After 9 months of morning sickness, mood swings and late night cravings for oyster rockefeller (only a pregnant gal would understand)… To top it off, you now have to worry about whether or not you have been blessed with a stretch mark! Boobs, hips, thighs and tummy, bring it on baby!
Just when you thought you were taking every precaution to stay away from toxins, you missed one itty bitty memo.. your “natural” stretch mark ointment. As you all know, a large majority of skin care products contain ingredients which are harmful to our bodies. Unfortunately, sometimes pulling out the magnifying glass and playing the role of Sherlock Holmes is necessary to detect these toxic products. I get it, trying to pick apart the foreign language of chemicals on a label is difficult …I don’t entirely understand either (can you sayP-Phenylenediamine?). For this reason, the wonderful Environmental Working Group (EWG) has come up with a database which contains over 69,000 products to give people like you and me the power to know what the hell we’re absorbing into our system! Hallelujah.
Skin Deep is a database which informs the consumer with the hazard/concern rating as well as the data availability. Both of Skin Deep’s rating factors are calculated from information drawn from the nearly 60 integrated toxicity, regulatory, and study availability databases. They have divided these databases into 260 individual categories ranging from “known human carcinogen according to EPA” to “skin irritant identified by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review panel.” Then, they mapped each of these categories into one of 205 “score categories”. Each category is ranked with a scare according to a subjective assessment of its relative importance to public health or regulatory compliance, and then assigned a weight to each score category, also described in tables below. Huh?? Better yet, Check it out yourself!
Take a look what Skin Deep has to say about the popular stretch mark ointment “Bio Oil”! Rating: 7! (0 being the least harmful, 10 being the most)
What’s a prego lady to do?
Try doubling the recipe so it will last you through your pregnancy.
1/ 2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup aloe vera gel (common, buy the plant yourself and put your hubby to work!)
liquid from 6 capsules of Vitamin E (with the extra vitamin E, use it as a preservative/antioxidant in your oils!)
liquid from 4 capsules of vitamin A
Mix all ingredients in a blender and store in refrigerator.
Aloe Vera Gel grows in arid climates and is widely distributed in Africa, India, Nepal and other arid areas. Aside from its many healing attributes, aloe vera gel is known to be an immune system stimulant and most importantly its ability to heal the skin. This medicinal plant is able to reduce stretch marks by moisturizing and rejuvinating the skin. This is primarily done by stimulating the synthesis of elastin and collagen.
Caution: avoid external use during pregnancy
According to over 700 published studies, Vitamin A, also known as retinol, is proven to be necessary for healthy skin. A lack or deficiency of Vitamin A can cause dry, rough and damaged skin along with many other problems.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which contains tocopherols and tocotrienols. It is a powerful antioxidant which protects the skin against free radical damage. Free radicals are detrimental to the skin and specifically stretch marks as they break down collagen and elastin in the skin.
When purchasing Olive Oil, it is important to look for “extra virgin” and “cold pressed” to ensure the beneficial properties have not be damage from the heat during the pasteurization of the oil. Olive oil is a good source of Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids. Apply to your belly and it will function as a softening agent, lubricant and along with Vitamin E, it has been known to replace tissue.