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 (Buy at Mountain Rose Herbs and Amazon
  • )

  • 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 Melaleuca Alternifola for a bad diaper rash, Gentle Baby would also work (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

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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. I totally need this!!! Umm.. well.. not ME… my daughter! lol
    I loved the butt paste with my other kids, but my youngest is sensitive to one of the ingredients in it… not sure which one, but it makes her rashes worse. I have been using Aquaphor, but it doesn’t always do the job. I need to give this a try!

  2. Ok quick question. How well does this work with cloth diapers? I’m on baby number 2 he’s 2 now and trying to potty train. my husband and i are thinking of having more kids and switching to cloth. only problem.. both our kids have really sensitive skin (they take after me in this regard) and i was reading your post on cloth diapers and how the destin (which i currently use) doesn’t work well with cloth. is this homemade cream better at rinsing out and just as effective even with the cloth?

    • Hi Krystal! I’m so sorry – I never saw your comment before (found out all my comments were going to junk mail). So, I hope you get this response. I have found that this recipe is totally cloth diaper safe. It washes right out of my diapers without an extra care – I just throw them in like normal and it comes out! Plus, it works just as well as Desitin, if not better, on healing my children’s skin. I have another lotion recipe with shea butter and the coconut and almond oils and it is also very good at healing skin, so I think it’s those magical ingredients!

      • I am the one who is allergic to the world and.. well… love making my own products and I am so exited to be cloth diapering my baby girl when she arrives this spring! I am so glad I came back to the comments and found this comment! it saves me from doing a TON of research! thanks!!

  3. Super easy, thanks for the photographs, it helps me understand the directions a lot easier. Wow, imagine the savings ($4.99 per box) plus all the chemicals that aren’t going onto the baby’s bum

  4. What a great looking recipe! And thanks for the pictures :) I’m pinning this and can’t wait to try it. Thanks for sharing at Tiny Tip Tuesday!

  5. This is a great recipe. Very similar to one I use but you need to be clear that this can’t be used on cloth diapered kids as the beeswax will make the diapers water resistant and they will shed pee. I use lanolin instead. It’s not as smooth or velvety, but works as well. I also use it after shaving, as a lip balm and for all other skin care.

    • Hi Dan! Thanks so much for stopping by. That’s a great idea to use lanolin. I have actually had no problems at all with the cream coming out of the diaper liners and I’ve been using it for 4 months or so – it washes right out! So, as far as I can tell, it’s totally cloth diaper safe.

  6. In your ingredients you list 4 items. Howeve in your instructions you also say to use vegetable glycerin??

  7. I mixed this up tonight, sadly the Shea Butter I ordered is yellow, but whatever. But I noticed the zinc oxide just settles on the bottom is that normal or will mine not set up right? It just seems really odd to me. Thanks for the recipes and blog its great reading.

    • Hmm, my zinc oxide did not just settle on the bottom. Did you whip it up with a hand mixer or a big mixer?

      • I didn’t have a mixer at the time so I did it with a fork and a spoon cause I tried mixing it two different times. Looking at it about three hours later I can see three distinct layers, zinc on the bottom then a kind of odd liquid/silty layer, and finally a liquid layer. Any suggestions? Like possibly reheating it and putting it in the big mixer?

        • Hi Nora! Yes, I would remelt it using a double boiler (one smaller pan inside a larger one is fine) and put it in the mixer. Although, I always put the zinc oxide in once the mixture is cool and before mixing, so I’m not sure if it’ll change the chemical compounds. You could soften it just a bit in the microwave, then use the mixer. Let me know how that works for you!

          • I’ve been experimenting with my own diaper cream and each time it ends up being hard as a rock. I use coconut oil, beeswax, zinc, aloe vera oil and a few drops of lavender EO. And then when I add shea it becomes real gritty. I have noticed the same problem with the zinc separating as well. So, are you saying that adding the zinc once the mixture is cooled is the key to keeping it from separating? Do you also see a problem with the cream becoming hard as a rock or really gritty from the shea?

            • Hi Jeanne! Hmm, shea butter doesn’t harden when cool, but coconut oil does. So, is your house on the cool side? It might be that and it would help to either reduce the beeswax and coconut oil content or keep it in a warmer place in your house. I have no problem with the zinc separating when I blend it. Are you emulsifying it after it cools? If any of the steps are skipped, it will not properly form (I know from experience). It must cool until it hardens after melting it on the stove, then mix it with a hand mixer or stand mixer for a good five minutes or so to emulsify it. If you’ve done all of that, then I think there is too much beeswax or coconut oil in your recipe.

