The best nappy rash creams

The best nappy creams, lotions and ointments for treating nappy rash, or simply to prevent a sore bottom

MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.
thumbnail nappy creams

MadeForMums reviews are independent and based on expertise and testing. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our product choices.

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You’ll know if your child has nappy rash if you can see red, inflamed patches around the baby’s bottom, or in the folds of skin at the top of the legs. Sometimes the whole area can look sore, with spots and blisters in severe cases. Mild nappy rash may not bother your baby very much, but if it worsens then your little one may feel uncomfortable and be distressed. 

We’ve rounded up some of the top nappy rash creams currently available, and these are some of our testers’ favourites. Some are barrier creams, others are treatment creams, and some serve as both. Whether you prefer a traditional product that’s backed by decades of parents’ recommendations, or an organic, vegan or all-natural formula, we’ll help you find the right option. Many of these products are available in a range of sizes, so think about whether you need a smaller tube for nappy changes on the run as well as a bigger tub to keep at home.

What is nappy rash and how can nappy rash creams help?

Nappy rash is caused by a variety of factors, from nappies rubbing against the skin, to the bottom being in contact with a dirty nappy for too long. If your baby has recently taken antibiotics, this can be a factor too. Newborns are less likely to develop nappy rash – it’s more common in babies aged 9 to 12 months. Find out more by reading these 10 essential facts about nappy rash.

Don’t panic, because this is an extremely common problem. The NHS estimates that up to a third of babies and young toddlers may have nappy rash at any one time. You probably had it yourself when you were a baby. 

Because it’s so common, there are plenty of treatments available. Some work to stop the rash from developing in the first place, whilst others will help to soothe and reduce redness. Your baby’s rash should clear up within a few days of treatment, but if you are concerned that nappy rash isn’t getting better, speak to your GP or health visitor.

How often should I use a nappy rash cream?

Here, you’ve got a choice because there are two types of nappy rash cream on the market. Barrier creams work best if used before the rash appears, and these you might want to use at every nappy change. They work by creating a physical barrier between the contents of the nappy and the skin. 

Treatment creams, on the other hand, will help healing when the rash has already appeared. Some creams or balms will function as both barrier and treatment. Whichever you choose, use a thin layer, as too much cream can affect the nappy’s absorbency. 

How can I stop nappy rash from happening in the first place?

Prevention is better than cure, although even with your best efforts you may not be able to prevent nappy rash completely. Change nappies regularly so that poo and wee have less chance of staying in contact with your tot’s skin to irritate it. Bath your baby every day, avoiding soaps and lotions that may upset the skin. Then pat the nappy area dry after bathing, with a soft towel to protect their delicate skin. Also allow your baby a little nappy-free time every day so fresh air can get to the body.

Here’s our pick of the best nappy rash creams…

1. Bepanthen Nappy Rash Cream Ointment, £7.99 for 100g

Type: Cream | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Nappy Rash Product – Gold

Bepanthen was created in Switzerland in 1944, and this well known brand is still beloved by parents all over the world. This popular product scored highly with our testers for both effectiveness and ease of use, with its twist and squeeze top. Our testers felt that this is a trusted brand they can rely on, as MFM Tester Jenny commented, “Have always loved this product. Protects the bottom well and just does the job.”

The dual action Bepanthen ointment works to protect your little one’s skin from nappy rash by forming a breathable transparent layer which combats irritants and prevents rubbing. It also contains provitamin B5 which moisturises your baby’s skin leaving it nourished and hydrated, as well as protected.

The consistency is thick, without being sticky or gunky, and it spreads out smoothly to create a thin layer. We also like that it’s free from colours, fragrances, preservatives and antiseptics, so it can be used at every nappy change. 

Available from: Amazon, Superdrug and Lloyds Pharmacy

2. Weleda Baby Calendula Nappy Change Cream, £7.25 for 75ml (£9.67 per 100ml)

Type: Cream

This multi award-winning cream comes recommended by 70% of midwives in Germany, where Weleda is based. With a 30-year history, the Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream has proven to be popular with more than one generation of parents.

Our MFM reviewer reported that this cream was easy to apply to her wriggly baby, “It absorbs quickly and seems to soothe any soreness quickly. My little girl loves having it rubbed in and her little bottom is rash-free!”. However, Sarah also found that the cream may separate in the tube, so you may get a squirt of oily liquid before the actual cream.

Suitable for use from birth onwards, this eco-friendly barrier cream contains organic calendula (a natural anti-inflammatory), and chamomile extracts blended with sweet almond and sesame oil, which creates a divine natural scent. 

