Welcome to YELLOWMUM! It's my new category sharing with you my journey as an expectant mum! :)
I have been battling with stretch marks my entire life. Yes, even pre-pregnancy. I was really small when I was a kid. You wouldn't believe it when you see how tall I am now (5'9"). I still remember staying in front of the line when I was in grade 1 to 3 (by height). And then moving to the middle. Eventually I got taller, and when I got to highschool, I was already one of the tallest girls in our batch. With this, I already saw stretch marks along my waist.
And then after getting married while enjoying our new married life, I gained tons of weight quickly and slowly lost some here and there which resulted to more stretch marks. I have fresh ones from last year since I just gained and did not lose any weight. I went on a diet just this year and successfully lost about 15 lbs before getting pregnant, hence, no more diet for me.
So when I finally learned that I was pregnant, I researched and researched and learned that applying lotions and creams should somehow aid in preventing stretch marks and also hydrating the skin making it less itchy. I started applying these lotions and creams during my 14th week and I still do upto this day. (Sometimes when I'm just plain lazy, I skip a day or two. :( Boo me.)
My morning lotion is from Vanilla & Co. I got mine at Sesou. I was able to grab a hold of their Pure Shea & Cocoa Whipped Buttercream in Chocolate & Hazelnut. Apparently, this isn't the one intended for stretch marks. They have another product which is the Organic Cocoa. Unfortunately, it wasn't available at Sesou and I didn't see it beforehand.
Vanilla & Co.
Pure Shea & Cocoa Whipped Buttercream
in Chocolate & Hazelnut
The smell is divine! It smells so good. Perfect scent of cocoa butter I have to add! I love love the smell so I didn't really think twice and got it right away. The formula is light, it's just like a lotion. That's why I use this in the morning because there is no sticky feeling and it's very easy to blend on the skin.
Since this isn't really intended for stretch marks reduction, I use it just to hydrate my skin. Now that I am 20 weeks pregnant (Yes! I've already finished the first half!), I already feel itching here and there. So it's so vital to moisturize and hydrate! I will probably get the Organic Cocoa product when I run out of this. I like that it's a natural product meaning no harmful ingredients that may harm my baby in any way.
Now for night time, I prefer to use something heavier just because I have airconditioning on anyway so I wouldn't mind the sticky feeling. My hubby bought me Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream for Stretch Marks. We got this from Landmark. Palmer's is a well known brand for pregnant women and they have all sorts of products for stretch marks.
Palmer's Massage Cream for Stretch Marks
I decided to get the Massage Cream instead of the Massage Lotion because like what I said, this is of a thicker consistency meaning it's more concentrated. I also read that this is good for skin in areas that usually stretch during pregnancy. What's interesting about this product is that they say they also help reduce appearance of stretch marks that are already there!
It comes in a tube so it's more sanitary. Although, to be honest I don't really mind if it comes in a jar since I know I'll be using this only on myself. I also liked the face that it's paraben free. Again, a great plus for organic and natural junkies as myself.
The consistency is thick and it's actually quite difficult to spread on dry skin. I usually apply it after my shower so that my skin is still just a little damp from my bath. I apply it on my belly, thighs, butt and also on my breasts since they are already starting to itch like crazy! As for the smell, I actually prefer the Vanilla & Co. whipped cream better. This smells a little like cocoa butter + Yakult. Haha! But I don't mind.
Now do they work?
Now to answer this, I have to explain that it all depends on the skin elasticity. They say that stretch marks occur when our skin's natural collagen and elastin fibers tear due to rapid weight gain or growth. More than half of pregnant women get stretch marks. I also researched that it may also have something to do with genetics. If your mom had stretch marks, chances are you will too!
I admit I already have new ones even though I've been applying these lotions and creams. Are they a lot? I wouldn't say so. I already saw some on my breasts. I don't know if the lotions and creams helped but I'm not seeing a whole lot, so I will just continue with my routine. Applying these products also REALLY help reduce the itchiness. And as they say, when you scratch the redness of the lines become more visible.
So that is it. I wonder if you have other recommendations? I don't think that my old stretch marks are also fading from the Palmer's massage cream, but whatever. They're part of me now and as time goes by, they become lighter anyways. :p