Friday, 5 September 2014

Battle of the...Belly Moisturizers

It may be a sign of the power of advertising, but as soon as I found out I was pregnant I ran to the drug store and bought myself Bio-Oil. I accept that my body will change now that I am creating life, but I want to exact control over the level of potential lasting effects - if I can. One container of the store brand Bio-Oil lasted me three months, and when it was time to buy it again, I was lured by the slightly smaller price tag and wholly cooler name of the Palmer's Tummy Butter. It is because of this venture into unknown territory that I can now compare the two for you.

The Details:


  • Smells like baby powder (which I already use most days, so no competition in scents)
  • Easy to apply (absorbs into the skin immediately leaving tummy smooth and dry)
  • Recommended application = 2-3 times a day
  • Cost= $10.99 (store brand) - $13.99 (name brand)

Palmer's Tummy Butter:

  • Smells like what I'd describe as artificial coconut
  • Thick, waxy application ( leaves tummy feeling tacky after application but very smooth next day)
  • Recommended application = 3 times a day (after also applying Palmer's lotion!)
  • Cost= $7.99

Straight up, I choose Bio-Oil. I preferred the ease of use, the scent, and the feeling of my tummy afterwards. I plan to switch back to my favourite Happy Time lotion after the baby comes, but in this contest, Bio-Oil is the clear winner.

I cannot speak to the stretch mark fading promises of these products, as I have been lucky enough to not get stretch marks (yet) during this pregnancy. I started using the store brand bio-oil product at 8.5 weeks pregnant, so it could be speculated that my new commitment to keeping my belly skin very moisturised helped to fend off those pesky markings, but no one can say for sure whether I would have developed them.

Bottom Line: You can't control how your body is going to change and adapt to any pregnancy, but you can do your part to make the transition easier on it. Keeping your tummy moisturised may not stop those dreaded stretch marks from appearing (or help them fade after the fact) but it is still a worthwhile pursuit. If nothing else, I love when my husband rubs my belly and comments on how smooth and soft it is. It encourages him to talk to the baby a bit longer and I love that family bonding feeling!

Tips to help fend off stretch marks
  • Keep your tummy moisturised. You don't need to use one of the products discussed above, any natural oil or lotion will help to keep the skin more flexible to change. The goal is consistency: get in the habit of massaging your belly twice a day. Choose your favourite scent and get lotion-ing!
  • Drink lots of water. During pregnancy, water is your best friend. It not only helps to keep things moving and reduces swelling, but it will also help your skin to be in peak condition for stretching.
  • Eat healthy. The right foods will help keep your skin healthy and moisturised, but eating well will also help keep those pregnancy pounds in a healthy range. The bigger you grow, the more your skin must stretch to accommodate.

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