If you’ve ever been pregnant, you know the dread of feeling that first prickly itch. The only thing you want to do is scratch. “DON’T DO IT!”, you think to yourself. Before you know it, you’re frantically tapping, rubbing, and swirling your hand over the skin on your side belly trying to get some relief without actually scratching. Because scratching dry skin only makes it worse by causing more irritation and damage like stretchmarks
Skin becomes dry when the natural oils of the skin that keep it moist and supple are lost. During pregnancy, the hormonal changes, skin conditions, and stretching of the skin are due to growing a person inside your body and the skin tissue starts to stretch.
But itchy dry skin can happen to anyone and it’s common for almost all of us to experience it at some point in our lives.
Prevention is better than a cure.
Staying hydrated internally, by drinking water and eating lots of fruits and veggies can have surprising benefits for our skin’s appearance and health. Other preventative measures like using a calming and hydrating cream or body butter daily can help dry skin stay moisturized.
With my first pregnancy, I tried so many oils, creams, and balms to prevent stretch marks and cranky skin. Nothing worked 100% because it’s just the process of becoming a mom. While stretch marks are usually seen on the abdomen, it’s common for them to show up on the hips, butt, thighs, and breasts as well. In an effort to keep my skin happy and healthy with this pregnancy, I put together my favorite ingredients from a couple of recipes for body butter and balms that I tried out along the way. I created a recipe that my entire family now uses as a regular moisturizer in place of store bought lotions. It gives my baby belly relief from all the itchy things, it’s gentle on my son’s sensitive skin and really moisturizing for my husband’s skin too.
Chamomile has amazing healing, antioxidant, cleansing, and moisturizing properties. It has can calm cranky skin and speeds up healing.
Calendula oil is a great moisturizer for dry skin and for severely chapped or split skin. It helps soothe the area and reduce pain caused by irritation. The oil also helps relieve diaper rashes so it has a double use for new moms.
Famed as a preventative for stretch marks, cocoa butter is an excellent skin moisturizer that is loaded with antioxidants and natural fats that are easily absorbed and remain on the skin for hours.
Coconut oil feels amazing on the skin and is a great moisturizer by itself. Like cocoa butter, it’s high in antioxidants and saturated fats that help the skin stay moisturized by preventing moisture loss through the skin’s pores.
Shea butter aids in the skin’s natural collagen production and reduces inflammation because it contains a compound called lupeol cinnamate. It was found to reduce skin inflammation and even potentially help avoid skin mutations.
Natural wax helps to create a barrier for the skin to prevent moisture loss and to protect it from outside pollutants and toxins. It’s a great ingredient for in DIY recipes because it helps to thicken products and emulsify oil and water based ingredients.
Calendula & Chamomile Belly & Body Butter
You will need:
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons cocoa butter (find it here)
- 2 tablespoon shea butter (find it here)
- 1 1/2 tablespoons wax (find beeswax here or vegan calendula wax here)
- 2 tablespoons calendula oil or olive oil (find calendula oil here)
- 20 drops chamomile essential oil
- Optional: other essential oils that are calming and comforting to you. I like to add 15 drops of lavender.
I originally bought these ingredients from Amazon some time back and had enough to make products for a few years. I’ve found out that you can buy most of these in bulk from Refill Revolution. They are shipped to you in containers that can be sent back to the company for reuse.
Let’s make it!
- Fill a saucepan with 1 1/2 inches of water and place a glass bowl, jar or measuring cup inside.
- Over medium heat, melt cocoa butter and wax until liquid.
- Add shea butter, coconut oil, and calendula oil and mix well.
- Remove from heat and let the mixture cool for about 20 min on the counter.
- Add in chamomile essential oil and any other essential oils that you like.
- Let the mixture continue to cool on the counter overnight or in the fridge for about 4 hours.
- After the mixture has solidified, use a hand mixer to whip into a creamy texture. Alternatively, you can skip the mixer and use this as a solid balm.
- I like to apply this to my entire body daily, and then apply to my belly, hips, thighs abdomen twice daily while massaging in circular motions for 15 minutes.