  8. Love the recipe print label, so cute! I almost made this this morning until I read the vegetable glycerin. Most people are not bothered by it but just as a tip if your baby is suffering with any type of yeast infection avoid the glycerin it is very sugary and will feed the yeast. I learned this the hard way

  9. How much does this make? 8oz? 4oz?

  10. Hi there! Love that I found this recipe! I too have become super paranoid about chemicals in products. Could you re-explain directions for just using the beeswax without the Zinc Oxide? I wasn’t sure if that changes the steps at all.

    Lauren recently posted..10 Ways to Go Green in 2013My Profile

  11. http://www.amazon.com/Nutiva-Organic-Virgin-Coconut-15-Ounce/dp/B001EO5Q64/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1356961581&sr=8-2&keywords=organic+raw+coconut+oil

    Is this an acceptable coconut oil? I am lost when it comes to buying coconut oil bc they usually say “cooking oil” on the label and I am not sure if I am buying the right thing or not.

  12. Hi! My question is: Is this cream a very “tough to remove” cream? Is is hard to wipe off the skin? I am looking for something that is super thick and doesn’t just rub off on the diaper. I have been using the Walmart brand 40% Zinc cream in a jar and that stuff if amazing. It is retained on the skin even after 12-14 hours of sleeping and peeing through the night…(yes, my twin 16 month old girls sleep that long, all the way through the night, every night, but not without consequences if we don’t use the right butt cream…). Name brand Desitin (max) strength just doesn’t work for us. It wipes off on the diaper as soon as the diaper is placed. I’m hopeful that this cream can replace the walmart brand in the fact that its (properties) will be very comparable… I just need something that sticks and works… If this isn’t a super thick cream, can it be made thicker? By adding more Zinc? Or beeswax? Thanks in advance!!!

    • Kendra, this is a super thick cream and once it’s rubbed on, it really gets absorbed into the skin. It doesn’t stay on like Desitin does because it gets more absorbed. However, like you thought, adding more zinc oxide will make it stickier. However, the cream is already so thick that adding more ZO will dry it out, so I suggest adding more ZO (like 1/2 tablespoon) and add more coconut oil or shea butter as well. It may take some experimenting to get it as thick as you want, but I’m confident you’ll be able to make this cream to your liking!

  13. Hi again! I am ordering all of the products to make this today. I have just one more question. Can this be used with every diaper change? I just want to make sure that this is going to be the exact thing we need. Oh, and have you ever had it go rancid or mold before you could use it up? Thanks for your patience! I really do appreciate your time! I am totally new to the organic and greener ways of doing things…Again, THANKS!!

    • Yes, absolutely! You can use it all the time. I have never had it go bad or rancid – the last batch I made I doubled it, thinking I’d use all of it, and one jar sat for 6 months before being used. It was a little dried out, but not at all spoiled. I just added some more coconut oil to it and stirred it in. Best of luck on your greener journey!

  14. I LOVE just plain ol’ coconut oil. I like to add some EO, so I melt it in the microwave, add one drop of lavender and two drops of tea tree oils (this is in one of the small old orange tupperware containers, so probably like 4 oz or so). Coconut oil is proven to be as effective of an antifungal as any ‘prescription’ (ie: chemical) cream while being completely natural and moisturizing. After reading the comments here, I think I’m also going to try it with the contents of a probiotic capsule as well. We use it with every diaper change and it works great, even with our cloth diapers. Baby boy is 4 1/2 months old now and it seems to keep his bum soft and clear (unless we use too many disposables).

  15. Hello! Quick question! I am ordering all the supplies right now & a lot of them are all blk which lead me to wonderin how to store it all which thenlead me to wondering what the shelf life of this concoction is?? Will it go bad if at all?? My boys’ skin is very sensitive so I’m sure I will be using this up fast BUT just in case, I’d really like to know.

    • Hi Kayla! I have yet to have this go bad and I made it last summer (it’s now Feb!). I made 2 batches of the diaper rash cream and it’s lasted THAT long – no mold or anything weird in it AND it still smells nicely of shea butter! As far as I can tell, the shelf life is very long!

  16. You can also replace the zinc oxide with arrowroot. Many other natural diaper rash creams include arrowroot or cornstarch!

  17. Thanks for the recipe! I’m making it and sharing it on my blog this weekend :)
    Jen recently posted..Cloth Diapers, one day. Reusable wipes? Yes Please!My Profile

  18. I’m making this right now. Do you let it cool before mixing or do you mix it straight after you remove it from the heat? The directions above lead me to believe that you mix it immediately, but in the comments above you said you let it cool before adding the zinc oxide. Right now mine is super melty from the heat and mixing it for 5 minutes didn’t make it look like yours. Help please! Thanks!

