Homemade Natural Diaper Cream & Lotion

Raw shea butter - Photo courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

Raw shea butter - Photo courtesy of Mountain Rose Herbs

Coconut oil and raw shea butter are the perfect combination for a safe, natural and simple diaper cream or hand lotion. Shea butter is wonderful for its natural healing and moisturizing properties. It is rich in Vitamins A, E, and F, which help to soothe, hydrate, and balance the skin. Make sure to select raw shea butter, because many companies use bleaches, deodorizers, or chemicals to alter the scent and appearance of shea butter. These processings deplete the product of its healing and medicinal properties, and also destroy the vitamins and minerals present. You will know if it is raw by its distinguished nutty smell. Coconut oil is also very nourishing and moisturizing to the skin and has great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.

This is definitely a powerhouse for defeating yeast infections as well. We love it now! I used to have to switch my babies over to disposables when a rash hit, but with this salve, it heals wonderfully even when wearing cloth diapers. I recommend using a thick doubler/liner when applying this salve if you use cloth diapers to protect their warranty. My dipes are out of warranty, so we use it directly on their bum with the diaper and it has not caused any repealing issues. It washes out beautifully. This recipes works for a awesome natural lotion as well, helping to sooth dry and cracked skin. You may want to add some lavender (or other) essential oil for fragrance for use as hand lotion because shea butter gives it a nutty smell and may not be preferred if you like a real fragrant lotion.

IMG_6459How to make your own?

1/8 cup coconut oil (extra virgin is preferred)
1/4 cup raw shea butter
3-4 Tablespoons talc-free cornstarch or arrowroot power (optional, to thicken) -Learn more about avoiding talc here.

Combine coconut oil and shea butter in a small bowl with a hand mixer or stick blender. You may have to soften the shea butter just slightly over very low heat in order to incorporate them well together, but it should combine well with a mixer. Add cornstarch or arrowroot a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired thickness. It will look similar to a whipped icing.That’s it! Transfer to a small covered container and place at your changing station. Keep a small portion in the diaper bag as well. Apply liberally with each diaper change as a preventative and rash salve. There are many more complicated homemade varieties out there, but this simple recipe has done the trick for us! Makes about 1 cup.

We buy our extra virgin coconut oil and raw shea butter from Mountain Rose Herbs. You can use refined coconut oil on the skin as it is a cheaper variety. Unrefined is preferred for eating.

This post is a part of Fight Back Fridays.

Passionate Homemaking is an affiliate of Mountain Rose Herbs and will receive a small percentage of sales purchased through our links. Thank you for your support!

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of three, homemaker, and writer. She is the editor of Passionate Homemaking since its beginning five years ago. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

129 Responses to Homemade Natural Diaper Cream & Lotion

  1. Samantha R. July 21, 2013 at 9:11 am #

    I like getting my already made natural lotion from http://www.naturalwayorganics.net. They have a different variety of lotions including baby lotion and it’s without all the harsh chemicals you see in the store. Theirs also relieves itchy and dry skin while providing protection from irritating elements in the air.

  2. Ellie January 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    I would just like to point out that the American Cancer Association has posted about talc, making your link inaccurate. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancercauses/othercarcinogens/athome/talcum-powder-and-cancer

    • Susan June 1, 2013 at 1:54 pm #

      I would say that the link posted IS accurate unless you are reading one of the links differently than I am . Talc can and may contain asbestos particles shown to cause cancer. Avoiding talc on a baby is a no brainer if you ask me,

  3. Sarah Taylor December 3, 2012 at 10:23 am #

    Does anyone have any diaper rash cream recipes that don’t use coconut oil? I love coconut oil and use it as a moisturizer and after using it as a baby oil on my son discovered that he is allergic. I’ve been having a hard time finding a recipe that doesn’t use coconut oil.

  4. soniya November 30, 2012 at 2:40 am #

    Hi Lindsay, I just want to know can I use this cream on my baby face also and can I use fractionated coconut oil instead of virgin coconut oil…….Thanks

  5. Jennie October 29, 2012 at 1:20 pm #

    Thank you SO MUCH. Seriously.

