I have always been a huge fan of Desitin, well, since becoming a parent three years ago, that is. That stuff just plain WORKS. We started off using Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, but stopped when it failed to take care of a serious diaper rash that Gabriel had. We switched to Desitin Advanced and haven’t looked back until recently as I’ve become much more educated about all the crazy chemicals that are in absolutely everything that isn’t a natural product, and even those you have to be careful with. So, when our last tub of Desitin ran out a week ago, I set out to make my own diaper rash cream that would have the same power as Desitin, but not be toxic AND work with our cloth diapers. Not only that, but it’s WAY cheaper to make it yourself!
Here’s the recipe and a free printable to stick onto the jar so you don’t have to look up the recipe again! When I first started making my own green products, I was intimidated by all the ingredients and how to buy them. Thankfully, I’ve found everything at Amazon and Mountain Rose Herbs, so it’s super easy to buy my ingredients and concoct my potions!
To print the label, either click on the Print Friendly button at the bottom of this post, or right-click on the label, choose “Save Image As” and choose a place to save it to your computer. Then, print it from your computer. Or, click here to download the document.
Speaking of which, I had no idea just how toxic Desitin actually is! Yikes, check out this report from the EWG’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database (one of my favorite resources for checking toxicity in beauty products). One of the ingredients, BHA, gets a score of 10 (the highest level of toxicity) and causes cancer, endocrine disruption, allergies, organ toxicity, etc. Desitin also contains a paraben, which is a preservative that mimics estrogen in the body and over time, builds up and can contribute to cancers like breast cancer (read more on parabens here). It’s overall score, on a scale from 1 to 10, is a 6. Too high for me to be introducing to my precious babies!
Before we get started, here’s a note about my beeswax. I bought mine on Amazon here for just $2.40 for 5 ounces. Each bar is an ounce so it’s very easy to measure out how much you need!
About Zinc Oxide
So, let’s get to the fun stuff. This recipe I’ve created is all organic, except the zinc oxide. That is the secret ingredient to this cream – it’s like flour as it thickens the oils and creates a thick paste that sticks to the skin and protects it. Now, according to the skin database, zinc oxide does have a small level of toxicity, a level 2, which I didn’t realize until after creating the paste. It is a low-level, so I’m not sure what I think about it. It comes from a naturally occurring mineral, zincite, but it is produced synthetically to create the zinc oxide. If you’d rather not have the zinc oxide, just remove it and add another ounce or two of beeswax to thicken it.
- 1 cup organic, raw unrefined shea butter (Buy at Mountain Rose Herbs and Amazon)
- 1/2 cup organic, raw coconut oil (Buy at Buy at Tropical Traditions (hand-made!) or Amazon)
- 1 tbsp. pastilles or bar
- For Disposable Diapers – 3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder
- For Cloth Diapers – 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder or cornstarch
- 2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine or aloe vera gel (optional, for added nutrients and skin protection)
How to Make It
In a double boiler (or just a small pan inside a larger pan) with water in the bottom of the larger pan, place the shea butter, beeswax, and coconut oil in the top pan and bring to a boil. Leave in the pan long enough to melt all the shea butter and beeswax (5 minutes or less).
Remove from the heat and place in the refrigerator for a few hours – one to two. The cooling step is a very important part of the emulsifying process and cannot be skipped!
Once cooled (it will be harder), scoop into your mixer. A hand mixer should work just fine, too. Then, add the 3 tbsp. of zinc oxide and the 2 tbsp. of optional vegetable glycerin and beat for 5 to 10 minutes. The beating lets oxygen circulate through the cream to fluff it up and thicken it.
Grayson just so happened to have a nasty rash as I was making this cream and after two applications, the rash dried up and healed. I’m so pleased with the way this turned out!