One of the top concerns in a pregnant woman’s mind, besides having a healthy baby (which should be the most important thing), is whether they would get stretch marks during pregnancy, and how to avoid it.
There are some moms who think that stretch marks are proof of motherhood and would be proud to show it off. Of course, I agree that this is something totally natural and not something to be ashamed of.
That said, I would prefer not to have them. This was definitely one of my worries and I am just being honest here.
I think it is a legitimate concern.
Hence, the next few days were spent researching on the best anti stretch mark oils/creams on the market.
My findings are:
- Sometimes stretch mark is hereditary. If your mom has it, then you are likely to get it too. Unfortunately, no amount of oil/cream is going to help you.
- Different oils/cream work for different people. Some people swear by brand A, some others prefer brand B.
What is a paranoid pregnant woman to do then??
I bought three of the more popular brands and applied them (one at a time) religiously since the second week of my pregnancy. Though some of the instructions encourage application three times a day or as often as required, I applied liberally only once a day after showering.
I don’t know about you but I can’t put oil on myself if I don’t feel super clean, and I only feel super clean after a shower. And the heat from the shower causes your pores to open so that might be the best time for your skin to absorb all the oily goodness anyway.
Below is my experience, sorted from the most expensive to the least expensive:
Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil – $68 for 100ml
Clarins’ #1 selling body oil — with 100% pure plant extracts including Rosemary, Geranium and Mint — helps firm, tone and improve elasticity, smoothing the appearance of stretch marks. Hazelnut Oil locks in moisture to leave body skin soft and satiny-smooth. Aromatic natural botanical promote an overall feeling of well-being. Preservative-free.
+ I love the smell of this treatment oil as it contains one of my favorite scent, Geranium.
+ This oil is thicker and is packaged in a glass bottle which gives off that luxury vibe, like “yes now I know why I am paying top dollars for this”.
– The oil is so thick that sometimes I have to either use a lot of it (not ideal given the price) or wet my hands/body slightly so that it is easier to apply. The instructions say to apply on a damp body so I have to only semi-dry post shower to keep my body damp or wet my hands but it is a bit tedious after a while.
– It is pricey. I finished 1 bottle of 100ml in 1-1.5 months so that works out to be approximately $600 if I used it for my entire pregnancy.
Bio-Oil – $20 for 200ml
The Bio-Oil formulation is a combination of plant extracts and vitamins suspended in an oil base. It contains the breakthrough ingredient PurCellin Oil™, which changes the formulation’s overall consistency, making it light and non-greasy. This ensures that the goodness contained in the vitamins and plant extracts is easily absorbed.
+ This oil is cheap and can be found in most supermarkets or pharmacies.
+ It feels lightweight and not too greasy. Also, it’s suitable to be applied on the face, which is perfect for lazy days when I am not bothered to put on moisturizer.
– I am not a big fan of the scent. Perhaps this coincided with my morning sickness but I could not to finish the bottle at one go and had to force myself to use it towards the end of my pregnancy.
Palmer’s Intensive Relief Treatment Oil – $9.99 for 150ml
Palmer’s signature Intensive Relief Treatment Oil is a deep moisturising treatment designed to give your skin that velvety smooth texture you’ve been craving. With an exclusive blend of unique ingredients designed to reduce the visibility of stretch marks, correct skin tones and repair damaged skin all at once!
+ This oil is light and I did get that smooth velvety texture post application.
+ It does not smell. There is no fragrance so you can’t get sick of the smell and it’s perfect for people who are sensitive to scents. I find this surprising given that most Palmer’s product I’ve used smells of coconut.
Note: I love this oil so much that I brought it back with me to Malaysia. I was 7 months pregnant then and my body was starting to feel extremely hot all the time. Coupled with the humid and hot weather, I was sweating so much that it was impossible to apply any oil or cream on my body.
Having tried all three popular brands for stretch mark, I am glad to say that they worked for me.
I had no stretch marks, even after carrying a 4kg baby which is huge for my frame. My tummy went back to its normal state about ten days after delivery.
Was it just the oils that did their magic?
No. I strongly think that this is due to a healthy diet, proper hydration and frequent but light exercise throughout my pregnancy. Of course, daily oil application helped maintain my skin’s tone and elasticity.
Till next time! xoxo