Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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You CAN Stop Stretch Marks September 8, 2009

Filed under: Pregnancy — Rachel @ 7:52 pm
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Yesterday my mother saw my stomach as I was changing and exclaimed, “You didn’t get stretch marks!?!”  Most women get stretchmarks during pregnancy, but a lucky few do not.  Research shows that genetics has a lot to do with it.  And yet, my mother and sister both got a fair amount of stretch marks, but I did not – at least not on my belly – even after two pregnancies.  How’s that?

First off, I realize that getting stretch marks is not the end of the world.  It’s true that a woman has more pressing concerns during pregnancy than preserving her smooth skin.  She’s got a lot to do between having a healthy baby, preparing for birth and shopping for must-have bedding and gear.  And yet, all of us do have some concern over the fate of our looks, do we not?   And if we can preserve our youth without threatening our health or baby’s, why not? 

I believe that most women can prevent or greatly reduce stretch marks with frequent and early use of conditioning oil.  Before my first pregnancy, I worked with pregnant women in a local maternity boutique.  It was there that I first became aware of all the many creams, oils and solutions designed to prevent or fade stretch marks.  I learned that oils are better than creams, as far as efficacy, since they are more readily absorbed into the skin.  I learned that those who shopped for fading creams usually wished they had used a preventative product during their pregnancy.  I decided I would invest in a bottle of preventative oil as soon as I found out I was pregnant.  If that bottle could preserve my skin for years to come, it was worth the investment.

So,  I did.  I applied a pregnancy oil early on in my pregnancy, at least once and sometimes twice a day (twice a day is recommended!).  It was a pleasant after-shower regime that kept me in touch with the daily changes caused by the life growing inside.  After my first baby was born and my body recovered, I noticed that my belly was stretch mark-free.  But… I had stretch marks at both hips and very slight ones at the breasts.  Oops!  Yes, the pregnant belly is not the only spot that grows.  So, here’s my take-home for you – apply that oil wherever you’re seeing growth, considering hips, thighs, buttocks, and breasts

With baby #2, I used Motherlove Organic Belly Oil as faithfully as before, but this time I slathered my hips and bust too.   I came through that pregnancy with no new stretch marks and lots of confidence in a good quality pregnancy oil!  By the way, I gained the recommended amount of weight (about 25 lbs) with both pregnancies.

You may have heard that some women have good results with plain cocoa butter.  I’m sure that’s true, but I’d recommend that you choose an oil actually designed for pregnancy.  Oils have been shown to penetrate the skin better than creams.  Since oils are naturally produced by the skin, it’s not surprising that the skin finds it easiest to recognize and utilize nutrients carried in oil.  Pregnancy oils are complex, super-nourishing blends that prepare your skin to stretch and bounce back without becoming damaged.  When choosing an oil, check the ingredient list for questionable chemicals and preservatives.  Choose something safe and natural, since you’ll be using it consistently during your baby’s most vulnerable months. 

You CAN stop stretch marks:

  • Buy a safe, natural pregnancy oil as soon as you find out you’re pregnant
  • Apply it at least once, hopefully twice a day, especially after a shower
  • Massage the oil into your belly, hips and bust – or wherever you’re experiencing growth
 

Pregnant and Beautiful: Skin care tips for the first 9 months September 16, 2008

Filed under: Pregnancy — Rachel @ 7:59 pm
Tags: ,

Facialist to Hollywood’s elite Charlize Theron, Linda Evangelista, and Lisa Kudrow to name a few, Maki Maodus is at the top of her field at the world famous Ole Henriksen Face/Body Spa in West Hollywood, CA.   Creator of her own all natural and organic skin care line for mom and baby, Mambino Organics, she takes a few moments to share her wisdom on the most common skin problems during pregnancy.

A woman’s skin goes through many changes, both internally and externally over the course of a pregnancy. As a general rule: keep things simple. I’m not talking about a box of chocolate on the couch simple.  Try exercise, good nutrition and a proper skin regiment to alleviate the minor discomforts of pregnancy. As your pregnancy progresses, your skin changes, breasts grow, your abdomen swells and your waistline disappears.  It’s hardest in the beginning when you look like you’ve put on weight, but it does get easier as you transition into the second trimester and there’s no mistaking you’re pregnant!

Facial Care

During pregnancy some skin becomes oily or more dry than usual. Women that never had acne get breakouts (sorry) and those who are acne prone see an improvement (congratulations) in their skin.

What to do:  Good skin cleansing is step one to balanced healthy skin. Wash your face with a mild cleanser twice a day (foaming cleanser if you have more oily skin or milky for normal/dry skin). Exfoliate a few times a week. If you are breaking out, try using witch hazel astringent and clay mask to keep your pores clean and tight. A dab of tea tree oil or organic white vinegar will keep blemishes at bay. Your skin is also more sensitive to the sun, which could lead to getting “mask of pregnancy,” especially during the second trimester (brownish or yellowish patches) so good sun protection is very important with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.  Try natural mineral based make-up or tinted moisturizer.  They’re simply a healthier choice.

Body Care

As the breasts and abdomen grow, you may need extra help in keeping your skin supple and elastic to prevent tearing, scarring and stretch marks.

What to do: It will help if you gain only the recommended amount of weight (usually 25-35 pounds), and do so slowly.  Bag of chips back in the cubby, eat healthy and exercise. Natural emollients, such as oils and belly butters that are rich in essential fatty acids and natural antioxidants, should be applied daily to stomach, breasts, buttocks and thighs. Although most stretching occurs in the later part of a pregnancy, it is important to nourish and lubricate these areas in the earlier stages, especially if you are prone to dry, itchy skin. Use only mild sulfate-free soaps when washing and avoid hot showers or baths as they can dry out the skin.  Above all, remember to take the time to take care of you and embrace your blossoming beautiful body!

Written by Maki Maodus-Temesvary
Los Angeles based Aesthetician and creator of Mambino Organics.