January, you beast - be GONE! It is howling outside my kitchen window, the rain is lashing against the panes and our boiler will not fire up. Hands up who is ready for February?!
As this pregnancy draws to a long and arduous close, I am now entering what I've decided to term the 'significant-commenting-stage' from everyone and anyone. "Wow! You're big!" (who doesn't love a subtle commenter?), "You mustn't have long now...?" (passive aggressive commenter), and "You're some size now!" (define 'some size' or I'll punch you in the mouth). Can I add that these are also mostly men. I mean...
I grin and bear this, only just.
I guess it just sucks that once again, it's us women who are scrutinised in our appearance, even when we are essentially making the whole world go round by GROWING HUMAN LIVING PEOPLE INSIDE OUR OWN BODIES. It is a beautiful, honourable thing, but it's also sacrificial and taxing. I can no longer see my feet, put on shoes without sitting down, shave with any assurance that I'm actually doing it properly, walk or talk for more than 30 seconds without being breathless or bend to pick things up without taking on a wide legged yoga-esque stance.
Don't even get me started on stretch marks.
I don't know about you but regardless of the commenters (I know you all mean well) I always feel a bit better when I take proper care of my skin. No matter how big or uncomfortable I feel right now - a good slathering of a luxurious moisturiser helps me feel a little more put together and nourished. I have, however struggled to find an organic/natural body moisturiser that really cuts it when it comes to battling the combination of pregnancy skin-sensitivity and cold weather dryness so I decided to have a go at making my own and I'm pretty stoked by the results. I give you...
The kind folk at Stephensons Personal Care sent me over a few different samples of their organic cosmetic bases to have a play with and I instantly fell for the silky body butter base. It's made up with only the best natural Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter so on it's own is perfectly good, but I decided to research adding some natural oils that are specifically great for reducing and nourishing stretch marks and saw that Rosehip Oil was brilliant for that along with Sweet Almond Oil for softening the skin.
I also wanted to add some subtle scent to the butter but nothing too strong, as my sense of smell is that of a hound right now so I went for a gentle fig scent that I thought would be feminine and earthy (and tie in with my beloved Jo Malone perfume).
Creating your own products with the Stephensons bases is really so simple - they are famous for their melt and pour soap bases and the same idea goes for their cosmetic range as well (you'll remember I used the soap bases for Galentines gifts last year). Here's how it's done...
+ Scoop out the amount you wish to use into a microwaveable bowl & heat for 10 seconds at a time until melted through. For this I melted approx. 1 cup of body butter base (around 240 mls).
+ One at a time, while the mix is still warm add your oils and scents and continually stir through.
+ I added 1 tbsp of Sweet Almond Oil, 1 tbsp of Rosehip Oil and 15 drops of Fig Fragrance.
+ Once everything was mixed through I let the mix cool completely and then transferred it into 4x 60ml brown glass cosmetic jars that I bought here, only sealing the jars when I knew it was completely cool. I love the old school apothecary look of brown glass. It's much more sustainable, can be reused easily and the dark colour of the glass protects the contents from sun or heat contamination which can alter your product or make it less effective.
Stephenson's makes it so easy to whip things together that I thought it only made sense to make a bigger batch of this and jar some up for some of my fellow preggo friends, mailing it off to them as a little 'You Got This, I Feel You Sister' gift.
I've been using my concoction for a week or two now and I'm really loving it and can already feel my skin more hydrated, especially at this stage when my belly feels so tight it might explode some days. I also love that I can really tailor my products in this way and and be reassured that what is being absorbed into my body isn't laden with chemicals or preservatives but is natural and pure.
Have you ever experimented with making your own lotions? Maybe once this baby arrives I'll invite you all round for a workshop morning of lotion & potion making so you can see how easy it is for yourself! Sound good?