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Nipple creams help soothe and protect the nipples of people who are breastfeeding. There are many different nipple creams available, each with different smells and textures.
To find the best nipple cream, a person should consider personal preferences to them and the baby, such as taste and ingredients. They may also want to keep up-to-date with any recalls of nipple creams to ensure they are using a safe product.
- Best with lanolin: Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream
- Best lanolin-free: Honest Calm Your Nip Balm
- Best multipurpose: Motherlove Nipple Cream
- Best for sensitive skin: Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream
- Best budget: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Nursing Cream
- Best nontoxic: Bamboobies Organic Nipple Balm
- Best unscented: Lansinoh Organic Nipple Balm
- Best sustainable: Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter
- Best organic: Era Organics Mommy Balm
- Best natural: Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm
- Best vegan: Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm
Medical News Today chooses products that meet the following criteria:
- Price: MNT chooses products available for a wide range of budgets.
- Ingredients: MNT chooses products that clearly list all ingredients.
- Skin concerns: Where appropriate, MNT selects products that target a specific skin concern, such as dryness, itchiness, or chafing.
- Safety: MNT chooses products that contain ingredients safe for topical use and ingestion.
- Reputable: MNT selects products from businesses that adhere to industry best practices.
All the products in this article are safe for infants to ingest. They do not require wiping off before breastfeeding.
Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.
Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.
Best with lanolin: Medela Purelan Lanolin Nipple Cream
- Price: around $10
- Size: 1.3 ounces (oz.)
- Pros: Contains only medical-grade lanolin, multipurpose.
- Cons: May stain clothing.
This nipple cream contains a single ingredient,
Medela states that this cream is hypoallergenic, meaning it is suitable for people with allergies. It is also free from additives, preservatives, and added fragrances.
This product is unsuitable for people who follow a vegan lifestyle, as lanolin is a byproduct of sheep’s wool. Medela sources the lanolin from mulesing-free farms.
Best lanolin-free: Honest Calm Your Nip Balm
- Price: $14.95
- Size: 1.75 oz
- Pros: Hypoallergenic, multipurpose, organic ingredients.
- Cons: Some users find it has a chemical odor.
The Honest brand offers a variety of skin care products. It claims that this nipple balm helps alleviate painful symptoms of breastfeeding, such as soreness.
It is free from lanolin, petrolatum, silicones, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and PEG’s. It is also hypoallergenic and has USDA organic certification.
Honest states that this balm is also suitable for use on other dry areas of skin, including the lips.
Best multipurpose: Motherlove Nipple Cream
- Price: $11.99
- Size: 1 oz
- Pros: Multipurpose, small ethical business.
- Cons: Some users found it less effective than other brands, may stain clothes
Motherlove states that this cream is suitable for use as a pump lubricant and moisturizing other areas of the body, such as the lips and hands.
Motherlove is a woman-owned brand and B Corp that practices zero-waste manufacturing.
Best for sensitive skin: Lansinoh Lanolin Nipple Cream
- Price: $9.99
- Size: 1.41 oz
- Pros: Lower cost than other options, single ingredient.
- Cons: Some users find the lotion sticky and thick.
Lansinoh states that this nipple cream is 100% natural and hypoallergenic, containing only lanolin.
It is dermatologist tested. Lansinoh markets it as suitable for sensitive skin.
This nipple cream is free from synthetic fragrances, petroleum, parabens, and preservatives.
Best budget nipple cream: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Nursing Cream
- Price: $6.99
- Size: 1.1 oz
- Pros: Lower cost than most other option.
- Cons: Not cruelty-free.
Palmer’s claims that this nursing cream may help moisturize and protect the nipples while relieving dryness and chafing.
Ingredients include cocoa butter, petroleum jelly, and vitamin B5. It is free from parabens and phthalates.
Best nontoxic: Bamboobies Organic Nipple Balm
- Price: $15
- Size: 1 oz
- Pros: Organic, fragrance-free.
- Cons: May stain clothing
This nipple balm is 100% organic and free from parabens, phthalates, synthetic fragrances, and lanolin.
- extra virgin olive
- shea butter
- marshmallow root
- Calendula flower
Bamboobies claims that this balm may alleviate the symptoms of dry and cracked nipples.
Best unscented: Lansinoh Organic Nipple Balm
- Price: $15.99
- Size: 2 oz
- Pros: Organic, hypoallergenic, fragrance-free. Lower cost than other options.
- Cons: Some users find it difficult to apply at room temperature. Some dislike the smell.
Lansinoh states that this nipple balm is free from scent and taste, so it may be suitable for breastfeeding infants who react negatively to creams with fragrance.
It is 100% USDA-certified organic and is hypoallergenic.
Ingredients include sunflower seed oil, olive oil, beeswax, coconut oil, shea butter, calendula extract, and argan oil. It is free from parabens, petroleum, and preservatives.
Lansinoh states that this balm is suitable for use as a pump lubricant.
Best sustainable: Earth Mama Organic Nipple Butter
- Price: $13.99
- Size: 2 oz
- Pros: Organic, multipurpose. Vegan version available.
- Cons: Some users find the texture too gritty.
Earth Mama states that this nipple butter is organic and manufactured using sustainable practices.
Ingredients include olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter, shea butter, mango seed butter, and calendula extract.
It is free from artificial fragrance, preservatives, petroleum, GMOs, and lanolin.
Earth Mama states that this butter is also suitable for use on the lips, cuticles, heels, and other areas of dry skin. People can also use it to lubricate breastfeeding pumps.
