Fergie, Kate Winslet, Frankie Sandford, Alesha Dixon - celebrity bumps are bulging; not to mention a royal arrival due in less than a month courtesy of Kate Middleton. The joy of pregnancy often comes hand-in-hand with stretch marks, dry skin and aching joints, so if you’re expecting it’s wise to expect your beauty regime to need tweaking too. While your must-have cleanser and favourite nail polish may not pose any real risk during pregnancy, the jury is still out on the effect chemicals (including sulphates and parabens) have on foetal health, so it’s wise to avoid them all together; but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on great beauty buys. (Full disclosure – I’ve never been pregnant, but like everyone else I’m also on the hunt for the most indulgent, luxurious products on the market - not to mention safe.) Trust me I’m confident these products will make your next nine months a breeze!
The Stretch Mark Solution: Marula Stretch Mark Botanical Body Balm by African Botanics
Whenever test driving a beauty cream I always look for argan oil and its moisturising properties, but it’s the rosehip oil that really makes this balm effective. I suffer from stretch marks on my hips and inner thighs and found the balm plumped out my skin, helping them to appear reduced. It’s almost paste-like in the tub, but gently melts as you massage it into the skin - which I imagine would feel particularly relaxing on a bump.
The Instant Relief: Revitalising Leg & Foot Spray by Bloom & Blossom
Bloom & Blossom was specifically developed to provide relief for mums-to-be, so you can be confident all their products are 100% natural and chemical free. Water retention is a common side-effect of pregnancy which can quickly lead to heavy, swollen legs. I have a penchant for heels and am always running around trying to catch the last train so this cooling mist was ideal for me. Its biggest seller has to be that I could apply it through my tights and socks, perfect for quick relief!
The Everyday Indulgence: Udderly Gorgeous Bath & Shower Gel by Cowshed
Cowshed’s 'Udderly' range was designed for expectant mothers and includes only natural ingredients. I love my baths - so do expectant mums! Although this didn’t lather as much as I like, the bubbles didn’t dry my skin and the rosemary scent was extremely relaxing. Perfect for some 'me time'.
The Skin Hydrator: Avene Rich Compensating Cream
Dry, flaky skin is a common side effect of pregnancy, due to your skin’s blood and fluid reserves being redirected from your skin to the baby (I’m sure it’s much more scientific than that...) The first step is increasing your water intake, the second is to regularly apply a rich cream. I suffer from dry/sensitive skin all year round and found this compensating cream incredibly nourishing – plus it’s paraben free.
The Pick-Me-Up: Butter London nail varnish
Nail polishes are a health mine-field as many contain the ‘toxic trio’ - formaldehyde, toluene and DBP - which have been linked to everything from cancer, to asthma attacks. Butter London is a favourite of mine as it’s the original ‘three-free’ brand and is unbeatable for a bold colour selection, perfect for a pick-me-up when you're feeling low. Bright yellow is my go-to for mood boosting!
The At-Home Treatment: Tonic Body Treatment Oil by Clarins
Clarins is my favourite brand and this product didn’t disappoint. I tend to avoid oils as I'm prone to breakouts on my chest, but this treatment oil absorbed almost instantly and didn’t leave any greasy residue on the skin. I found this most hydrating when applied to dry skin, but the oil doubles up as a massage treatment which can then be rinsed off in the shower: this really brought out the rosemary and mint scent, which helped to clear my head. The great news is this product contains 100% pure plant extracts so you can indulge every day without worrying.
Are you expecting? What are your must-haves to ease the symptoms? What changes have you made to your beauty and skincare regime?
Written by Alex Thompson