Right around 30 weeks in pregnancy, I found a small red line on the underside of my belly. I thought I scratched it and left a mark there.
Nope. Didn’t go away.
I thought I had a rash. Nope.
I searched on the web and found these are onsets of stretch marks! I gasped for air. I already had a smaller belly due to my inverted uterus but stretch marks? Didn’t I have enough fat to accommodate stretching of my skin?! I wanted to believe that my skin was more elastic than it really was. I also “believed” that stretch marks were hereditary because all medical websites tell you so. Hm…
I quickly phoned my mom and asked her about her stretch marks. She said she got “very little” but don’t remember.
At first I was relieved but then I thought: 10 more weeks. Baby was supposed to double in size. I started panicking. This little “inch” could be stretched!
There was nothing I could do (I thought). However, those of you who know my personality by now, I had to do “something” before I admit that I lose to this fate. I took my L’occitane Hand Cream (yes, the best 20% Shea kind) and used it as a belly lotion thinking that was the most moisturizing thing I could find. At this time, I was still in Toronto. My husband has said his skin was really dry from showering due to cold weather so that night, we went to L’occitane to buy the Ultra Rich Shower Cream. I used it too thinking of moisture. As I shopped there, I noticed a Mom and Baby Balm. The sales person came over and said they’re almost out of stock and mom’s swear by it. I thought it was a marketing thing so I ignored her.
Once I got home, I went on L’occitane’s review site and so many women who’ve used the balm said they got “no” stretch marks. Then I looked at their 100% shea in a tin can and found pregnant women also used that to prevent stretch marks and they seem to have succeeded! Hm, I thought. $40 for 100% shea balm is WAY cheaper than some of these dumb miracle get rid of stretch mark creams sold at mom and baby shops that sell for $80-$100. This seemed natural and affordable and if anything, I’ll just be moisturizing my skin in a dry country. Seems win win.
I went and bought myself 100% Shea and applied it every morning and then in the afternoon, I used the 20% shea hand cream to follow.
My stretch mark did not expand! The color got lighter after a WEEK. WHAT?!?! How is that possible?
However, I wanted something more “spreadable” than the 100% shea which I’m always struggling with melting in my hand first and then rubbing into my tummy. Although I know it’s the best, I wanted something creamier. I went back to the store and bought “Ultra Rich Hydrating Body Cream” in the Shea line with 25% Shea Butter (high content than the hand lotion). I now put this on 2-3 times a day on my belly whenever I think about it.
The texture is “so” yummy I just want to put it everywhere and it absorbs so fast, not greasy. The smell is light and refreshing. I just love it. I love it so much I started putting it on my face as facial lotion. I started getting this baby soft skin on my face too. I just couldn’t believe it. I don’t know if it’s L’occitane or Shea but whatever works I’ll keep doing right now. I’ve tried smelling other shea products and none smell as nice so I decided to stay with L’occitane. Although their lotions are more expensive than others, compared to stretch mark creams, they seem WAY cheaper.
I’m now a couple days from 37 weeks! Stretch mark still didn’t get bigger and the color is lighter. Really happy about it. Maybe it’s hereditary, maybe it’s the shea. Whatever it is, I did something about it. I wasn’t a believer until I started using it. Worth a try?
Oh, I also sent a can of 100% shea to my brother in law who suffers from eczema. All natural cures. I’m into anything natural and strong.