Can I Use Diaper Rash Cream On My Face?

February 22, 2024

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Diaper rash cream is often touted for its ability to soothe and protect baby’s sensitive skin. As an adult with skin conditions like rosacea, dermatitis, acne, or just general redness and irritation, you may be wondering if these same creams can also help your facial skin. Using diaper rash cream on adult facial skin is a surprisingly common practice, despite the products being formulated specifically for infants.

What is Diaper Rash Cream?

Diaper rash cream, sometimes called nappy rash cream, is an over-the-counter skin protectant meant to treat and prevent diaper rash in babies. The ingredients often include:

  • Zinc oxide – creates a protective barrier on the skin and has natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • Dimethicone – seals in moisture and fills in cracks and gaps in damaged skin
  • Lanolin – deeply hydrates and softens skin
  • Petrolatum – provides an occlusive layer to prevent wetness and chafing

These creams work by coating the skin with a thick, waxy layer to prevent irritation while also gently treating any existing rash or inflammation. They are extremely gentle and non-irritating, making them well-suited for a baby’s delicate skin.

Some popular brands of diaper rash cream include Desitin, Boudreaux’s Butt Paste, Aquaphor Baby, and Sebamed Baby.

Why Use Diaper Rash Cream on Your Face?

There are a few reasons why adults have taken to using diaper rash creams to treat facial skin conditions:

  • Gentle ingredients: Products made for babies are less likely to further irritate sensitive facial skin.
  • Hypoallergenic formulas: Many diaper creams avoid common irritants and allergens.
  • Anti-inflammatory properties: Key ingredients like zinc oxide can calm inflammation.
  • Non-comedogenic oils: Won’t clog pores or cause acne breakouts.
  • Intense moisturization: Ingredients like lanolin provide heavy-duty hydration.
  • Affordability: Diaper creams tend to be cheaper than specialty facial care.

Additionally, the thick texture sits nicely under makeup without pilling or peeling. The matte finish blurs imperfections.

For those with chronic redness, flaking, itching or burning sensations on their face, a diaper rash cream may provide some much-needed relief when other facial products have failed.

Is It Safe to Use Diaper Rash Cream on Your Face?

Using any product in a way other than its intended purpose always carries some risk. The safety of using diaper creams on adult facial skin falls into a grey area without much formal research.

However, most dermatologists consider diaper rash creams generally safe for short-term use on the face. A few things to consider:

  • Watch out for irritation: Discontinue use if increased redness or stinging occurs.
  • Avoid using too frequently: Can lead to breakouts in acne-prone skin. Stick to a few times per week.
  • Don’t use if severely immunocompromised: Higher risk for infection.
  • Check for og comedogenic ingredients: Products with mineral oil or petrolatum could clog pores.

Consult your dermatologist before trying any new products if you have very sensitive skin or a condition like eczema or psoriasis. A patch test on a small area of skin is also recommended to check for any negative reactions.

What About Using Sebamed Diaper Rash Cream on the Face?

Sebamed is a German skin care brand focused on pH balanced products. Their diaper rash cream contains zinc oxide along with other gentle moisturizers like petrolatum, polysorbates, sorbitol, and vitamins.

Since Sebamed avoids common irritants like perfumes, dyes, and parabens, their diaper cream is generally well-tolerated on sensitive facial skin. The high lipid content hydrates while the creamy texture protects and treats existing rashes.

Some dermatologists specifically recommend Sebamed diaper cream for issues like rosacea, perioral dermatitis, eczema around the mouth or eyes, and even acne. As always, monitor closely for increased redness or stinging which may signal an adverse reaction. Limit use to a few times per week.

What Skin Conditions Can Benefit from Diaper Rash Cream?

While no definitive research confirms diaper rash creams’ efficacy on adult facial skin, dermatologists have seen positive anecdotal results for:


The zinc oxide sits on top of the skin acting as a gentle astringent to reduce redness and inflammation. The barrier also protects against triggers like sun exposure.


