Diaper rash is a common skin condition that is likely to rear its ugly head during the first few years of your baby’s life.1 While diaper rash may commonly occur due to skin irritation, it can also be caused by allergic reactions or a bacterial or yeast infection. Diaper rash creams offer an effective solution to soothe and prevent diaper rash breakouts. The best ones have clean and active ingredients that are formulated without dyes, parabens, alcohols, fragrances, and other harmful ingredients.
Best Overall: Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment
Courtesy of Amazon
Who else recommends it? Babylist, BabyCenter, and Healthline all picked Boudreaux’s Butt Paste.234
What do buyers say? 87% of 7,400+ Amazon reviewers rated this product 5 stars.
This parent favorite is our top pick for its ability to soothe diaper rash quickly. The regular formula gives you 16% zinc oxide (though you can buy the extra strength version at 40% for severe rashes) and claims to be the thickest barrier cream out there. It was developed by a pharmacist father of four, so you know it means business.
It’s free of dyes, parabens, preservatives, phthalate, and talc, so you know you aren’t putting anything harmful on your little one. It can be purchased in a 16-ounce jar or 2-ounce tube, depending on your preference for size and application. You can also buy a spatula to help you apply this thick paste, which some reviewers note is a must to prevent icky hands.
Many reviewers comment this is the only thing that has worked for their children, but note it has a funny beige color. They recommend using the normal formula for daily use and the extra strength for when a bad rash flares up.
Best for Every Day Use: Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment
The best way to prevent diaper rash is by applying a diaper rash cream to your baby’s bottom every time you do a diaper change, regardless of whether they have a rash or not. For this, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment Advanced Therapy Skin Protectant is perfect. Formulated to be used all over the body for relief from chapped cheeks, minor scrapes, dry skin, and diaper rash, this petroleum-based cream is clear, light, and breathable—making this versatile product a must in any parent’s medicine cabinet.
What Our Editors Say
“For everything and anything, we used Aquaphor. Rash? Aquaphor. Baby acne? Aquaphor. At one point, we put it all over our baby’s body and healed some sort of irritation. We use it for every diaper, and she’s never had a bad diaper rash. Keep this in your diaper caddy!” —Lauren Levinson, Editorial Director, Verywell Family
Best Medicated: Triple Paste Diaper Rash Cream
When it comes to diaper rash creams, some of them have a particularly pungent odor. Not only can it be unpleasant, but sometimes fragrances can irritate sensitive skin.5 That’s one of the reasons so many parents love this fragrance-free cream from Triple Paste. It’s thick, so it stays in place, and it comes with a money-back guarantee.
Recommended by doctors, it’s the go-to diaper cream for many parents. While it’s a bit pricier than others, most say it works better than anything else they’ve tried and is worth it to help treat and prevent diaper rash. Many say it heals even the most severe cases of diaper rash almost overnight. They also like that it’s thick and say that one jar lasts a long time.
What Our Editors Say
“While it’s pricier than some other diaper creams, nothing treated our son’s diaper rash faster than Triple Paste. Plus, the flip-top lid makes one-handed application quick and easy.” —Ashleigh Morley, Editorial Director of Verywell Health Commerce
Best Extra Strength: Desitin Maximum Strength Zinc Oxide Diaper Rash Paste
Despite your best efforts, your baby may still get a very painful diaper rash once in a while. Beyond letting them go diaper-less, the best treatment for this is an extra-strength diaper rash cream like Desitin Baby Diaper Rash Maximum Strength Original Paste. Formulated with the maximum level of zinc oxide available without a prescription, this cream is clinically proven to start clearing up your tot’s diaper rash within 12 hours by effectively sealing out moisture.6
Since the formula is so effective, it is great to have a bottle on hand for when you just can’t get a rash to go away. Since it has a higher concentration of zinc oxide, you don’t need to use it every day.
Best Natural: Baby Mantra Diaper Rash Ointment
Courtesy of Amazon
Formulated especially for newborns and babies with sensitive skin, Baby Mantra Diaper Rash Ointment is made from non-toxic, natural, and organic ingredients. The main active ingredient is zinc oxide, but the formula includes sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, rosemary leaf, jojoba seed oil, and beeswax to help heal irritated skin. For those who follow the Environmental Working Group rating system, you’ll be happy to note this gets a “1” on their scale, meaning it doesn’t have any concerning chemicals or ingredients.
Other customers noted that while some natural products aren’t reliable, the Baby Mantra Diaper Rash Ointment was effective in both preventing and healing diaper rashes.
Best for Cloth Diapers: Earth Mama Organic Diaper Balm
Created specifically with cloth diaper users in mind, this balm won’t stain or permanently scent fabric (which many common creams can). Formulated with all-natural organic herbs and oils including calendula and beeswax, this cream smells nice and is also great for premature babies and babies in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
Best for Broken Skin: PINXAV Healing Cream
Sometimes after a bout of diarrhea or a diaper rash that spirals out of control, the skin on your baby’s bottom can get so irritated it breaks. That’s when you want a diaper rash cream that’s gentle but also designed to clear things up quickly, like this one from Pinxav. The pink formula contains 30% zinc oxide and a host of other ingredients, including aloe, vitamin E, and oil of clove. It can be used to both prevent diaper rash and clear up even the most serious cases.
Although the smell may take some getting used to and may stain fabrics pink, this diaper rash cream produces great results that make up for those downsides.
Best International Formula: Weleda Baby Calendula Diaper Cream
Courtesy of Amazon
New parents often hear that products made in foreign countries are better than the ones we get in the United States. This is not necessarily the case, and it can be difficult to discern which foreign products live up to the hype. Weleda Diaper Care Cream does exactly that. Formulated with the help of German midwives, the Weleda Diaper Care Cream has a zinc oxide base and includes organic calendula extract, which is blended with sweet almond oil and sesame oil to soothe very sore skin. It is free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and animal testing.
Customers comment that the smell is pleasing and a little goes a long way so the higher price tag shouldn’t throw you off.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment is our top choice due to it coming in both normal and extra-strength versions. The regular formula is perfect for daily use to help prevent diaper rash while the extra-strength version is ideal for handling intense flare-ups. If you’re looking for something that’s sure to revitalize broken skin, then go with Pinxav Diaper Rash Cream. Its price point cannot be beaten.
What to Look for in a Diaper Rash Cream
Clean and Active Ingredients
Make sure to check the ingredient label. It’s best if the product is free of any preservatives, alcohols, dyes, fragrances, and any other harmful ingredients that could irritate your baby’s skin. Also, consider the active ingredients. Zinc oxide, petroleum jelly, and other ingredients common in diaper rash creams are there to form a thick barrier to protect the skin from any possible irritants. Zinc oxide comes in varying concentrations over-the-counter; higher percentages require a doctor’s prescription.
Diaper rash cream usually comes in a jar or a tube. While using your fingers to apply the cream is easy and efficient, it can be messy. Purchasing a spatula can help to minimize any extra mess, especially if the cream comes in a jar.
Lingering Scents and Stains
Although zinc oxide is a common and powerful ingredient in diaper rash cream, it can leave behind stains. Some diaper rash creams also have odd smells. If you use cloth diapers, it’s crucial to find a cream that won’t leave behind any stains or unfavorable scents.