Almost from the moment I found out that I was expecting I promised myself that I would keep my bump fully pampered with whatever it took to keep stretch marks at bay and as a beauty journalist trialled a (very wide) variety of products that promised to do just that. I had been told by many a wise woman (my mum, my midwife, my grandma) that stretch marks are often hereditry and that while creams and oils do help, they won’t actually stop you from getting them. A lot of it is down to luck. Also, my sister-in-law went through her whole pregnancy with a beautiful, smooth bump, only to get the dreaded marks a week before she gave birth.
My motto was that if I did get stretch marks I would see them as a rite of passage and a wonderful memory of my pregnancy. (If I didn’t I’d be even happier though).
Anyway, these creams and oils were all an absolute pleasure to use and definitely kept my growing tummy looking smooth and feeling wonderfully soft.
Here are my favourites:
Organic Pharmacy Stretch Mark Oil (£19.96 100ml): Of all the Stretch Mark products that I used this was my favourite. It contains Wheatgerm, Rose Hip, Marigold, Neroli and Lavender and smells absolutely divine. I smothered my belly, breasts and bottom with this before I went to sleep and both my husband and I loved the fragrance…it was so relaxing. It also sinks in easily and doesn’t make you feel all slick and oily which I hate. The fragrance of this oil became like a pregnancy perfume for me and I know that whenever I smell it now it always reminds me of those incredible nine months.
Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter (£23.50) Apparently The Duchess of Cambridge uses this and I don’t blame her. The cream is rich and sinks in really easily. It contains some amazing, ingredients that are free of nasties, including Shea Butter, avocado oil and rosehip fruit oil. I’m a big fan of the Mama Mio ethos and having met one of the founders, I can assure you that every product is made with total passion and care.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch marks (£5.89 Boots.com): Love the price, the ingredients and the efficacy of this lotion. It’s a great day time cream and contains Vitamin E, Collagen and Elastin. The only thing I’m not keen on is the smell when you initally rub it in, but this soon fades.
Shea Mooti Mama’s Everything Body Balm (£16.99): I wasn’t overly keen on rubbing body balms on my tummy as they are so thick and sticky, but this wonder balm was a total exception. It smells gorgeous, is totally organic and contains ethically sourced, virgin shea butter, cocoa butter and nourishing omega rich baobab and jojoba oils. It is fragranced with lavender oil and mandarin oil. What I love about this balm is not only how soft it makes your tummy but that you really can use it on EVERYTHING. I still rub it into my hands when they are dry, scars, my lips and even used it for the dreaded perineal massage. It is also suitable for using on baby and lasts for ages so well worth the money!
I didn’t go down the Bio-Oil route even though many women swear by it. I found it a bit too oily if you know what I mean and am not sure how pure the ingredients are.