Having a baby is often said to be a beautiful thing, and truth be told, I had a wonderful journey. Of course, there were days when I wished my old figure back, but that is only a matter of time. The only irrevocable change, one that will plague you for the rest of your life, and stay as a permanent reminder of motherhood, is the appearance of stretch marks.
The problem with stretch marks, is that prevention is the key. There is no way to tell at the onset if you will end up with stretch marks, and by the time they show up it is already too late. With that in mind, that perfect stretch mark prevention oil / cream is worth it’s weight in gold.
The trouble is finding the one that works. I trawled the web for the latest and bestest, tried a handful, loved and hated… and have summarized my experience here, so that you don’t have to!
basq Resilient Body Oil is the current cult fav in the US, and is profiled in countless Best of Beauty guides. Rigorously clinically tested for zero skin allergy and irritancy, the entire basq line is free from parabens, phlthlates and animal testing. basq Resilient Body Oil blends the highest quality, skin nurturing oils including hazelnut, sweet almond, wheat germ, grapeseed, rosehip, and eucalyptus oils, along with Vitamin E – all super rich in Essential Fatty Acids – to strengthen skin in a way lotions can’t.
Touted as the most advanced solution for stretch mark prevention and minimization, basq Advanced Stretch Mark Butter contains a cocktail of powerful ingredients. These include Darutoside and Algisium C to combat and repair stretch marks by regenerating elastin fibers; Shea and Jojoba butters provide rich, creamy nourishment to stretched skin; Borage, Rosehip and Grapeseed Oil work with the skin’s natural hydrating process to fortify skin and deliver skin strengthening essential fatty acids deep within the dermis layer.
I tried both basq products at the start of my pregnancy, and it took some getting used to applying oil on my skin on a daily basis. Regardless, the oil absorbed quickly, and the scent smelled heavenly. I really loved the basq advanced stretch mark butter… it was light weight in texture and smelled marvelous. Unfortunately, the basq line is not readily available in Singapore, and I had to have them shipped from the US, which greatly increased the cost and was rather inconvenient.
This is probably the most popular product amongst my preggers friends, and i got to understand why – Clarins counters are easily accessible and staffed by friendly, approachable staff, avoiding a trip to the old-fashioned maternity shop which can be daunting for a new modern mom, and by-passing those pushy sales people.
Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil is a luxurious body treatment that contains 100% pure plant extracts such as Hazel Seed Oil, Rosemary Leaf Oil, Rosewood Wood Oil, Citronellol, Geraniol, Limonene, etc. This is, hands-down, my favorite body oil. It is a dry oil, absorbs instantly and does not leave an oily feel, and it smelled like spa! The small bottle lasted me for all of my 2nd trimester, although some people go through a bottle a month.
My pregnancy routine was cream in the day, and oil at night… mostly because I was initially resistant to applying oil on my skin (silly me!), and I thought it was overly wasteful to apply both oil and cream each time (even sillier!). As with the tonic oil, I loved this cream, although it is heavier in texture than the basq one, it felt luxurious and my skin felt deeply moisturized long after application.
I was stuck in this limbo towards the last few weeks of my pregnancy when I ran out of the Clarins products that I had come to love, but did not want to go out and splurge big bucks on brand new bottles that will remain barely touched after I pop. Just to be clear, I had used the Clarins tonic oil & stretch mark control cream from Months 4 through 8 without any hint of stretch marks appearing. Then one day, I was browsing on Luxola, and saw This Works Stretch Mark Oil, and it was on 30% off. I loved that it uses 100% natural high-grade plant and essential oils such as Passion Fruit Seed (high in linoleic acid) for its skin healing properties; Gold of Pleasure packed with anti-oxidants and EFA’s including omega 3; Rose Hip Seed Oil traditionally used to heal scar tissue and Coconut, long considered to prevent stretch marks. It all sounded so good, I decided to give it a shot.
This was probably the worst mistake I could ever make!! Firstly, this is not a dry oil like Clarins, it goes on oily and stays oily for a good 10-15minutes before being absorbed. Also, I did not like the strong musky scent. Most importantly, my skin started itching terribly shortly after I switched. And NOBODY warned me that scratching causes tears on fragile skin on a cellular level which shows up a stretch marks!! So, i truly believe my current stretch marks are the result of being cheap and *too* experimental for my own good.
Bio-Oil seems to be on a big marketing binge lately, I have been receiving lots of samples and seen tones of sponsored reviews online. Personally, this product is in a different league from those reviewed above… this is more of a drugstore product, with a different price / efficacy level targeting the mass market. Unfair as it is to stack it up against products that cost 4-5x more, I really felt this product not worth my while. It was the oiliest of all that i’ve tried, did not absorb well, and did not leave my skin feeling nourished. It also took quite a bit of work to get the oil off my fingers, so trying to apply makeup right after in a dash is impossible.
So there you have it, from drugstore brand to popular luxe and latest cult products for preventing stretch marks! Of course, there are a gazillion more out there. Let me know if you have your own personal faves to share!
Already have stretch marks? Check out Strivectin-SD here!