With only four ingredients, this simple yet effective belly butter was my go-to during my third pregnancy! It should be noted that whether you get stretch marks or not is largely due to your genetics and your diet (think: collagen). But there is nothing wrong with rubbing on some lotion for your dry, stretching skin. I found the combination of ingredients while reading Lori Bergman’s book, The Mindful Mom To Be, which is definitely a must read! However, her recipe uses units like “one jar of,” which is hard to shop for on Amazon. I adapted the recipe and tested it. My first recipe was good, but I decided to make it even better by whipping it the second round! Because it is all natural, you might give your body a second to absorb the lotion…a little goes a long way so you’re not a greasy mess! No nasty ingredients, so you can be confident in using this lotion without affecting baby. In fact, I’m embarrassed to admit, I even applied it to my hemorrhoids. The lotion promotes moisturizing and skin healing, which is why it is good during pregnancy and even after for dealing with stretch mark appearance and other skin conditions.
Why So Good?
Each ingredient was included by renowned doula Lori Bregman for a specific reason. But why exactly?
Cocoa Butter contains antioxidants, reduces inflammation and protects skin from the sun. The fats in cocoa butter help to moisturize the skin. Many midwives promote it for directly reducing stretch marks, although as mentioned above, there is no actual study that proves this, just an old wives tale.
Because of its unique blend of four main fatty acids, Shea Butter is especially helpful in moisturizing. Just like cocoa butter, it has antioxidants and reduces inflammation, but it is also antibacterial and anti-fungal, which can reduce the bacteria on your skin (think acne or athlete’s foot).
Coconut Oil also has antimicrobial properties, killing acne-causing bacteria and fungi. Antioxidants work to reduce inflammation. Coconut oil significantly improves skin hydration. It contains collagen, which helps in skin repair (read: stretch marks!).
Vitamin E Oil helps prevent sun damage to your skin and protect it from free radicals. It’s super moisturizing, which helps fend off any of that itching you might feel as your skin stretches, and helps wounds heal. It can also prevent or minimize the appearance of your scars, including stretch marks.
- 1 cup Cocoa Butter Shavings (will take longer to melt if you use blocks)
- 1 cup Shea Butter
- 1 cup Coconut Oil
- 3.4 oz (100ml) Vitamin E Oil
- Start by measuring your ingredients into glass jars (except for the vitamin e oil). Fill pot of water (about 3-4 inches) and set jars in water. Bring to a low boil, being careful not to let the jars tip over.
- When all ingredients are melted, mix them together in another bowl. Then add the vitamin e oil, giving the mixture a stir.
- Store in fridge until the mixture starts to harden but is still soft, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. You don’t want to forget about it because then you will have to melt it down again and wait for it to cool.
- Whip the mixture until it is light and fluffy. Store in 8 oz Wide Mouth mason jars. Use daily (or as needed, my skin got super dry in the winter months) throughout and after pregnancy.