Do Cloth Diapers Prevent Diaper Rash?
My hunch is that cloth diapers are less likely to cause diaper rash than are disposables because cotton is more breathable than plastic, but I haven’t found studies to support this idea.
Note: If you are using cloth diapers, you’ll want to avoid any diaper rash cream that contains zinc, as it can build up in the diaper and render it less effective. I’ve indicated below which rash treatments have zinc.
My Pick for Best Organic Diaper Rash Cream
I’ve compiled a long list of customer emails from thrilled parents who have tried Green Goo’s Baby Balm. It’s hard to find a natural, organic diaper cream that does the trick, but this one does. It also has the safest list of ingredients of any of the Good Stuff brands.
Coconut as Cure-All
I tend to think of coconut oil as a reasonable first-try cure for most ailments, and diaper rash is no exception. Try smearing a little on your baby’s bottom with a Q-tip.
If you want a rash treatment more tailored for tushies, Check out the Good Stuff below.
The Good Stuff: Organic Diaper Cream
This popular diaper cream relies on beeswax, watercress, and vitamin E to soothe sore bums and create a moisture barrier. This cream contains contain zinc oxide, but Babo founder Kate Solomon says they have tested the cream on cloth diapers and it rinsed out completely, leaving no residue.
How to Get this Organic Diaper Cream: We now offer Babo in our online store, where you’ll pay $13 for a 3-ounce tube.
Babo also makes a Healing Baby Ointment that works well as a diaper cream.
We love pretty much everything Earth Mama, and this diaper balm is no exception. This new version is 100% organic and cloth-diaper safe.
How to Get this Organic Diaper Cream: Our store, where you’ll pay $13 for a 2-ounce tub.
California Baby Diaper Rash Cream scores a 2 on EWG’s Skin Deep database because it contains lanolin (the others on this list all score a zero if they have been reviewed by EWG.) All the other ingredients in this organic diaper cream are safe, and it’s a long list of them—everything from tea tree oil to wild pansy extract. I am including it here for those of you who are okay with lanolin, which is effective in serious cases of diaper rash. CONTAINS ZINC (which will ruin cloth diapers).
How to Get This Organic Diaper Cream: Amazon. You’ll pay about $18 for a 2.9-ounce tube.
Made Of’s Organic Diaper Rash Cream uses non-nano zinc oxide to create a protective moisture barrier, and organic soothers like avocado and argan oils to heal irritated skin.
Miessence makes a Baby Bottom Mist that contains many of the same ingredients as the Kimberly Parry cream. It’s also expensive ($18 for an ounce), but I like that it is sprayed on, sparing sore tushies further abrasion.
How to Get: Online, where you’ll pay $18 for a 1-ounce bottle.
Sierra Sage Baby Balm is free of lanolin and all ingredients are organic (including olive oil, calendula, beeswax, and chamomile). This balm doubles as a cradle cap and dry skin treatment, and we have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback, with more than one customer calling it a “miracle” product.
How to Get This Organic Diaper Cream: Gimme the Good Stuff’s online store. You’ll pay $13 for 2 ounces of this cloth-diaper safe cream.
Beautycounter recently added Calming Diaper Rash Cream to their lineup of safe baby products. The primary healer here is non-nano zinc, and the formula also contains natural soothers like jojoba and shea.
Like other Poofy products, their Happy Tush diaper balm contains organic apricot oil and lots of cocoa and shea butters. Fans say that you can use it on eczema, too. (Poofy also makes a Tush Stick that’s safe for cloth diapers).
Badger makes a great zinc everyday diaper cream for preventing diaper rash before it begins, or treating it once it’s started.
The Bad Stuff
Palmer’s Diaper Rash Cream and Bottom Butter, including the cocoa butter formulation, contains fragrance, but aluminum starch octenylsuccinate is a bigger concern (it’s linked to developmental, reproductive, organ system, and neural toxicity). Palmer’s products also contain many of the usual suspects, such as parabens.
Boudreaux’s Butt Paste is made almost entirely of petroleum derivatives, including paraffin, petrolatum, and mineral oil.
The Sneaky Stuff
Avalon Organics makes a diaper balm that contains retinyl palmitate (linked with cancer and reproductive toxicity).
What a disappointment to those of us who forever trusted Weleda to learn that their Calendula Diaper Care contains a handful of toxic ingredients (like limonene and geraniol, along with lanolin), and is rated a 4 out of 10 (“moderately hazardous”) on Skin Deep.
Note: Weleda sent me free diaper cream to review. I don’t know if I need to disclose this since I’m giving them a bad review, but I’m covering my butt! Hehe.