Using Coconut Oil for Healing Diaper Rash Review – Does it Work?

1 out of 5 leaves

1 out of 5 leaves

Coconut oil is an edible oil extracted from the meat of mature coconuts.  It is used as a primary cooking oil in many parts of the world.  It also can be used in a wide variety of cosmetic and personal care products.  I have been using coconut oil for quite a while now in cooking and baking.  I’ve also tried shaving with it and using it as a body moisturizer.  Today I want to  share my experiences with using whipped coconut oil in baby care.  Does coconut oil make a good diaper rash cream?

The Good

  • Better for baby – virgin, unrefined coconut oil is a safe, all natural product with no chemical fillers, preservatives, or sketchy things you don’t want to be absorbed by baby’s sensitive skin
  • Better for the Earth – Coconut oil does not harm the waste stream the way that run off from chemical filled lotion might
  • Easy to apply – coconut oil is solid at room temp, but melts easily against baby’s warm bottom
  • Smells great – the scent of unrefined, virgin coconut oil will take your senses on a trip straight to the beach
  • Saves money – a little bit of this oil goes a long way, and is a better price per application than most diaper creams on the market

The Bad

  • Rubbing oil all over baby’s bottom can be a bit messy
  • It doesn’t always work

My Experience

Diaper Rash Cream vs Coconut Oil

Coconut!  That magical fruit that yields magical oil that will heal all your ills.  Or so they say.  So, with a new baby in the house, I thought I’d try it out on her bottom and see how well coconut oil works as a diaper rash cream.

The baby had developed a minor rash among her chubby creases that didn’t seemed to bother her, but bothered me a bit.  Her skin was not super irritated, but was a deeper red color in some spots vs the normal pink of the rest of her bottom.  I put a small jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil on the changing table and started giving her a good application with every diaper change.

Nothing changed.  Coconut oil FAIL.

After four days of constant coconut oil, I instead applied some organic, zinc based commercial diaper cream (EWG Skin Deep Cosmetics score of 0, thankyouverymuch).  By the next diaper change the rash was completely gone and her skin back to a healthy, happy pink.

Several days later, she developed a bumpy red rash all over her bottom.  Her skin was very irritated because she had secretly pooped after I put her to bed, then slept for a good six hours in it.  (Sorry baby! 🙁 )  I applied coconut oil, but again her skin showed no signs of calming by the next diaper change.  So I went back to the old faithful diaper cream in a tube.  Once again the rash cleared by the next diaper change after using the store bought cream.

In our experience, coconut oil is not a good replacement for diaper cream.  While it made my baby’s bottom smell nice and fruity, it did not sooth her irritated skin at all.  I know that coconut oil has some anti-fungal properties, and so may help for a fungal type of rash like yeast.  But it was not helpful for a general irritated skin rash.

I am super sad that our favorite organic diaper cream has been discontinued!  However, after doing some research I plan to try out this one next.  It is zinc based, has 100% natural ingredients, has an EWG score of 1, and has great reviews on Amazon.  Hopefully it will be just as effective as our current cream!  You can click on the picture if you’re interested in trying it out with me (affiliate link).

Have you ever tried using coconut oil on a diaper rash?  What’s your favorite diaper cream?



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33 Responses to Using Coconut Oil for Healing Diaper Rash Review – Does it Work?

  1. We’ve been using calendula cream with 100% success for years.
    I won’t buy anything from Burts Bees anymore as they got bought out by Clorox..and they have fragrance in everything…

    • Victoria says:

      Where do you get the calendula cream? I’m certainly not advocating for all of Burts Bees, but the ingredient list on this diaper cream is 100% natural, with no fragrance added.

  2. Kate says:

    I’m surprise. I use coconut oil all the time it works better then other diaper creams I’ve tried. Although my little one has never had very bad rashes. I don’t use burt’s bees they really aren’t any less toxic then other brands. But if I need some real diaper cream I’d been using Ava Anderson.

    • Victoria says:

      Hi Kate! I’m not recommending Burt Bees overall of course, but the ingredient list for the diaper cream specifically is all natural ingredients and has no added fragrances or toxins. The ingredient list is quite similar to the Ava Anderson diaper cream!

  3. Sangeetha says:

    Coconut oil always worked for my daughter. I would leave her diaper-free for a few hours along with coconut oil application.

  4. Hannah says:

    Coconut oil users here too, with good success! But I’d love info on the calendula cream too! Thanks for sharing your post with us at Eco-Kids Tuesday. Hope to see you back next week!

  5. Andrea says:

    My daughter (now out of diapers) has super sensitive skin and got diaper rash frequently. I also tried coconut oil, but with very little success. We ended up using homemade essential oil-infused balms.

  6. Amy says:

    Hi Victoria,

    I just wanted to say thank you for this post. Our LO has extremely sensitive skin and diaper rashes have been an issue since he was about 1 month old. While I never tried coconut oil I decided to try the Burt’s Bees diaper cream. It seemed to work overnight. My husband even noticed the difference and commented on how smooth and non-rashy he is. Your post made me realize that maybe the diaper creams were a little to harsh on him. Thanks for the post and keep them coming!

  7. Lisa Lynn says:

    Good to know! Thanks so much for sharing on The Creative HomeAcre Hop!
    Hope to see you again tomorrow at:

  8. I had similar experiences with coconut oil, but was happy with it to a degree. For a bad rash it seemed useless. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    • Victoria says:

      Thanks Steph — it’s always reassuring when someone backs me up on a Green Idea Fail!

  9. We love coconut oil. It’s has so many helpful purposes. We have used it as diaper cream too. For us, it has worked every time except for when the rash was actually a yeast rash. In that case, it didn’t help at all.

