The AnOther Guide to Pregnancy Beauty

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HATCH Belly Oil

Picking beauty products while pregnant can be confusing but thanks to a few key brands, it can be appropriately indulgent too

It’s a bit of a strange time to be pregnant. Growing a baby can already be fairly perturbing: swelling, gas, pigmentation, cramps, perineal massage, being targeted on Instagram with whimsical illustrations and twee mum-and-baby merch that suggests that because you’re up the duff you’ve suddenly lost your mind. But now 12 weeks of self-isolation has been thrown into the mix for obvious reasons – for many this means an already potentially insular experience has got a whole lot lonelier. And while the rest of your city are also being denied hot yoga, facials and massage, you’re unable to soothe this worldwide existential angst with a box of wine like everyone else. All this is to say that now is a time for self-care 2.0, so it’s extra joy-making when you come across a beauty product that’s made for your many needs at this potentially confusing time – and it’s not ugly. Here’s a list of a few.

Mutha Body Butter

This is like getting cold butter out of the fridge and smearing it all over yourself, which to me couldn’t be more pleasing. Described as a ‘whipped trifecta’ of shea, cocoa, and mango butters, vitamins, fatty acids, and pure seed extracts – it’s non-greasy but is rich enough that your skin feels noticeably moist throughout the day. And in its sleek, non-maternal looking metallic violet flacon, it fits right in on my bathroom shelf. Looking after the skin on your body has never been more of a pressing task than when it is stretching at this incredible rate (my baby will grow from the size of a white cabbage to a watermelon in the next seven weeks – send help!). Many scientists have said, depressingly might I add, that there is nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks – that it’s all in your genes. But if looking after the skin on your face will impact how it ages – and it definitely does – I don’t see how the same can’t apply to your body. So I’m sticking with butter in the morning, oil at night (from neck to knees). 

Stretch Mark Oils 

These I slather on, on rotation, before bed. It’s become part of a nightly routine that combines some hypnobirthing practice (The Positive Birth Company’s online course is incredible value for money – especially with their current discount), some Slip Sleep Mist, a herbal tea (preferably Pukka Peppermint and Liquorice so I can pretend I’m at Aveda), some Scentered aromatherapy balm and my divine silk Slip Sleep Mask. Wow, I sound wholesome. But I’ve got to tell you: it’s a very, very calming procedure – and calm is key during pregnancy. My favourite oils so far are of the clean-living ilk: Susanne Kaufmann’s Stretchmark Oil, African Botanics’ Stretchmark Botanical Oil – and they get extra points for avoiding use of the words ‘mama/mother’ in their names. But Hatch Mama gets away with it thanks to the oil’s ultra minimalist packaging (and their Belly Sheet Masks). I can’t promise it works but all I can say is that, 33 weeks in, so far so good!


Nails rank high in the pregnancy debate. Some women carry on with their acrylic habits, business as usual. Some, in avoidance of the intense fumes pouring out of the local salon, opt for their own polish, but given some labels’ rather toxic ingredients list – irritants like formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate (a plasticiser), toluene (paint thinner) or triphenyl phosphate (a suspected hormone disruptor) – it may pay to be choosy about what you’re applying. But that’s down to your fear-monger tolerance too as there’s no official guidance suggesting you shouldn’t paint your nails while pregnant. If better-safe-than-sorry is your bag, look to Nails Inc’s breathable new NailPure range, which is vegan, halal, and free from parabens, alcohol and the ten toxic chemicals typically found in polish. Orly, Butter London and Priti NYC offer good, toxin-free alternatives, too. 


Many mothers-to-be wipe parabens and synthetic ingredients from their skincare routine, though much of this is down to personal preference, as even parabens have not been proven to be bad for us. One skincare ingredient we should categorically avoid during pregnancy though, is retinol – or any kind of retinoid/vitamin A which, whether consumed (liver and offal are high in vitamin A) or applied topically, can harm your unborn baby. Retinol addicts fear not: vegan and paraben-free brand Biossance has a retinol-like Bakuchiol-based serum that is suitable during pregnancy, with the same serious anti-aging effects as your go-to retinoids.