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Best Body Lotion for Pregnancy

Updated: Jan 19, 2022

My sensitive skin is prone to allergic reactions so I've always had to be extra vigilant about the beauty products I use. I tend to avoid artificial fragrances as often as possible and anything with organic ingredients is a bonus. When I found out I was pregnant, I started switching to skincare products with the least amount of chemicals possible. If I’m honest, I also carried a lot of fear about my postpartum body. Most of the women in my family have a significant amount of stretch marks on their belly. When I found out I was pregnant, I started scouring the internet for products that were safe for pregnant women and helpful in preventing stretch marks. I found that there was no one magic lotion that did the trick for me. I did find some really great creams and oils that nourished my skin during pregnancy. There was a lot of trial and error but, in the end, I found a routine that worked well for me. There is a separate post about my face care products coming next week. Keep reading to find out my favorite body products for pregnancy. 1. Shea Moisture 100% virgin coconut oil body wash I can’t remember where I originally found this body wash, but I am so glad I did! I love Shea Moisture because their products are usually good for any skin type and avoid harmful ingredients. The formula has no sulfates, parabens, phthalates, propylene glycol or mineral oil. I noticed that I didn’t get that “dry” feeling after I showered using this body wash which was really important to me during pregnancy. Dry skin does not stretch well! The coconut oil and shea butter in the formula always left my skin feeling conditioned and moisturized. My only complaint is that this specific body wash was not easy to find in stores and the bottle is not very big so I would have to order a bunch in advance to avoid running out. 2. Body Oil Blend (Natural Oils and Essential Oils) As a Black woman with naturally curly hair, oils have been my best friend my whole life. Before I got pregnant, I used jojoba oil in my hair, vitamin E on my skin and lavender essential oil for anxiety. Along with many other health benefits when consumed, each of these oils have been shown to treat dry skin, reduce inflammation, and improve skin elasticity. During my first trimester, I created my own belly butter which included a mixture of shea butter, those three previously mentioned oils, olive oil and coconut oil. I melted the shea butter down, mixed in the other oils and then let it cool into a cream like consistency. I used this blend every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Whenever I got the urge to scratch my itchy skin, I would apply this mixture instead. At the start of my pregnancy, I actually went back and forth between using this DIY oil blend and Palmers Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks , which boasts as one of the "best body lotions" on the market. I found that, as my belly got bigger, and my skin stretched more, my DIY blend gave the best results when compared to the Palmers lotion. It always left my skin feeling soft, smooth, and moisturized. An added bonus was that my blend decreased the appearance of stretch marks on my entire body.

3. Shea Butter I could go on and on about how much I love shea butter. I have been using it on my skin and hair for many years now. Shea butter is packed with fatty acids and vitamins that work together to moisturize and soften skin. It also has anti-inflammatory and healing properties that help to tone and soothe your skin. I found that shea butter worked the best for me when my skin was wet or damp so I always used it after a bath or shower. It always made my skin feel soft and supple for hours after using it. Another thing I loved (and still love) about it is the smell. It doesn't have an overpowering smell which was really important to me in pregnancy as my sense of smell was heightened. I noticed that some products (like Bio-Oil) had a pretty strong smell that would often turn me off from using it. Since one of my goals was to avoid stretch marks, I found myself constantly moisturizing my skin to promote elasticity. I never got sick of the smell of shea butter! You can find the one I used here! 4. Bio-Oil I know there are people on both sides of the aisle for this one, but I am a fan of this product. Bio-Oil works by reducing the appearance of dark spots, uneven skin tone, stretch marks and scars. I originally used Bio Oil to help fade some old surgery scars, a few years before I got pregnant. It really helped to fade those scars so when I got pregnant, it was a natural choice for stretch mark prevention. I will say that I used this one the least throughout my pregnancy because I didn't know the effects of all the ingredients that were listed outside of the main ingredients (e.g. Vitamins E and A, lavender, sunflower and chamomile oil). As I mentioned earlier, I also didn't love the smell during pregnancy. But, I feel like it deserves a spot on this list because it really helped to minimize the appearance of the the few stretch marks I got around my belly button after I gave birth. I'm sure using it more often during pregnancy could've been beneficial. 5. Vaseline The main ingredient in vaseline is petroleum jelly. If you're already a mom or have worked with kids, you know that many diaper creams contain petroleum jelly making it a clear candidate for "pregnancy safe lotions". I never really thought about using it until I stumbled onto a Youtube video (I tried to find the source to link however, it seems to be lost in the algorithm) about preventing stretch marks. The woman was a mother of multiples and was pregnant with twins in her video. She gave a run down on her belly care routine and mentioned always using vaseline at the end to seal in the moisture. This intrigued me because I use a similar approach with jojoba oil to lock in moisture in my hair. I gave it a try that same night (after applying my DIY butter) and I noticed that my skin was perfectly soft and moisturized when I woke up in the morning. Similar to shea butter, I found the best results when I applied vaseline onto wet or damp skin. Whatever I didn't use during pregnancy, I ended up using when my daughter was born for diaper rashes and cradle cap. Final Thoughts If you're a pregnant woman, you obviously are going to want to do what's best for your body and your baby. The market is saturated with companies who claim to have the best products and best stretch mark creams for skin changes in expectant mothers. After doing my own research and considering my own personal needs, I tried to find natural products that were free of as many toxic chemicals as possible. I ended up using products that would likely not harm my unborn child and would eventually be safe to use on my baby's skin as well. Depending on where you live, your accessibility to certain products will vary. When it comes down to it, if you're purchasing products (or making your own), you want to find an honest company with products that have a high percentage of natural ingredients and give you peace of mind when using them.

The things I listed worked for me but that doesn't mean it will work for you. Sometimes, it's all about trial and error. If you're already a mom, leave a comment below and share what worked for you during pregnancy! Also, comment and let me know if you would like a detailed explanation of how I made my DIY belly butter.

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