Skin-friendly lanolin and zinc oxide provide a barrier against damp, helping to protect your little one’s delicate bottom.  It’s also been dermatologically tested on infant skin prone to eczema and dermatitis. 

It’s deeply nourishing and gentle enough so that it can still be applied to open/sore areas and can even be used for cuts and grazes in older children and adults. 

Read our full MadeForMums Weleda Baby Calendula Nappy Change Cream review

Available from: OnlyNaturals, Boots and Holland & Barrett

3. Alteya Organics Diaper Rash Cream, £12.85 for 90ml (£14.28 per 100ml)

Type: Cream | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Nappy Rash Product – Silver

Alteya Organics Diaper Rash Cream works to form a protective barrier on the skin, then soothe and treat nappy rash and prevent it from recurring.

This all-organic cream has won fans for its smooth and soothing consistency. The active blend of non-nano zinc oxide, rose, calendula, chamomile and gentle apricot oils helps calm your baby’s skin and promotes faster healing. 

Non-nano zinc oxide is a natural mineral that protects skin and supports healing. Non-nano means that the particles are bigger and won’t be absorbed into the skin: instead they sit on top as a barrier to protect.

Our testers liked the smooth consistency and non-medicinal scent of this cream. They found that although the instructions said to apply liberally, less is more and only a small amount was enough. For example MFM tester Elaine said: “We only rubbed a small amount onto any redness during nappy changes: redness disappeared with a few applications.”

With that in mind, although this is priced higher than others in our list, the 90ml tube should last a long time. 

Available from: Alteya Organics and LoveLula

4. The Solid Bar Company Calendula Vegan Nappy Balm, £8.99 for 56g (£16.05 per 100g)

Type: Balm

Vegan nappy rash creams and balms can be challenging to find, since many of them contain beeswax and lanolin. However, this barrier and treatment balm from The Solid Bar Company is winning praise from fans of vegan and natural products.

With ingredients including calendula infused organic sunflower, safflower and coconut oils, the balm contains natural anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and anti-microbial properties. The solid balm warms under your fingertips to liquefy and spread easily on to baby’s bottom.

It comes in a small (56g) or large (140g) sized tin, making it highly portable for nappy changes on the go without the risk of spilling that you might get with liquid products. If you and your baby are out and about a lot then this could be a good choice for you.

The unique consistency of this balm means that some users have found that it works better than creams with cloth nappies. One parent commented on the brand’s website that she’s just bought her third tub: “Had to report that this stuff is amazing. Cleaned up the initial rashes and has kept them away from my little one’s sensitive parts ever since – a natural winner for us!”

Available from: The Solid bar Company, Big Green Smile and Amazon

 

5.  My Expert Midwife No Harm Bum Balm, £16.50 for 30ml (£55 per 100ml) 

Type: Balm/cream | Award: MadeForMums Award 2020, Nappy Rash Product – Bronze

If you want to know precisely what it is that you’re putting on your baby’s delicate skin, then this is the simplest formulation we’ve found. This rich but nourishing nappy cream provides gentle, effective relief and protection, whilst helping to prevent skin damage and soreness.

Developed by midwives for parents, it contains only 5 natural ingredients:  medical grade lanolin for skin protection; calendula flower extract for soothing soreness; coconut oil for its moisturising and anti-microbial properties; sweet almond oil to nourish and sunflower seed oil for Vitamin E, to help comfort and protect. 

Our MFM tester Shannon particularly liked the pump dispenser: “Very easy to use one handed…and can be used after every bum change. Very appealing as it’s all natural products.” However our testers were concerned that as a higher price point product, the pump might prevent you from using every drop.

Available from: My Expert Midwife, Ocado and Amazon

6. Sudocrem Care & Protect, £9.99 for 100g

Type: Cream

The instantly recognisable Sudocrem brand has a multitude of uses, and a surprising following amongst adult fans who use it as a spot-clearing face mask. The original Sudocrem product, its Antiseptic Healing Cream in the familiar tub, was a nappy rash treatment cream. The newer Sudocrem Care & Protect is a barrier cream which aims to stop nappy rash from becoming an issue in the first place. 

The flip top lid is easy to use and the 30g tube is the perfect size for throwing in your changing bag. It can be applied at every nappy change to protect baby’s skin, and is reasonably priced for everyday use. However, have a wipe handy as you should expect white bottoms and sticky hands when using it.

Reviewers on the Boots website are unremittingly positive about this cream, proclaiming it the “best thing ever”, with one user saying “Used this on my toddler from birth 2 years a go and he has never had a nappy rash.” 

