By Missye K. Clarke
Like cravings, nursery decorating and name choosing, a blossoming belly for the momma-to-be sometimes goes into its own rite of passage: stretch marks. Interestingly, when most women go to great lengths to look and feel younger in her faces and skin, most women are indifferent to stretch marks. “Either you get them or you don’t, is most often the case, and what most women have come to believe,” says Kazeminy Mackay, marketing director for a London-based luxe maternity line called Mama Mio.
A Cookie magazine article on this topic says up to 70 percent of expecting women do get stretch marks; exactly who does of that group, however, the evidence is inconclusive. And, genetics not only don’t play a role in who gets stretch marks and who doesn’t, but it’s perfectly okay to get loads of them with one pregnancy and none with another. Says New York City based dermatologist Dr. Amy Wechsler, “Stretch marks seem to run in families, but apart from that, they’re more related to rapid weight gain. You can’t predict who will get stretch marks.”
Consistency is the key. Beginning a second trimester is when the scented oil, lotion, cream, gel or balm of your choice should be applied twice daily for three weeks for best results to diminish the appearance of or prevent the marks altogether.
One caveat, though: Since some women are allergic to fragrances and ingredients, do a spot test to ensure no reaction occurs a couple of days before trying out the product. And, since you get a great massage to your blooming belly, this is one massage a happy mommy-to-be won’t turn down. Sample a few of these products listed here.
Created on the theory that deep hydration is the key to combat stretching, this www.neimanmarcus.com find is a multioil potion – wheat germ, grape seed, et al – also targets the chest and thighs. $36 for 4.3 ounces.
Packed with vitamin e, lavender and neroli oils to cull itchiness, vita C is enriched to kick-start collagen production. $14 for 2 ounces at www.bellamama.com.
This nongreasy gel is well stocked with nourishing rich shea butter and won’t stain the pretty Liz Lange maternity frocks. $37 for 5.07 ounces and found at www.biotherm-use.com.
The intensive and all-natural blend of lemon, tangerine, peppermint and chamomile oils are safe for the most sensitive of skin. Fetches $20 for 4.5 ounces at www.californiababy.com.
At www.cellex-c.com, this stretch mark preventing cream is extra soothing for its lavender scent and collagen-encouraged for suppleness of the belly. $65 for 8.45 ounces.
During and post gestation, this fast absorbing plant based remedy available on www.decleor.com is $50 for 5 ounces and can be used as a preventative of spidery stretching and for after the fact treatment.
An anti-stretching concentrate, the blend is specifically geared for third trimester use. Peppermint oils in this cream offers a clean, soothing and cooling effect and is found on www.magiabella.com. $67 for 4.3 ounces.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub
Sans the greasy aftereffects, this rave from across the pond has wheat germ, rosehip and sweet almond oils for a deep, moisturizing effect. Scoot over to www.destinationmaternity.com for a $30, 4.1 ounce bottle.