    Thanks for linking up at The Tuesday Baby Link Up! We hope to see you back this week.

  10. Pingback: Treating Cradle Cap with Coconut Oil Review – Does it Work? | Green Idea Reviews

  11. Shady says:

    Strange, EWG gives a score of 3 to the BB Diaper Ointment. Not sure where you saw 1. The worst ingredient gets an 8! RETINYL ACETATE (VITAMIN A ACETATE). Freaky.

    Did they change the ingredients from when you were looking at it originally?

    • Victoria says:

      Hey Shady – there must have been an update to thier data since I wrote this post. Do you have any recommendations for a good diaper cream?
      Thanks for reading!

      • Shady says:

        Unfortunately no. We are dealing with our first rash and the only thing that made it subside somewhat was aloe straight from the plant. We bought Butt Naked Baby diaper balm which has a good Ewg score but it didn’t have much effect.

        • Victoria says:

          Darn – it stinks when the natural products don’t work. Especially since they tend to be so pricey!

          • April P. says:

            Hey ladies & gents!
            My lo has such severely sensitive skin!!! She is allergic to all diaper rash creams. It scorches her skin & gives her 1st degree burns. We have found that when she gets severe diaper rash I put Silvadene (prescribtion) right before bed & by morning the rash is gone. During the day I put my own homemade diaper rash cream on her with tons of baby powder. The cream I make is Aquaphor ointment & milk of magnesia mixed together. The Aquaphor is great for creating the barrior & the milk of magnesia is an antiacid that helps with redness & inflimation as well. I’ve also used Maalox instead of Milk of Magnesia. I’ve found these are such wonderful things. I’m about to try coconut oil in place of the Aquaphor. I’ve also read that using corn starch in place of the baby powder is amazing & using wet paper towels in place of wipes. I hope this helps anyone & please feel free to email me with any questions/concerns/suggestions.

  12. Karen says:

    I find it very hard to believe that coconut oil did not work, I suffer from lichen sclerosis which is a skin condition that you get in the vaginal area just like diaper rash in fact have always used diaper rash ointment as a barrier on the very painful sores. Until recently I read about using coconut oil, tried it and could not believe the instant relief from the pain, burning and soreness I had. I even tried extra strength diaper rash ointment wit 40% zinc only to have it burn and irritate my skin more and could only think of the poor baby with a sore bottom who can’t say that it burns! I will never use a chemical first aid ointment again after using coconut oil … Trust me it is amazing!

    • Victoria says:

      Hi Karen, I’m glad that coconut oil worked for you! I guess different types of rashes respond to different types of treatment, right? You can be sure that my sweet baby would clearly let me know if I did something that hurt her!

  13. lolali says:

    nice post, ecological diaper comes under organic product and it is useful for children to protect them from rashes
    תפרחת חיתולים

  14. Lolali says:

    nice idea, Coconut oil can be a nice idea to protect your child from diaper rash. coconut oil is natural remedy to protect child from rashes. it does not have any side effect.
    תפרחת חיתולים

  15. lolali says:

    cloth diapers may be useful but it accounts for more chances of diaper rash in children and ecological diapers are important to protect them from diaper rash.

    תפרחת חיתולים

  16. Lucyca says:

    Hi Victoria
    It’s fine that coconut oil is also fine for baby’s diaper rash removal and prevention. Is it suitable for cloth diaper, as I use that for my 1 and half years baby.
    Please advice.
    Thanks for this nice post.

  17. Ann says:

    I tried coconut oil numerous times for diaper rashes. It only worked on small rashes. my pharmacy makes a diaper rash cream called pink cream that never fails though. its amazing!

  18. Hollie says:

    I use Coconut oil and cornstarch mix works really well even on a terrible rash 🙂 apply oil and put cornstarch in place of baby powder voila within a day rash is gone… If the rash is really bad in some areas I make a paste with the two and apply it…

    • Emma says:

      Hi Hollie,

      I was just wondering what ratio you use of coconut oil and corn starch to get a nice consistency paste for bad nappy rash please? Does it work for you all the time? Thanks 🙂

  19. Amber says:

    I just wanted to add that we figured out that our trashy baby was suffering bc the “sensitive” wipes -we tried like 4 brands, were still too harsh,and the regular diaper cream was making her rashes worse. poor baby, it took mommy a few days to catch on. We started using norwex cloths in place of wipes, and plain petroleam jelly for a barrier cream, and it cleared up overnight. Just wanted to mention this bc I was looking everywhere for a better solution, and couldn’t find anything that related. But my sister’s kids have really sensitive skin and she happened to mention that she would revert back to washing their bums under the sink and patting dry and leaving diaper free for an hour or so to clear up bad rashes.

  20. Marcy says:

    Pure coconut oil didn’t help my little angel. Doc, lovely fellow that he is, was scratching his head. Finally found a miraculous little cream on-line by mama nature called tiny troubles salve. It is not actually a cream but has a waxy consistency and all of the ingredients are natural. It has calendula infused sweet almond oil and smells divine!!! Unlike previous creams I have used I feel it provides a barrier to the moisture which I feel has been causing the burning and terrible rash. The rash cleared up after a week and a half and it has never re-occured. The only down side to this salve was the price and that it comes from England. But it does last forever and the shipping last time only took six days.

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  22. jen says:

    I tried coconut oil. It made her rash worse. I’ve read in some people it clogs their pores and can actually create a sort of acne. I probably shouldn’t have even tried it on her because when I used it previously on her older brother it gave him hives. We’re using aloe vera with better results.