Best organic: Era Organics Mommy Balm
- Price: $17.99
- Size: 2 oz
- Pros: Organic, multipurpose, suitable for sensitive skin.
- Cons: Higher cost than some other options.
This nipple contains organic ingredients. Era Organics states that it is nontoxic.
Ingredients include sunflower seed oil, cocoa seed butter, beeswax, apricot seed oil, arrowroot, evening primrose oil, chamomile, calendula, and rosemary.
It is free from sulfates, SLS, parabens, alcohol, fragrance, lanolin, mineral oil, and petroleum.
Era Organics states that this balm is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive, irritated, red, cracked, or chapped skin. It is also suitable for use on other body areas, such as the nose, lips, and heels.
Best natural: Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm
- Price: $11.95
- Size: 1.5 oz
- Pros: Organic, lower cost than other options.
- Cons: Some users said it was a liquid and that some babies dislike the smell.
Milkies Nipple Nurture Balm is a gentle organic and lanolin-free cream with no added preservatives, harsh chemicals, or additives.
Ingredients include marshmallow root, calendula, shea butter, beeswax, and extra virgin olive oil.
The manufacturers do not test on animals.
The manufacturer, Fairhaven Health states that a 1.5 oz pot may last one month.
Best vegan: Mama Mio Keep Calm Nipple Balm
- Price: $17
- Size: 1 oz
- Pros: Vegan, multipurpose.
- Cons: Higher cost than other options.
This nipple cream is suitable for vegans. It contains a plant-based substitute for medical-grade lanolin.
Ingredients include vegetable oil, shea butter, coconut oil, castor oil, olive oil, kernel oil, avocado oil, and sunflower seed oil.
It is free from fragrance, parabens, petroleum, lanolin, alcohol, sulfates, and SLS.
The company uses sustainably sourced ingredients and fully recyclable packaging.
The following table compares the nipple creams in this article on key features:
|Medela||with lanolin||cream||1.3 oz||around $10|
|Lansinoh Lanolin||for sensitive skin||cream||1.41 oz||$9.99|
|Lansinoh Organic||unscented||balm||2 oz||$15.99|
|Earth Mama||sustainable||butter||2 oz||$13.99|
|Era Organics||organic||balm||2 oz||$17.99|
|Mama Mio||vegan||balm||1 oz||$17|
The four most important factors to consider when selecting a nipple cream are:
- Ingredients: Look for quality ingredients. Products that contain lanolin should use medical-grade lanolin. Products should state clearly all ingredients.
- Consistency: Consistency, or whether a product is a cream, balm, or butter, is a personal preference. It may not affect product quality, but it may affect the ease of use.
- Taste and smell: A baby may taste and smell a nipple cream when breastfeeding. Different creams will have slightly different smells and tastes. If the baby pulls away or is upset when breastfeeding, they may not like the nipple cream’s taste or smell.
- Cost: Before purchasing a product, a person may wish to review its cost and how it fits into their budget.
The best nipple cream for an individual will depend on personal preference. People may wish to test different options to find one that suits them.
Different nipple creams contain various ingredients, so a person must be mindful of the type of cream the baby is coming into contact with as it feeds.
Some people may also want to avoid creams that contain parabens. Parabens are a group of preservatives that manufacturers may add to some cosmetic products to extend shelf-life.
Another ingredient to be mindful of when purchasing nipple creams or any other cosmetic product are phthalates. The
Lanolin is a yellow fat found on sheep’s wool that some manufacturers put in their products to ease pain and chafing of the nipple. Vegans may wish to choose products free from lanolin and beeswax.
Lanolin is not known to pose any health risks, and people do not need to avoid it unless they wish to avoid animal products.
If cracked or painful nipples do not improve after several days of self-care, consider seeing a doctor or lactation consultant.
A lactation consultant can help a person understand and resolve breastfeeding issues that result in cracked nipples. They may also prescribe medication to promote healing and prevent issues from worsening.
Untreated cracked nipples
People should speak to a doctor if they experience the above symptoms and cannot resolve them with management at home, such as using nipple creams.
The following are common questions and answers about nipple creams for breastfeeding:
Is it safe to use nipple cream for breastfeeding?
Many nipple creams are specifically safe for ingestion by infants, to facilitate breastfeeding. This makes them preferable to using other moisturizers for dry skin that are not suitable for infants.
Some products may contain ingredients babies should not consume and require washing off before breastfeeding, so check the instructions thoroughly.
All the nipple creams in this article are safe to leave on when breastfeeding.
Additionally, people with allergies should review product ingredients to ensure they will not cause reactions.
How can I heal my nipples faster while breastfeeding?
Limited scientific research is available on the best way to treat cracked nipples. However, a literature review found the following promoted healing:
- warm water compresses
- applying products containing lanolin
- applying breast milk to the nipples
- using dressings containing lanolin, hydrogel, and collagenase
Do cracked nipples mean a poor latch?
Poor latching can lead to cracked nipples, but there are other possible causes, such as:
- poor positioning
- problems sucking
- flat or inverted nipples
- residue from laundry detergent or skin care products
- bacterial infection
People experiencing breastfeeding issues may want to speak to a lactation consultant for advice.
Numerous nipple creams offer relief for dry, cracked, and chapped nipples. A person can apply them before or after breastfeeding to protect and relieve damaged skin.
People with sensitive skin may benefit from using these creams while breastfeeding to help moisturize and protect the delicate skin on the nipples.
In some cases, a person may need to try more than one nipple cream to find which one works best for them.
People experiencing severe nipple pain or breastfeeding issues may wish to speak to a doctor or lactation consultant.