Monday, January 6, 2014

Carnellin's Beauty Guide in Pregnancy Part 1

Hello ladies, 

or perhaps moms to be or just about anyone who wants to know about beauty products I'm using at the moment during pregnancy.

These are some of the products I found to be memorable, not all of them work well on me, so there's a bit of reviews and sharing as well.

We all know during pregnancy a woman will go through numerous episodes, from hormonal fluctuation, changes in the body and on their skin. Not to forget the mood swings and psychological stress. So for me, I need all the help I can get, from resting and eating well to pampering myself.

Some doctors provide gives some restriction advices of what's not to eat, do or use during pregnancy, these terms alone has given me some pressure, I'm not as free as I used to. Choose raw veggies carefully and make sure they are properly cleaned before consuming, this is hard when we like to dine out. Coffee, medication and other supplements must be taken under strict supervision. Now, I've been consulting with some gynae about deodorant or other things we applied on the skin. Surprisingly, some of considered unnecessary and needed to be avoided.

Yikes! I dont think it is possible for me to bring everything on my dresser to the gynae and ask him to check all of the ingredients for me to used. Some of them doesn't even carry a clear and detailed info about the ingredients and their effects related to pregnancy and the fetus. I'm using them since they are well known to be safe, I ask their trainers, and have personal experience as well of using them before.


On the market there are many strech mark creams available, I'm not trying them all, I've tried Palmer, L'Occitane and Bio Oil. From all of these three, Bio Oil is the one I found to be the most visibly effective. L'Occitane Almond Oil (not in the image) to be the most pleasing scent and feels lighter than Bio Oil. And Palmer Cocoa Tummy Butter to be the heaviest, stickiest and most uncomfortable of them all. The area put on feels warm as the oils are heavy and feels like blocking the pores from breathing.

During my first pregnancy (now I'm in my third pregnancy for my second child, I had miscarriage before), I use baby oil and Mustela which I found to be less effective, and perhaps due to the minimal knowledge that stretchmarks can happen to anyone and the precaution is needed before they happen. So a routine massaging using a specific oil before the second trimester found by me to be effective compared to using them when they already start making their marks.

Using the stretchmarks cream/oil/cream may not avoid the appearance of stretchmarks 100% but it does come very helpful in calming the skin. I used to have this unbearable itchiness and redness during the first pregnancy when I'm not diligent. Now, as I'm using the oils 2x a day, the skin become softer, smoother, much more comfortable and even help reducing the appearance of the past marks.


I'm also experiencing more heat produced, sebum and sweats appears more even when I'm doing nothing. I need products that relieves the stress on the skin, Kiehl's Rescuer is one of my favorite item at the moment. It helps my facial skin to calm down, it provide moisture/hydration without being greasy. The skin also appears calmer and much less sensitive.


One serum I'm still using is ANR from Estee Lauder, also for the calming and hydrating benefit. Since my temperature tend to be higher compared to non pregnancy condition, the skin also feels warmer, hence release more moisture. So I like to keep the skin hydrated. The serum can also be used on other part of the body that needs recovering and healing action. It can be paired with Skin Rescuer by Kiehl's.


Back to the Tummy Butter, I know for sure many women has be using it and found it very useful and comforting, especially those with dry skin condition, but I feel that the butter is too creamy and heavy, perhaps it will be more suitable to be used during the third trimester (as I'm still on mu second now). The brand also comes with many varieties of the products but I don't know whether cocoa butter will really work on stretchmarks, I will try them again during the third trimester.


One thing that has been bothering me is the acne arghhh!!!! They were never seems to be existed before now like they were there to stay. I have some under my mouth and they like making sure they are staying. If one has been eliminated and another will pop next to it. It was always around 3-4 but they annoys me! The easiest thing to do, this goes for anyone with acne during pregnancy or not, is to keep the area clean. Constant cleaning with care of course, one thing that sure does it is Sensibio H20 from Bioderma which I can use frequently. So it's not just 2-3 times a day, I'm talking about 5-6 times a day and top it off with a good all natural ingredient acne fighting ingredients from SAMPAR in a small packaging called Prodigal Pen.


The tiny packaging may fooled you but it last on me for months. Use it on a clean skin and expect a clearance over 1-2 days. With the basic rule of:
1. Do not touch your acne with dirty hands, sponges, or anything. Just clean it, use prodigal pen, and lightly moisturized.
2. Read no 1 and it is including not to pinch/squeezed it.
3. Drink plenty of water and eat your fruits and veggies (sorry, no bargain on this one)
4. If your face is sebum-full or oily heehee, do use products made for oily skin, such as water based moisturizer (yes, oily skin still needs moisturizer) and avoid eating oily food.
5. Live a healthy lifestyle, avoid smoking, drinking too much (alcoholic beverages) and other things that you know it is BAD for you. As you need antioxidant, vitamins and mineral for a great skin. No cheating here.

So it takes a treatment from inside and out for an acne free skin. Those with severe condition that needs medication may need doctor's (when perhaps related to hormonal or other unnatural causes).

I know some women experience breakouts during pregnancy, don't stress, remember to do gentle cleaning often on the area affected and perhaps changing the whole skincare range to the ones that proven to be safe for sensitive skin.


Back to the body, as my body gaining some mass at the moment, I'm also preparing myself for the after birth which slimming down will be a part of it. The naturally slimming down action will happen and the skin sometime seems to need a bit of help in keeping up, especially when breastfeeding is involved. This Milk Concentrate from L'Occintane works with their lovely scent, where later (after I'm giving birth) I'll share more whether the product is effective or not, right now I'm using it for my thighs and arms only, since I dislike their sagging condition.


Focusing on the areas that will keep getting bigger, Bio Oil is my number one choice at the moment. Price-wise, texture-wise, and effect-wise. Bio Oil is much cheaper than L'Occinate and much more lighter than Tummy Butter. The oil feels comfortable on the skin and clearly I see no more dryness in any way possible, but I'm using it for the body only, I haven't try it for the face.


I'm using Bio Oil for the tummy and breast area. After shower, 2x a day by gently massaging the area until all are covered with the light oil. I love the no-residue feeling and the mildness. There's no distinctive scent or at least a scent that is long lasting.

That's it for now, hopefully this post is beneficial, please do share in the comment box below if you have any questions of just want to share an experience.

In Part 2 I'm planning on sharing more on hair and scalp care, makeup, SPF and many more.


  1. Hi, thank you for your post. Btw, what brand of Bb cream or Bb cushion will you recommend and safe for pregnancy?

  2. Hi Clara,

    in general do avoid products with strong alcohol, preservatives, and well known harmful ingredients such as paraben, mineral oil, and so on.

    One brand that I knew is wonderful is Tarte.