You may have heard of the phrase ‘as smooth as a baby’s bottom’, but your baby’s bottom is actually incredibly sensitive and prone to nappy rash. Up to a third of babies and toddlers can get diaper rash at any one time, so it’s important to ensure good hygiene practices – and a good barrier cream – which will soothe and protect the skin.
From familiar names like Bepanthen, Metanium and Sudocrem to beauty brands like Weleda and Burt’s Bees, we'll show you the top 10 nappy rash creams to buy from online retailers like Boots and Amazon, as well as which qualities you should be looking for when shopping.
Nappy rash is extremely common within babies and toddlers and can be caused by a number of different factors. According to the NHS website, the following things may cause nappy rash:
"Your baby's skin being in contact with wee or poo for a long time
The nappy rubbing against your baby's skin
Not cleaning the nappy area or changing the nappy often enough
Soap, detergent or bubble bath
Alcohol-based baby wipes
Your baby recently taking antibiotics"
If your baby’s bottom is red and sore, they most likely have a nappy rash. But it's nothing to be too concerned about, as a good nappy rash cream can usually fix this. Plus, it'll have the added bonus of helping prevent future cases by creating a barrier and protecting the skin from irritants.
No matter if your baby already has nappy rash or you’re trying to prevent it before it occurs, our buying guide is here to show you what to look out for and help you pick the perfect product.
First things first, it’s a good idea to decide what type of product you want. There’s more out there than just the standard creams these days – balms and sprays are worth considering too. Here we'll look into the benefits of each.
Creams are the most common type of nappy rash treatment. They’re good for straightforward application as they’re not too thick or thin, making them easily absorbed into your baby’s skin. They also offer the most variety in their formulas and ingredients, so you have more to choose from.
However, depending on how severe the nappy rash is, sometimes creams may not be thick enough to provide sufficient protection. In these cases, it’s best to opt for balms to prevent irritation instead.
Balms are solid at room temperature and melt into a liquid when in contact with the skin. They're usually oil- or wax-based and are great for protection as they create a physical barrier between your baby’s skin and potential irritants. Plus, they have a lower water content which means they last longer than creams or sprays.
You may find that balms don’t absorb as well as creams and, due to their oil base, they may feel greasier. This could be a good or a bad thing depending on your preferences for a nappy rash cream.
Sprays exist for quick protection on the go, and are usually oil-based liquid formulas. They're perfect if you’re out and about on a day trip or travelling – all you need to do is give your baby’s bottom a couple of spritzes while changing and you’re done. It couldn’t get much simpler than that!
However, due to their thinner liquid formula, you may feel like they don't provide as much coverage and protection as creams and balms, plus they don’t tend to last as long. In this case, you may find it better to use sprays every so often while you’re out, rather than on a daily basis.
You’ve settled on whether you want a cream, balm or spray, so the next important consideration is what goes into your product. Different ingredients all hold different properties, so which ones should you be looking out for?
It's wise to look for creams including ingredients with occlusive properties, which just means that they create a physical barrier to protect your baby’s skin from any potential irritants. Not only do they help lock in hydration, but they stave off friction and moisture from damp or dirty nappies, which only irritate the rash further.
Zinc oxide, a white, inorganic compound, is one of the most common active ingredients. It is useful in both treating and preventing nappy rash as it is insoluble in water, which helps keep your baby’s skin dry even in a wet nappy.
Other ingredients to look for are petroleum jelly, beeswax, lanolin, and plant-based oils like coconut oil, as well as titanium dioxide. Your nappy rash cream may contain one or a number of these additions in order to protect your baby’s skin.
If your baby’s bottom is looking particularly worse for wear, it helps to look for ingredients with antibacterial properties. This will kill off all the bad bacteria as well as helping speed up the recovery process.
Calendula, or the marigold flower, is a common garden plant with healing, soothing and restorative properties. It is naturally antibacterial and very gentle on the skin, making it an excellent addition to nappy rash creams and balms.
Other ingredients with amazing antibacterial properties include essential oils such as lavender and hemp. These are usually all-natural, plant-derived extracts, which will be extra gentle and kind to your baby’s sensitive skin.