    We have 3 kids: a 4-year old son, 2.5 year old daughter, & 6-month old daughter. Our 2.5 year old has had a perpetual rash for the longest time; nothing we’ve tried has really worked, including coconut oil alone. It gets better & worse, but never goes away. Our 6-month old also got a diaper rash, very recently (thanks, new teeth!).

    I ordered the necessary ingredients from Mountain Rose Herbs; everything arrived on Thursday. I made the diaper rash cream on Friday, and now (it’s Monday)… no diaper rashes to speak of… and pretty much for the whole weekend!!! It worked almost instantaneously. We’ve used it with each diaper change for the girls, to keep the rash from reappearing.

    The cream works well on other things, too… our 2.5 year old had some pineapple yesterday; the skin on her cheeks was instantly bright red. I decided to put a little of the cream on… her cheeks went back to normal, & she said they no longer hurt.

    I made it just by breaking the coconut oil & shea butter down with a fork in a bowl & mixing it up. I didn’t use the microwave; didn’t melt anything down. It seemed to be the right consistency, so I didn’t add the arrowroot that I’d bought, but the cream has since softened & separated quite a bit, so I think I’ll probably add a little bit, just to thicken it a little.

    We’ve had our cloth diapers for a few years, so I’m not worried about staining, but I haven’t had any problems whatsoever.

    I am so thrilled to have found this recipe, & so grateful you decided to post it.

    As for Mountain Rose Herbs, I can’t say enough good things about them. They were wonderful to deal with (I get so confused about refined/unrefined, etc.); they answered my questions in a truly helpful way. I love that they’re an eco-friendly, sustainable, fair trade, no waste company.

    Thank you. So. Much.

  6. Rachel Ramey October 20, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Oh, my gosh! I just found this Pinned on Pinterest with no explanation/description, and I thought that was BISCUITS! lol (I thought they looked like awfully white biscuits for a Lindsay recipe!)

    I’m glad I clicked through, though, as I was just given a tubful of shea butter and didn’t know what to do with it.

  7. Joni August 17, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    I’ve been making this cream for a while and I love it! it just doesn’t seem to turn out like the “whipped icing” every time. This past time, I ordered the Mountain Rose Herbs shea butter, added 5 tbls of arrowroot and it seems too runny. Any suggestions? Thank you!

    • SABRINA August 19, 2012 at 7:29 pm #

      Interesting recipe. I make my own ‘diaper butter’ too but admit, I don’t measure as well as the author and I have never thought of using arrow root or cornstarch to thicken (doesn’t corn starch serve as food for yeast?). Refined coconut oil may not have the antibacterial/antifungal properties that the virgin variety does. I might try the author’s recipe when I’m ready for a new batch, but I just made a fresh supply of my own recipe last night so it won’t be for a while.

      My child is 2 months away from turning 2 and has NEVER had diaper rash or a yeast infection. I use my homemade diaper butter with every diaper change. When we’re away from home or for baby sitter use, I use Grovia Magic stick. It’s quick, easy, safe for cloth or disposable diapers and the sitter with decorated fingernails loves that she doesn’t have to ‘risk’ her manicure. Each stick is about $14 but lasts a while for me since the baby is usually home with me and not ‘out and about’ or with the sitter much (hopefully this will change when I find a new job!! Been searching 14 months with no luck; I’m a Database Analyst/Executive Secretary).

      I USE DISPOSABLE DIAPERS and DO NOT KNOW if the following can be used with the cloth variety. The way I make diaper balm/butter, is I use a 16 oz glass jar (short and fat, resembles the plastic tubs store bought diaper cream comes in – see Lil’ Goat’s Zinc Oxide Cream packaging) ivory, unrefined shea butter, beeswax and a mixture of oils. I fill the 16oz jar just under 1/2 way with the unrefined shea butter, mashing and stirring with a fork until it’s soft (takes a minute or two if that). You may need to add more shea as you stir to ensure the jar is just under 1/2 full when you are done softening. (I always use white/ivory). I heard that while the yellow is similar, it is a different species and the two trees grow in very different climates, thereby having similar but different qualities. The difference seems minor in this application so either will probably do.

