This post has been submitted by Pooja Songor of Cutie Bees.
(Kim’s note: If you use cloth diapers, you’ll want to use a liner because a diaper cream may cause staining or repelling.)
Like most commercial products, diaper creams are full of toxic chemicals we would never willingly put near our children. Unfortunately, we can’t simply go without diaper creams – we have to have some way to heal the occasional rash.
The skin is designed to be absorbent. It’s also the largest organ we have. Children’s skin is especially prone to exposure. The skin is even more fragile in the delicate diaper area. That means it’s all the more important we treat rashes and use safe products.
Here are some common toxins found in diaper creams.
1. Petroleum is used as a barrier to lock moisture to the skin. It’s a known carcinogen and it’s thought to be linked to organ system toxicity.
2. Parabens are preservatives used in basically all commercial cosmetics and personal care products. They penetrate the skin and disrupt normal hormone functions by mimicking estrogen. The most common paraben used in diaper creams is propylparaben.
3. BHA is a preservative and stabilizer. It is toxic to our organs and disrupts the endocrine systems usual functions. It’s also possibly carcinogenic.
4. Fragrance is a broad category of synthetic chemicals used to hide the odor of other chemicals. The ingredients are proprietary, so we don’t know what they include, although they’re usually derived from coal and petroleum. Frighteningly, over 3000 chemicals can legally fall under the fragrance category.
5. Sodium borate (boric acid) is an antimicrobial agent. It’s lined to reproductive toxicity and endocrine disruption.
I prefer a natural, homemade solution wherever possible. You can easily make your own diaper cream from ingredients at your local pharmacy or supermarket. Here’s a quick recipe that you can use as a one-off treatment or everyday preventative salve.
- 1/8 cup extra virgin organic coconut oil
- 1/4 cup raw shea butter
- 3-4 Tablespoons arrowroot powder (optional, to thicken)
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 arrowroot a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the desired thickness. It will look similar to a whipped icing.
The active (and safe) ingredient in diaper creams is zinc oxide. It creates a barrier between the skin and the diaper so the tissue can heal without more irritation. It doesn’t have the most wonderful smell, but it is the most effective, even for persistent rashes.
Below is another homemade recipe including zinc oxide and other natural ingredients that we love from Wellness Mama)
Natural Diaper Cream Recipe with zinc oxide
- 1/4 cup shea butter
- 1/4 cup coconut oil
- 1 Tablespoon beeswax pastilles
- 2 Tablespoons Fermented Cod Liver Oil
- 2 Capsules of Real Dose (optional)
- 2 tablespoons zinc oxide powder
- 1 tablespoon bentonite clay
- Optional: A few drops of chamomile essential oil
Mix shea butter, coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler or glass bowl over a small saucepan with an inch of water. Bring water to a boil and melt the ingredients. Remove from heat and add the Fermented Cod Liver Oil, Real Dose, Zinc Oxide, Bentonite Clay and Essential Oil (if you are using any). Stir carefully with a wood stick as it cools. Pour it into a storage container before it cools down all the way. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.
If you prefer to buy one instead, we love Radiantly You’s Calendula Booty Balm. Along with getting the job done, it smells great.
Guest Blog by Pooja Songar, Founder of Cutie Bees
Pooja Songar is a mom of 2 kids, ages 4 and 2 years, an IT professional (an Engineer) who has worked for Fortune 11 companies. After her first child struggled with skin rashes and eczema, Pooja learned about the issue of chemicals in baby clothing and their harmful health effects. Since then she has become an advocate for non-toxic living and is the inventor of the trendy, non-toxic baby clothing line, Cutie Bees.
Cutie Bees chic wardrobe ensembles are for little ladies and gentlemen on the go, whose outfits reflect not only their personalities, sense of fun but also mom’s sense of style. Visit http://www.cutiebees.com.
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