I’ve been using this belly butter for many months now, and it is very effective at preventing itching from stretching skin. Like all belly butters, I can’t guarantee that it will prevent stretch marks, but I can guarantee the MY recipe is non-toxic. Palmer’s, one of the most popular brands of cocoa butter lotion and belly butter, contains mineral oil (yeah, that nasty byproduct from refining crude oil into gasoline, which they then dump on the market in any form we’ll buy it in), synthetic waxes (often petroleum-based byproducts, too), synthetic fragrances (almost always toxic in some way), and synthetic preservatives. These are not chemicals that we want our babies absorbing, so here’s my recipe. It can be made firmer or softer depending on how much beeswax you use.
- 1/2 Cup cocoa butter
- 1/2 Cup sweet almond oil
- 1/2 Cup grapeseed oil
- 1/2 Cup coconut oil
- 1/2 Cup dried calendula petals
- 1 to 2 Tablespoons beeswax pastilles
- In a medium jar, put the calendula petals and all three oils and put on the lid. Set this jar on a dishrag, either in a crockpot or in a saucepan. Fill the pot/pan with water until it is 3/4 of the way up the side of the jar and put on the lid. Heat on low if using the stovetop, on high if using the cock-pot, for several hours (until oil is a dark yellow).
- Dry the outside of the jar (to keep water from getting into the oil, which can encourage bacterial growth) and strain out the petals (use a fine mesh strainer, or even just a coffee filter or thin tea towel). Pour oil into a double boiler set on medium and stir the cocoa butter and beeswax into the hot oil until melted.
- Pour the mixture into a very clean 9×13 pyrex and let cool. Once it has fully cooled, check the consistancy and decide if you’d like it firmer or softer. If so, scrape it back into the double boiler and add more grapeseed or sweet almond oil for a softer butter, or add more beeswax for a firmer butter. Increase in small amounts, because a little makes a big difference!
- Once you have the firmness you prefer (mine is more on the firm side) you can either put it straight into jars, for a clearer “belly jelly” look, or you can whip it up for two or three minutes with an immersion blender for an opaque “belly butter”. They both work great, but the “butter” look is more traditional.
This belly butter smells heavenly! I recommend scooping out a small amount and rubbing it in right after a shower, but it can be used as often as needed to help with itching. If you will be using it frequently throughout the day, I’d recommend replacing the sweet almond oil with more grapeseed oil to cut down on the oiliness. As is, this recipe will soak in after a couple of minutes, but grapeseed oil is especially non-greasy and can be applied several times a day without leaving a layer of oil that could get on your clothes.
Since there are no harsh preservatives, be careful to use only clean, dry hands. The coconut oil is naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal and will naturally “preserve” the finished product for a long time, but we don’t want to push our luck by adding unnecessary bacteria.
This recipe makes about 2 cups, so you can reduce it, if you want. I’d recommend that you make the whole recipe and share with your pregnant friends, family and neighbors. If you don’t know anybody that is pregnant, give it away as “body butter” to a mama that needs some pampering!