Tips on How to Keep Your Body Mark Free for the Nine Month Stretch
By basq Co-Founder and Skin Care Expert Lauren Parisier
When it comes to stretch marks, we all want to know what (if anything) works. The real answer is that your skin may or may not mark – it varies by person. But, what you do to prevent them can make all the difference! Products can lessen stretch marks, but once you’ve got them they don’t go away. So prevention is key.
What you do in the early months is critical – you want to support your skin and help it build collagen and elastin so it can stretch more and hopefully avoid breaking (which is what gives you the marks). It’s never too early to start. While stretch mark prevention isn’t instantly gratifying because you can’t see what would have been – it’s better than the alternative.
So, when your skin feels taut or dry or you just have a horrible case of the itchies, give your skin some attention. There are a few easy steps to dramatically improving your skin’s strength and stretch-ability.
Step 1: Exfoliate, Exfoliate, Exfoliate
We all know in facial care that anti-aging begins with exfoliation, but somehow we forget the body. Exfoliation does two things, first, it preps skin for better product absorption. The second, and more important benefit for stretch mark care is that it kick-starts your skin’s natural repair process. Our skin’s repair process naturally slows down after the age of 30. But when you sweep away dry, dead skin and you trigger renewal. New skin rising also means any damage is getting a quick fix.
But when it comes to exfoliating, not all polishes are created equal. Stay away from salt scrubs– they are drying which equals more damage. Many everyday scrubs have clary sage, rosemary and caffeine – these should be avoided in pregnancy. Loofahs and shower mitts can deliver exfoliation that is too hard, causing micro tears which harm skin instead of helping. We created basq Citrus Sugar Body Polish for pregnancy-safe exfoliation. The natural sugars gently smooth while rich oils and butters nourish. Focus on mark zones for best results: chest, belly, thighs and hips.
Step 2: Use Stretch Mark Ingredients Proven to Work
If you are lost in a sea of confusion when it comes to stretch mark creams and butters, my best piece of advice is to look for ingredients clinically proven to work. For real stretch mark care you need your products to work deep down — below surface moisture. When it comes to texture, greasy isn’t good. You don’t want products that sit on top and never absorb. Stretch marks happen well below the surface, so you need ingredients that your skin absorbs and uses to build collagen and elastin, which support strength. At basq, we spent a long time working on a butter that could blend the oils your skin wants and needs with ingredients proven to work. The core stretch mark ingredients in the basq – Advanced Stretch Mark Butter are Algesium C and Darutoside. Both have been proven in clinical testing to prevent and repair marks. Plus it contains omega rich Borage and Grapeseed oils and a rich Shea Butter base – it’s all you could want and need in a stretch mark butter!
Step 3: The All Over Stretch
Marks mostly happen on the chest, belly, hips and inner thighs but don’t forget the rest of your body. Everywhere else stretches which translates to saggy skin. For head to toe care, we love oils. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t greasy and a little bit goes a long way. The basq – Resilient Body Oil has been an editor favorite and a best-seller. If you remain a devout butter user, the basq – Fragrance Free Illipe Butter is another fantastic option.
At basq, we have tried to make your stretch mark care easy and affordable. The 9 Month Stretch Kit includes a full size Advanced Stretch Mark Butter, 1 oz Resilient Oil for the all over stretch and a 4 oz Citrus Sugar Polish to exfoliate smartly. It’s all you need for mark free skin!
With the departure of the red diapered cherub, the holiday season is officially over. Although the days are getting longer, spring can seem forever away. Do not despair, Ms. Preggo! Tryout some of basq’s top ways to warm your spirit and bring a little sunshine into your day.
Exercise causes us to release endorphins and in turn, these brighten our mood. There are many ways to exercise safely and effectively during pregnancy.
Many local gyms, recreation departments and Destination Maternities offer classes designed just for pregnant woman such as: Prenatal Yoga, Pilates and Water Aerobics.
It’s easy to fall into the excuse that you will exercise after the baby arrives, but why wait? The more you do during your pregnancy, the better you are going to feel. The better you feel, the more you will enjoy your pregnancy. See the cycle?
Don’t forget to bring your basq Energizing Body Lotion with you. It is amazing to use on muscles post workout.
Make Some You Time
Life is about to change very quickly over the next few months. A great deal of energy is going toward your wee one-to-be. Take a little time for yourself. Grab your favorite decaf coffee drink, a good book and go get a pedicure. Will anyone besides your hubby actually see your toes anytime soon? Probably not. But what better way to pamper yourself a bit and tryout the new colors for spring?
