Best nappy rash creams for baby's bottom – Evening Standard

Soothe rashes with our edit of the best bum-shielding products
ccording to the NHS, around 1 in 4 babies and toddlers in nappies have nappy rash at any one time. There may be red patches on your bay’s bottom, or the whole area may be red. Their skin may look sore and feel hot to the touch and there may be spots, pimples or blisters. The NHS also states that most babies with mild nappy rash don’t feel sore, but if the rash is severe your baby may feel uncomfortable and be distressed.
We went straight to the experts for this one, quizzing the founders of maternal supplement range, Purermama, Dr U Nartey, Consultant Paediatrician and Dr Karen, for their advice on the best way to treat nappy rash and when to seek further advice from your GP.
Nappy rash is inflammation or irritation of the skin covered by a nappy and it can also be known as ‘irritant contact dermatitis.’ “Essentially, when the skin comes into contact with baby’s poo and wee this irritates the skin making it red and can lead to skin breakdown,” Dr Karen told us.
“Excessive wiping of the nappy area, the rubbing of the nappy and some baby products can all cause irritation to the skin. A lot of parents don’t know that detergents and the actual components or chemicals used to make some disposable nappies can also be potential triggers,” she added. Infection or underlying skin disorders can also cause or worsen nappy rash.
“Try and reduce the amount of time in which babies’ skin is in contact with soiled or wet nappies and be sure to regularly change soiled nappies to keep the nappy area clean and dry. Where possible nappy-free time helps too,” Dr U Nartey said.
“Opt for nappies which are as natural with minimal additives where possible and avoid preservatives and chemicals. Try and choose products which are hypoallergenic, kind to skin and non-fragranced and contain natural ingredients as this will all help reduce the risk of nappy rash,” Dr Karen added. What may work for one baby, may not for another and for babies who tend to get frequent nappy rash, use a barrier cream regularly with every nappy change.
According to the British Medical Journal of Best Practice, barrier creams that contain one or more of the following ingredients have found to be useful: zinc oxide, glycerine, soft paraffin, lanolin, sucralfate and mineral oils.
An important note the doctors added; sometimes this may not work alone if there is an infection like thrush present, then an anti-fungal is needed or even a steroid cream under medical supervision.
According to Green People, if you are already following the steps above and nappy rash is still a problem, it could be triggered by other causes. Keep an eye on your baby’s general health as nappy rash can mean there is an underlying problem. See a doctor if you are concerned.
Dr Karen and Dr U Nartey said it’s best to see or talk to your GP if you see signs of:
*Further information on nappy rash can be found on the NHS website.
We’ve rounded up the best lotions and ointments to help sooth nappy rash.
Shop the edit below
Made with carefully crafted ingredients including extracts of golden calendula (famous for its skin healing properties grown organically in Weleda’s own biodynamic herb gardens) together with soothing chamomile, nourishing sweet almond and sesame oils as well as zinc oxide to help protect baby’s delicate skin, this is one of the most popular nappy rash creams we tested. Organic calendula, the humble pot marigold, is used in all Weleda’s Calendula Baby Care products as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory. Weleda combines calendula and chamomile extracts and blends them with sweet almond and sesame oil, making a rich cream to reduce redness and gently care for the nappy area. Skin-friendly lanolin and zinc oxide provide a barrier against damp. The result is a lovely thick white cream which is kind to easily irritated skin and gets real results fast.
‘The Yellow One’ was the reply our tester got when she asked her NCT Group for their best nappy rash cream recommendations. It was universally agreed that this tube of yellow wonder was an absolute must-have in any parents’ kit and words like ‘absolute magic’ and ‘brilliant’ were thrown around in the group chat.
Metanium works out as good value for money as you only need a teeny- tiny bit of this yellow cream but be warned, this is BRIGHT yellow. Metanium claim that this doesn’t actually contain any ingredients that will stain clothes permanently (although it will, temporarily) and that any yellow stains should wash out with a stain remover followed by your normal laundry wash.
