Stretch marks. By whatever name you call them, most pregnant women and many adolescents will experience the addition of at least a couple skin customizations before their developmental transition is complete. I felt lucky during my own pregnancies to experience very few of them and never any on my actual belly—with my first son I got two marks one on the underside of each breast, not during pregnancy, but nearly immediately postpartum. Hey! With my second son, I got a couple of light marks, again not on my belly, but on my rear end! Hey! And, with my daughter, I got a series on my left hip and some new ones on my bottom. Again with the HEY!!! During each of my pregnancies, I was diligent about applying cocoa butter belly balm every night. With my first, I used a purchased version, but with the others, I used my own homemade version. I had a nice little nighttime ritual where I would rub the balm into my belly while singing, “cocoa butter for my Lannbaby…” 🙂
Here is my super simple recipe:
Cocoa Butter Balm
2 oz cocoa butter
10 large TB coconut oil
8 squares beeswax (approx. 1 large tsp each)
Melt together over low heat. Makes 12 ounces of balm. Excellent skin soother, scar softener, stretch mark nurturer, overall moisturizer.
You can leave out the beeswax and it will still work. My experience is that it is of a “grainier” texture though then.
Feel free to experiment with proportions and amount of beeswax until you get your own perfect blend. You will often need less wax in the winter (particularly if you live in a cold house) and more in the summer.
You can substitute some safflower or sunflower oil for some of the coconut oil.
You can use more cocoa butter and less oil. I’m cheap and cocoa butter isn’t, so I skew my proportions to more coconut oil.
You can use cheap Louanna coconut oil from Wal-Mart (Thanksgiving is a great time of year to find this)
Hobby Lobby often has 1lbs blocks of beeswax. Melt it all and pour it out on a lined cookie sheet and then break it into nice, useable chunks.
Family Dollar sometimes has real, no additives cocoa butter available in the makeup section in handy two ounce tubes. This recipe was created based on their existence!
Once I starting making this to sell and also including it in a homemade body care products class, I started buying cocoa butter in a 5lbs bucket from The Chemistry Store online.
I like packaging the belly butter in brown glass jars from Specialty Bottle.
This balm is kind of greasy—I recommend applying at bedtime, or in clothes you don’t care about, or walking around with your belly exposed until it has been absorbed.
Don’t be fooled by commercial cocoa butter lotions. While they might look or smell nice or be named Pure Cocoa Butter!!!!(TM), most contain almost no actual cocoa butter, but instead an assortment of various ick, including known carcinogens and artificial scents. I like using only products on my skin that I could actually eat!
Personal tip–don’t only treat the baby to this balm application, remember your hips and buns too!