A few weeks ago, I talked about "BODY IMAGE DURING PREGNANCY": about the pressure we feel to stay as small as possible, to not get stretch marks, to bounce back as soon as we give birth, etc. So before starting this article, I want to say it again: 

YOU ARE CREATING LIFE AND THERE ISN'T ANYTHING MORE BEAUTIFUL THAN THAT.

However, I'm not saying you should LET GO.   Loving your body means giving it the best it deserves.
You should definitely be active, eat your veggies, drink your water, have an extra delicious cookie, and why not? hydrate your skin to prevent or reduce stretch marks.  I just want you to enjoy this process, and not dwell in a few extra pounds or stretch marks because "society says so".


 There are many risks factors  when it comes to getting stretch marks- some are completely out of your control (genetics, carrying multiples, large baby, and excess of amniotic fluid) while on other factors, you have a bit of more control (diet, slow moderate weight gain, & hydration).

Butters, lotions, creams, and oils can help (especially with the itchiness and dryness)- but there isn't a magical formula.  I personally think they have worked for me, and it feels like a little moment to bond with my baby rubbing my belly.

I've gotten a few questions about the products I would recommend. So here they are : products I've used and tried + each one's pros and cons. 







PALMER'S COCOA BUTTER FORMULA





The first formulas I tried were the Palmer's Cocoa Butter. I've heard great things and as soon as I found out I was pregnant, I got them in two versions: the massage lotion and the butter.

In terms of consistency, the massage lotion was MY FAVORITE. It was very creamy but it didn't feel sticky or heavy. This is a great lotion to apply during the day, and even on hot humid days (I took it with me to a trip in Ecuador at around 20 weeks and it worked perfectly in the crazy hot weather).  The cap makes it very easy to apply, not messy at all. I personally liked the chocolate-y smell (so did my husband). However, if you are feeling very nauseous during the first trimester, I don't think this lotion would help with the symptoms. 

When I got the butter, the consistency was so hard I didn't even know how to take it out of the jar without getting it in my fingernails or making a mess all over. I think the trick is to go around the edges, it gets easier but it isn't the most convenient packaging. It has the same chocolate-y smell than the lotion but the formula is thicker and a bit greasier. I would apply this at night because it felt like the butter was sticking to my clothes and getting it dirty. 

Another PRO for this brand and its products, the price point is great (under $6) + you can find it in your local pharmacy.




HONEST BELLY BALM
 I was very excited to try this one because I had heard such amazing things about Honest. My mother in law got it for me during Christmas. Let's start with the obvious, the Organic Belly Balm costs 3x as much as the Palmer's Cocoa Butter- and it comes in a smaller jar- I think that's my main CON. 

However, if I had to rank them it will probably be my #2.  The smell is AMAZING- it smells like you are coming out of a spa. But again, it could be a little strong if you are sensitive to smells during pregnancy. On the contrary to the sweetness of the Palmer's, the smell of lavender from the Organic Belly Balm felt refreshing (and again, hubby loved it too!).

Yes, I know I complained about the Palmer's Cocoa butter 's packaging, BUT this one melts faster and it is easier to take out of the jar. The consistency is incredibly, but skin felt subtle and hydrated instantly. Because it is thick and a bit sticky, I would recommend using it at night ( I definitely prefer to get the PJs sticky than my regular clothes!).





CLARINS STRETCH MARK MINIMAZER


I've worked with Clarins over the years and its truly and incredible brand when it comes to skincare.  When I announced my pregnancy, their PR team sent me a few products to try and test, including this Stretch Mark Minimizer. This product wasn't developed specifically for pregnancy, but its key ingredients are designed to help with skin elasticity during any body change (pregnancy, puberty, weight loss or gain).

With this product, I specially focused on my boobs. My breasts doubled in size in the first few weeks of pregnancy- so remember that you should not only apply any moisturizer to your belly but also to your tights, butt, and breast. I think it did help to lighten a bit of the stretch marks I had under my boobs.

It absorbs very fast into the skin, it isn't heavy or greasy. However, I did notice it would leave some residue after it dried and it ended up being a bit messy. The smell is nice, it's not overpowering and it just feels fresh. Is it worth the price-point? That's up to you!







PREGNANCY STRETCH MARK PREVENTION OIL THERAPY


After my BABY SHOWER, we went to a place called Pancita's where you can bring your family and see your baby in 3d. It was such a fun experience because my parents nor my in-laws do live in Miami and it was great to bring them along. The staff was very sweet and when I was leaving I got this product in a goodie bag. I was excited to try it because it was completely different in formula to the ones I had before. It comes as a spray and it's liquid (oil). However, it absorbs VERY fast and my skin feels very hydrated all day. It doesn't feel greasy and I feel I can apply it during the day without damaging my clothes.




Did you use any of this products during your pregnancy? Are you currently pregnant? Tell me what are you loving!
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