My youngest child is now almost three years old, but I still remember both of my pregnancies so well. It is such an exciting time, but also a roller coaster of emotions and so many changes both mentally and physically. I often get asked for my recommendations for pregnancy products and I documented what I personally used throughout my last pregnancy, but as I discover new brands and products it is nice to also cover new things that are worthy of a mention.
Pregnancy is full of physical and emotional changes. Some of the physical changes, especially surges in hormones can affect your skin; for example you might find your normally balanced skin becomes starts to suffer with dryness, or you get sudden breakouts and even sensitivity. During pregnancy some women are also more likely to develop melasma and pigmentation, so sunscreen is very important as a preventative measure. I personally found a simple and gentle routine the best approach to skincare during pregnancy. The less complicated the better.
If you are using products with active ingredients such as retinols or certain acids, you might want to consult the brands or a skincare professional to ensure those are still suitable for you. High does Vitamin A taken orally should be avoided, but if you are using this kind of treatment you will be under the care of a Dr or Dermatologist who will have advised you carefully before starting treatment. The other topic that comes up quite often is essential oils and pregnancy. Topical products generally have relatively small quantities of essential oils and there is no reason to believe that these need to be avoided during pregnancy, although some brands will recommended you avoid their products as they haven’t been formulated with pregnancy in mind. To be on the safe side I personally stick to products specifically formulated for pregnancy or essential oil/fragrance free products.
A qualified aromatherapist will be able to advise you further on this as there are some essential oils that aren’t recommended in high quantities. If you are going for any beauty treatments during pregnancy always let your practitioner know so they can adapt accordingly. Many women find they become more sensitive to scents during pregnancy anyway, so you may naturally gravitate towards lightly scented to completely unscented products.
The other big concern during pregnancy is stretch marks. Anybody who tells you they have a magic formula against stretch marks is probably not telling the truth. It seems to be a complex mix of genetic predisposition and how rapidly your body changes that determines if you get stretch marks or not. Although no product can guarantee to keep them at bay, keeping the skin well moisturised certainly won’t hurt and will also help with some of the itching and discomfort that can happen with a rapidly growing bump.
I found moisturising twice a day from early on the pregnancy worked best for me. I did get quite bad stretch marks appear in the last week of my first pregnancy, so second time around I was much more diligent with the body oil and it paid off. It is also worth remembering to keep moisturising as much as possible even after birth to support the skin as it will still be working hard and changing rapidly for several months afterwards. Even if you do get stretch marks, using high quality products can help them fade faster, so still worthwhile.
I have chosen some of my favourite pregnancy body care products, some I used during my pregnancy and others I have discovered since then. I have tried to cover every budget and preference, so I have different textures and either gently scented and suited for pregnancy or completely unscented products to choose from. I personally prefer products without mineral oils, silicones, artificial fragrances and colours, so all of these products tick those boxes as well. Pick what fits in best with your lifestyle and budget.
My Trusty Skincare Sunflower body lotion (£5.99 for 250ml) – Although not specifically formulated for pregnancy, this gentle, fragrance free lotion can be used by anyone, anytime and ticks a lot of boxes. It is very budget friendly and available on the high street (My Trusty are stocked in Tesco and Superdrug) so really easy to get hold of. This is the lightest of all the formulas I have chosen, perfect for applying in the morning, or if you really don’t enjoy oils and butters. The formula is light but nourishing and silky, featuring sunflower oil and could also be helpful with dry skin conditions such as eczema. My Trusty is owned and developed by the NHS and all profits are reinvested in to patient care, a lovely way to support our public services.
Pinks Boutique Rose and Jojoba face and body oil* (£24 for 50ml) – If you are looking for a multi-tasker, then this oil from certified organic brand Pinks Boutique can be used on face and body during pregnancy, which is great. This is a wonderfully concentrated product and a little goes a long way. As it is a formula packed with pure plant oils, it is best massaged on to damp skin. With a light rosy scent, this is a lovely treatment, perfect for tackling dry patches and moisturising a growing bump. If organic certification is important to you then this one comes with the Soil Association stamp of approval.
Weleda Stretch mark massage oil* (£18.95 for 100ml) – A gentle, nurturing oil formulated to promote skin elasticity. This blend has sweet almond oil, jojoba and wheatgerm oils with a really delicate essential oil blend including rose, neroli and myrrh that makes it a real pleasure to use. I still reach for this oil often and I think it is excellent value for money. The Weleda Almond body wash* is also perfect for pregnancy and for the first few weeks after birth, as it has a very light scent and a lovely moisturising formula. Weleda are available worldwide and carry the natural and organic certification with NATRUE.
Inner Senses Bloom pregnancy oil* (£26 for 100ml) – Founded by a qualified aromatherapist, Inner Senses Bloom oil is a gorgeous blend designed to be used throughout pregnancy. It has a lovely fresh neroli scent, that is so beautiful and the blend of rosehip, sweet almond and avocado oils leave skin really nurtured and supple. I really great product for daily use.
Cwtch Cariad Bump, breast and body mask (£89 for 200ml) – If you are looking for a touch of luxury, Welsh mum and baby brand Cwtch have a divine selection of products to pamper your skin. This product definitely has a luxury price point, but it is one of the nicest body products I have ever used, with an ingredients list that reads more like a luxury face care product and packed full of lovely botanical ingredients. Although this is called a mask, you use it just like you would a body butter and it leaves the skin feeling absolutely divine!
Nom Nom Stretch butter Camellia and vanilla (£19 for 100ml) – I first featured this gorgeous mum and baby brand several years ago and this stretch butter is a lovely addition to any pregnancy routine. It is very lightly scented with sweet vanilla notes and has a blend of shea and cocoa butters as well as camellia and sweet almond oils. As this product has no water content a little goes a long way and is the perfect evening treatment for before bed. Nom Nom have a variety of products for mums and babies and are certified organic with the Soil Association.
Naturally Tribal Yara body butter (£21 for 200ml) – Although this body butter is designed for use on children, it also makes a lovely, simple body butter to use on dry skin and during pregnancy. With just two ingredients Shea butter and coconut oil, it is completely un-fragranced although the ingredients have a naturally nutty scent, a very uncomplicated formula that can be used by the whole family.
If you are pregnant or know someone who is, I hope this has given you some ideas of what to use on a growing bump!
Post contains a mix of PR samples and products bought by me. This post contains affiliate links (these are marked with a *). Please see my full disclaimer for details.