As you might know from reading my pregnancy updates I am very lucky in that stretch marks haven’t reared their head. Yet.
I have a few little silvery marks you can see under a very bright light but I’m not fussed about that at all! In all honesty I’d like to think I wouldn’t care if they were a lot worse but that’s easy for me to say, right?
I’m honestly quite surprised as I have pretty pale and sensitive skin. I bruise easily and almost all the little cuts and grazes I get become scars or imperfections. When I first found out I was pregnant I was kind of resigned to the fact that I’d get a lot of stretch marks for this reason. I didn’t really do anything to protect my skin as I thought there wasn’t any point. I assumed I was just one of those people who’d get a lot of stretch marks and I’d have to learn to live with it.
Around 20 weeks it had kind of dawned on me that my skin was doing pretty well and I should consider myself fortunate. This was when I started thinking seriously about showing my skin some love!
Getting to the point (finally) here’s what I’ve been using to try to preserve my skin as well as possible…
First off I went to town on the body butter and made my way through the Christmas stash of Soap & Glory. The downside to them is that they aren’t specifically formulated to prevent stretch marks but I wanted to get ahead and load up on moisture. I found I got a bit fed up of using them daily and was on the look out for a thinner product that would absorb faster.
Then I moved on to trying out the samples from my Bounty and Emma’s Diary packs. These included Bio Oil, Palmers Tummy Butter, Cussons Mum & Me Bump Stretch Mark Cream. I also purchased Tummy Butter from Mama Mio, and was sent the Prenatal Body & Bath Oil as well as the Mum’s Miracle Balm for review from Vital Touch Natalia.
I can’t say I was a fan of Bio Oil. I’d used it in the past to fade a scar on my knee with limited success and i don’t like the texture. For me the oil is too thin to work into the skin as you have to move really quickly. I can’t say if it’s effective as I only used it 5 or 6 times but in my previous experience it didn’t really help. 2/10
The Palmers tummy butter was a big hit, as soon as the samples ran out I bought a bigger tub. Firstly I love the smell and the cute sample pot. The product is hypoallergenic and paraben free. As it’s a cocoa butter it melts down to an oil under the heat of your skin, this makes it really easy to work into your bump. I’ve also been using any leftovers on my elbows as it feels and smells great. At first I thought it wasn’t soaking into my skin and was reluctant to get dressed incase it came off on my clothes. Initially I used this daily for about 5 weeks and now I use it around 3x evenings a week when I have the time to apply it and relax. My skin feels great and looks better than before I started so I must be doing something right! 8/10
Cussons Mum & Me Bump Stretch Mark Cream. The sample pot of this is pretty generous but my compliments end there. I found the consistency to be like yogurt and not in a good way. I don’t like the smell either. I did use this daily for a week to see if it would grow on me but I wasn’t seeing any benefit in my skin so I retired it! 2/10
The Mama Mio tummy butter was a pricy investment but one I was confident making. A few years ago, when they were a fledgling brand, I’d been sent an extremely generous selection of facial skin care from them. I loved it and knew the brand was worth it’s salt. I bought this when I was about 22 weeks and had used it all by 28 weeks. Mama Mio have a ‘no nasties’ policy and the tummy butter is organic. I did think it was lovely but I’ve been enjoying the Vital Touch products so much that I’m not going to repurchase. 8/10
The samples I was sent from Vital Touch were extremely generous and I’m going to be doing a full review on the range once I’ve used all the products enough to have a firm opinion. The bath & body oil is easily my favourite so far. Like the bio oil it is very thin but because I use it in the bath and then smother some on my skin right after it doesn’t get as messy. All the products in the range are 100% naturally and virtually 100% organic. This wasn’t something I really cared a great deal about before but considering your skin absorbs 60% of what you put on it I am more focused on this kind of thing now. The way I see it I
mostly eat well for my baby and I wouldn’t use harsh chemicals on their skin so I should use them on my own? 9/10
I also really like the miracle balm and have used it daily for the last 3 weeks. It’s a shea butter that, like the Palmers, melts under the heat of your skin. I do prefer the smell of the Palmers but I appreciate the higher quality natural ingredients in the Vital Touch range so I’ll be sticking with them for the duration. The biggest selling point of this little balm is that it does more than double duty! You can use it on any dry skin or scars, including on your face. It’s safe to use on nipples to rehydrate and heal whilst breast-feeding and it works as a hair treatment! 8/10
Now, I have read around the subject of stretch marks and science does seem to say that during pregnancy you’ll either get them or you won’t. A lot of it seems to be down to genetics and how quickly you gain weight at the time. Also I can’t really say for sure which, if any, of the products above have helped to keep my skin in reasonable condition – because I’ve tried so many! I would say though that the experience of ‘treating’ the skin is a good one whether it really works or not. I’ve felt more positive about my changing body since paying attention to my skin care and I smell great!
I’d be interested to hear your experience of these or other products. Also, does anyone have any reccomendations for things to help your skin ‘bounce back’ after birth?