Homemade Diaper Rash Cream – Natural & Non-Toxic

Here is one homemade diaper rash cream that seriously works – and it’s 100% all natural, organic and pure luxury for sweet little bums.
Homemade Diaper Rash Cream - Non-Toxic and Natural
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!

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream Free Printable

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!

EWG's Skin Deep Cosmetics Database - Desitin

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!

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream - Made With Beeswax

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.

The Recipe

  • 1 cup organic, raw unrefined shea butter (where to buy)
  • 1/2 cup organic, raw coconut oil (where to buy hand-made, high quality coconut oil)
  • 5-10 drops Lavender Essential Oil and Roman Chamomile, or Tea Tree oil for a red tooshie, Gentle Baby would also soothe it (where to buy high quality essential oils)
  • 1 tbsp. beeswax pastilles (where to buy) or beeswax bars (where to buy)
  • For Disposable Diapers – 3 tbsp. zinc oxide powder (where to buy)
  • For Cloth Diapers – 3 tbsp. arrowroot powder (where to buy) or cornstarch (where to buy)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable glycerine (where to buy) or aloe vera gel (where to buy) (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).

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream - Step 1 - Melt all the ingredients

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.

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream - Step 2 - Pour from stove into mixing bowl

Homemade Diaper Rash Cream - Made With Shea Butter & Coconut Oil
It will look creamy and oily when you’re done, but after several hours it will thicken up A LOT. It’s just as thick as Desitin and way less toxic!

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!

To learn all there is to know about cloth diapers, see my Complete Cloth Diapering Guide.

How to Purchase High Quality Essential Oils through My Merry Messy Life

About Sara McFall

Sara is the owner and founder of My Merry Messy Life, which started in 2011 as a way to chronicle her journey to a natural, chemical-free lifestyle and to share her passions of mothering, real food, homeschooling and crochet. She is a mama to three precious and energetic little boys and wife to a university professor who loves to sing, dance ballet and ballroom, and live simply and naturally.


  1. Hi,
    I just made this tonight, using cornstarch instead of zinc oxide (only because I didn’t have zinc oxide)… It came out a great, creamy consistency, but when I got some on my hands, it’s insanely oily…as in it left a thick oily residue on my hands that was hard to wash off. Did you find it to be this oily too? I presume being that oily it would make a great waterproof barrier for bums, but is it hard to wash off and get off your hands after applying?

    • Yes! It is oily – that’s how natural lotions are. And that’s good – it helps to add that layer of protection on the bum. It takes a few minutes for my skin to absorb the lotion, but if it still lingers, I get it off with a washcloth or soap and water.

  2. I live in the caribbean and my mix changes texture extremely noticeable. At nights with the air conditioning in my sons room, hardens as cement and during the day liquids. What can I do?

    • Hi Zoe! Yes, that’s because the coconut oil liquifies at 72 degrees fahrenheit. So, I suggest either putting it in a dark, cool cabinet or in the refrigerator. You could also remove the coconut oil and replace it with cocoa butter instead. You’d have to make a new batch to do that, but you could keep your own batch, melt it down over the stove and add cocoa butter, then harden overnight or in the fridge. I’m not quite sure how much you’d need to add – it’d be an experiment!

  3. Hi Sara,
    I just wanted to share a trick that I’ve learned over the last 10 months cloth diapering my little one. We never had much trouble with diaper rash until he hit about 6-7 months and then he got a yeast rash that I couldn’t get rid of. I’d been using disposables at night and cloth during the day, and his rash would clear up overnight (as he slept in the same diaper for 10 hours) and then get worse and worse over the day (as I changed him every 2 hours or more often). I tried a number of different things but every time I put him in cloth the rash came back. Then something I read connected apple cider vinegar with helping clear up yeast infections. So I started soaking my cloth diapers overnight with a cup of ACV. Haven’t had a rash since. Maybe you’ve covered this somewhere on your blog and I just haven’t found that page yet 🙂 I thought it might be helpful to somebody. I use prefolds with a separate waterproof cover, so I can leave the covers out of the vinegar soak and throw them in when I do the wash cycle in the morning.

  4. Isabelle D says:

    thanks for the recipe. tried it but mine got too stiff. it is so hard and stiff that’s it’s hard to pick up with fingers. I think next I will use less or remove the bee’s wax but in the meantime any thought on what happened or how I can save this batch?

  5. Hi,

    Ive been using your recipe for 7 months with my son however i exclude the zinc & add the extra beeswax – how long should it store for? like an expiry once made?


    • Honestly, for me, it lasted two years! There really isn’t an expiration. If you notice any mold growing, then it would need to be tossed, but my homemade cream never got moldy!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Could this be stored in a squeeze tube?

  7. Hi…can you let me know how much one cup means in oz or ml? I am from Europe and not used with cups measurements. And i really want to make this for my little princess.
    thanks and cheers from Romania. 😉

  8. Amanda Kinsey says:

    This is the best diaper cream I have ever used. I will never go back to commercial, store bought brands. I’m so glad I found your recipe.

  9. I have been using this recipe for months now, and I am IN LOVE! It clears up any redness overnight, and we have not had a serious diaper rash since! Wish I had this 9 years ago with my first child!
    I store mine in the 3 oz Kitdine refillable silicone squeeze tubes (set of three containers) that I purchased from Amazon. I removed the inner seal that keeps the tubes leak free with scissors. This allows the cream to come out without any problem.

