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People have always told me that I’m so lucky to have nice skin. I think this is because I never really got pimples or acne growing up. I’ve always thought the opposite, I’ve kinda hated my skin. I’ve got loads of moles and freckles, which I’m SO conscious about.  I’d be at the beach, and comparing my back to other girls’ with perfect blemish free skin. I’ve had to have heaps of these moles removed, and I scar even worse! Gross red scars, often raised, which only added to my insecurities.

I always knew that I’d be one to get stretch marks – it’s in my genetics. I kind of dreaded it. As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I started lathering up the bio oil. Every. Single. Day. I thought that I’d escaped it, but over Christmas the first little stretchy appeared. “I can control this” I thought – HA! over the coming weeks, my little baby kept growing, my tummy got bigger, and so did the stretch marks.

Then one day, 19 words changed my whole perspective on this.

“for every woman that wishes she didn’t have stretch marks, there is a woman who desperately wishes she did”

I nearly cried (pregnancy hormones….) It made me realize, that being pregnant is such a privilege. There are so many women out there, some outspoken, some quietly struggling, that would give anything to have a growing belly and all the stretch marks that come with it. I am lucky.

So yes, I’ve embraced them. That being said, I still use products that keep my belly well moisterised, because I’d like to think that I’m somewhat managing them, but also pregnancy is ITCHY AS YO! And I’ve found the more moisterised my belly is, the less I scratch, so that is enough for me!!

[1] Bio-Oil

I think this is everyones go-to first product when they find out they’re pregnant. It’s well advertised as a product that can help reduce the appearance of all sorts of things from scars to uneven skin tone to, yep, you guessed it, stretch marks. I was oiling my belly up twice a day from day 1. For the most part I’d say it worked because my belly has not been super super dry. The only con to this product is that my poor bed sheets need to be washed way more often now, because that oil gets everywhere!

Full disclosure: this is probably my third bottle of bio oil, so I’d say I’ve gone through one a trimester. I’ll probably keep using it once the baby arrives as well. At least, until all the ones I stockpiled run out.

[2] Palmer’s Tummy Butter

THIS STUFF IS THE BEES KNEES! I only discovered it halfway through my pregnancy. At first I found it frustrating, because the butter is so flipping dense that I struggled to get it out of the jar. Once you get the first bit out though, it’s much easier. It is soooooooo good. A little goes a long way; I’ve only just finished the jar – as you can see! Definitely need to stock up on more. I put this on in the mornings and it keeps my bump hydrated ALL DAY LONG. I wish I knew about this stuff sooner. I probably would’ve used this way more than the Bio Oil if I’m being totally honest.

[3] Pure Fiji Coconut Scrub

Okay, I actually loved this stuff long before I was expecting a bubs. The reason I love it so much is that a) it smells UH-MA-ZING and b) it not only exfoliates your skin, but it leaves it feeling super moisturised as well! Every time I use this, I feel like I’ve jetted off to a tropical island and have just spent the morning at a day spa – not even kidding. I like to use this scrub every now and then as a way to pamper myself. It’s really easy you just lather it on in the shower, and then wash it off and voila, exfoliated and moisturised skin. I like to finish this routine off with the Vaseline Coconut Moisturiser as well just to make sure my belly (and body) is left feeling super moisturised, and the belly is definitely not itchy either.

[4] Lush’s Ro’s Argan Body Conditioner

This was given to me as a gift, and honestly, it’s the best stuff ever! If any of your friends ever tell you their pregnant, a great gift idea is a Lush care package (check out their awesome post on what to use when you’re pregnant here, for some inspo)

Anyway, I just keep this stuff near the shower, and use it after my body wash. I put it everywhere!! But especially on my belly. You just leave it on for a few mins (almost like hair conditioner) and then wash it off. It is incredible how soft and smooth your skin feels afterwards. I don’t feel the need to use bio oil or other moisturiser after I use this stuff because it’s so rich. and it smells INCREDIBLE. It is also full of Cocoa Butter which is great for pregnancy.  Lush for the win!!

[5] Lush Bath Bombs

I swear this isn’t sponsored by Lush, but there are two bath bombs that are great for moisterising and hydrating the skin which I have loved. I saved these for the third trimester, because it’s safer to have warm baths at this stage in pregnancy as opposed to sooner.

1. Cheer up Buttercup

This is a zesty lemon-lime bath bomb (pictured top left), with a lop of cocoa butter in the middle. I bought it for the scent, but kept using it for the cocoa butter! If you read anything online about stretch marks it’s that cocoa butter is supposedly one of the best things for you to use!!

2. Butterball

This bath bomb (pictured top right) is a cocoa butter lovers dream. It smells like vanilla and it’s creates a super creamy, buttery froth when used. I have loved soaking in the sub and getting out with soft, hydrated skin. I even lay back and rub the bath water over my belly to keep it extra hydrated!

and that’s that! My top 5 (technically 6 if you count both bath bombs) favourite products to use to keep my belly hydrated during pregnancy.

Will these stop stretch marks? Maybe, if you’re lucky and have good skin; but if you’re like me and your destined to have tiger stripes, then all these will do is keep your belly hydrated, less itchy and leave you feel pampered and relaxed – because what tired pregnant mama doesn’t want to feel a little special every now and then!