From the moment I found out about being pregnant came the generic questions; "what prevents stretch marks", "what can I and can't I continue to use in my daily routine" and "what is potentially harmful to my growing bub". Those first few months, I can say I was definitely an over analyzer about everything I put into or on my body. You could say I was a hypochondriac about today's ever changing "rules" in society about risks for your baby. How on earth did we ever survive; knowing our parents were far worse off with the technology and health discoveries in the 80's and 90's. Don't worry, as my pregnancy progressed I became more aware of what I should actually be careful about consuming or using.
I'll start by addressing the stretch mark question first. It really does depend on the individual and the elasticity of your OWN skin. Yeah yeah moisturizers do help, but each persons skin and bodies change differently. Some say genetics come into play as well but I know plenty of mums who didn't get a single mark, while their mothers ended up with many. All I could do was continue my everyday regimen.
I was that little girl putting on her grandmothers Olay face lotion at age five. Whatever my grandmothers beauty routine was; I followed. Luckily for me it was simple and all about moisturizing. Every morning fresh out of the shower I chose my favorite lotions to over lather my body in. I mean I don't think there was anything wrong with this... until I became an adult and had to start buying beauty products for myself. Here I am; 24, eight months pregnant and I still strongly believe in a morning and nightly moisturizing routine. As of now, I haven't noticed a single mark but *knock on wood, I have another month to go.
As for "what products that I already currently used that could potentially be harmful to my growing bub... luckily I didn't need to delete anything out of my routine. I would say the biggest thing to watch out for are products with harmful chemicals, such as spray self tanners, chemical hair removals and other scented products like nail polish removal (only because it may be harmful if inhaled in large amounts). I chose my top 4 products to share with you guys. I used these products even before pregnancy and I can say they all do wonders.
Some of these products I use daily or even twice a day while others I use at least once a week. I feel like for me; it was super important to treat myself, pamper my skin and make sure I am feeling the best I can feel every morning before I start my day and every night before I end it.
(Click on any underlined text and it leads readers directly to the site to purchase).
1. Frank Coffee Scrub//
This is something I used once a week when I had some extra time in the shower. I was introduced to Frank about two years ago through Instagram and I haven't used another scrub quite like it. It works great for random patches of dry skin, pimply "chicken skin" that appears commonly on the back of the arm and rashes. I've used a variety of scents including original, coconut and the seasonal chocolate cake (yum) but I would recommend trying them all.
2. Coconut Oil//
The real question is... what can't you use coconut oil for? Coconut oil in ma hair, coconut oil in ma food, coconut oil on ma dogs and coconut oil for my skin. It literally is the most hydrating moisturizing product out there. I used this even more avidly throughout the Summer because its the most natural tanning oil. A little goes a long way. Putting this on after every shower as you are still damp helps it really absorb into your skin and give you the ultimate moisturizer. The scent is also mild for the mums out there who struggle in that first trimester with scents.
3. Essential Oils//
While essential oils aren't necessarily qualified as a skin care product; I used these most commonly before bed as a relaxation technique, I absolutely love the smell of lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint. Another fun fact about loving these scents is that as early as 26 weeks in pregnancy; your bub becomes accustom to the smells around you. This is a comfort technique they are instinctively born with; to smell mum and the feeling of comfort. I most commonly put one of the mentioned three on my wrists or chest before bed, doing this also gives the oil a distinct smell to your own while it pairs with your individual pheromones.. Young living essential oils has so many options and not only are their oils all natural, more than okay to use directly on your skin or in a difusor but can be consumed, That's right; want lavender lemonade? Want peppermint green tea? Add a drop of the essential oil. To learn more about Young Living and what essential oils can really do for you;I recommend going through a dear friend of mine here.
4. Sephora Face Masks//
I absolutely loved doing facemasks at least once a week when I had extra time in the evening. These Sephora brand masks in specific were my favorite because they come as a sheet, you simply lay over your face and it hugs the natural contours of your cheek bones, nose and chin for better penetration. Also; it was nice to not have to scrub, wash or even rinse my face after removal, which makes it super quick and easy. I have used the honey, pearl green tea, rose and pomegranate; but I would recommend trying them all.
***I do not own these images