Diaper rash just happens....I cloth diaper, which is believed to be less harsh on a baby’s bum, than disposable diapers that are full of chemical irritants and have poor air flow. My daughter has been cloth diapered her entire life, and knowing what's in a disposable diaper I wouldn't want it any other way. But, even with cloth diapering we still have had the occasional bout of diaper rash. Diaper rash can make your poor baby’s bottom sore, red, warm, tender, and scaly. It can be from an infection, irritation, or allergy. Most commonly its wearing a wet diaper for too long, but the chemicals in disposable diapers can be the cause too. This is my simple 3 ingredient lavender essential oil DIY organic diaper rash cream for when diaper rash happens.
“An article in PubMed, describes diaper rash as an irritant contact dermatitis caused by the interaction of several factors, particularly the prolonged contact of the skin with urine and feces, which makes the skin more prone to disruption through friction with the nappy. Infection is not a primary cause of nappy rash, though secondary infection by Candida albicans can occur.”
A few thoughts before we dive into the natural homemade organic diaper rash cream recipe
First prevention is always best, here are a few things I believe in to prevent or reduce occurrence of diaper rash:
Prevent diaper rash naturally
- Avoid disposable diapers, there several studies showing how irritating the chemicals in disposable diapers are too the skin, and other organs, more about this here.
- Avoid harsh cleaners. Stripping the babies skin of its natural moisture with soapy and perfumey irritants can break down the natural protective barrier of the skin.
- An obvious one, don’t let your baby wear a soiled diaper.
Cloth diapers have good air flow, and less irritants. Diapering I believe is overly complicated, we use plain water and a cloth for cleanup, and my minimalist money saving cloth diapering routine has worked well for us. I’m a minimalist and I’m not a fan of most commercial products, because well I don’t know what the heck is in them. I don’t like chemicals I can’t pronounce. If you have a diaper rash cream you like, you can check out its ingredient safety rating at EWG.
Now I do believe there are some good products out there, and probably better than this little recipe here if the diaper rash is very severe. I can’t say for sure, because we have only had one really ugly diaper rash that took a few days to calm down. We used this recipe and each day the diaper rash improved.
How to deal with diaper rash naturally
- First before diving into the recipe. Here are a few things we do to handle diaper rash. Avoid harsh cleaning products because they make diaper rash worse 
- Diaper free time allows the skin to breathe which helps tremendously in clearing up diaper rash quicker.
- Apply DIY organic diaper rash cream liberally, especially before bed time if their skin looks the slightest bit irritated.
Here is my homemade DIY organic diaper rash cream recipe
- 2 tb Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
- 2 tb Organic Raw Grade A Shea Butter
- 5 drops DoTerra Lavender Essential Oil
Super easy right! Combine oils, then add essential oil drops. Essential oils evaporate so this should be stored in a glass sealed container. This recipe makes a ¼ cup and stores nicely in the 4 oz mason jars.
And here’s why I choose these ingredients for our homemade natural diaper rash cream
I keep these ingredients on hand for many DIY personal care products, because they are wonderfully healing for many skin conditions
Incredible Ingredients for your Mama Pantry
Shea butter from the tree of life, contains vitamin A, E, F, essential fatty acids, and has numerous medicinal properties. The Shea Butter Institute describes shea butter as your skins best friend with healing properties that promote healing in wounds, eczema, frost bite, sunburns, skin allergies, insect bites, repair wrinkles, and more. For all these reasons, shea butter for diaper rash seemed like an excellent choice for my DIY organic diaper rash cream.
Oils can be separated into two fractions. The saponifiable fraction which contains the moisturizing abilities, and the unsaponifiable fraction which has the healing abilities. Shea butter has greater unsaponifiable (healing) fraction ranging from 5-17% than most other oils with only 1% of this fraction , making shea butter highly effective at treating many skin conditions.
Shea butter is proven to be:
- Reparative: Boosts collagen and elastin in skin (making it great for healing & wrinkles)
- UV protectant
Per the Shea Butter Institute, shea butter produces the same oil produced by the glands in our skin, making it incredibly moisturizing and protective. A study found shea butter softened and reduced the severity of eczema, and helps prevent water loss from the skin. Shea butter lasts about 8 hours, but was most effective for the 1st hour .
An article in the American Journal of Life Science includes several studies that proved shea butter effectively reduces inflammation and even has cancer fighting abilities . A study in 2010 isolated fats from shea butter and applied it to rats with induced swelling, shea reduced swelling by almost ½, finding it was an excellent anti-inflammatory and had anti-tumor abilities .
Studies found that shea butter boosts collagen and elastin production in skin. Collagen and elastin are the major structural proteins of skin. This ability also makes shea butter effective at reducing wrinkles and repairing sun damage .
Shea butter’s unsaponifiable fraction has substances that effectively absorb UV radiation, giving shea butter sun protective abilities .
