|Tried and Tested Skincare Products|
Pregnancy Second Time Around: All over products
Last month, our tester extraordinaire Hazel Davis put pregnancy products for bumps and bellies to the test, and this month in the second instalment of her three-parter on natural and ‘free from’ pregnancy skincare it’s products for other parts of the body (minus nipples and boobs – which are coming next month!)
Aside from the fact that people give up their seats on trains for you (here in Yorkshire, at least), treat you like a magical vessel of new life and generally beam at you when you’re sporting a baby bump, one of the other advantages of being pregnant is that you get to have loads of long baths. Fact. “I’m just off for a long bath,” you get to say, five times a day, “To ease my back ‘cos of the pregnancy and all.” It’s brilliant.
Moreover, you get to spend as much money as you like on pampering products so long as they have the word “mum-to-be” or “new mum” on them. And these days there are plenty to choose from. Luckily for you, I have tried them ALL.
I chuckled at the name of the Beginning Alleviating Leg Lotion (£15, 100ml). I didn’t think I wanted my legs alleviating but about two-thirds through my pregnancy I succumbed to restless legs syndrome, very common among People In My Condition, and needed something to, well, alleviate it. The lotion was great. It smelled gorgeous – that’d be the patchouli and mandarin – and was nice and cold on my poor, irritable skin. The stiff cardboard packaging was lovely and, comprising an inner and outer tube, quite satisfying to open and close (hey, we preggos get our fun where we can, okay?).
However, the Mama Mio Lucky Legs Cooling Serum (£16.50, 100ml) actually genuinely saved my sanity on a few occasions. I would be careful where you apply it on account of its instant tingle, but when your legs are driving you batty, this little baby really does the trick. The smell is lovely and (spear)minty but the chamomile and aloe vera make it a little softer. It bills itself as the jackpot of remedies and, frankly, it’s not far wrong.
I really, really loved the Myreen Young Skin Supple Body Lotion (£6.50, 150ml). The aroma (of rosehip oil and evening primrose) was divine; quite sweet but also very natural smelling. It also lasted quite a while. I liked the fact that there was quite a bit of detail on the bottle in terms of origin and ingredients as well as a bit of the creator’s history, which was a nice personal touch. The lotion was also non-greasy and easy to apply and my skin felt refreshed and moisturised afterwards.
Alongside these treats above, the PHB Mother and Baby Body Lotion (£6.50) seemed lacking, though it was perfectly fine. The all-white packaging is a bit clinical and its perfume (coconut and grape) a bit too subtle for me but the lotion went on nicely and my skin felt the benefit afterwards. It’s good but it can’t compete.
The Erbaviva Milk Bath (£22, 550g) would get a much better review if I hadn’t almost given birth to twins trying to get the thing open. I had run a lovely warm bath, lit some candles, removed all my clothes (easy, boys), opened the beautiful Organic Mommy box it came in, complete with a bed of hay (like the baby Jesus) and removed the gorgeous cloth bag. But could I get the thing open? Could I heck. It was tied so tightly I had to call a man for help (sigh). Then I had to cut the reinforced bag inside open. With scissors! However, what was inside made up for it. I was a little unsure about the fact it’s made with organic milk powder but the smell of the salts – lavender and citrus – was lovely and they dissolved quickly.
Its accompanying Erbaviva Quease-Ease lip balm (£6.50, 2.5g) didn’t disappoint. In fact, I am wearing the lip balm right now. I was one of those annoying women who didn’t get morning sickness but I did have a bit of nausea in the first couple of months and this really did the trick in, if not alleviating it, at least distracting me from it. It gives a great tingling sensation on application, which is refreshing and gives welcome relief, but also stays on the lips for quite some time. If you suffer from dry lips during pregnancy as I did, it’s a great little thing to carry around. Its ingredients include ginger root extract, famed for offering morning sickness relief, as well as lavender and orange.
And as for the Erbaviva Foot Balm (£12, 40g): it smells great and has a real warming effect from the grapefruit and cypress oils. It’s also free from lots of undesirable chemicals – as are all of the products I looked at – which is reassuring to me and conducive to constant use: “Darling, I need my feet rubbing again. Yes I know it’s only been 30 minutes but it’s natural!” …
I did a small dance when I got the Lulu and Boo Mandarin and Almond Relaxing Bath oil (£17.95, 100ml) out, as I had adored their shea belly butter (still using it on my actual face? Oh yeah!). It didn’t disappoint. It smelled delicious and, as ever, came in a lovely old-fashioned bottle. My only gripe is that there wasn’t more of it. The Neal’s Yard Remedies Mothers Bath Oil (£14.75, 100ml) was slightly stronger smelling but in a good way. With olive and apricot oils, it felt like it was doing some moisturising good and the simple, blue, iconic packaging always looks good in a bathroom.
Which takes me up to labour. It doesn’t actually say on the packaging that the Beginning Balancing Facial Mist (£15, 100ml) will be good during contractions, but it was. I had slipped it in my birth bag as I thought it might come in handy and “they” always tell you to have a spritzer of water. The organic orange, mandarin and geranium is the perfect refreshing blend to perk you up whether you’re pushing a seven-pounder out of your nethers or whether you just fancy a midday pick-me-up. Lovely…
For Part I - Products for Bumps and Bellies - click here.
For Part III - Breast and Nipple Care Products - click here.