Can you use a diaper rash cream for your acne?

I love Zinc Oxide in my sunscreen as it provides the best broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. However, besides serving as a great sunscreen ingredient, topical Zinc Oxide is great for wound treatment and even treatment of burns (source). Besides that, the ingredient is known to have minor astringent and antiseptic properties, and hence, is actually great for healing and protecting the skin, and this is why it is a key ingredient in diaper rash creams for babies. Interestingly, I also read that Zinc Oxide is great for treating acne, and some people are actually using diaper rash creams on their faces!

Drying properties
This comes as no surprise since Zinc Oxide’s drying properties is very beneficial in treating diaper rash or oily skin with acne. Zinc Oxide, which is occlusive, can be used to protect the skin from irritations caused by moisture and chafing as it can block irritants from directly contacting the skin, which minimizes the chance of irritation or infection and can help promote healing (source).

High content of ZnO
So diaper creams are really to help babies’ delicate bottoms from developing rashes caused by moisture and a lack of air ventilation through the diaper. And the idea behind using diaper cream for acne is that most diaper rash creams contain a high amount of Zinc Oxide – usually around 10% or more. More importantly, it’s cheap and readily available!

Probably works for those with high oil production
Going by the comments in the acne forum, diaper cream works well for some but not all. However, at the least, it seems to provide some amount of soothing and did not contribute too much issues for most of those who tried it unless the diaper ointment is very greasy. If you want to read some of the reviews, check out the thread here. I think if your acne is caused by an overproduction of oil, it’s no harm giving diaper cream a try. However, if your sunscreen also contains at least 10% of Zinc Oxide, then it should serve as a good reference if this ingredient is helping with your acne.

May not work if your acne is caused by other reasons
Personally, I’ve had good success using Zinc Oxide-based sunscreen when I was having acne. It didn’t aggravate my acne and I suspect it also helped with the healing. However, my acne was not a result of oil production, but rather a manifestation of something wrong with my digestive system then. But diaper cream? Ah, that I’ve never applied on my face. Come to think about it, I didn’t even apply it to my son’s bottom when he was a baby.

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  1. Kola says:

    Lol @ using diaper cream as sunscreen. i’ve heard of people doing that (and i honestly considered it) until i finally found a good ZnO sunblock that din’t leave me ashy-looking : )

  2. Reena says:

    ahhh!!! your posts are always very educational! I don’t know anything about Zinc Oxide. I’d love to try Burt’s Bees sunscreen! been a fan of this brand since time immemorial! lol…

  3. Jyoan says:

    I never thought of using it on my face, though I do check out Baby bath products, and I like their formulations for moisturizer and shampoo.

    But so far, I don’t have irritation problems that requires such a drastic measure!

  4. sesame says:

    I wouldn’t recommend Burt’s Bees’ sunscreen because it contains only titanium dioxide as the active ingredient and that ingredient will only offer you partial UVA protection.

  5. sesame says:

    I don’t think many pple will use diaper rash cream on the face except for those with acne issues and have not found anything to work for them.

  6. sesame says:

    Hmm…not sure if that many pple use it as a sunscreen as I only read of pple using it for acne treatment. Think most of the diaper cream would appear too ghastly when applied in the day?

  7. EcoBeauty says:

    i remember my Mom used to apply a thick pink cream on my baby sister’s bums and I do recall wanting to experiment with it on my arm rashes/pimples. But that was too long ago so can’t really say whether I tried it.

  8. sesame says:

    Wah…you’re were so adventurous with your skin so young? ?

  9. Catherine says:

    Great post Sesame. Marie Veronique Organic sunscreens are formulated using the same principle. Our Zinc oxide sunscreen is a key component of our Acne Treatment Line Great for adult acne!

  10. hazel says:

    hehee… I steal some of my daughter’s diaper cream for my neck area when I develop heat rash (“,) it helps reduce the itch and discomfort caused by perspiration (“,)

  11. sesame says:

    Glad it worked well for you. I think it’s helpful for rashes in general.

  12. Sarah J says:

    I wish someone had told me this information when I was in my early teens! Ahhh the embarassment ? Disappeared with a bit of age and sunscreen (still use this now!). Lovely post, thanks!

  13. sesame says:

    Ah…it’s not too late. ?

  14. Albeirta says:

    Although they may have the same component but certainly it is not an assurance that it will really work since it is not intended for acne. It’s just a matter of no matter how you try but it still won’t gonna work our for it does’t soothe your skin.
    Albeirta last post is:

  15. Sesame says:

    Yeah, I don’t think it’s for the face really but seems it works for some…I guess those are rare cases.

  16. Kaylin says:

    I am a teen who has been struggling with acne for ages and my dad actually suggested using dipar cream because he used to use a zinc oxide mask when he was a teen. I was reluctant but i tried it and it got rid of all the redness after just one use! I have been using it for about a week and my skin looks amazing. I was using Boudreaux amd I since switched over to Destin because it has a higher percentage. Yes, it works. I’ve been the the dermatologist and they gave me all kinds of medication and it would never work. I have every kind of acne imaginable from cysts to everything under the sun. I am thankful for diaper rash cream :p.

  17. Sesame says:

    I am so glad it worked well for you.

  18. fares says:

    Thank you Sesame…i tried it today…its very moist…how can it help oily skin and acne??

  19. Sesame says:

    I think zinc helps to dry up to some extent and the formulation also forms a coat over to protect. Like I mentioned, it’s something I came across but not used. Seems that others have had some success with it and I suspect it depends on the cause for your acne.

  20. Bridget says:

    The cases aren’t rare, DOCTORS actually recommend it too. It also works well for preventing wrinkles. There is zinc oxide in MANY cosmetics. Zinc Oxide has MANY healing properties and gentle that’s why it’s used on babies butts and safe to use on the face. Think about safe enough to use on a BABY’S skin, that should tell you it should be safe and gentle.

    Zinc oxide is also one of the main ingredients in Psoriasis creams, helps with eczema, soothes skin rashes, helps heal cuts, is the can get rid of athlete’s foot, jock itch…the list goes on and on. What people don’t understand is that MANY different products have different packaging and are marketed differently, but in actually are the same product in a different bottle.

    Bottom line, put the butt cream on your face.

  21. Bridget says:

    Oh and it also works to get rid of dandruff too

  22. diaper rash treatment says:

    Deadly! who are this people using diaper rash cream as sunscreen. lol… This world is full of experiment.

  23. Gina S. says:

    Ok here’s my story.. I am 37 yrs old and one morning about a month ago I woke up and I broke out all over my face. I had two cystic pimples on my forehead. I never had acne in my life and now at my age I am fighting this war on my face. My pimples got infected and my face was red swollen l, Just a mess. My face hurt so much and I had no Idea why it was happing. I went to the E.R. I was giving antibotics and the D.R. Told me to try ZINC OXIDE. ( diaper rash cream). I have a 7 month son I have the stuff. I’ve been using it for almost a month and IT WORKS!!!! My skin is clearing up my skin isn’t as red. So that’s my story so I would recommend it. Never hurts to try it!

  24. Sesame says:

    Oh wow…glad zinc oxide works for you!

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