This is the cream that mums turn to when nappy rash is at its worst, with many claiming it’s the best they’ve ever used at getting rid of a bad bout of rash quickly. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to claim this as a yellow magic wand when your baby’s bum is really sore. An absolute must-have.
We couldn’t test the best nappy rash creams on the market and leave out good ol’ Sudocrem, could we? The name everyone thinks of as far as nappy rash is concerned; this white, thick tub of cream has been soothing sore bottoms for over 90 years now after it was invented by a Dublin pharmacist called Thomas Smith in 1931.
‘Sudocrem Antiseptic Healing Cream’ to give its full name, has a water-repellent base which forms a protective barrier, therefore helping to stop any irritants coming into contact with the skin.
Sudocrem really is a bit of a Jack-of-all trades, and you can use it for a wide range of skin issues due its soothing, protective antiseptic and antibacterial and antifungal properties. People have used Sudocrem on everything from cuts and grazes, sunburn and even minor burns.
It’s also licensed to be used on eczema and is fine to use on babies from birth. We asked Sudocrem about why it works so well and they told us the ingredients are key to its success. Anhydrous hypoallergenic lanolin is an emollient which helps soothe the skin, while zinc oxide helps to reduce the loss of fluid. Benzyl alcohol has local anaesthetic and antiseptic properties, helping to reduce discomfort and the water-repellent excipient base which includes paraffin, helps create a protective seal.
An essential in any newborn hospital bag.
Moogoo wanted to make something more than just a barrier cream, so they added in a ‘whole bunch of goodness’ to this cream to help care for tender baby bottoms, they added lovely soothing and anti-yeast ingredients to address the cause, not just the symptoms.
The owner of Moogoo created the baby range when his own kids came along, and we love the whole ethos of this range and the way the formulations seems to hydrate thirsty and sore skin so well.
The proud owner of a fair few awards, this nappy balm contains zinc to help provide protection, piroctone olamine as an anti-yeast ingredient to keep irritation under control as well as jojoba, sunflower, evening primrose and olive oil.
There are many parents who rate Burt’s Bees lovely baby range and we’ve joined the praise party. This cream works wonders on serious nappy rashes, with many parents testifying that when their little one’s rash is very sore or angry looking, this is the cream they reach for.
It’s thick, goes on like a cream but dries to a powder. A little goes a long way, so it’s cost effective too.
Burt’s Bees told us that this is formulation is 100 per cent natural and contains 40 per cent zinc oxide, the maximum strength needed to seal out moisture that can irritate your baby’s bottom. It’s also packed with shea butter, lavender oil and jojoba seed oil while creating an emollient layer to absorb wetness leaving baby’s skin soft, dry, and smooth.
We were also glad to see that this ointment contains no parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS and is not tested on animals. Excellent.
Mummy’s Magic is dermatologically tested for sensitive and eczema prone skin and is suitable for newborns. Founded by Julie Ashworth, a mother from Merseyside who created Mummy’s Magic in 1985 after her five-month-old daughter suffered a severe rash and eczema in the nappy area. Julie concocted a natural spray without any harmful substances and Mummy’s Magic was born.
“I was a qualified aromatherapist and make-up artist at the time. I used my experience as an aromatherapist and made my own product. I set to work in my kitchen, mixed my aromatherapy oils, shea butter, rosewater and aloe vera,” Julie told us. “I put it in a spray bottle, and it worked. My daughter slept for the first time in days and her rash cleared up in no time.”
A clinical trial from 2010 found a whopping 96 per cent of mums found that sprays was easier to use than a cream, and 95 per cent agreed that the spray eased their baby’s nappy rash. The spray has rave reviews from parents but also celebrities like Danielle Lloyd who swears by it. We also love the fact that this spray is so versatile to use and can even be used on bites and stings.
Bepanthen is another name rated highly amongst NCT Groups. It works in two ways to protect from the causes of nappy rash and care for your baby’s delicate skin.
Clinically proven, the cream works by forming a breathable transparent layer, helping protect your baby’s skin from the irritants and rubbing that can cause nappy rash. Ingredients include Provitamin B5, which gently helps sensitive skin to repair its natural protective barrier while keeping it soft, smooth and moisturised. The water in oil formulation seals in the skins natural moisture and provides optimal conditions to allow gentle skin recovery without drying out your baby’s delicate skin, keeping it healthy and hydrated.
