In Depth Baby Product Reviews Led by a Pediatrician

The 5 Best Diaper Creams

We tested diaper creams from Weleda, Honest Co., Motherlove, and more to find the very best available
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The Best Diaper Cream
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our Top Picks

By Molly Bradac ⋅ Senior Review Editor
Tuesday February 28, 2023

Is your baby experiencing trouble with diaper rash? We've got you covered! Our review ranks this year's top 10 diaper creams. After conducting exhaustive research, we selected the most popular and well-loved products for hands-on testing and a side-by-side comparison to determine the best. Quick relief is essential since a diaper rash creates a fiery and sore bum that is no fun for babies or parents. We consider a great product to be effective and contain no concerning ingredients (you should feel good about what you're using on your baby's sweet cheeks). We also appreciate a product that is easy to use. We considered these factors and more when evaluating the lineup. Whether you use cloth diapers or disposables, let our recommendations help you find a product that meets your needs and budget so you can keep your little one's buns happy and rash-free.

Diapering your baby will require specific gear, such as the best diaper pails that contain stink to the best diaper bags that are functional and help carry baby's items. Our diaper gear list can help you create a well-stocked changing station to streamline diaper duty. We've also extensively tested an assortment of diapers over the years, and the the best diapers review provides the details you need to select the best and return to spending time with your baby.

Editor's Note: We updated our diaper cream review on February 28, 2023, with an eye for product availability for accurate pricing.


Best Overall Diaper Cream

Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream

Quantity: 2.8 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Contains no petrolatum
Natural ingredients
Metal tube

The Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream relieves little red bottoms. Compared to others, this product is a favorite; we've even used it on our babies over the years. The formula combines zinc oxide (12%) and other natural inactive ingredients, including beeswax, calendula flower extract, sweet almond oil, and other skin-friendly ingredients. The cream is easy to smear and leaves a breathable and protective lining on babies' skin that offers soothing properties to help sensitive, dry skin heal. With no petrolatum, synthetic fragrances, and preservatives listed, this product uses no ingredients that concern us, and it is one we feel good about using on our little ones' bums.

The cream has a pleasant yet unique scent that not everyone will fancy but is mild. Also, we observed a drawback with the product's packaging: a metal tube. Frequent bending can cause the metal to weaken and split over time, resulting in cream escaping, especially when squeezed. If this happens, it can make a mess, which is something to be aware of when using this product. That said, we highly recommend this cream to family and friends, and from our experience, we believe it helps treat diaper rashes.

best overall diaper cream
The Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream is free of petroleum and effective at healing irritated red bottoms.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Best Diaper Balm with Few Ingredients

Motherlove Diaper Balm

Quantity: 2 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: Yes
Petrolatum and zinc free
May stain fabric
Small quantity

The Motherlove Diaper Balm will soothe and moisturize your baby's bum with a few ingredients: extra virgin olive oil, beeswax, Oregon grape root, myrrh gum, yarrow herb, and calendula flower. This formula is free of zinc oxide and petrolatum, making it suitable for cloth diapering families. Also, it does not contain soy, gluten, or parabens if you avoid these ingredients. The balm has an earthy scent, and while testing, we noticed that a little goes a long way to create a thin barrier on delicate skin. It also comes in a glass jar, a welcoming alternative to plastic and a perk that may interest families who aim to limit plastic.

As an oil-based product, it might stain fabric. Also, the cream's cost versus quantity is a factor to consider. Despite these minor drawbacks, this antibacterial and antifungal product can be used as a preventative measure or is combat-ready to treat a diaper rash. We think this product is worth considering if you prefer a product with few ingredients, plus one without zinc and petroleum for cloth diapering.

diaper cream - best diaper balm with few ingredients
The Motherlove Diaper Balm is cloth-safe and has few ingredients. We think it is effective as an everyday preventative or to combat a diaper rash.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Best for a Tight Budget

A+D Zinc Oxide Cream

Quantity: 4 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Petrolatum, paraben, and dye free
Includes fragrance

Need a budget-friendly solution for your little one's diaper rash? The A+D Zinc Oxide Cream is the best value-priced option in our lineup. This cream uses two active ingredients, zinc oxide (10%) and dimethicone (1%), to protect your baby's skin and seal out wetness, and while testing, we think this cream achieves this feat effectively. The formula also contains moisturizing ingredients like aloe and coconut oil to help soothe and calm skin. This product is free of parabens and dyes. We appreciate that petrolatum is not an ingredient and think the scent is charming.

The inactive ingredient list includes the term "fragrance" yet does not reveal what that involves. We value labeling transparency, especially since this product will be on your baby's skin. However, if you can excuse this drawback, we recommend this product to families that seek an effective cream at a low price.

diaper cream - best for a tight budget
The A+D Zinc Oxide Cream can effectively treat diaper rashes and is best for those on a tight budget.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tip: A+D now has a new look, so packaging may vary from what you see here.


