Pregnancy is such an important time for self-care, and making sure that the growing life within you is well protected and not exposed to any possible harm. Since our skin absorbs the stuff we put on it, and that stuff gets into our bloodstream before getting carried on to baby, it’s especially important to watch what we ingest and apply during this sensitive gestational period.
Using all-natural products with no nasties is the safest way to go. Reading ingredient labels should become a habitual practice, and the general rule of thumb is: the fewer ingredients the better. Following this principle, let’s see what’s good for applying on our bellies to keep all that expanding skin supple, and stretch marks away.
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, $19.90, Amazon.sg
This tub of rich belly butter from the well-loved Burt’s Bees range is packed with hydrating shea butter and vitamin E to nourish your belly before, during and after pregnancy. 99 per cent naturally-formulated without fragrances, parabens, phthalates, petrolatum or SLS, this product is also cruelty-free and carbon neutral-certified.
Another good thing about buying Burt’s Bees is that your purchase goes toward supporting sustainable practices, since the company is committed to biodiversity restoration and ecofriendly operations. You can apply this on your belly and breasts too, but be sure to wipe off any residue before nursing!
Earth Mama Organic Belly Oil, $35.90, from Pupsik Studio
This luxe herbalist-formulated organic belly oil is light, easily absorbable, free of nasties and promises to serve you well all through pregnancy and beyond. Its proprietary blend uses herbs traditionally applied to ease and prevent stretch marks, including grapeseed oil, organic jojoba oil, organic borage seed oil, organic calendula flower extract, organic sweet orange peel oil and organic orange blossom oil.
Free of petroleum, mineral oil, parabens or artificial fragrance, this product has the lowest EWG rating of one, meaning its ingredients are of the lowest possible toxicity. Added bonus: its light delicate scent was designed not to trigger or exacerbate morning sickness.
Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, $33.50, from Robinsons
Another beautifully clean brand, Weleda offers a certified natural stretch mark massage oil packed with rich natural ingredients to help your skin remain soft and supple during pregnancy so it can easily bounce back after delivery. Loaded with sweet almond oil, jojoba oil, vitamin E-rich wheatgerm oil and organic arnica flower extract to prevent stretch marks from forming, this amazing oil is also gorgeously scented with natural essential oils of rose, neroli, frankincense and myrrh.
This pure and natural formula is free of parabens, phthalates, synthetic preservatives or fragrances, and dermatologically tested. Gently massage over your tummy, thighs, bottom and breasts regularly to avoid and fade stretch marks.
Honest Rock The Bump Belly Butter, $26.20, from Amazon.sg
Give your baby bump some TLC with this bump-rocking butter from The Honest Company. Using naturally-derived ingredients like shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E, this hypoallergenic formula is safe for sensitive and pregnant skin, and promises to deeply moisturise for 24 hour stretches.
Made honestly without silicones, parabens, PEGs, petrolatum, lanolin or fragrances, this rich belly butter is safe to use daily and will deeply nourish tired stretched skin to prevent stretch marks from forming.
Badger Organic Pregnant Belly Butter, $22.86, from Amazon.sg
This yummy USDA-certified organic Fair Trade cocoa belly butter doesn’t just smell good. It will feel deliciously rich on your tight, dry pregnant belly skin. Enhanced with organic coconut oil and vitamin E to soothe itchy stretched skin, this dermatologically-tested butter is good all the way through pregnancy and after, but particularly useful at the end of the third trimester when you’re the most stretched and uncomfortable.
This botanical formula is free of artificial ingredients, fragrances, dyes, parabens, petrolatum, GMOs, synthetic chemicals, or harsh ingredients. Perfect as a spot treatment or apply at bedtime for an intensive overnight skin pampering experience—use sparingly because a little sure goes a long way with this lavish cocoa butter.
