Elemis is a top tier British spa brand that I first used years ago on a cruise. I've used quite a few of their products over the years and am a big fan. When it came time to decided what to use on my stomach and hips during my pregnancy I knew exactly what I wanted: Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil. I'd used this on my hair and hands in the past and really liked it.
Here's a great article on FuturedDerm.com about why this oil is especially good at preventing stretch marks. I remembered reading this a while back and it's one for the reasons I chose this oil.
For the most part, stretch marks are genetic. If you have a high level of elasticity in your skin then you'll probably have minimal stretch marks. Ask your mom and grandmothers if they got stretch marks and that may be a good indication of what to expect. You can however minimize your risks and make fixing them a little easier by keeping your skin well moisturized and supple. I've also tried a Palmer's Cocoa Butter lotion but I definitely prefer the Elemis oil.
Elemis uses this oil in their prenatal massage so you know that it is safe to use while you're pregnant. It absorbs faster than a lot of other oils but you will want to give it some time to soak in before you put your clothes on. I usually apply it right out of the shower to my stomach, bust and hips and wear a robe while I get ready so it can soak in before I get dressed. Sometimes I mix a little of my body lotion in with the oil because I find it easier to apply that way.
To date I've officially gained about 30lbs. Ahhh! I keep telling myself that it's all good but it's strange to get on the scale and see that number on there. At this point I can say I've had excellent results with this oil. I still have about 11 weeks to go so it's a little early to declare success but I'd definitely recommend this to a friend.
In fact, I like this so much that I'll probably keep using it even after Tater Tot is born. I've also been using it on my neck since this area is notorious for not producing enough oil. That's one reason why so many women see signs of aging on their neck before other areas. I plan to mix a few drops of this in with my body lotion in the winter months and have loved applying this to my hands at night before bed. It's great for the cuticles.
Another bonus to this oil is that it doesn't have a strong scent. One of the reasons I didn't go the cocoa butter route is that most of those products have a very obvious chocolate scent. It's not a bad smell, I just got really tired of it day in and day out. Chocolate does not go well with my Chanel Coco Mademoiselle perfume.
You can buy this in the US here for $48 a 100ml bottle. That sounds expensive but keep an eye out for great sales on www.timetospa.com. I purchased 3 bottles for the price of 2 earlier this year. I'm on bottle number three right now and just opened it a week or so ago. It's been lasting a long time because a little goes a long way, especially when I mix in a little bit of lotion to help stretch it while applying it.
After Tater Tot arrives, I'm going to continue to use this oil to help my skin bounce back. If I do get stretch marks I'm going to immediately apply an OTC retinol product to them. Probably something from Neutrogena or ROC. Retinol is the best bet to reverse or lighten the marks and the sooner you treat them the better results you'll get.
UPDATE: I'm four days away from my due date and still no sign of stretch marks! Yay!!! I was more concerned about them than I was about the actual weight gain because I can always do more cardio but I can't get new skin. This oil has been great to use and I'll probably start buying a bottle of it for friends when they tell me they're pregnant.
UPDATE #2: Soooo unfortunately as my tummy deflated some stretch marks popped up. Wah wah. They aren't too bad but I'm really bummed about it. I've started putting ROC Retinol on them so hopefully I can minimize their appearance in the long run. I'd still recommend the Elemis oil and I'm using that in conjunction with the ROC.