Our Favorite for Severe Rashes

Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength

Quantity: 14 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
The high content of zinc oxide (40%)
Contains petrolatum
Max strength is possibly too much as a daily cream

If you need to bring out the big guns to treat your baby's fiery bum, the Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength is one to consider as it contains a high quantity of zinc oxide (a whopping 40% - the highest amount among the competition). This formula is free from dyes, parabens, preservatives, and talc. We think the cream's consistency is thicker, and a little goes a long way. To tackle severe diaper rashes, we noticed that an application before bedtime helps protect bums, especially from wetness, as diaper changes can be less frequent overnight than during the day.

The formula uses ingredients that may cause repelling issues and inhibit the absorption of cloth diapers, and this list includes zinc oxide, mineral oil, paraffin, and petrolatum. Therefore, we believe this cream is not cloth diaper compatible. However, this issue should not be a problem if you use disposables. Also, as a max-strength cream, it uses a high amount of zinc oxide, which can help treat and reduce a severe diaper rash. But, as a preventative measure, it may be overkill. With that said, we recommend this cream for moderate to painful diaper rashes that need relief.

diaper cream - our favorite for severe rashes
The Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength has a high volume of zinc oxide, which can be helpful for severe diaper rashes, but overkill as an everyday or regular preventative measure.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Best Organic Diaper Balm

Earth Mama Diaper Balm

Quantity: 2 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: Yes
Free of zinc, petrolatum, lanolin, & parabens
Stronger scent

The Earth Mama Diaper Balm is a green, mean, rash-fighting machine. Yes, this salve-like product is green-colored, but don't let that be a turn-off. This formula is free of zinc, petroleum, lanolin, and parabens, making it a cloth-safe option. It has a more intense yet pleasant scent - with lavender and tea tree notes. We noticed a thin coating of this salve helps encourage healing, making it a helpful diaper rash preventative when you first see signs of a diaper rash.

With any flower or leaf oil, such as lavender and tea tree, the possibility of an allergic reaction increases, so we suggest spot testing before applying liberally to your baby's skin. Also, this product doubles as a skin salve, making it versatile. We recommend this slightly more aromatic balm as a diaper rash preventative for cloth and disposable diapering families.

diaper cream - best organic diaper balm
The Earth Mama Diaper Balm is green in color and has a stronger, yet pleasant scent. In our opinion, this product is helpful as an everyday preventative or when the first signs of a diaper rash appear.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Quality at a Reasonable Price

Honest Company Diaper Cream

Quantity: 2.5 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Contains zinc
Free of petrolatum & lanolin
May stain

Consider the Honest Company Diaper Cream if you're looking for a reliable product at an affordable price. This cream contains non-nano zinc oxide (14%) to create a protective barrier on delicate skin and promote the healing of skin irritations. The formula utilizes moisturizing ingredients to soothe skin, including shea butter, jojoba, tamanu, olive oil, and coconut oil. This formula is free of petrolatum, silicones, mineral oil, lanolin, PEGs, and parabens.

The packaging states it will stain, and we did experience this during testing. However, if you use disposable diapers, we consider the staining not to be a big deal. We appreciate the Honest Company's label transparency. If you feel similarly and dig the cream's price point for a petroleum-free product, we recommend using it to treat your little one's diaper rash.

diaper cream - the honest company diaper cream offers label transparency and a...
The Honest Company Diaper Cream offers label transparency and a decent price point that may appeal to price-conscious families.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

If a cream's potential to stain is a concern, placing a temporary layer of fabric under your baby when changing diapers to protect the changing pad cover can help. Also, use a disposable wipe or paper towel to clean the cream off your hand instead of a beloved hand towel.


Best Option for Avoiding Messy Hands

GroVia Natural Magic Stick

Quantity: 2 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: Yes
No mess applicator
No zinc or petrolatum
One stick per child

If you don't like to get your hands messy, the GroVia Natural Magic Stick may be an appealing option. The product features a twist-off cap, and twisting the bottom, similar to Chapstick, pushes the balm up. The balm's scent is pleasant thanks to various oils, such as lavender, rosehip, calendula, and tea tree. This product is petroleum and zinc-free, making it compatible with the best cloth diapers. We think the balm glides on smoothly and leaves skin moisturized. Plus, the no-mess applicator is easy to use.