Zinc oxide and titanium dioxide physically block pores while the thick cream prevents picking/touching. Anti-inflammatory action reduces redness and pain.


Exceptionally moisturizing creams soften flaky skin while anti-irritants prevent itching and discomfort. Helps restore protective lipid barrier.

General Irritation

Soothing ingredients provide relief from burning, stinging, peeling, and rawness. Reduces sensitivity to environmental factors.

Monitor for any increase in negative symptoms, which would signal stopping usage. Overall, diaper rash cream serves as an inexpensive, non-irritating option to try for facial irritation before considering prescription treatments.

How to Use Diaper Rash Cream on Your Face

Using diaper cream on your face takes some finesse. Here are a few tips:

  • Cleanse first: Remove makeup, oils and dirt so the cream can absorb
  • Use a thin layer: Too much can lead to breakouts. A pea-size amount should suffice.
  • Spot treat areas: Only apply to affected areas instead of slathering entire face
  • Use twice daily or as-needed: When inflammation flares up
  • Avoid eye area: Too heavy for delicate eye skin

If redness, burning, or irritation increases after several days of use, you may have an allergy. Discontinue usage immediately and see your dermatologist if symptoms persist.

Are There Any Side Effects?

When used correctly, diaper rash creams are unlikely to cause side effects on the face. Since the facial skin is more delicate than a baby’s bottom, take care not to overuse them.

Potential side effects include:

  • Clogged pores and breakouts
  • Allergic reactions – burning, stinging, hives
  • Eye irritation if applied too close
  • Greasiness or heaviness on the skin

Any sudden onset or worsening of symptoms warrants discontinuation and a call to your doctor. Diaper rash cream should not replace physician-recommended treatment plans.

The Takeaway

Can you put diaper rash cream on your face? In most cases, yes – as long as you choose a non-comedogenic, fragrance-free formula and use it correctly under medical supervision.Pay attention to any changes in your skin and stop using immediately if irritation develops. While many find success treating facial skin conditions with these budget-friendly creams, always defer to your dermatologist for personalized advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it okay to use diaper rash cream on my face every day?

No, you should only use diaper rash cream on your face occasionally. Using it too often can lead to clogged pores, breakouts, and new skin problems. Limit application to a few times per week when facing a stubborn flare-up of an existing condition.

Can I use the same diaper rash cream on my baby and my face?

It’s not recommended to use the same diaper rash cream tube on your baby AND your own face. This risks transferring bacteria and infection. Purchase separate tubes to keep things more hygienic.

My skin burns after using diaper rash cream on my face. What should I do?

Burning or stinging after putting diaper cream on your face signals an irritant or allergic reaction. Stop using the cream and wash your face gently with lukewarm water immediately. Avoid using any topical products and see your dermatologist if symptoms persist.

I have fungal acne. Is it still okay to use diaper rash cream?

Those with fungal acne need to take extra care using thick occlusive creams like diaper rash ointments. While the zinc can help calm inflammation, the emollient ingredients may feed malassezia fungus leading to more acne. Seek guidance from your dermatologist.

Will diaper rash cream clog my facial pores?

It’s possible, but not inevitable. Choose non-comedogenic formulas free of pore-cloggers like mineral oil. Apply just a thin layer to affected areas instead of slicking over your entire face. Limit use to a few times weekly. Discontinue if you notice increased blackheads or pimples.

In Summary

  • Diaper rash cream contains protective ingredients like zinc oxide to treat inflammation and sensitivity
  • Using these super-gentle creams on the face could aid conditions like rosacea, dermatitis and acne
  • Dermatologists consider diaper creams generally safe for facial use but advise caution
  • Monitor for any irritation or breakouts as the facial skin is quite delicate
  • Only use diaper cream as directed for short-term relief of flare-ups
  • Consult your dermatologist before trying any new facial care products

The key is to approach diaper rash creams as one potential tool for sensitive facial skin rather than expecting miracles. Pay close attention to possible irritation or congestion. And as always, check with your dermatologist to explore facial care options tailored to your individual needs!

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