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Best Diaper Rash Creams

Updated October 2023
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Best of the Best
Desitin Rapid Relief Diaper Rash Remedy
Rapid Relief Diaper Rash Remedy
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Trusted Brand
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A top-selling product by a trusted brand that has been protecting babies against diaper rash for generations. Our baby expert uses this in the NICU.


Recommended by professionals. Helps prevent, heal, and soothe rash with fragrance-free zinc oxide formula. Goes a long way.


Some consumers received jars that were somewhat dry and difficult to apply. Jar's lack of a protective seal is concerning.

Best Bang for the Buck
Balmex Diaper Rash Cream
Diaper Rash Cream
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Simple Yet Solid
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Our baby expert approves this cream that works well for treating and preventing diaper rash and comes at a great price.


Smooth cream is easy to apply and remove. Protects against wetness and chaffing and works quickly to soothe and relieve discomfort. Made with nourishing ingredients including vitamins and botanicals.


Some aren’t fond of the smell.

Burt's Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment
Burt's Bees
Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment
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Natural Relief
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It's a good choice if you prefer all-natural products, but it costs significantly more than other products and doesn't necessarily work any better.


100% natural with zinc oxide and soothing plant-based oils. Gentle on sensitive skin. Not tested on animals. Light, pleasant scent. Nourishes and conditions skin while adding a protective layer from moisture.


Expensive considering you only get 3 oz. for the price. Some complaints of a change in the formula that isn't as effective as it once was.

Boudreaux's Original Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment
Original Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment
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Treats and Prevents
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A thick cream in a convenient flip-top jar. If your child has sensitive skin, however, you may want to look elsewhere.


Thick consistency w/zinc oxide and a light scent. Convenient flip-top lid. You get a lot (16 oz.) for the price. Relieves discomfort quickly and adds lasting protection.


A few reports of dried-out product upon purchase. May not be effective for all rashes/skin types.

Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Skin Protectant
Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment Skin Protectant
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Customer Favorite
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A great formula for active rashes and lasting protection from moisture that our baby expert also uses in the NICU.


Effective for treating and preventing diaper rash, but also useful for other needs such as chapped skin from teething and drool rash. Can be used with every diaper change for prevention. Preservative and fragrance-free.


The oily consistency bothers some and can leave stains on clothing.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

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Buying guide for Best diaper rash creams

Diaper rash is an unfortunate condition that affects most babies at one time or another. Little ones feel discomfort when these rashes are frequent or severe, which in turn causes worry for parents and caregivers. Soothing and even preventing these irritations will make babies feel better. That’s where a diaper rash cream comes in. 

While a wet or soiled diaper is a key reason babies develop diaper rash, other causes can contribute to this affliction. Diapers and other articles of clothing that rub and chafe, sensitive skin and allergies to product ingredients, new or allergy-inducing foods, infections and antibiotics can all lead to diaper rash. The good news is that a diaper rash treatment can create a protective barrier that helps to prevent or heal these rashes. 

Zinc oxide is the main ingredient in most diaper rash creams that forms a protective layer between the skin and irritants. It also prevents rash-causing moisture from coming into contact with the skin. Many products are also formulated with vitamins, beeswax, shea butter and other plant-based oils and ingredients that help an existing irritation heal. 

Cream, ointment and paste are the three main forms of diaper rash products. Options like our top picks Desitin Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream and Balmex Diaper Rash Cream soothe the skin once applied and work to prevent aggravating factors from leading to rashes. The best diaper rash cream for your child depends on factors like sensitivities, frequency of rashes and whether they need treatment, prevention or both. 

Expert tip
Don’t try to remove all of the diaper cream during every change. That may cause more irritation.
BestReviews Baby and Child Expert

Diaper rash creams

Desitin Daily Defense Diaper Rash Cream

Made by a brand that has been trusted by parents for generations, this fragrance-free diaper rash cream is formulated with 13% zinc oxide for a fast-acting, long-lasting barrier that does a great job of protecting and healing delicate baby skin. You only need a small amount for an effective treatment that begins healing irritation and protecting skin as soon as it’s applied. This cream is also free of phthalates, parabens or dyes, and it has been tested by dermatologists and pediatricians. These features have made it a product that’s highly recommended by professionals.

Balmex Diaper Rash Cream 

This pediatrician-recommended cream is effective at creating a barrier that keeps moisture away from babies’ skin. When used to heal an existing diaper rash, it typically begins to reduce redness and heal skin within a few hours of application. In addition to 11.3% zinc oxide, it’s made with beeswax, vitamin E, amino acids and plant-based ingredients that nourish and protect. The gentle formula goes on smoothly and wipes or washes off just as easily during diaper changes or bath time.

Burt’s Bees Baby Bee 100% Natural Diaper Rash Ointment 

Parents who prefer to use natural products will love that this Burt’s Bees ointment is 100% natural. Made with 40% zinc oxide, it creates a reliable skin-protecting barrier that keeps babies’ skin free of irritation. When a rash is present, it promotes fast healing thanks to the addition of jojoba seed oil, shea butter and lavender oil. Equally as important as these nourishing ingredients are the additives that it doesn’t contain: this ointment is free of SLS, parabens, petrolatum or phthalates. It’s also made without animal testing, which appeals to pet-loving parents. 