Since the stick touches the skin, it is best not to share this product. Therefore, if you have more than one child in diapers, you must purchase individual sticks for each child. Luckily, the product's label provides space to write a child's name, which we think is handy. From our experience, we think this balm is most suitable as a diaper rash preventative and recommend it to families who like the idea of a no-mess applicator.

diaper cream - the grovia natural magic stick is a great option for cloth diapering...
The GroVia Natural Magic Stick is a great option for cloth diapering families, plus it comes in a no-mess applicator, which is convenient.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tip: We are concerned about the potential of bacterial growth on this product. We recommend frequently checking this stick for any unusual color or smell and possibly replacing it, even if it hasn't been used yet.


Best Fragrance-Free Product

Triple Paste Ointment

Quantity: 16 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Flip-top lid
Contains petrolatum

The Triple Paste Ointment is a fragrance-free product, reducing the potential for fragrance irritations. While testing, we experienced this product containing zinc oxide (12.8%) to help treat a severe diaper rash. We appreciate the flip-top lid, which is easy to open with one hand, especially when juggling a wiggly, impatient baby.

Reviewing the ingredients, we feel this product is incompatible with cloth diapers; zinc oxide and petrolatum can contribute to fiber buildup, causing leakage. The cost is also a factor to consider, but we believe the quantity will last a while. So, if you seek a fragrance-free cream, use disposable diapers, and don't mind the expense, we think this product is effective.

diaper cream - the triple paste ointment is fragrance-free and effective at...
The Triple Paste Ointment is fragrance-free and effective at treating diaper rashes.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Good Zinc-Free Option

A+D Original Ointment

Quantity: 4 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Effectively creates a barrier
Easy to smear
Contains petrolatum & fragrance

If you seek a product that leaves a protective and preventative barrier on a baby's bum plus does not contain zinc oxide, the A+D Original Ointment may fit your needs. This product is easy to smear and efficient at creating a barrier against wetness on a baby's tush.

We feel this option has a strong scent, and the twist lid is a two-hand operation. The formula includes the ingredient "fragrance." Since manufacturers aren't required to disclose ingredients, hundreds of chemicals can hide behind this term. We value company transparency; if you feel similarly, you may want to look elsewhere. Also, we don't recommend this product for cloth diapering families, given the ingredients, like petroleum, mineral oil, and paraffin. However, if you don't mind the heavier scent or "fragrance" ingredient, mainly because you seek a zinc-free product, you may find this product suitable for your needs.

diaper cream - the a+d original ointment is a zinc-free product that has a stronger...
The A+D Original Ointment is a zinc-free product that has a stronger scent.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Potential Skin Protection

Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment

Quantity: 14 oz | Cloth Diaper Compatible: No
Creates a good protective barrier
Contains petrolatum
Not cloth diaper compatible

The Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a multi-purposeful and versatile product healing various skin irritations, from chapped skin to diaper rashes. This ointment is nearly transparent and applies easily, creating a protective barrier on our tester's skin, effectively keeping out wetness.

Petroleum and mineral oil can clog fibers, so this product may not work for cloth diapering families. Although this product may help your baby's diaper rash, petroleum is not our favorite ingredient. With access to other products with better ingredients for babies, we suggest selecting one of those options before Aquaphor. However, if this product heals your baby's diaper rash and you are okay with using petroleum, go ahead.

diaper cream - aquaphor baby healing ointment is a versatile product that will...
Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment is a versatile product that will create a barrier on baby's skin.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Tip: Diaper rashes can emerge due to multiple reasons, like diaper friction, irritants (stool, urine, wipes, detergents, etc.), or allergens (introducing new foods into the baby's diet). Creams provide a protective barrier on your baby's skin and can treat a moderate to severe rash. However, if a baby's diaper rash worsens or seems persistent, we suggest discussing it with your pediatrician. Sometimes yeast may be a culprit, which thrives in warm, moist areas and will need appropriate therapy.

diaper cream - each product in our review was purchased and experienced hands-on...
Each product in our review was purchased and experienced hands-on testing.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Why You Should Trust Us

We researched and considered a variety of diaper creams, including popular options, those with fewer ingredients, and more organic options. We chose creams to test best on user reports and tested them side-by-side with real diapered tushies. We smeared, smelled, felt, and applied all creams for months and assessed their ability to keep rashes at bay or help them heal.

BabyGearLab has been testing baby gear over the past decade. We purchase every product and complete hands-on testing and side-by-side comparisons to determine which competitors are real standouts in their categories. Leading this review is Molly Bradac, Senior Review Editor, Nanny, and Newborn Care Specialist, holding over 14 years of experience. Between countless diaper changes, using several diaper creams and ointments, and experience with cloth diapers, Molly has expert recommendations to help you find a product that will be a great addition to your diapering routine.

The Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength is on the thicker side, yet...
The Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength is on the thicker side, yet easy to smear.
The Triple Paste Ointment is mildly thick in consistency.
The Triple Paste Ointment is mildly thick in consistency.

