When I say “budget” I suppose I mean “more affordable than the really swanky ones”. Because you can get all sorts of different body oils aimed at stretch mark prevention – many of them quite plain, verging on being overpriced carrier oils, some of them blended with high-quality pregnancy-safe essential oils, some of them (shamefully!) just cheap old oil with some artificial fragrance bunged in. I’ve tested out loads now, all of them at different price points and with different ingredients, and the four shown on this page are my favourites from the non-luxury (around a tenner) category. Of course, if you want to go really affordable then you could follow my Mum’s lead and just buy a bottle of Almond Oil – you can find it for under a fiver at Amazon. Please do add your own suggestions and recommendations in the comments box below…
Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil: £12.76 with free delivery here. This was the first stretch mark oil that I tried and finished – it was easy to pour, felt beautiful to massage in and was very delicately fragranced with high-quality essential oils. Some people prefer to avoid all essential oils during pregnancy, but I did quite a lot of reading and research (and bored people to death asking them questions) very early on and came to the conclusion that the right oils, at the right strength, were absolutely fine. Obviously you have to use what you feel comfortable with and so if you wish to avoid them, do. As with many pregnancy “issues” there are varying opinions – I just think you need to be sensible and do your research, make up your own mind. If it’s a dedicated pregnancy beauty product from a decent brand then it’s highly unlikely that they would formulate something risky! One would hope…
M&S Pure Mum to Be StretchMark Oil: where has this gone? It says discontinued! A great shame if it has been – this was a very simple oil with a gorgeous texture and it really left my skin feeling supple and soft. Why do they always get rid of the good stuff?
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil: £11 or £9.99 with free delivery at Amazon. I really loved this one – a sumptuous oil that you could really massage in for ages (I got carried away most nights with my oiling, spending about ten minutes at a time!) but with a fresh, citrus scent. From the lemon oil, I suppose. The pourer was good on this one – lots of oils had stupid stoppers that didn’t dispense enough at a time, and others just had wide open necks that poured out half the contents. This one was just perfect. Highly recommended.
Mustela Stretch Marks Care Oil – you can read the full review on this one here. It left my skin very, very soft and silky indeed. Impressive. Unscented and unfussy, great for those who want to keep things simple.
A note on stretch marks and stretch mark prevention: people seem to be quite divided on whether stretch marks are genetic and if oils and treatments can help. Personally, I wasn’t ever prepared to risk it. It’s not as though massaging on some oil every night is that much of an effort – I actually find it to be very enjoyable and relaxing! My Mum had no stretch marks, but she oiled herself daily (always has done, still does) and swears that’s why her skin is so good and supple. For me, even if there was no chance in the world I would ever get stretch marks, or indeed, even if whatever I did was going to be of no use at all against the hand of genetic fate – I would use some kind of body oil after bathing or showering. It’s a lovely habit to get into. And another sidenote: my sister didn’t get any stretch marks at all on her tummy, back or legs. All of the places she oiled regularly. She didn’t however, oil around her bust. Can you guess where she had stretch marks appear? Coincidence? I’m tempted to think not.
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