In the past
few weeks, many of you have written me asking if I could focus a few blogs on maintaining beauty during pregnancy. I completely understand. We are embarking on the holiday season, and while your concerns about how to stay healthy during pregnancy are tremendously important… we women also want to stay beautiful on the outside, while we grow a healthy baby on the inside.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to remain attractive so, today, I am writing about stretch marks… one of those pesky skin conditions that may be avoided, or at least minimized, with proper care.
- What Causes Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are caused by the breakage of skin proteins during the rapid expansion of the skin during pregnancy. Stretch marks can appear on the abdomen, hips, breast, thighs, and underarms. Once formed, stretch marks are permanent. Various skin creams have been developed to try to reduce the appearance of stretch marks once formed. However, prevention should be the main goal since most of the other remedies intended to diminish their appearance do not work.
- What are the important qualities of a good stretch mark cream?
Remedies intended to prevent stretch marks mostly hydrate and moisturize the skin, thus allowing the existing skin proteins to stretch and not tear. However, a better approach is to INCREASE the skin collagen and elastin production giving much more distensibility to the skin.
- Is adding collagen to the ingredients sufficient?
DON’T BE FOOLED!!—when certain products contain collagen in their ingredient list—this is not sufficient. The skin has to manufacture its own collagen and elastin for the product to work!!
- What ingredients should I avoid in choosing a stretch mark cream?
There are several ingredients that should be avoided in pregnancy that are COMMONLY found in many of the popular brands.
- PARABENS—This includes methylparaben and propylparaben.
- RETINOL—Vitamin A has in large doses has been associated with an increased risk of congenital anomalies. In addition, retin-A type products can be very irritating and cause rapid cell turnover so special precautions need to be taken with regard to the sun.
- SODIUM LAURYL SULFATES AND SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE—Can cause dermatitis, skin and eye irritant, reports of toxicity in embryo development in animals
- PHTHALATES—studies have shown that this interferes with the development of the male testes in animals.
- What ingredients are responsible for hydration and moisturization?
Shea butter and various oils are responsible for the moisture and hydration. Unfortunately, most of the stretch mark creams for pregnancy ONLY have these ingredients and this is not sufficient to prevent stretch marks. The oils tend to make the product extremely greasy. Oils are nonabsorbent by the skin since water is a major component of skin cells. The oils tend to sit on the surface layers and stain clothing, especially in a large pregnant belly. In addition, the price points are also very escalated for these relatively inexpensive moisturizing ingredients.
- What other ingredients should I be concerned about?
Alpha-hydroxy acid (AHA) is an ingredient commonly used in many creams. The purpose of this ingredient is to remove old skin and regenerate new skin—basically a mini-peel. This can be very irritating to many women. One must be very careful about going in the sun. AHA treatments are now undergoing scrutiny since there is a question of long term use of doing home chemical type peels. And the possible negative effects in the future.
- What makes the Beauté de Maman products superior?
- The Beauté de Maman product line does not exfoliate skin and does not use acids to peel away skin. We not only use ultra moisturizing and skin softening ingredients but we also have added natural and herbal ingredients that allow the skin to manufacture collagen and elastin (Psium sativum, Bambusa vulgaris, Gardenia Tahitensis, and glucosamine HCL).
- In contrast to other products—we are NOT a messy oil but an absorbant cream that does NOT stain clothes.
- We have no odor.
- We are obstetrician created specifically for pregnant women.
- Products have been pretested on hundreds of pregnant women and are safe for both mother and baby.
- Our pricing is very affordable.