Boudreaux’s Original Butt Paste Diaper Rash Ointment

Once applied, you can count on Boudreaux’s Butt Paste to ease the discomfort of diaper rash irritation within minutes thanks to a soothing formula that contains 16% zinc oxide. Pediatricians recommend this product for mild rashes. Because the consistency is thick, it doesn’t require a lot of product to get results. The fact that it doesn’t contain dyes, parabens, preservatives or talc adds to the peace of mind many parents need when selecting products. We also like the flip-top lid that makes it easy to access and use. 

Aquaphor Baby Advanced Therapy Healing Ointment

Aquaphor diaper rash cream comes in an ointment form that’s made to moisturize dry, chapped skin while locking out moisture that can worsen irritation. The hypoallergenic product is recommended by pediatricians for a variety of skin issues that babies are prone to developing, including rashes around the mouth from drooling and teething. The creamy consistency is lightweight and easy to apply. This fragrance-free ointment doesn’t leave behind a white residue or contain preservatives.

Nivagen Zinc Oxide Ointment

This 20% zinc oxide ointment treats irritation while producing a moisture-proof barrier that protects delicate skin. The rich formula is easy to rub on the skin, yet it is also easy to wipe off without leaving a residue. It’s a protective product that’s made without harsh additives such as dyes, parabens, talc or phthalates that can cause irritation or an allergic reaction. Parents can feel confident about using it as a treatment or preventative.

Triple Paste Diaper Rash Cream 

Formulated with 12.8% zinc oxide, corn starch, botanicals and beeswax, Triple Paste gets its name from its ability to protect baby’s skin, treat irritation and soothe rashes. In addition to being hypoallergenic, this gentle cream doesn’t contain talc, parabens, dyes, phthalates, fragrance or preservatives. Like similar products, it’s also recommended by pediatricians for being effective and suitable for babies’ delicate skin.

Desitin Maximum Strength Diaper Rash Paste

For babies who have a major diaper rash with redness and irritation, Desitin makes a maximum-strength product that contains powerful 40% zinc oxide. It comes in a paste form that creates a thick barrier over the skin to keep moisture away while it helps rashes heal. It’s hypoallergenic and free from dyes, phthalates or parabens. The fast-working paste is recommended by pediatricians and is ideal for nighttime use when protection is needed most. 

Baby Butz Diaper Rash Cream

If you want a diaper rash cream that’s made of natural ingredients and a high percentage of zinc oxide, this product is worth considering. The cream is gentle yet offers an extra-strength formula with 30% zinc oxide that makes it suitable for mild, moderate and severe diaper rash. It calms irritated skin upon contact and provides long-lasting protection from wet diapers and other irritants. 

Maty’s All Natural Baby Diaper Rash Relief

Maty’s diaper rash treatment is an all-natural option that uses multiple botanicals and plant-based oils to ease the discomfort of diaper rash. It also contains 1% zinc oxide to help keep moisture from aggravating skin. While it’s not the best pick for moderate to severe rashes, it is an excellent choice for mild irritation and to prevent rashes from occurring in the first place. Parents also love that it's made without parabens, hydrogenated oils, artificial fragrances or petroleum. 

The Honest Company Diaper Rash Cream

For parents who want a natural diaper rash cream, this is another quality product that’s made without harsh ingredients. It’s free of artificial fragrances, lanolin, petrolatum, silicone, parabens, PEGs or mineral oil, all additives that can cause irritation on a baby’s skin. It’s a gentle cream that’s made with organic plant-based ingredients that nourish the skin and hasten the healing process when rashes are present. A hint of zinc oxide produces a protective barrier. It’s also cruelty-free. 

What causes diaper rash?

Babies have naturally delicate skin, and diaper rash can occur for several reasons. Understanding why and when these rashes happen can help you manage and prevent breakouts. Although most diaper rashes can be attributed to one or more of the following causes, severe cases or those that just won't clear up should be treated by a medical practitioner.

Wet or soiled diapers: Prolonged exposure to moisture breaks down the skin’s protective barrier, leaving it vulnerable to irritation. Adding stool to the mix spells double trouble, because digestive enzymes cause urine to release skin-damaging ammonia.

Chafing and rubbing: Repetitive rubbing caused by ill-fitting clothing or diapers can cause irritation over time.

Sensitivities and allergies: Babies with sensitive skin or allergies frequently develop a rash when introduced to a new skincare or diapering product. If you suspect that your little one has sensitive skin, pay careful attention to skin changes when introducing new wipes, disposable diapers, lotions, soaps, powders, oils, etc. Fragrance, chemicals and preservatives are all common culprits.

New foods: Unfamiliar foods can affect the texture and composition of the stool. In particular, acidic foods like tomato and citrus are known to cause irritation. However, if your little one has a food allergy, they can have a reaction to other foods as well.

