Does Diaper Rash Cream Expire?

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As your baby grows older, you’ll most likely have a collection of half-used diaper cream bottles and tubes stashed away in your cabinets. At this moment, you will have some questions in mind, such as does diaper rash cream expire? What happens if I use it?

Diaper rash cream is generally at its peak efficacy six months after expiry if you have not opened it. Most of these creams that include inactive chemicals may lose their effectiveness.

Even humidity, sunshine, and heat influence the shelf life of diaper rash cream components! When deciding whether or not to put the cream on your kid, consider the elements, storage technique, look, consistency, and scent.

Keep reading to answer all your questions about using expired diaper rash creams.

Does Diaper Rash Cream Expire?

Most diaper rash creams do expire, depending on their components. Natural creams decay more quickly, whilst regular creams using zinc oxide last longer.

The components determine the cream’s expiration date. The chemical composition becomes unstable when you leave the cream in the air for too long.

Most manufacturers place an expiry date on their products because of this. They don’t want to be held accountable for watery discolored creams that smell bad.

How Long Does Diaper Rash Cream Last?

Determining how long diaper cream can last will depend on storage conditions, the type of cream, and the manufacturer. However, most of them can last 3 to 5 years if unopened and only one year after opening.

Moms should scrutinize zinc oxide creams to see whether the scent, texture, or color have changed. Changes in these characteristics may signal that crucial inactive chemicals dissolve, limiting the cream’s efficacy and causing irritation.

If you have natural diaper cream with essential oils, the best choice is to discard it once the expiry date has passed. It is owing to the possibility of skin irritation, particularly on your baby’s fragile skin.

apply diaper rash cream

Can You Use Expired Diaper Rash Cream?

Many factors determine whether you can use expired diaper creams. This section will reveal some issues you need to consider and the possible risks if you use them.

Is It Possible to Use Outdated Cream?

The additional components in the cream are the first factor you should consider. Tea tree oil and aloe may deteriorate more quickly.

Essential oils, which oxidize with time, are often included in natural creams. When the atoms in a product lose electrons and bind to oxygen, it undergoes oxidation.

You may use Zinc oxide as an active component in diaper creams. Because zinc oxide does not undergo chemical changes, it is chemically inert and unlikely to lose its usefulness.

In addition, it’s an excellent idea to inspect the cream’s appearance and scent. It’s probably not safe to use if it looks and smells terrible.

Before using expired diaper cream, consider how you previously kept it. Was the cream exposed to extreme heat or cold, or was it ever left open?

If you keep the cream correctly, it should function just fine. So, using diaper cream that has expired for one or two months may not be such a severe issue. However, if the cream is a few years over its expiration date, it may be best to throw it away.

What Happens If You Use Diaper Cream That Has Expired?

It’s generally better to toss out products containing natural components like essential oils after expiry. They may cause skin irritation, rashes, burning, and peeling. Things get worse when you go out in the sun.

Irritated Skin

You might wind up exacerbating your baby’s rash. When the cream sits on the skin for too long, it might irritate it. It might make redness and pain worse.

Infection with Bacteria

Oil-based products may serve as a breeding ground for germs. Using that expired diaper cream on a baby’s delicate skin risks bacterial infections. It may result in pimples, boils, and other unpleasant skin conditions.


Certain diaper creams include essential oils. Over time, oils may become poisonous. If they infiltrate the baby’s blood, they may create a variety of health concerns. As a result, using expired diaper cream containing essential oils might harm the baby’s health.

Expiration Time

Another thing to think about is how long the cream has gone out of expiry. It may not be a huge concern if you need it for a few months.

The closer you go to the expiration duration, the less likely anything horrible will happen. In the worst situation, the cream will not normally work. You’ll have to purchase a new product in that case.


Most expiration dates are just approximations. Even beyond their expiration dates, several things, including pharmaceuticals, continue to function.

If you’ve stored the cream in a cold, dry area, it could still be good to go. However, just in case you’ve been carrying it about, it’s best to be safe and toss it away.

Cream Components

Zinc-based products have a better probability of functioning even after their expiration. Although zinc oxide does not go wrong, its chemical characteristics may alter.


What are The Different Types of These Creams?

There are two types of diaper rash cream:


This kind protects your baby’s bottom from rash by adding a layer of protection. You may find this sort of substance in Aquaphor and Vaseline.


Zinc-based creams include A&D and Desitin. This ingredient’s primary function is to prevent and cure the diaper rash.

They are frequently in the form of ointments and include additional active components such as dimethicone and aloe or essential oils to help with itching and hydrating. Zinc oxide and dimethicone have no expiration date. Therefore, it is always safe to use.

Does Desitin expire?

Yes. Although the zinc-based cream will last longer, it will still expire as the law requires. As mentioned above, if it’s just expired and under good storage conditions, you’ll still be able to use it. You should test with just a little to see if there is any bad reaction.

Does A&D Cream Expire?

Zinc oxide and dimethicone are the active components in A&D. Both are chemically inactive, which means they are stable and do not undergo any chemical changes, implying that they continue to work until their expiry date.

However, many inactive components include some oil, such as coconut or cod liver oil. These oils might get rancid, so checking the cream’s scent, color, and texture is essential. It’s advisable to get rid of it if it has a weird odor or is discolored.

Can Aquaphor Go Bad?

An excellent example of petroleum-based cream is Aquaphor. Petroleum jelly is the active component, and it does not expire. So you might keep using it after the expiry date has passed.

However, if exposed to the light for an extended time, it may turn rancid. Bacteria may also enter the pot and start breeding. It’s usually advisable not to use it beyond its expiry date if opened.


Diaper rash creams can really expire both in terms of usability and as the law requires. You must be cautious since expired diaper cream might have hazardous side effects. If at all possible, avoid using expired ones.

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