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The Zebra Battle: tackling stretchmarks

ExpertsPost Category - ExpertsExpertsPost Category - PregnancyPregnancy

We’re welcoming another fab mama-to-be blogger to the Sassy Mama team, especially for our The Glow section. Welcome Gaelle; this week, she’s tackling stretchmarks…

Stretch marks |ˈstrɛtʃ ˌmɑrks|
Plural Noun

Streaks or stripes on the skin, esp. on the abdomen, caused by distension of the skin from obesity or during pregnancy.

This sounds like bad news! The good news is that plenty of products are available to avoid those unappealing stripes during pregnancy. However, their efficiency is far from guaranteed. But, I have decided that I would try to prevent stretch marks and improve my skin elasticity rather than leaving Mother Nature transform me into a zebra. I do love zebras but next time I see one, I hope that it will be during a safari, not in front of my mirror!

Here’s my hit-list of recommended products:

It’s Your Body Stretch Mark Cream Mothercare $89
I fell in love with the divine scent of this cream, a lush mix of almond oil and shea butter. To be honest, its price was also a real turn-on. Unfortunately, when a product is such a steal it often comes with annoying guests such as parabens. Still, I have really been enjoying this deeply nourishing but not too-heavy cream over the winter. But now that the humidity level is rising again – and that I am slowly becoming a scary mum-to-be-zilla who goes organic for almost everything – I have switched to a few other products.

Find all Mothercare locations in Hong Kong here.


Vegetal Oils
Vegetal oils, especially if they are organic, seem a simple and natural way of preventing stretch marks. However, stay away from essential oils as they might be harmful during pregnancy.

Sweet almond oil is often recommended as it is rich in vitamin E and has nourishing, soothing and moisturising properties. I did not buy mine in Hong Kong, but you can find sweet almond oil from the brand Primavera at Beyond Organic in IFC, where they recommend mixing it with wheat germ oil. If you are looking for a drier option, you can always replace sweet almond oil with jojoba oil.

I am also using argan oil that I discovered a few years ago during a trip to Morocco. Argan oil – known as the green gold of Morocco – is famous for its protecting and repairing benefits for the skin, hair and nails, as it contains vitamin E as well as plenty of antioxidants and fatty acids. This oil is absorbed quickly and I like its characteristic slightly nutty scent… although it might not please everyone.

Argan oil is not very popular in Hong Kong but you can get it at Melvita ($280hkd for 50ml). However, a salesgirl there told me that using the “For Mum” anti-stretch cream ($380) mixed with rose hip oil ($350 for 50ml) would be their most effective regimen. Avocado oil ($220 for 50ml) is also a good option to scare those dreaded marks away, especially for dry skins

Beyond Organic, Shop 1091B, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2882 5218

Melvita, Shop 1088A, ifc mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, Hong Kong, 2234 7390. See all other Melvita locations in Hong Kong here.

Massage Lotion for Anti-Stretch Marks Ceresme, $260

This lotion is made by an organic Cambodian brand with rice ceramide and rice germ oil extracted from natural Japanese rice. It comes with a small leaflet teaching you how to apply the product, but it’s nothing too complicated or time consuming. I appreciate the subtle fresh scent of this lotion, as well as its light yet generous texture; which will be perfect for spring and summer in Hong Kong. A heavier winter version exists as well but I could not find it.

Eugene Club Centre, Crawford House, 70 Queen’s Road, Central, Hong Kong, 2628 3777. See all other locations in Hong Kong here.

Overall, I am quite happy with how my skin looks and feels after using these products for the past two months. But the zebra battle is a long-term one and I will not be able to truly judge its outcome till mid-summer. In the meantime, I will probably be tempted by other products; and Clarins Tonic Body Oil is already top of my list to try as a few of my girlfriends swear it works wonders.

Let’s just hope that the only stripes I will be wearing during the SS12 season are those on my Breton top!

Photo credit (top image): Fred K

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