Analysis and Test Results

In our review, each diaper cream was smeared, smelled, touched, and applied countless times to compare performance.

diaper cream - we prefer flip-top products as they are easy to use one-handed.
We prefer flip-top products as they are easy to use one-handed.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Ease to Use

It can be tricky to juggle diaper changes with a wiggly, fussy baby whose bum isn't feeling great. We suggest selecting an easy-to-open product, like the Triple Paste Ointment, with a manageable flip-top lid to operate with one hand. Also, the no-mess applicator seen on the GroVia Natural Magic Stick is another practical option as it avoids using your finger to smear cream. Other contenders in our review sport a twist top, such as the A+D Original Ointment and the Weleda Calendula Diaper Rash Cream, requiring two hands to open. We do not think a product's lid is a deal-breaker. Still, it's a factor, especially for on-the-go diaper changes in less sanitary and convenient locations like public restrooms.

diaper cream - we suggest paying attention to ingredients and recommend selecting a...
We suggest paying attention to ingredients and recommend selecting a product that is safe for baby's skin.
Credit: Abriah Wofford


Petrolatum is an active ingredient often found in diaper creams because it provides an efficient skin barrier without obstructing the baby's skin. Petrolatum is a byproduct of the petroleum refining process, and if properly refined, petroleum has no known health concerns. So, what's the fuss? The Environmental Working Group found in their study of skin care products that a significant percentage of petroleum-based products contained impurities that potentially include known carcinogens (like polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons [PAHs]). Products in our review that use petrolatum include Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment, Triple Paste Ointment, and A+D Original Ointment. The "Campaign for Safe Cosmetics" advises checking to see if "…the company indicates petrolatum is fully refined as white petrolatum (on the label or their company website)" before you use a product containing petrolatum.

Contenders that don't contain petrolatum include Motherlove Diaper Balm, Earth Mama Diaper Balm, Honest Company Diaper Cream, and the GroVia Natural Magic Stick. These top contenders get the job done without petrolatum. Which option you choose depends on your goals and concerns about petrolatum; while the jury might still be out on the potential for harm, we like the idea of limiting exposure to potentially harmful chemicals whenever possible.

Zinc oxide is another common active ingredient as it has shown to provide skin protection and treat irritations. Generally, zinc oxide is tolerated among babies and potentially does not carry significant health concerns when topically applied. However, we suggest spot testing before coating your little one's bum, which is good practice for any product.

We prefer to use natural plant ingredients on babies' bottoms and think those products are worthwhile; try one with petroleum if they don't work.

diaper cream - not all products in our review are cloth-safe, but products that are...
Not all products in our review are cloth-safe, but products that are compatible with cloth will work on disposable diapers, too.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Disposable vs. Cloth Diapers

It is essential to select a product that works for your diapering choice. Disposable diapers will accept any diaper cream, whereas cloth diapers require cloth-safe products. Some ingredients, like petrolatum, zinc oxide, mineral oil, and paraffin, can be problematic and inhibit absorption. Honestly, who wants to deal with leakage? These ingredients can also be challenging to remove from cloth fibers. Products in our review that contain one or more of these ingredients include Boudreaux's Butt Paste Max Strength, Aquaphor Baby Healing Ointment, Triple Paste Ointment, and A+D Original Ointment. But, if you use cloth diapers and your baby needs a diaper cream containing one of these ingredients, a helpful solution is to use a thick, reusable liner to protect the fabric.

As for cloth-safe diaper creams in our review, the Motherlove Diaper Balm, Earth Mama Diaper Balm, and GroVia Natural Magic Stick fit this profile. These products may interest families using a hybrid diapering and disposable cloth program.

Tip: Naked time without a diaper can work wonders to soothe a rashy tushie. When possible, lay your baby on a towel or spend time without a diaper. Allowing air to circulate and dry the area is one of the best natural solutions for diaper rashes.

diaper cream - babies will experience a diaper rash at some point, and we recommend...
Babies will experience a diaper rash at some point, and we recommend trying a few to see what works best for your baby.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff


There are many diaper rash causes that can create an uncomfortable red bum for your little one. Using a great cream can offer relief and start them down the path to healing. However, not all diaper creams are created equal, and what works well for one baby may not work as well for another. Therefore, trying a few products to find the best option that meets your diapering needs is essential. We are confident that our expert recommendations will help you find the right option for your needs.

Molly Bradac

Honest, objective reviews. Led by a Pediatrician.

BabyGearLab was founded by a Pediatrician Mom with a mission to provide a reliable, independent, source of information to new parents. Our experts have tested thousands of baby and kids products to share key performance, health, and safety findings. We spend tens of thousands of dollars crash testing car seats to inform our ratings. And, we combine our review work with gobs of expert parenting advice. To assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing by people who care.

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