Who knew that diaper cream could be so toxic? We loved Desitin because, after trying almost every cream out there, it was the only one that really worked for stubborn diaper rash. Desitin, however, is not free of hazards and ranks a 6 on the Cosmetics Database (fragrance, parabens, PEG-30). We used it only when absolutely necessary. We also used corn starch from time to time (never baby powder) which was better for prevention than as a cure. Finally, we tried Boudreaux’s Butt Paste which is a safer alternative. Here’s my review.
Ingredients: Active Ingredients: Zinc Oxide (16%) (Diaper Rash Ointment) Inactive Ingredients: Peruvian Balsam, Citric Acid, Castor Oil, Mineral Oil, White Wax, Petrolatum
Cosmetics Database Score: 2 (low hazard)
Potentially Hazardous Ingredients: zinc oxide, mineral oil, citric acid, petrolatum, castor oil.
Pros: it’s not hazardous.
Cons: the consistency is odd, simultaneously a little oily and hard to get out of the tube. It was also a little tough to spread evenly on baby. It didn’t work very well on getting rid of an existing rash. It’s also an unnerving brownish putty color and a funny smell which I could get over if the consistency and usefulness were better. We’ve heard other people swear by this, but we didn’t like it.
Notes: If you do get this, make sure to get the kind without Boric Acid. Boudreaux’s makes it with and without Boric Acid. That ingredient ranks a 9 on the Cosmetics Database for toxicity and is not considered by many sources as safe for babies. We used to use Boric Acid in my ears (it’s an antifungal) every night of every summer growing up and I’m fine, but then again, as kids we used to ride three in a row in the front seat of our station wagon without seatbelts. I suggest only using diaper cream when you have to, but not all the time. There are other great ways of keeping baby rash free, such as corn starch, being diaper free anytime it’s possible, and making sure she’s totally dry from the tub before putting on diapers.
Overall Score (0 being worst, 10 being best): 3
Where to Buy: most grocery stores and big box stores, Whole Foods, online