This is something I am asked about almost weekly, even before I had Fenwick. What to use and do to prevent and help stretch marks.
My answer has always been the same…..NATURAL NATURAL NATURAL!! When you’re pregnant your hormones levels change (don’t we know it!!) and so too does the skin. Your poor tummy is being stretched beyond belief and the thought of stretch marks lurking in the shadows is pretty much the cherry on the cake with everything else we are going through.
I do have a huge belief that there is a genetic role to play in stretch marks. My mother and sister both didn’t get them and I have been lucky enough with this pregnancy to not either. However, I did take really good care of my tummy, hips, thighs and breasts for a good three months before falling pregnant, during and three months post pregnancy.
Lots of women buy into the ‘Bio Oil’ advertising. This is the one product I really DO NOT recommend. Bio Oil is made up of a substance called mineral oil. Mineral Oil is a man-made product that is a by-product from the distillation of petroleum. There is nothing in mineral oil that will care, protect and prevent stretch marks or help with current ones and scarring. Mineral oil just sits on the skin like cling film and has absolutely no benefit to the skin. It is cheap and companies use it to bulk out their products and thus make a bigger return. Please do not put any cream or oil on the skin with ‘mineral oil’ ‘liquid paraffin’ or ‘paraffinum liquidum’ in the ingredients list.
You really want to be using natural plant based oils, especially when pregnant. They are more expensive but they work. Plant based oils are absorbed and so can work on cell repair, they are full of essential fatty acids, anti-oxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties. These are all needed when the skin has increased sensitivity due to raging hormones and is stretching at a rapid speed.
This is what I did/used throughout my pregnancy:
• Balance Me ‘Super Moisturising Body Oil’ (£24.50 200mls)
I used this every morning after showering on tummy, hips, thighs and breasts. The neroli in it smells divine and it is light enough to dry quickly. My skin felt like silk after using this.
• Waitrose Bottom Butter!! I know this sounds crazy, but I adore the richness of this balm. It is primarily olive oil and smells incredible. I used this every single evening. I wore an old t-shirt to bed to prevent oils stains, as I really did lather it on. At £3.25 it also is affordable to use in outrageous amounts.
• I took a ‘Prenatal Vitamin’ supplement 3 months before, throughout and 3 months after pregnancy.
• I use the homeopathic remedy ‘Calc Fluor’ which helps with the elasticity of connective tissue (which helps prevent stretch marks). Note, please see a qualified homeopath before taking remedies.
• Vitamin C. I took extra Vit C as it helps with collagen production.
• MorDHA fish oils.
• I steered away from sugar (it was so hard!). Sugar is metabolized via the kerb cycle and this releases free radicals which break down connective tissue. You want all the strong connective tissue you can get when you bump is growing!!
The above all worked for me and I would do/use the exact same again. However, I would say that even if you have stretch marks the above would still be beneficial. Massaging natural oils rich in essential fatty acids will help keep the blood supply flowing as close to the stretch marks as possible and help the tone and feel of the skin.
I have a pigmentation mark under my right eye from my pregnancy. I think of it as my ‘Fenwick Scar’ and I am proud of it. Shame on anyone who points it out, how rude! Stretch marks are just scars of the amazing achievement that your body has been through and you should be proud. If anyone comments about them, let it be water off a ducks back and remember the amazing child you have created. You and your body are incredible and your scars prove you’re a hero!!