  19. You should try corn starch instead of zinc powder! Works really well for diaper rashes. Love your site BTW!

  20. Red Dragon Apothocary says:

    Any suggestions for making a homemade diaper rash cream without coconut oil for those with coconut allergies?

  21. This is great! I already have my own diaper cream recipe that I have been making and using for my daughter for about a year now. It too has zinc in it, although I also added aloe vera powder, vitamin e, and infused herbs known for their healing properties. Your recipe is simple, sweet, and I’m sure very effective, which is what many, many people are looking for. I love your website and all the recipes you post on there. Thank you for all your help, it has encouraged me to make my own recipes, and even try to sell my products. You are amazing! Thank you.

  22. This is awesome! I’m going to make some for my new grandbaby and send to my daughter with all the supplies for her to make more. Thanks!

  23. Charlene K. says:

    So, how does this compare in price to buying the All Natural Butt Paste? Cost per ounce for example…


    • I’m not sure, Charlene. I’d have to know which brand you’re referring to and how much it is. It is WAY cheaper than all natural diaper creams with the same pure, raw ingredients. Most creams, even “natural” ones do not have organic ingredients and contain preservatives.

  24. I made this a couple of days ago and it is very grainy. It is not smooth nor does it create a moisture barrier. Any suggestions? I followed the directions and used vegetable glycerin not the aloe vera.

    • Hi Ginny! I once had a little graininess after a few months, but that was because it had dried out a little. So, I added some room temperature coconut oil (so it was really soft and easy to mix together). Also, it can be grainy if you haven’t mixed it long enough. Mine does protect my boys from rashes, so you might need more zinc oxide or cornstarch, whichever you’re using. Let me know how that works out!

  25. Hi! Wonderful recipe, thank you! Have you considered using arrowroot as the thickener instead of zinc oxide?

  26. Hi just want to share that you can remove the zinc and add arrowroot powder. It is a lot like cornstarch the way it feels and the way it work. But I believe it would thicken it with out being toxic. Just thought I would add some help. Also arrowroot is safe to use on cloth diapers yay.

  27. Is there a similar version you can use to make a facial/body sunscreen?

  28. Is this cream soft enough to be put into a container and sqeezed/squirted out? If so, can I
    warm it up again after having added the zinc oxide so that it is more of a liquid and will
    go into the container easier? Just wanting to make sure the zinc properties aren’t hurt by
    warming it till it turns into more of a liquid.

    • Hi Jess! Not really, it is very thick, which makes it work really well. If you use arrowroot powder or cornstarch in place of the zinc oxide, it will be more creamy and squeezable (and also cloth-diaper friendly). Hope that helps!

  29. Christine says:

    I’m in the process of getting chemicals out of the house and a friend recommended your website and I love it! I just tried my first batch of the diaper rash cream and I have a few of questions. First, do you have to let the ingredients cool after melting before mixing them? The instructions didn’t say to, but this step was mentioned in the comments. Second, how do you clean all of the dishes from your recipes? Coconut oil is a solid at room temperature, so if you wash it down the drain it will harden and cause blockages. Third, this recipe is very similar to the sunscreen recipe, but they are for two very different purposes. How is one a sunscreen a one a diaper rash cream? Thanks!

    • Hi Christine! So glad you like the site – thank you! Yes, the cooling process is important because it allows the ingredients to congeal. I skipped that step once and it turned out too liquidy. Great question about cleaning – I have been cleaning them in the kitchen sink, and didn’t think about blockages. Hasn’t happened yet…fingers crossed. But it’d be a much better idea to wash them in a bucket and dump the water outside. I scrub all the oil off with baking soda, by the way. As for the difference between the sunscreen and this recipe – the sunscreen simply has more beeswax and zinc oxide, so that makes it more waterproof and a higher SPF.

      • Thanks for the response! I had the same problem when I skipped the cooling step. The second batch came out much better! Thanks also for the baking soda suggestion, it can be difficult to get all of the oil off. If you wipe most of the excess off the dishes before washing them, it’s less likely to build up and cause potential blockages, but I think I’ll be using a bucket as suggested. Thanks again!

      • If the cooling step is so important, why doesn’t it say that in the instructions?
        The instructions just say “Remove from the heat and pour into your mixer.” It mentions nothing about cooling. :(

  30. Hi does this last in a ropical climate? How long is it’s shelf life in hot weather? Thanks a lot!

  31. I am so excited to try this!! I have been getting increasingly worried about chemicals in baby products. Once this is all done and cool does it need to always be stored in the fridge?