Devoting time to yourself is an excellent way to relax and in turn, this will amp up your energy.
Get some of your best girlfriends together and have a few laughs. Dress up and hit the town, maybe checkout a local comedy club. Or make it casual by hitting up a local Redbox (may we suggest Bridesmaids—always a great girl’s night flick) and making mocktails at home. Just because you are pregnant doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun and fruity drinks, just make them without the alcohol. As they say, “laughter is the best medicine” and who better to share that with than your besties?
Watch what you Eat!
This is the last thing that most of us want to hear, but it is true. Run from foods that are refined and processed. You know, the comfort foods, like white bread and sugar. These foods are low on nutrients, and they drain your energy. Chances are, you are already needing an energy boost while growing another human. If you are craving carbs, try to include complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, fruit and vegetables. These foods not only give you and your baby the nutrients you both need, they also help to stabilize energy and blood sugar.
Get Out in the Sun!
Needing some sunshine in your life? Literally, get out in the sun! Most of us are aware that the sun gives us Vitamin D, but it also causes us to release endorphins, much like exercise. In turn, a short while out in the sun, and we find our outlook to be much improved. This may take some effort on your part. During your lunch break, take your food to go and take a nice walk outside. If you can’t do that, perhaps sit near a window (shades open of course). If all else fails, try replacing the light bulbs near you with Full Spectrum bulbs. Your body will think you were catching some rays.
Of course, be smart with this. Skin tends to be extra sensitive while pregnant. Apply an SPF as needed to avoid becoming sunburned.
Try out some of these tips to find out what works best for you. You deserve it and so does your baby.
Valentine's Day is just around the corner. In the past few weeks or months, surely lots of attention (deservingly so) has focused upon you and the wee one-to-be. What about the man in your life? Let him know that he will always be in your heart with these basq Super Picks designed just for him.
Sentimental Sweetie Does your guy save ticket stubs from movies you have seen together? Does he have a framed ultrasound picture adorning his desk? This may be just what he would love.
Remember Special Moments with a completely customizable print. Include events such as your first date, a favorite concert, engagement and of course your wedding day! This is a gift that your children will enjoy looking at one day.
Chic Geek Does your man feel more comfortable at a comic book convention than at a cocktail party? When the double lines appeared on the pregnancy test, was he quick to suggest the names Luke and Leia? This is just the gift for him.
A Han Solo in Carbonite Ice Cube Tray. Your hubby will love reliving his favorite childhood flick as you make him his favorite beverage with Han Solo ice cubes. Bonus, if you are really feeling crafty you can make chocolate Han Solos or soap Han Solos with these same molds. It won't be long before these trays will be used by your kiddos for Han Solo popsicles during the summer. You will be the best wife in the galaxy. Let your man know that, "The Empire will compensate you if he melts". Trust us, he will know what it means. :-)
A scoreboard desk clock designed to look just like the real team's scoreboard. Choose your love's favorite baseball or football team. This clock is perfect for any bedroom or office. One day, your child may even learn to tell time using it.
Solor-Powered Illuminating Waterbottle. This amazing bottle is the ultimate outdoor lovers multitasker. This BPA-free plastic bottle is perfect for carrying water, but the real twist is in the lid. The cap contains 4 ultra-bright LEDs and one red LED for night vision, along with a reflective lens that turns the bottle into a brilliant camp light. It is powered by a solar panel, so no batteries are needed! It won't be long before baby and Daddy will be having backyard campout with this to light their way.
http://www.uncommongoods.com/product/solar-powered-illuminating-waterbottle Gift from mom and baby: Has the baby already arrived? Would you like the gift to include him/her as well? Look no further: This amazing print will be adored for years to come! Using your little one's foot prints, this artist will create a heart between the words I and you. On the right side it will read, "from the top of my head to the tips of my toes." What could be sweeter?
I was 17 weeks pregnant and my skin was inexplicably itchy. The doctors couldn't figure out why and I was flying through all sorts of products to relieve my itchy, dry skin. Thankfully, someone turned me on to Basq products and recommended I try their Citrus Sugar Body Polish, Illipe Body Butter, and the Calm Lavender Body Oil. I only wish they made larger quantities of these products because I've already used up both the body butter and the scrub! My skin has slowly returned to normal and I'm no longer itching like crazy.
Baby Shower Gift Guide: Gifts For A Mom Having Her 2nd (or 3rd) Baby
First babies shouldn't get all the gift love. Moms expecting their 2nd (or 3rd or 4th) baby may say they don't need anything, but we know they appreciate a thoughtful gift! We have rounded up 10 gifts that will delight an experienced mom. Visit the main page of our Baby Shower Gift Guide to view picks for every mom.