  10. How many oz this make

  11. Hi thanks for sharing. I don’t have access to bee wax and zinc oxide.what else can I use.I have got aloe vera gelly,shea butter and beta-carotene oil.
    Can this work?

    • I think that might help to soothe the bottom, but you’ll probably need more than that for it to really be effective. Can you order off of Amazon? Those are the links I have here in the post to make it easy to get the supplies.

  12. Christina says:

    I’ve tried a few different diaper ointments/creams over the past several months in an attempt to rid our son of a persistent rash, all in vain. This was my last effort before turning to strong commercial creams, & thankfully this worked! It took probably half a batch to completely fix it, but it started drying out after a few days’ worth of applications. I’ve just made my second batch. I’m very happy with this cream!

  13. Hi Sara,

    Thanks for some interesting insights around the recipe as well. I made somewhat similar recipe possibly with different portions of ingredients, which I don’t even remember. The solution seems little too thick and sticks to my finger and does not easily release to stick to baby bum in the morning time (60 degree). Whereas in the afternoon, solution seems thick enough in the bottle, but easily releases to stick to baby’s skin and seems thinner as if it’s releasing oils.
    I have purchased many natural diaper creams from Amazon with similar ingredients. They don’t face this weather / temperature problem in my home next to my cream.

    Would be able to help me figure out the reason why these professional creams with same ingredients don’t have the melting and thickening problem?

    Does everyone face it with DIY?

    • Hi there! Great questions – the ones that are manufactured and not DIY most likely contain ingredients that help to emulsify and add creaminess, ingredients that are hard to come by as an individual. Since you have a different climate than me, I’d suggest adding more almond oil to the recipe to loosen it up. I think you’ll just need to play with the recipe to get it work well for your climate.

  14. Hi, I use non-nano zinc oxide

  15. Are these safe for cloth diapers if I exclude the zinc oxide and aloe vera (using just the arrowroot powder, beeswax, coconut oil, and shea butter)? I’ve heard that zinc oxide plus coconut oil and beeswax is a safe combo for cloth diapers, but I’d really like to leave out the zinc. Thanks!

  16. I don’t see where to add the essential oils in the recipe. Can you tell me where that step is? Planning on making this for my little one today :-). Did I overlook it?

  17. Hi!

    Curious why you would use arrowroot for cloth diapers and zinc oxide for disposable ? Could you use arrowroot for disposable diapers?

    Thanks !

    • Hi Justine! That’s because arrowroot is more easily dissolved in the wash with cloth diapers and will come off the cloth and zinc oxide will not. Zinc oxide makes a better, stronger barrier, though, so that’s why I suggest to use it for disposable diapers, but you can certainly use arrowroot if you like!

  18. Heather Bilek says:

    I have made this a few times now and I love it, haven’t needed store bought diaper cream since I found this recipe. I use Mango butter instead of shea butter because I dont like the smell of shea for the other homemade lotions I make. The last time I made this rash ointment and also another anti-inflammatory lotion I use for my husband, it started to smell rancid after a few weeks. Do you have any thought on why that batch went bad? I go thru coconut oil fairly quickly so I don’t think it was old??

    • Hi Heather! Thanks so much for coming back here to let me know it’s working for you! And thanks for the idea to use mango butter – some people are allergic to shea, so that’s a very helpful tip! I personally have never had the diaper rash cream go rancid, so I’m not sure. It can happen if bacteria is introduced, but I wasn’t careful about it.

  19. This didn’t work that well for us. I used cornstarch instead of zinc oxide, so maybe that’s why? Or maybe it’s the type of rash my daughter has? 11 month old keeps getting really bad rashes from acidic stools (anytime she gets a virus or eats something acidic). I’ve been using this for a couple of days, and little to no improvement in just healing the burn type rash (even after her stools were cleared up). A&D worked better – in just one change it cleared up lots. Desitin also worked better. Also, I used ilex paste while her stools were still acidic – this created a super duper barrier, so it helped tons!

    • YES! The Zinc Oxide provides a barrier, and corn starch really does not. It’s soothing to the skin, but it doesn’t give that barrier from wetness, the acid, etc. So, you could keep your same recipe, melt it down in a pot on the stove and add in a tablespoon or so of zinc oxide and let it harden back up.

  20. Hi,
    Do you know what percent of zinc this cream would have in it? Would you consider it a maximum strength zinc oxide cream or regular strength? Thanks!

    • Hi Sara! I’ve never calculated it before, that’s a great question! I’d have to know what the weight is of all of the ingredients, and do a little math from there.

      • Thanks! I must say this was very simple to make. (In fact, while it was cooling in the fridge, I watched your webinar on essential oils for the winter season, to pass the time.) It did set up well for me. Initially it is somewhat firm, but when I applied it, it melted rather quickly, I assume due to the coconut oil, and was a little hard to “smear” around my baby’s bum. I am wondering if I am trying to apply way too much. I am so accustomed to slathering on desitin that maybe I need to change my way of thinking when applying this. So my question is, how much did you typically apply? Less is more? I really want to make this work for us! Thanks again!!

  21. This recipe is exactly what I was looking for, thank you! Do you have a suggestion for altering the amount of beeswax so I can make a travel version in a deodorant container? Thanks!

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