  32. So if I use cornstarch instead of zinc oxide will it still clear up diaper rash? And just so I’m clear, if I replace the zinc oxide with cornstarch, I then need to increase the beeswax to 1/2 ounce (1/2 stick)?
    Your cream for regular diaper-wearers, 1 Tbsp of beeswax – if I’m cutting a 1 ounce stick how do I determine how much to cut off the stick to use? My daughter is due in 6 weeks & I’ve started the whole anxiety, cleaning, worrying about what’s in products thing. Want to make some products before she gets here :) Thank you

  33. when making for clth diapers remove the zinc oxcide?sorry first time user

  34. Hi Sara,
    I made the diaper cream which was EASY; however, it isn’t spreading. I believe I made it too thick. Any suggestions to make it creamier so it spreads on our daughters bum?

    Thanks, Laurie

    • Yes, it’s probably too thick. One way is to keep it warm somehow, like under a light or in a warm part of the house because the oils solidify below room temperature (about 72 degrees). Otherwise, you could scoop it out, melt it back down and add more almond/olive/sunflower (whichever oil you used) to it, a couple of tablespoons. Then, you’d still have to whip it to emulsify it, which I know is a pain.

  35. Just a quick note. You can use Arrowroot Powder instead of zinc oxide. They do much the same thing and arrowroot powder is much easier to find and all natural, and very inexpensive.

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  37. Argh, cant read the third ingredient! links are not coming through…is it just me? Anyone else not able to click all the links?

  38. this is similar to one we used to make that my grandmother gave us years ago, but now you cant get the zinc oxide ointment to make it any more. it was Vaseline, corn starch, zinc oxide ointment, and boric acid ointment. work wonders.

  39. Hi!
    My boy has super sensitive skin and nothing from over the counter rash cream to prescription ones are working on his his raw rashes.. Sometimes if bleeds also :(
    I would be making this today itself.. Just a question though how much and when do I add the essential oil??

    Thanks a ton!!

    • I would add the essential oils at the very end, as heat can remove their potency. If you’re making the 8 ounces, I’d add 10-15 drops or so, and stir it in really well. I sure hope this helps his little rash! That is no fun at all.

  40. This recipe will need a preservative or within a few weeks it will start to grow nasties such as bacteria and mold. If the glycerin or Aloe vera gel is left out no preservative necessary add glycerin or aloe you will need a preservative.

  41. when do you put the essential oil in the mixture?

  42. Hi,

    My paste is way too hard and It gets hard to take it out to put on my baby’s butt. Any suggestion?

    Thank you

    • Hi Kamdey! Hmm, sounds like there is too much zinc oxide in your batch. I’d scoop it out and melt it back down, then add some more almond oil. If you’re in a cold climate, the coconut oil hardens, so you could keep it in a warmer place to help, too.

  43. I made this but found it too thick…I live in NZ and we are just heading into cold Autumn temps and its nearly Winter, and I found I really had to dig my finger in to get it out of the jar (we do have a warm house though!) So I melted it all down again, and added 100ml of olive oil and rewhipped it, put it in fridge for a while, then rewhipped again, and back into jars. The texture is much better – possibly could have added another 50ml of olive oil but I think it will do for now.
    Thanks for the recipe :)

  44. What size jars are good for storing a batch of this?

    • I do old jam jars, or small mason jars. You want a jar that’s small enough for you to reach your hand all the way down inside of it so the extra doesn’t get wasted. So, 8 or 16 oz. are great, but not bigger.

  45. I made this for my nephew and he had no problems using it, only that the daycare wont accept it as it’s considered a medicine and they require it to be store bought. She uses Triple Paste otherwise, and has been fine with it. Anyway, my nephew has been home with really bad diarrhea. This has caused really bad and uncontrollable diaper rash. His doctor prescribed a burn cream and instructed my sister to also use Desitin Extra Strength because it has the highest concentration of ZO. Since he’s home, I suggested making a homemade cream with more ZO. Does anyone know the approximate concentration of zinc oxide in this recipe? Is it possible to make this into a 40% or more cream? I know concentration is based on weight, but she does not have a scale, so an approximation will have to do.

    • Joy, I’m sorry to hear your nephew is suffering so! I believe this recipe is about 20% ZO – if you add much more, it’s going to thicken it so much you won’t be able to use it. I suggest instead to go diaper free and let the bum air out a little bit, put him on probiotics (they do WONDERS for the digestive system) and add essential oils to the cream like lavender and tea tree.

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