      I change up the oils I use with my mood or with whatever I have on hand. In last night’s batch, I used Virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, grapeseed oil, sweet almond oil, calendula oil and apricot seed oil. Jojoba and kukuit nut oils work well in place of one or two of the aforementioned oils. Each oil is measured at 1 TBSP, except for the coconut oil. I always use 2 tbsps of that. Sometimes I use 2 tbsps of the calendula oil as well and don’t notice a negative effect in the end result. Last night I didn’t because I’m almost out of the calendula oil. Also, I don’t know how the measurement translates for other calendula oils. I use Weleda, which is premixed with predominently sweet almond oil. You could even use all one oil, but not all coconut imo, because it is temperamental, since it’s a solid at room temperature and below but a liquid around and above 75 degrees. Basically, any six oils you like should work. I use virgin coconut oil in every batch to help ensure the antifungal/antibacterial properties of the batch. I also add a few drops of essential oil as a preservative. Lately I’ve been using tea tree (10 drops or less). If you use ylang ylang (strong) or have sensitive skin, perhaps you’ll need less. My child doesn’t seem to be irritated in any way with the 10 drops of tea tree oil and again, has NEVER had a diaper rash or yeast infection.

      Measure your selection of oils into a single cup and set aside. In a double boiler set to medium heat (just set a larger pot on top of a smaller pot filled 1/2 way with water), I put 1 & 1/2 tbsps unrefined beeswax pellets to melt (from Soapgoods.com. It’s labeled as unrefined, but I’m sure it is somewhat refined to create those uniform pellets. They don’t deodorize it, is why I guess they classify it as such). I turned off the heat when the wax was almost completely melted, but kept the large pot on top of the smaller pot. Next, I added the mixture of oils into the melted wax and stirred for one minute to be sure everything was melted, blended and heated.

      I then poured half the hot mixture into the shea butter, mixed well, and then added the rest of the hot mixture to the shea butter and stirred again (shea will melt). I put the lid on the jar and set it undisturbed for 24 hours. It can be used at that point but will continue to harden and be as hard as it will get in 48 hours. Some people put similar mixtures into the freezer or fridge to speed up the process but I’ve never tried that so I can’t say whether or not it changes the final product. If the mixture is too soft after 48 hours, melt additional beeswax using the double boiler method (1 teaspoon has been adequate increase for me in the past but may vary. Lately, I’ve not had this issue, the 1&1/2 tbsps works well), then scoop the already prepared mixture into the melted beeswax (heat is off at this point but keep the larger pot on the smaller pot for the duration of the process. The residual heat is enough to complete the process) and stir for about 1 minute until hot (not boiling). Pour back into the jar and let it set up again. If the mixture was too hard, increase the amount of oils you use and next time you make the mixture, decrease the amount of beeswax used. I’ve not had this happen, so I don’t know what measurement to give on the decrease. The types of oils used make a difference as to how hard or soft the mixture gets, as well as how exacting your measurements are. I’m loose with mine so my results vary slightly but not so much as to make me measure any more accurately. Sometimes, my mixture is perfect, a seemingly hard butter/cream but is easily scooped and instantly melts when it touches baby’s bottom. Other times, my mixture feels slightly gritty, but is as easy to scoop and melts as readily and completely when smeared on skin so no sweat. I forgot to mention that sometimes, I put in a few drops of fragrant oil in for a light influence on the scent. Not too much though, you don’t want to cause irritation to baby’s skin and the mixture really does smell nice (imo) as is. Still, sometimes I add mango frangrance oil or lemon grass essential oil to it. I’ve even added dark chocolate fragrance oil to mimick cocoa butter. Very few drops though (I get them also from soapgoods.com).

      If anyone tries this recipe, let me know how well you liked it (or hated it) and any improvements you suggest are welcome. Happy mixing.

    • SABRINA August 19, 2012 at 8:09 pm #

      Don’t heat the shea butter at all. It only takes a minute or two of working it with a metal fork to soften. I use shea butter in all kinds of concoctions, sometimes adding it to already heated mixtures but never actually heating it up itself. You could also try increasing the shea butter. It seems the basic concept for both the author’s cream and mine are that I use beeswax to harden and the Lindsay uses arrow root/cornstarch to thicken. Since I’ve experimented with just a mixture of shea butter and oil (loved all of those experiments), I think I will try Lindsay’s, but maybe with clay like another poster recommended (Tia). I will admit, I don’t always get my cream as smooth as I want consistently. That’s the main reason I want to try Lindsay’s recipe.

