While I knew my beloved hard ciders and sushi rolls were off the table, this new phase of life has certainly brought about some other changes I wasn’t prepared for! After reading list after list of the food and beverages (sigh, Kombucha) I should strive to avoid, I realized that there were so many other things I needed to re-evaluate having in my daily routine. For the past couple of years, I’ve been working had on eliminating unnecessary chemicals from the products from our home. It started with finding detergents and soaps free of dyes and harmful ingredients, and migrated to creating my own natural cleaning products and a strong dependence on essential oils. However, these changes were rather easy as they got the job done with little additional effort on my part. My real challenge was finding products for my body that I felt comfortable with. After all, everything that goes onto my skin is absorbed into my skin, and well, ultimately ends up in the little one, too. (Check back here for my favorite natural products for travel!)
While there are tons (re: TONS) of ‘organic, natural, true’ products on the market, there is little regulation on the use of these terms. Plus, even the creams and lotions I could confirm were safe, they didn’t work. Like, not at all. While I physically felt pretty darn good during my first trimester, by skin and hair did not. Unlike most women I’ve read about, I quickly started losing my hair two-fold and my once smooth moisturized skin decided to become, dry, flaky and spotty overnight. Awesome. Quite honestly, that was the first sign I knew something was going on.
While I initially sucked it up and accepted that my pregnancy glow was somehow uninvited to the party, I started reading about women having similar experiences on the community message boards. I even found out that there were whole brands dedicated to making products for pregnant and breastfeeding women.
After much trial and error, I’ve collected a handful of products that have been extremely helpful in battling the pregnancy-elements, and mostly raising my self-esteem. However, it’s important to note that it’s unethical to test on pregnant women, many ingredients are still rated Category B, meaning that there are no known harmful effects, but that’s not to say it isn’t impossible (they just can’t test to find out). For my piece of mind, I stay away from concerning ingredients, but don’t consume myself with everything little thing if it’s a Category B. I always check in with my doctor, which you should absolutely do to, in case you have particular needs. Here are my favorite products that I’m using on the daily that I feel good about:
Witch Hazel Spray: this is a my absolute must-have for any ailment, Itchy skin? Spray this. Dry patches? This has you covered. Breakouts in weird places? It even kills bacteria! I spray this on after I shower and comb my hair while it dries. I even spray it on my face midday to rehydrate.
Organic Belly Balm: There are many, many belly rubs on the list because it was hard to pick a favorite. This one smells great and absorbs quicker than some others, so I like to use it in hte morning before I get dressed.
Motherlove Pregnant Belly Salve: I initially found this on Thrive Market and I’m so glad I did. The ingredient list is stellar and even works to reduce stress with lavender essence. It’s a bit greasy, so I usually put it on under my pajamas before bed. TMI: this has also been heaven sent for other areas of my body that have been stretching, and thus, super itchy.
Earth Mama Belly Butter: While I’m keeping my belly moisturized 24/7, this lotion is perfect for everywhere else. It smells great and I love this brand’s mission to take my through pregnancy and beyond.
Belli Anti-Blemish Basics Value Set: This was a real game changer. I was initially using an organic gel cleanser which shall rename nameless that was only making my problems worse. I bought all the products in this kit and haven’t had a break-out or dry patch since. I honestly don’t know why it’s only target for pregnant women. I plan to continue using it here on out.
Argan Oil Shampoo: Smells great, and cleans my hair. I’m not looking for too much more with shampoo and since this was on the less expensive side, it’s a keeper.
JASON Long and Strong Jojoba Conditioner: Gets the job done and works well as a shaving cream so as long as I can still reach my legs. The clock is ticking.
Cowshed Lip Balm: Chapped lips are a constant in my life and I keep one of these in every bag.
Breathe Right Strips with Calming Lavender: So this might not be a beauty product, but it was a must-have my first few weeks of winter. I came down with a nasty cold, and while the cold eventually went away, I could never quite breath through my nose. Turns out, all that extra blood pumping through my body swells up my nasal passages: Hi stuffy nose and nosebleeds, you can see your way out. I love that this helps open my air passages without having to ingest anything. Plus, lavender makes another appearance!
Dry Brush: I am so pumped to share this new-to-me product with you. I was so excited when Prana Brush reached out to me to try their ionic body brush since I knew body brushing had some serious benefits, sans chemicals. Dry brushing not only detoxifies the body and improves circulation (goodbye, spider veins), but also reduces cellulite and increases overall well-being. All of which will help me avoid many of the dreaded impacts of pregnancy on the body. While most dry brushes help with achieve these outcomes, the Prana Brush is made of copper bristles, which has been a part of ancient Ayurvedic practices. The copper naturally creates negative ions that protect the body from free radicals, among other things. I’ve been using the brush for a little over a month and I’m so thrilled how my skin initially felt extra smooth and almost like it had its own real-life filter, but later how I noticed it started to calm my body. The motion and routine or dry-brushing itself is relaxing, but even when I wasn’t actually brushing, my anxiety lessened on the day to day. While this certainly could simply be I was making more time for #selfcare, I know the brush had a large part impact on my overall wellness.
Make sure you check out Prana Brush if you’re looking for a natural beauty solution, pregnant or not! What are you favorite chemical-free products? Anything I’m missing?