At the time of writing this I was 9 months and twelve days pregnant with my first baby. Since I already make all my own creams and lotions there was no way I wasn’t going to do the same for Potato – that’s not his real name btw. I spent a bit of time going over what oils and creams I wanted to use; it needed to hard enough not to melt into liquid on a hot day but melt easily once it came in contact with the skin. It had to be gentle and safe to use on a baby, and I also wanted to use ingredients which would be soothing and create a bit of a barrier between Potatoe’s skin and the nappy
With eczema on both sides of the family I wanted something which would sooth, absorb easily and still leave a barrier on the surface of the skin to protect it. Eventually, I made a mix I was pleased with – I even use it myself a few times – though annoyingly, since I switched over to using cloth nappies a few weeks ago he hasn’t had nappy rash once.
- Cocoa Batter 50%
- Calendula Oil (this one is infused in olive oil) 20%
- Oat Oil 10%
- Beeswax 10%
- Carrot Oil 10%
- Honey (optional)
The reason I’ve listed the ingredients above in percentages is because I have no idea what size you will personally want to use, I can’t assume that you’ll have a pot which is exactly the same size as mine. So to make it simple, I’ve put it down in percentages. Figure out how much your pot or jar holds in total, and then divide that amount up in the percentages provided.
Annoyingly, the tin I’d bought specifically for this cream didn’t work out. The moment I poured the final (hot) mix into it, the edges of the tin started to expand, and leak. As a result, I had to quickly de-pot the mixture into another smaller tin I had, so I won’t be linking the original tin as I cannot recommend it for homemade creams or balms. I’ll just have to save it for another project.
Why I Like These Ingredients:
- Cocoa Butter: Not as runny as coconut oil, less likely to turn into liquid if it get’s too warm. Anti-oxidant, soothing and moisturising with a pleasant coco-y smell to it. Some people might not like that cocoa smell that much, but personally, I love it!
- Calendula Oil: Also called Marigold, this ingredient is infused in oilve oil, so not to be confused with an essential oil which is considerably stronger. It’s anti-inflammatory antiseptic, fungicidal and an astringent. In other words, it’s good for nappy rash, irritated skin and ezcema.
- Oat Oil: Softening, moisturising and high in vitamin E.
- Beeswax: This is one of my favorite skincare ingredients. It’s antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, smells amazing (a waxy, honey scent) and it’s great for holding together the other oils and creams in the mix and making sure the melting point isn’t too low.
- Carrot Oil: Moisturizing, sinks easily into the skin, and the smell isn’t obviously ‘carroty’. Detoxing, antiviral, and antiseptic properties, in skincare it’s used for helping with dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, rashes, toning the skin and wrinkles. High in vitamins A, C, B1 and B2.
What About the Other Ingredients?
The honey and the essential oils? The reason I didn’t list those in the ingredients list is because these are very much catered to my personal tastes and they’re such a small amount that they didn’t really have a percentage amout to them. The honey? I put that in everything. My tea, my food, my skincare. One day I even want to own a hive (or two). I also like that it is a really good preservative, antibacterial, moisturizing and really good for healing irritated, sore skin.
As for the oils, once again, I want to stress that if you’re looking to use them please get your hands a good aromatherapy book. Just because it’s natural does not mean that you can’t have a reaction to it. Clove oil, for example, irritates my skin so much that just having the bottle open in another room will make me want to scratch my skin off. I have similar reactions to cinnamon if I touch it, grapefruit oil, and fennel makes me incredibly nauseous. With a baby I have to be extra careful just because of how sensitive their skin is, so check the safety date, use the oils very sparingly, and avoid anything where there’s a history of allergies to in your family.
- Lavender Oil: Good for eczema, dermatitis, inflammation, sores, spots and generally irritated skin.
- Roman Chamomile oil: Analgesic (pain reliever), antiseptic, anti-anemic (increases red blood cells), bactericidal.
One small note…
When I made this cream the UK was experiencing one of the most spectacular heat waves in years – it was glorious! So I made this cream with a little more beeswax than I normally would so that it would remain reasonably solid in the warm weather and not melt all over the nappy bag. If you live in a hot country you can use the amounts above without a problem, but now that the weather has cooled, I’ve re-mixed the cream and taken down the beeswax amount to around 5% – 4%. The other five percent is half Calendula oil and half oat oil. Enough beeswax to hold the mix together and create a good barrier on baby’s skin, but not so much that the cream is a solid block in cooler weather.