If you want to benefit from the magic of shea butter. Shea butter should be grade A raw and the Shea Butter Institute recommends no older than 18 months, because as it ages the healing abilities begin to fade. It has a characteristic earthy smell, its beige in color and at room temperature feels like butter. Shea butter has a long list of uses for skin conditions, its moisturizes, reduces swelling, and heals. All these properties make it an excellent choice for treating diaper rash, and is an all-around excellent oil to have in your mama pantry.
Note: This is a nut butter, so if there is a nut allergy in the family this is something you may want to consider before using.
Organic Virgin Coconut Oil is mostly made of medium chain saturated fatty acids and has been a health craze for many years now, being used both internally and topically. Studies have proven coconut oil is:
- Reparative: Boosts collagen
Interesting Virgin Coconut Oil (VCO) studies:
- A study found VCO boosted collagen production and sped up healing of skin wounds .
- The anti-fungal properties of coconut oil is very effective. Coconut oil was compared to the antifungal medication fluconazole for Candida infection. The study concluded “Coconut oil should be used in the treatment of fungal infections, especially with drug-resistant Candida species .” This is important because a fungal infection of candida can occur with diaper rash .
- A study with mice found coconut oil moderately reduced swelling, improved weepy wounds, and provided some pain relief .
- A study of children suffering from chronic atopic dermatitis (AD), a skin disease that breaks down the skin’s barrier, causes swelling, and water loss, improved significantly with topical VCO versus the control group treated with mineral oil .
- Coconut oil is a highly effective anti-bacterial. Have you heard of ayurvedic oil pulling? A study compared anti-bacterial abilities in the mouth of coconut oil vs dentist prescribed chlorohexidine mouthwash. Both proved beneficial in reducing S. Mutans the bacteria involved with cavities. The study concluded VCO oil pulling is an effective alternative to chlorohexidine with no side effects .
Personal thoughts on coconut oil
Many studies have shown coconut oil to be an effective moisturizer and help with eczema. Personally coconut oil doesn’t feel hydrating to me, but I have very dry skin. It doesn't seem like enough on my baby's dry bottom when she has a rash either. I like coconut oil in my diaper rash cream for its antimicrobial and healing abilities, but I also like to add another oil for extra moisturizing capabilities. Many report that coconut oil is a great moisturizer, but for me personally it isn’t enough.
As with everything quality matters. Organic virgin first cold pressed coconut oil, can be found here. Oils will lose healing abilities when they are chemically or heat extracted.
Lavender Essential oil
Here’s my small blurp on the EO brand I choose to use: I am an essential oil mama, and don’t sell them but I might in the future. I don’t have an allegiance to any company, but I was first introduced to DoTerra and I have been pleased with the results. Their reputation seems solid, they test for purity, they’re charitable, and I have experience with their effectiveness.
Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender essential oil is generally regarded as safe for babies, so I keep it simple and just use lavender on my daughter. I did a little digging through scholarly articles and science journals on the proven health benefits of lavender essential oil, and here is what I found:
- Promotes new cell growth in skin
- Boost immune system
- Reduces pain
- Improves healing of skin conditions
- …and more
Studies on lavender essential oil
- Its antibacterial and antifungal properties are effective against many types of bacteria, especially when antibiotics fail to work, but exactly how is unknown. Lavender aromatherapy, is well documented for the treatment of abrasions, burns, stress, headaches, promotion of new cell growth, boosting the immune system, and relieving skin problems and painful muscles .
- It is highly effective at speeding up the healing process of skin injuries .
- A study found a blend of lavender and thyme essential oil, reduced rash symptoms in mice .
- This essential oil is a highly potent antifungal treatment against strains of fungi responsible for common skin and nail infections, which included the candida a common fungal infection found in diaper rash .
This simple diaper rash ointment with Doterra lavender essential oil, has worked for us. When diaper rash does strike it’s nice to have this simple DIY organic diaper rash cream recipe on hand. I like knowing what's in my products and having healing ingredients in my pantry, for instance, lavender oil is believed to reduce fever too. So, when my daughter had a fever I applied this natural diaper rash cream to her feet, and it really did seem to help. I use coconut oil, shea butter, and lavender oil in many of our DIY personal care products, because they’re moisturizing, anti-microbial, and promote healing in damaged skin from wrinkles, burns, to skin infections. What are your thoughts or experience with natural diaper rash treatment?
If you want these same awesome ingredients in your mama pantry:
Thrive Market sometimes has killer deals on coconut oil. Right now through the end of September can earn a FREE coconut oil at Thrive Market with $29 purchase, here.
You can earn money back with Ebates on Amazon purchases and with other retailers too!
Want more on diaper care?
- How to cloth diaper on a budget and save a bunch of money from not buying disposables
- Everything one needs to know about cloth diapering - the why & how to cloth diapering
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