
• corn starch
• anhydrous lanolin
healing tough rashes• hypoallergenic
• fragrance-free
• HSA and FSA eligible
Organic Diaper Balm by Earth Mama$$$all organic ingredients:
• olive fruit oil
• shea butter
• beeswax
organic diaper balm• USDA-certified organic
• can be used all over body
Babyganics Diaper Rash Cream$$• zinc oxide
• shea butter
• company-made seed oil blend
plant-based ingredients free of parabens, mineral oil, dye, and artificial fragrance
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste$$• zinc oxide
• castor oil
• mineral oil
severe rashes• free of dye, parabens, and talc
• easy to find
• lots of great reviews
Desitin Daily Defense Baby Diaper Rash Cream$• zinc oxide
• mineral oil
• beeswax
trusted name• affordable
• widely available
• hypoallergenic
Weleda Diaper Care Cream$$$ • zinc oxide
• sesame seed oil
• beeswax
sensitive skinmade specifically for sensitive and atopic skin
A+D Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Cream$• zinc oxide
• coconut oil
• mineral oil
affordableparaben- and dye-free
Cetaphil Baby Soothe & Protect Cream$$• organic calendula
• shea oil
dry skin• nongreasy
• hypoallergenic
Grandma El’s Diaper Rash Ointment$$$natural vitamin Erange of uses• hypoallergenic
Zarbee’s Daily Bottom Balm$$• beeswax
• calendula
• aloe
soothing sensitive skin• natural ingredients
• stay-put texture
Pinxav Diaper Rash Ointment$$• zinc oxide
• lanolin
• petrolatum
• aloe
treating severe, painful diaper rashes• triple barrier ointment
• soothing and numbing ingredients to relieve pain

With the large number of diaper rash creams on the market, it can feel overwhelming to pick the right one. There are a lot of factors to consider, which may include a product’s ingredients and how severe your baby’s rash is.

Regardless of which brand you choose, there are a few active ingredients that you should look out for. These are known to work best at healing and protecting babies from diaper rash:

  • Zinc oxide: a powdery mineral that glides on the skin and creates an impermeable barrier to block moisture
  • Calendula: a natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory oil derived from marigold flowers
  • Aloe vera: a soother often added to help revive inflamed skin
  • Lanolin: a moisturizer that creates a barrier over the skin to help prevent rashes
  • Petroleum: a moisturizer that protects the skin from rashes

There are also some ingredients you may want to be cautious of, especially if you’re looking for an all-natural or organic product. These include:

  • mineral oil (Some of the products on our list do include mineral oil, as this ingredient is considered safe. If you prefer a natural product without mineral oil, opt for a product like Burt’s Bees or Earth Mama Organics. The table above contains more details on which products contain mineral oil.)
  • parabens
  • phthalates
  • toxins, such as aluminum starch octenylsuccinate
  • artificial waxes
  • artificial dyes and fragrances
  • paraffins

Petroleum is also an ingredient to avoid if you’re opting for an all-natural product.

To prevent avoidable rashes, try to ensure that you change your baby’s diaper promptly whenever it’s wet or unclean. You may also want to try different brands of diaper rash ointments to see which one works best on your baby’s skin.

If your little one’s rash persists and doesn’t respond to habit changes or ointments, you should call your baby’s pediatrician.

Some skin conditions are more severe and require more advanced treatments. These conditions can include:

Occasionally, certain foods or medications might make rashes and irritations worse. That’s why it’s recommended that you treat the root cause of the irritation rather than the symptoms alone.

If you notice an adverse reaction to any diaper creams and ointments, you should contact your baby’s pediatrician immediately.

How long does it take to get rid of diaper rash?

Most diaper rashes will go away (or at least significantly improve) within 2 to 3 days.

A variety of factors affect the time it takes a rash to heal, such as its severity. Changing your baby’s diaper frequently and applying a diaper cream can help speed up the healing process.

Should you use diaper cream at every change?

It’s up to you how frequently you apply diaper cream. Some parents like to use diaper cream or ointment with every diaper change to help prevent rashes, but this is not necessary.

However, you will want to use diaper cream any time you start to see signs of redness or irritation to prevent a rash from getting worse.

Is paste or ointment better for diaper rash?

Whether you prefer a paste or ointment is up to you and the rash’s severity.

If a rash is mild, a simple petroleum-based product may be enough to clear up your baby’s skin.

If there’s a more severe or long-lasting rash, you’ll want to look for a product with plenty of moisturizers and an active ingredient like zinc oxide.

When in doubt, you can always ask your child’s pediatrician for guidance.

Do you wipe off excess diaper rash cream?

There’s no need to wipe off excess diaper rash from your little one’s bottom. After all, it’s designed to act as a barrier! (Just make sure any poop or pee is cleaned up so it won’t cause additional irritation.)

Can I use baby wipes for diaper rash?

Baby wipes can burn and irritate a diaper rash, so you’ll want to avoid them when possible (especially those with fragrances and alcohol in them).

Instead, you may wish to use warm water and a washcloth or squirt bottle. Whatever you use, you’ll want to avoid scrubbing or rubbing the sensitive skin.

What heals diaper rashes the fastest?

According to the AAP, zinc oxide and petrolatum are the best ingredient choices for treating diaper rash.

The key to treating diaper rash quickly is to have a strong barrier that will prevent liquid (i.e., urine and feces) from coming into contact with irritated skin, which in turn gives the skin time to heal.

If your baby’s diaper rash is caused by an infection such as staph or candida, your pediatrician may prescribe an antibiotic ointment to help clear it up quickly.

Which ingredients are the most soothing in a diaper rash cream?

The safest, most soothing ingredients for diaper rash are skin protectants (many of which are Food and Drug Administration approved) such as petrolatum, zinc oxide, allantoin, calamine, dimethicone, and lanolin.

While a number of diaper creams have plant-based ingredients that claim to soothe the skin, it is always possible that these ingredients will actually irritate broken or already irritated skin. If you prefer to try more natural ingredients first, an ointment with beeswax may also be an effective skin protectant.

What’s the safest diaper rash cream for infants?

Skin protectants such as petrolatum, zinc oxide, allantoin, calamine, dimethicone, and lanolin are the safest choices for treating infant diaper rash.

Babies are more susceptible to absorbing chemicals through their skin — especially through broken skin that occurs with diaper rash. The best bet is to choose a simple cream with as few ingredients as possible, as long as the active ingredient is a barrier such as zinc oxide or petrolatum.