Yeast and bacterial infections: Yeast and bacteria thrive in warm, moist conditions. Diapers provide the ideal environment for these infections to take hold. These rashes often appear in skin creases and folds and may require a doctor-prescribed antifungal or antibacterial cream.

Antibiotics: These medicines kill all bacteria, including the good kind that regulate yeast. This allows yeast to multiply and spread unhindered. Most babies taking a course of antibiotics also experience diarrhea, which can result in irritation and diaper rash.

How diaper rash creams work

Diaper rash creams for babies form a protective barrier between your baby’s skin and any potential irritants. Although individual formulations vary from cream to cream, most achieve this through the inclusion of zinc oxide and/or petrolatum. Zinc oxide concentrations generally range from 10% to 40%, with higher levels resulting in a thicker consistency and improved moisture protection. The best diaper rash creams are often enriched with ingredients like aloe vera, calendula, beeswax and shea butter to soothe and nourish irritated skin.

Types of diaper rash creams

The term “diaper rash cream” is broadly used to describe any soothing salve that is applied to a baby's bottom. However, not all diaper rash treatments are creams, and different consistencies serve different purposes.


These tend to be thinner and easier to spread. Creams provide soothing protection, but some are formulated with a higher ratio of water to oil and may not form a long-lasting barrier between irritants and your baby’s bottom. However, they are breathable and don’t leave behind a residue as some thicker formulas have a tendency to do.

Keep in mind that the term “cream” is often used interchangeably for products that many also fall into the ointment or paste category. Therefore, you can count on a quality cream by a trusted brand to provide a protective barrier for your baby’s fragile skin. 


Ointments contain more oil and usually have occlusive ingredients, such as petrolatum, that form a protective layer over vulnerable skin. Ointments have a thicker consistency than creams, but most of them spread quite well thanks to the oily base. They are also long-lasting and lock in moisture to prevent skin from becoming too dry. However, they usually wash off easily without leaving behind a residue. 


When your baby’s skin needs heavy-duty care and protection, a diaper rash paste is the way to go. Pastes are thick and formulated to create an impenetrable fortress of nourishing and protective ingredients to protect severely damaged skin. Some are only available by prescription. The downsides to pastes are that they can be difficult to spread and remove. They may also stain cloth diapers

Expert tip
Change babies often to avoid diaper rash in the first place. 
BestReviews Baby and Child Expert

Diaper rash cream factors to consider

Prevention vs. cure

Lightweight, breathable creams work well as a preventive measure and can provide just the right level of protection to keep normal skin supple and healthy. However, bouts of diarrhea, infrequent diaper changes and skin sensitivities increase the risk of a baby developing a diaper rash. In cases like these, it’s wiser to use a thicker cream that offers a stronger barrier against moisture and other irritants.

If your little one already has a diaper rash, immediate pain relief is likely to be your number one priority. An ointment or paste with a soothing ingredient like aloe vera or calendula offers both protection and comfort.

Additional ingredients

Many diaper rash creams contain added ingredients to further combat irritation, nourish depleted skin and promote faster healing. Some beneficial additives to be on the lookout for include the following:

  • Aloe: Boasts natural anti-inflammatory properties with cooling action that reduces burning and stinging
  • Calendula: Soothes pain and inflammation
  • Beeswax: Contains natural antibacterial properties and speeds recovery
  • Shea butter: Offers natural hydration and is high in vitamin E
  • Coconut oil: Provides nourishing antibacterial action
  • Vitamin B5: Hydrates, soothes and stimulates healing
  • Vitamin E: Supports new cell growth and promotes skin regeneration


Q. How much does diaper rash cream cost? 

A. Given the fact that dealing with diaper rash is part and parcel of having a baby, it’s good to know that most diaper rash creams are reasonably priced. On average, you can expect to pay $4 to $20. A 4-ounce tube costs $4 to $10, while a 16-ounce tub costs $10 to $20. All-natural organic formulations tend to be more expensive: a 4-ounce tube costs between $10 and $15. 

Q. How often should I apply diaper rash cream?

A. Using a diaper rash cream on a daily basis will ensure that your baby’s skin is protected at all times. Whether used as a preventive measure or to treat an existing rash, it’s best to reapply at every diaper change. However, if your baby’s skin isn’t prone to irritation or you’re unable to apply diaper rash cream throughout the day, applying a generous layer at night may be sufficient.

Q. Do I need to completely wipe off previous applications at each diaper change?

A. Since diaper rash creams are designed to repel moisture, they can be difficult to wipe off. Vigorous rubbing will only irritate vulnerable skin further, and removing all traces of diaper rash cream is unnecessary. When changing your baby, gently clean the area, taking care to remove all excrement. Dab away excess moisture and allow skin to air-dry before applying another layer of diaper rash cream.

Q. What can I do if the diaper rash cream doesn't work?

A. If your baby has a persistent rash and creams don’t seem to work, you might be dealing with a fungal or bacterial infection. Signs of infection typically include fever, blisters and pus. A doctor will be able to determine the nature of the rash and prescribe a suitable treatment. It’s important to get a proper diagnosis from a medical professional. Over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams and topical antibiotics can contain ingredients that are harmful to babies and should never be used without a doctor’s approval.