      The secret, is probably that I have to stop being lazy and be more careful with my measuring. Mixer blending would likely alter my results for the better. I don’t currently have one and am satisfied enough with my results to dismiss purchasing one. LOL

    • SABRINA August 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm #

      RECIPE CORRECTION.

      If the diaper butter is not set or too soft, instead of remelting and adding more beeswax, add shea butter instead. Soften 1/4 cup of shea butter in a bowl by mashing and stirring with a fork. DO NOT MELT and DO NOT MICROWAVE! This will take about 1 minute. Then, add 1/2 of the jar of partially set diaper butter to the shea butter and stire well. Add the rest of the diaper butter and stir until thoroughly mixed.

      Spoon back into the jar and it will set almost immediately. Useable in about 10-15 minutes but will continue to harden over the next 24 hours.

      I am really LOVING this modification!!

  8. Liza August 7, 2012 at 7:25 am #

    Hi! I was wondering about how many ounces do you purchase at a time?

    • Liza August 7, 2012 at 7:28 am #

      How many ounces of the Shea butter I mean…

  9. Tia July 19, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

    Just wanted to mention that those who have babies who struggle with yeast or thrush should opt for arrrowroot instead of cornstarch if using a thickener. Cornstarch can aggravate yeast or fungal conditions by providing nourishment.

    If you have been using cornstarch powder as a talc alternative on your baby and yourself, consider switching to a product made with clay, or just buy some bulk bentonite or green clay which is typically available at health food stores. Clay has amazing healing and drying properties, and is safe to use on infants.

    • SABRINA August 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm #

      Excellent tip with the clay. I just replied a LONG response today, which is likely at the top of this thread with a recipe I came up with myself that i like. I just made a fresh batch of it so I won’t make this author’s version any time soon, but when/if I do, I will use clay instead of the cornstarch/arrow root. I agree about the corn startch at least, being food for the yeast. Not familiar with arrow root so I can’t comment on that.

      My baby has always been diapered with my concoction. Aside from when we’re out and about or the baby goes to the sitter (I use Grovia Magic Stick for those occasions), every change and with disposable diapers; baby has NEVER had a yeast infection or diaper rash and is two months away from being a 2 year old. I’m SO grateful and I hope the trend continues during potty training (we’re just starting but baby is not speaking fluently yet, mostly ‘jibber jabber’ and a few recognizable words.

  10. Cassie July 4, 2012 at 8:02 am #

    I made this & used it for about a month on my baby’s tush
    …didn’t care for it cause she always seemed red :(

  11. Sarah May 20, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Hi! Just wanted to let you know how much I love this cream, we use it for so much more than diaper rashes, which I will add, my CD’s are out of warranty and I never use a liner, no issues. I’ve used it on burns, scrapes, as a lotion, and just applied it to my fresh sunburn and it instantly feels soothed and and less irritated! Thanks for posting!

  12. Erika May 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm #

    Hi, Lindsay! I only have the refined coconut oil from Tropical Traditions. Does it still have all of the anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties as the virgin oil, or is it lost in processing? My daughter has recurrent yeast rashes, and I’d like to make some of this.

    • Lindsay May 7, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

      No, that is great to use. It is just not as beneficial to consume in your diet, but is great for skin care products.

  13. Monique Rushing May 2, 2012 at 10:07 am #

    Hello,

    May i ask is there a way to make the shea butter lotion without a oil? my daughter has eczema and everything seems to irratate her.

    • Jennifer June 6, 2012 at 11:21 am #

      I have experience with children with eczema,
      Go ahead and use the coconut oil, it will do amazing things for the eczema, it should actually help her not harm her and I bet you will will find she has less flare ups if you start using the coconut oil.
      Best of luck!

    • rahul March 6, 2013 at 4:28 am #

      use organic sesame oil. it is revered in ayurveda. im sure it will not cause any issues

  14. Whitney May 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm #

    I hope this isn’t a repeat question, with a little one I don’t have a lot of time to read through and find out! What do you use as a liner in your cloth diapers? I have been wondering.