(1) Basq's Loving Touch Gift Set contains luxurious maternity skincare products that provide a welcome bit of pampering for any busy mom. Buy it for $60. (2) The 2 Red Hens Studio Toy Nanny is an ingenious floor blanket that cinches up into a toy tote. 8 mesh pockets hold small toys. Perfect for a mom wrangling multiple little ones. Buy it for $130. (3) The Kushies Zolo Boa Stacking Rings are no ordinary set of rings. Each ring has a different sound and texture. Buy it for $45.
As your baby bump begins to expand to make room for your growing baby, it’s important to take care of your skin. Preventative care is more effective than trying to reverse the damage post-partum, so dive into a hydrating, all-over body moisturizing routine as soon as you get the good news.
I recommend using a combination of moisturizers, butters and oils to keep skin well-hydrated day and night, focusing on oils at night before bedtime and intensive moisturizers during the day. Follow this guide to start taking care of your skin before the sign of the first stretch mark appears:
Before your morning shower, apply olive oil or Lansinoh to protect your hyper-sensitive nipples -- I recommend using this on your nipples post-partum as well while breastfeeding to prevent cracks and soreness. After the shower, lather your skin with a rich body cream. During my pregnancy, I rubbed Repechage Seaweed Body Cream all over my body, then layered an extra coat of Basq Illipe Body Butter Triple Moisture Complex on my belly and breasts. Both of these moisturizers are very nourishing and have mild scents that are easily tolerated during pregnancy.
Stock up on a variety of oils so you can alternate them nightly, depending on which scents you can tolerate that day. I recommend Kanshi Naturally Healing Massage Oil. It's a soybean based oil with natural mango and papaya juice scents. It absorbs really nicely into the skin, and my husband just loved the way it made our bedroom smell! Before bed, I also recommend giving yourself a foot massage with a nourishing foot cream based on shea butter and peppermint oils.
What to look for
Always read product labels to ensure you're selecting safe, natural products for your pre-baby skin care routine. Many so-called mommy products are actually mineral oil based (one of the cheapest ingredients on the market)! Don't be fooled by the hefty price tag if the product lists mineral oil on top of the ingredients list. On the bright side, many mommy-to-be moisturizers are shea butter based. Shea is a great natural ingredient, and you can find many products on the market that contain shea butter, even if they're not necessarily marketed to pregnant women.
Use body butters and oils daily to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Always read labels before buying skin care products, and make choices based on the ingredients rather than product packaging. Just because it has mommy in the title doesn't necessarily make it better! Top ingredients to look for include shea butter, cocoa butter, lavender oil, tocopherol (vitamin E), coconut oil, soybean oil, carrot oil, seaweed, glycerin, aloe, rosehip oil and jojoba seed oil.
We know that when moms invest in beauty products, you’re expecting them to work a little bit of magic. New lines from EOS, Sephora, and Basq are promising to do just that, all with a touch of whimsy thanks to their Disney-inspired packaging.
Using Alice in Wonderland as its muse, skin care company EOS just launched a new line of lip balms in Blueberry Potion, Sweet Vanilla Nonsense, and Watermelon Wonderland flavors. As if that’s not fun enough, the egg-shaped applicator features Mickey Mouse shaped grooves.
For a bit more of the “royal” treatment, head on over to Sephora, which is unveiling individual cosmetic lines for every Disney Princess. The three piece Cinderella collection is available now. The stunning packaging references different scenes in the film, and each shade name is based on objects or characters in the film.
Last but not least, The Disney Store recently teamed up with maternity skin care company Basq to create a line for expecting moms. Our favorite product is Pure Bliss, a lotion that chills your skin to provide relief from daily aches and pains. Now if that’s not magic I’m not sure what is!
It may not be winter yet, but if you’re currently looking for that perfect baby shower present, odds are good that the little bundle is due to arrive during the winter months.
Look no further than Disney Baby for all of your gifting needs. With so many cold-weather options available in a variety of adorable styles, we’ve got you covered!
Check out my favorites!
Loving Touch Gift Set
Gentle products are always important to use on the sensitive skin of newborns, but at no time is it more important than during the winter months. The mama-to-be will enjoy it too!
Gift Set, $60 Basq Skin Care
Now here’s an eye gel you can use day and night. The antioxidants help bring down any puffiness or swelling around the eyes. On those days where you’re a little more tired and or didn’t get enough rest — this will be a huge help to cover up.