We were glad to see it contains no colour or fragrance and Bepathen claim this cream is so gentle it can be used at every nappy change, even on the highly sensitive skin of premature babies.
This nappy cream is enriched with eczema-friendly actives that gently soothe soreness. Loved by parents for its high concentration of soothing, organic, plant-based actives that quickly calm sore skin, it comes in a recyclable tube which is made with climate positive Sugar Cane plastic.
Suitable for super sensitive baby skin, the 88.6 per cent organic formulation includes chamomile, hemp seed oil, sunflower seed oil and aloe vera. It’s also now approved by The Vegan Society as this formulation doesn’t contain any beeswax, instead Green People have replaced beeswax with water-repellent Berry Wax which is eczema friendly.
Mama Mio’s new Comfort and Calm Bum Balm is another winner from their excellent product line up.
Mama Mio call this ‘the ultimate baby bum cream for happy nappies’ and our tester raved about how effective this cream was on their little one’s bottom. We also liked the fact that this cream is not just for baby’s bottoms, the soothing multi-purpose balm can be applied to cheeks, bums or anywhere on the face and body that requires a little comfort (including mum’s sore hands).
Formulated by dermatologists with a ‘Skin Nurturing Omega Complex’, the cream contains a unique blend of Shea, Avocado and Coconut Oils rich in Omegas to help keep baby’s skin feeling nourished and moisturised. Packed with plant-based actives, it’s also fragrance free for baby’s delicate skin. The creamy balm is soft and not too thick when applied with our tester saying, ‘it melts into the skin and helped clear up my baby’s rash within two days.’ Highly recommended.
Excellent quality and packed full of natural essential oils, there isn’t a This Works product we’ve met that we haven’t loved.
This 98 per cent natural multi-tasking balm is brilliant at soothing sore skin and works on nappy rash as well as any spots of roughness or dryness on your baby’s body and is a great addition to their best-selling baby sleep range of skincare.
Packed with ultra-hydrators Shea Butter, Vitamin E alongside Natural Oats, blended expertly to help support the function of the skin barrier and help calm and comfort. This Bottom Balm is sulphate, paraben and GMO-free and is dermatologically tested as well as being vegan and cruelty free. It also smells lovely and is great to use before bedtime as part of a wind-down routine, but it does contain fragrance and essential oils so a patch test on sensitive baby skin is wise.
Aveeno’s baby range consistently scores highly in parent reviews and their Barrier Nappy Cream is no exception with some parents claiming that after trying most of the nappy rash creams available, this was the one that finally helped clear up their baby’s rash.
One of Aveeno’s star ingredients is colloidal oatmeal which is soothing and calming and they also include zinc oxide to create an effective barrier cream that gets results – fast.
We liked the fact that it has no added fragrance, making it a good choice for sensitive skin. Aveeno is beloved of many parents who trust their tried and tested formations with their little ones and get results time and time again.
This award-winning Scrumptious Baby Cream is a multi-protective barrier cream that helps keep babies’ skin smooth and soft. Our mum tester said this one ‘really did leave my baby’s skin feeling like velvet’ and highly rated its fresh, clean smell.
Ideal for sensitive skin, this cream contains organic extracts to provide a soothing barrier. It’s infused with organic rosemary but what we really like about this product is what is not in it, it’s free from parabens, mineral or petroleum oils.
A tube of Weleda Calendula Nappy Change Cream sells every four seconds and is said to be a favourite of midwives. First introduced in 1985 this cream has remained a best-seller for over the 30 years. It was a close run between this and the yellow magic of Metanium but in the end, Weleda pipped the post to be crowned our ES Best Buy.
It’s comforting, soothing balm as well as its soft calendula fragrance is a pleasure to use even on something like nappy rash. Our tester claimed its smell alone reminds her of the newborn days when it was the only thing that helped soothe her little boy’s soreness. For its affordability, high-quality ingredients and gorgeous organic formulation, this had to be our winner.


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