Now Foods Liquid Coconut Oil, Pure Fractionated, from $10.18, from iHerb
While many of the mama belly formulas are great, they aren’t exactly necessary — pure natural oils can also serve you beautifully when pregnant, such as coconut oil. On top of effectively helping to prevent and reduce stretch marks, coconut oil is also anti-fungal and antibacterial, which can help prevent as well as heal agitated or infected skin.
This pure coconut oil from Now Foods is non-GMO, cruelty-free and guaranteed free of all synthetic nasties. It has only a single ingredient: Liquid cocos nucifera (coconut) oil, which you should feel very safe to use. It is richly hydrating and emollient, and you can use it on your entire body as well as your hair. Fractionated coconut oil penetrates the skin better without leaving a greasy, oily film.
Pura D’or Organic Rosehip Seed Oil, from Pupsik Studio
Another amazing natural oil that you can safely use on your pregnant belly, as well as your entire body and scalp, is rosehip seed oil. Rosehip oil, with its rich endowment of essential fatty acids (Omega 3, 6, 9), both hydrates and boosts skin elasticity, making it a nourishing and healing oil to accompany you throughout this sacred maternal journey. It is also devoid of artificial scent, and works wonderfully to reduce stretch marks.
This USDA-certified organic 100 per cent pure cold-pressed premium grade offering from Pura D’or is a fantastic choice in pregnancy. Again, it is assuredly free of nasties with one simple ingredient: pure organic rosa canina (rosehip) seed oil. Bonus: rosehip is also rich in antioxidants to visibly reduce signs of ageing, and anti-inflammatory to reduce redness or irritation.
Attitude Blooming Belly Natural Nourishing Cream, $30.64, from Amazon.sg
Another EWG-verified clean brand Attitude also carries a natural plant-based moisturising cream specially created for pregnant mummies. With a name like Blooming Belly, you can be sure your baby is in safe hands with this one. Crafted with antioxidant-rich argan oil which deeply moisturises and protects your skin, Blooming Belly uses only mum and baby-safe ingredients.
Free of endocrine disruptors, parabens, silicones, PEGs, petrolatum, mineral oils, formaldehyde and synthetic fragrances, this hypoallergenic and dermatologist-tested non-greasy formula will keep your skin feeling soft and hydrated. The best thing is, Blooming Belly comes in an entire range! Check out their pregnancy shampoo and conditioner, body wash and body butter, face cleanser, stretch mark oil, nursing balm, nipple cream and more.
Evereden Soothing Belly Mask, $24, from Sephora
Rather than slathering on butter or oil, some mummies may prefer the convenience of sheet masks, which Evereden offers. The plant-based, fragrance-free, glycolic acid-free, alcohol-free, paraben and sulphate-free, non-toxic Soothing Belly Mask is biodegradable and soaked in a concentrated serum of nutrient-dense goodness to soothe and intensely hydrate even sensitive pregnant skin and help prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
Drenched in soluble collagen and six organic superfood oils including avocado, olive, jojoba, coconut, grapeseed and sunflower, as well as calendula extracts and vitamin C, this antioxidant-rich mask will smooth the look and feel of your stretched skin and keep you feeling deeply moisturised. Simply apply on clean, dry skin and leave on for 10-15 minutes before gently removing the mask and lightly massaging any remaining serum into your skin.
Hatch Belly Mask, $30.81, from Amazon.sg
Another easy-application mask from Hatch offers a luxurious treat for your momma’s belly with its plant-based non-toxic formula. Gluten-free, paraben-free, phthalate-free, silicone-free, mineral oil-free, phenoxyethanol-free, dye and fragrance-free, this biodegradable mask sheet will relieve any itchy dry skin and target stretch marks and scars both pre- and postpartum.
Formulated with aloe vera to hydrate, soothe and regenerate, as well as a powerful natural antioxidant propolis which nourishes skin, this Hatch Belly Mask will leave your skin feeling loved and hydrated. Simply smooth the mask over belly, and relax for 15 minutes before massaging any excess serum into your belly, hips and breasts.