Available from: Boots, Savers and Superdrug

7. Childs Farm Nappy Cream, £4 for 100ml

Type: Cream

This popular nappy cream stands out for its easy absorption and suitability for sensitive skin, even that which is prone to eczema. It’s fragrance-free, like the ointment from Bepanthen, and gentle and kind to sore bottoms.

With ingredients that include organic aloe vera, shea butter from Ghana and cocoa butter from West Africa, it’s rich in antioxidant Vitamin E and leaves skin feeling smooth and moisturised. 

It’s designed to melt into the skin quickly so it doesn’t leave a greasy, visible film on the surface of the skin. The formulation is pH balanced to match the pH of the skin, cutting down on the risk of irritation. Suitable for all ages as a moisturiser, one reviewer at the Tesco website even reported success with this product on patches of dry skin on her husband’s face.

Packaged in a handy easy-to-use flip-top tube, it’s perfect for popping in your change bag. But if you’re expecting a thick, oily cream, this isn’t it: this product has a consistency that’s more like body lotion and is quite thin. It’s ideal for parents who prefer not to use a greasy balm or a thick cream.

Available from: Childs Farm, Tesco and Morrisons

8. Made for Life Organics Skin Solve Balm, £38 for 100ml 

Type: Balm

This all-purpose wonder ticks a lot of boxes. As well as being a soothing nappy rash balm, grown-ups can swipe it to treat a host of irritations from sunburn to acne scars to insect bites and stings. You could even use it as a moisturiser that dry skin will love. If you have a household including older children beyond the nappy changing stage then this multi-purpose balm could come in handy for all sorts of scrapes.

The 100% organic ingredients include calendula, St John’s wort and rose. It’s perfect for sensitive and extremely dry skin.

Just be aware – the (admittedly very handsome) blue screw top jar isn’t as user-friendly as the flip-top lid on the likes of the Childs Farm cream, or the pump of My Expert Midwife No Harm Bum Balm especially if you have a wriggly baby. This balm is also more expensive than a lot of the other offerings here.

On the plus side, it’s available in three different sizes: 10ml (£6), 50ml (£25), 100ml (£38), with some reviewers, especially those with eczema, hailing it a “Miracle in a jar.” 

Available from: Made for Life Organics, Amazon and Only Naturals

 

9. Green People Organic Babies nappy cream baby balm, £11 for 50ml (£22 per 100ml)

Type: Balm/cream 

With almost 100% certified organic ingredients, this soothing balm is ideal if shopping organic and using natural products is important to you. Ingredients such as zinc oxide and omega-6 help with healing, while soothing chamomile and calendula provide quick relief for soreness.

It’s suitable for those who are prone to eczema and contains no parabens, lanolin, phthalates, artificial perfumes, petrochemicals or colourants. This is pricier than other brands, though the concentrated formula means that you only need a little at a time as one customer on the Green People website found: “We used this on our newborn when she had really bad nappy rash and it disappeared in no time! You hardly need any to cover a large area.” 

This is another screw top jar (like the  Made for Life Organics Skin Solve Balm) – and some parents may find it a bit of a pain to unscrew and use while changing nappies. Like the other balms, this one can be a little greasy, and some MFM mums have said they don’t like the smell.

Available from: Green People, Natural Baby Shower and Holland & Barrett

10. Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment, £3 for 30g (£10 per 100g)

Type: Cream

Like Sudocrem and Bepanthen, this is a tried and trusted product which comes with the seal of approval of more than one generation of parents.

MFM reviewer Sarah reports her experience in glowing terms, “Putting Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment on my 22-month-old Martha’s nappy rash is like waving a magic wand over it – if I do it at bedtime, by the morning the redness and soreness is usually completely gone.” Sarah adds that a tube lasts for ages, since you only need a pea-sized amount.

As an added bonus, this is a vegan-friendly product, made without lanolin or beeswax. It’s a treatment rather than a barrier cream, so you may want to save it for times when nappy rash flares up. Though some users complain about the yellow colour and its potential to stain clothing and cloth nappies, the manufacturers say that any staining will come out and isn’t permanent.

Read our full MadeForMums review of Metanium Nappy Rash Ointment

Available from: Amazon, Asda and Tesco

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About me

Joanne Mallon is a mother of two from Belfast, now living in Brighton. She’s the author of the book Toddlers: An Instruction Manual and was previously editor of the Supernanny site. Joanne’s work has appeared in Mother & Baby, Gurgle, The Times and many other publications.

MadeForMums product articles are independent, honest and provide advice you can have confidence in. Sometimes, we earn revenue through affiliate (click-to-buy) links. However we never allow this to influence our coverage. Our reviews and articles are written by parents who are professional journalists, and we also include feedback from our parent community and industry experts.

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