I don’t know how you’re handling the pregnancy, I have to admit I’m not having the time of my life. I am extremely lucky I completely skipped the whole morning sickness bonanza, but feeling like  a rhino with swollen ankles and loosing breath after just a short climb of stairs is just not my cup of tea. She better be cute 🙂

As much as we all understand stretch marks are genetic and sometimes inevitable I like to know I’ve done everything to avoid them.

First of all let’s get some things straight: all “pregnancy” labeled skincare is an utter BS.

It’s just another marketing trap targeting the sensitive – I mean crying-at-every-RSPCA-advert sensitive – market of mums to be. There is no magic cream or oil that will prevent stretch marks any more than non-pregnancy-labeled product. Your bump is covered with skin. If it’s dry and it stretches it will crack. Like an old elastic band. All you have to do is work on its elasticity, hydration and moisturization (not sure if this is an actual word, but you get the gist). Just slapping it with oil or (god forbid) Bio Oil will not do the job as oils are only providing superficial hydration (you might wrap yourself in cling film). They linger on the top layers on the skin and don’t penetrate deep enough to affect formation of stretch marks which happens in dermis. They undoubtedly help, but they are not enough on their own.

Here are three key steps you should do on a daily basis to nurture stressed skin on your growing bump (and surrounding enlarged areas – bum, top of thighs, love handles, boobs):

1 Scrub the hell out of dead skin cells!

Regular exfoliation will remove dead skin that hangs out on your bump and slows down the penetration of products you’re applying.

I use dry brush 3 times a week and body scrub 2 times.

I brush my limbs and back until they’re red but use gentle clockwise round strokes on the bump.

Make sure you don’t over exfoliate!

2 Hyaluronic acid

One might think this is a little much but actually physically feeling skin on my belly stretching means it’s going through a lot of stress and why wouldn’t you treat it as your face? Nowadays when some great performing products don’t break the bank, I’m not even sorry.

I have been a big fan of Hada Labo Hyaluronic Acid lotions. I got both of them at the Taipei airport but they are now available in the UK as well – up to EU regulations and with instructions in English. It’s not the most sophisticated formula compared to some premium HA serums but it’s a great option with an affordable price tag – more affordable actually that many pregnancy specific BS products!

3 Moisturise

The last step is to seal the deal and keep the hydration from the previous step in place. Any body lotion/milk/balm/butter will do. They all have both, water and oil base.

I do slap my body in oil after every shower. When I am still wet, before I wrap myself in a bath rope. But that’s been my daily routine for years now.

With 29 weeks under my belt boobs, there’s no sight of any skin stretching damage.

On the other hand, if you get some anyway, just own them. They are the first little signature of your baby that will be with you forever!