They say there’s nothing you can really do about stretch marks: it’s in the genes and you’ll either get them, or you won’t. But let’s face it, who’s going to take the risk? Luckily I seem to be one of those people who don’t get them, but even so I religiously slapped on cocoa butter twice a day throughout both pregnancies just in case.
Then, at the tail end of my pregnancy with Little B, I was asked to put three stretch mark creams to the test. This was actually a great time to try them out as my tummy shrank after the birth and my chest increased as my milk came in. So here’s what I thought:
Palmer’s Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks, £3.15
Never mind stretch marks: I absolutely love this stuff and use it all over my body, pregnant or not. The thick consistency of the cocoa butter lotion makes you feel like you’re actually applying something that’s going to work, and although it does take a while to absorb into the skin – I’d give it five minutes before getting dressed afterwards – it keeps your skin well hydrated and nourished for hours. This lotion certainly helped ease my itchy skin as it stretched during pregnancy – probably due to its vitamin E, shea butter and elastin content – and it smells divine: just like chocolate! The cream comes with a handy nozzle so it’s easy to apply, and you’re not left with a greasy bottle from opening and closing afterwards. At £3.15 for a 250ml bottle you can’t go wrong – I’ve used this cream throughout both pregnancies and swear by it.
My verdict: 5/5
Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream, £24.99
I can’t believe I haven’t discovered this before! With a clinical sounding name like Bepanthen and a price tag of £24.99 I’ve steered clear of this product in the past, preferring something with a bit more universal appeal that I could use over my whole body, but I couldn’t have been more wrong. This stuff is excellent – it smells gorgeous, makes your skin feel instantly soft and lasts for hours. The cream absorbs quickly and easily and my post-birth tummy – not to mention my legs, arms and shoulders – all feel pampered thanks to ingredients including extract of centella asiatica (a tropical plant which apparently stimulates collagen production), provitamin B5 and olive oil. Even at £24.99 I think this cream is excellent value and I would continue to use it as a body cream as well as part of a pre and post baby beauty routine. It comes with an air-powered pump at the top so it’s easy to use and store, and you can’t inadvertently waste any of the 150ml by squirting too much out either. The old adage is true: you get what you pay for.
My verdict: 5/5
Bio Oil, £5.99
I’m not keen on oils and never have been, but vowed to approach Bio Oil with an open mind after hearing many friends extolling its virtues. I was surprised at how non-greasy this oil is – it rubs into the skin without leaving a sticky residue, and doesn’t mark your underwear either. I used the oil on my cleavage as my milk came in (and boobs expanded at an alarming rate!) and although I don’t have stretch marks it did make the feel of my skin more comfortable. When it came to washing it off it was hard to believe I’d applied oil at all, although I’m not sure if this is a good thing as my skin didn’t feel particularly hydrated either. I wasn’t keen on the smell, which to me is slightly clinical, and with a screw top the bottle and lid got greasy very quickly, meaning I couldn’t store it in a drawer with the rest of my skincare and had to find a home for it elsewhere. I wouldn’t buy this product again: at £5.99 for 60ml it’s quite expensive and I’m not convinced it delivers value for money compared with other products on the market.
My verdict: 3.5/5
I was sent all three creams to try out by MadeForMums – to read my reviews in full click here
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