    • Lindsay May 1, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

      Actually, I just use cloth wipes most of the time.

  15. Alyssa February 18, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    Hi, I read that you said this was cloth diaper safe, but then you said to use a liner. It said that it wouldn’t cause repelling, but it may cause staining? I’m just looking to clarify…thanks!

    • Lindsay February 20, 2012 at 5:12 pm #

      If you are using cloth diapers, you should always use a liner (cloth wipe or whatever) with any diaper cream. It’s more to protect your warranty on the diapers and to prevent staining.

      • TLB January 19, 2013 at 9:10 am #

        If you use tri-folds and aren’t worried about a warranty, don’t worry about the liners and don’t worry about whether diaper creams might affect the pure cotton cloth. It barely makes a difference. Staining to me is irrelevant, but if having pure white diapers every time is important to you, you are probably stuck using bleach anyway (which will work on diaper creams, including the fishy ones).

        We use a diaper service with tri-folds/”prefolds” inside Bummis brand or the old school style Thirsties diaper covers. We are very, very happy with this setup.

        My little guy rarely gets diaper rashes. We use simple Butt Paste frequently, just as a barrier. He’s got an actual rash right now and I’m mixing up my own lotion using raw organic cacao butter. I don’t have shea butter, arrowroot, or zinc, so I’m trying to figure out whether to try corn starch. it sounds risky, with the yeast factor.

  16. Beth February 15, 2012 at 9:03 pm #

    Can we add Calendula infused Olive Oil instead of the Shea Butter? Would I have to add beeswax to make stiffer? I love the healing properties of Calendula! I am looking for something to use on my niece and the 62 year old lady I take care of, they are Down Syndrome and thier skin gets very dry and chapped.

    • Lindsay February 16, 2012 at 3:35 pm #

      Raw shea butter is essential for its moisturizing healing properties especially when dealing with a yeast rash. If you want to add olive oil, then I might switch it out for the coconut oil instead or do half and half with coconut oil. It will affect the texture so you would have to experiment.

      • Karina September 11, 2012 at 7:37 am #

        You can also infuse calendula or another healing herb into coconut oil, then mix that with the shea butter. Just heat your dried herbs in the coconut oil over a double boiler or the lowest possible heat in a regular pot for an hour or two, then strain.

  17. Christina February 7, 2012 at 8:55 pm #

    Eep! I just read the article about Talc. I had a minor panic until I remembered that Mom insisted I only use pure cornstarch on my baby’s tush. We are switching to cloth diapers (yes using up the remainder of our disposables yet testing out cloth diapers). She has been having rashes lately so I have been looking up cloth friendly remedies while heavily relying on her cornstarch. But now I am seriously thinking about combing through all of her hygeine items to make sure there is nothing harmful.

  18. TheMadElvishPoet January 30, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Have you ever tried adding essential oils to make it a nice hand lotion? If so, where would you add them?

  19. Dorrie January 18, 2012 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi :-) I was just wondering if it’s ok to melt all the ingredients in a double boiler so they mix nicely or is it best to just mix with too much heating?

    • Lindsay January 18, 2012 at 2:29 pm #

      Sure…but I would be extra careful to preserve the raw properties of the shea butter for best results.

  20. Melissa January 9, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    is there any stores that sell raw shea butter or just shea butter?

  21. monica December 17, 2011 at 3:15 pm #

    hi lindsay, i just made this recipe today and i’d say i like the smell of it. Thank you so much for posting this on the website. i hope it works on my little one’s skin. oh can this be used for both disposable and cloth daipers?

    • Lindsay December 18, 2011 at 3:09 pm #

      You can use it on cloth diapers as long as you use some sort of liner to protect from staining the diapers.

  22. Phoebe November 11, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

    Hi Lindsay! Thank you for sharing this recipe with your readers. All of the products you can buy are rather expensive and I like that this is so simple, as well. I also tried the deodorant recipe and it works so well! I appreciate your heart and love your site.

  23. Danelle August 24, 2011 at 10:33 am #

    How long does this cream last? If it’s refridgerated will it last longer?

    • Lindsay August 26, 2011 at 8:00 pm #

      At least a year.