To help comfort your baby and their skin, ensure your cream contains soothing ingredients that will help to visibly calm down any signs of irritation or sensitivity. This may include rashes, bumps or redness of the skin.
There are many natural, plant-based ingredients that are used, including aloe vera, oatmeal and chamomile, which often have antioxidant properties as well. These ingredients will help to reduce physical symptoms whilst alleviating any pain your baby may be feeling.
One final thing to check is whether your product contains synthetic fragrances. Fragrance (also listed as perfume or parfum) is a known irritant in beauty products, and it’s no different when it comes to your baby’s skin. It may smell nice for you, but it’s best not to risk exacerbating the rash with unnecessary ingredients.
However, it must be noted that depending on the formula, sometimes the products may be scented using natural ingredients. For example, if a product uses lavender essential oil for its calming properties, a lavender scent is a natural side effect of the ingredient, which is completely different from an added synthetic fragrance.
Now we’ve had a chance to look at the different factors that go into buying a nappy rash cream, it’s time to take a look at our rankings and choose your favourite from our top 10 list!
|Key Ingredients||Titanium dioxide|
|Key Ingredients||Zinc oxide, beeswax|
|Key Ingredients||Aloe vera, rosemary leaf, cocoa butter and shea butter|
|Key Ingredients||Beeswax, vitamin E, zinc oxide, sweet almond oil, shea butter, lavender oil, jojoba seed|
|Key Ingredients||Zinc oxide, colloidal oatmeal|
|Key Ingredients||Meadowfoam oil, lavender, chamomile and hemp seed oils|
|Key Ingredients||Coconut, pear, chamomile, honey and beeswax|
|Key Ingredients||Calendula, chamomile, sweet almond oil, sesame oil, lanolin and zinc oxide|
|Key Ingredients||Chamomile, beeswax, zinc oxide, hemp seed oil, cocoa and shea butter, calendula, vitamin E and lanolin|
Organic Babies by Green People
Burt's Bees Baby
Calming Nappy Cream
Calendula Nappy Cream
Buttery Bottom Balm
Nappy Care Ointment
Daily Care Barrier Cream
Antiseptic Healing Cream
Everyday Easy Spray Barrier Lotion
Organic-Certified and Filled to the Brim With Healing and Soothing Ingredients
Super Nourishing and Rich In Calendula
A Coconut Oil-Based Organic Balm Certified by ECOCERT
An All-Natural Gentle Blend of Essential Oils to Protect Your Baby's Skin
A Well-Known and Well-Loved Nappy Rash Cream for Daily Use
A Gentle Daily Barrier Cream That Uses Soothing Oatmeal
A Natural Option Packed With Healing Ingredients
A Fragrance-Free and pH-Balanced Cream for Extra Sensitive Skin
A Reliable Household Staple With Antiseptic Qualities
A Quick and Easy Water-Free Spray for Parents on the Go
|Key Ingredients||Chamomile, beeswax, zinc oxide, hemp seed oil, cocoa and shea butter, calendula, vitamin E and lanolin||Calendula, chamomile, sweet almond oil, sesame oil, lanolin and zinc oxide||Coconut, pear, chamomile, honey and beeswax||Meadowfoam oil, lavender, chamomile and hemp seed oils||Lanolin||Zinc oxide, colloidal oatmeal||Beeswax, vitamin E, zinc oxide, sweet almond oil, shea butter, lavender oil, jojoba seed||Aloe vera, rosemary leaf, cocoa butter and shea butter||Zinc oxide, beeswax||Titanium dioxide|
|Volume||60 g||75 ml||60 ml||75 ml||30 g||100 ml||85 g||100 ml||400 g||60 ml|
From birth and beyond, we all want the best for our little ones. But with so many factors to consider from your baby's unique skin type to your preferences as a parent or carer, choosing the right products can be really tricky. Follow the links below or check out our Kids and Baby category for more recommendations.
So there we have our ten most-recommended nappy rash creams. Whether you prefer traditional or natural, balm or cream, hopefully the product you chose will protect your baby and help soothe their skin from any potential rashes in the future!
Author: Dodo Wang
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