PostPartum Skin Care

Written by Elena @The Art of Making a Baby on. Posted in Daily, Friday Finds, Fun as a Toddler Mom, HEALTH, Health and Fitness, LIFE, My Pregnancy, New Mom Experience, Other Recommendations, PRODUCTS, TODDLER

A year after having a baby and I think I am finally in a good place when it comes to my personal care routine. {I am always searching for better products, though, so I will keep updating you if I find something superior}

I still don’t have time to do certain things regularly, especially now with my new website, Daily Mom.

I don’t get to shave legs unless I am going out somewhere semi-important.

I forget to moisturize my body more often than I care to admit, and that is one of the biggest things I need to work on.

I wash my hair only if I know that I will be leaving the house. Or when it’s really dirty.

I put my make up on at the same time or when I want to look more put together at home.

I like to prioritize and personal care falls somewhere in the middle on the priorities list. However, one thing I have done over the last year is assemble a good “team” of personal products that I use, love and swear by. They help me be a little bit more of a woman that I want to be without having to put too much effort into it. I’ve been mentally writing this post for 6 months and each month I would add something else to it.

In fact, in the last week, I’ve had a chance to try out some organic and natural hair products that I am quite impressed with that you can read about on Daily Mom in the coming months. I am thinking about going on a mission of finding more obscure products and brands you don’t see in retail stores and trying them out. If only I could find time…

In the meantime,

NON-TOXIC SKINCARE

BACKGROUND:

As many of you know, I was super extra mega careful during pregnancy. I think it’s SUCH a vulnerable time for a baby that I felt that all the possible precautions needed to be taken seriously. So I did.
A part of those “precautions” was researching personal care products. Many of you know that research brought a million additional questions and searches for new products. You can’t unread what you read, un-know what you’ve learned. So you either bury your head in the sand about the dangers, or you do something about it. Or (like  in my case) you do something about most of it, but some of the other stuff- well, let’s just say I’m going “LALALALALALA!” to drown out the noise in my brain.

Everything is toxic. Everything. No getting around it. But you can eliminate the biggest dangers, do whatever it is you can to make it a little bit better. I believe any tiny effort counts.

So I put together a pregnancy line up. Then after pregnancy, I was relieved to be able to go to some of the other products. I could now use aloe, vitamin A ad some other items in cosmetics and skin care that I couldn’t suring pregnancy.

With a baby, a new issue arose, though. Lack of time.

So some of the non-toxic products had to go because they just didn’t work fast enough or well enough.

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Here’s what stayed:

MY POSTPARTUM SKIN CARE LINE UP

Brands:

LAVANILA

I am a HUGE fan of their products. Anyone who’s been reading my blog for a while, knows that. I fell in love with them during pregnancy and the love affair is still going strong. Lavanila is the only skin care brand I use for Lexi ( wash, lotion, sunblock). I have tried numerous others and believe me when I say that no other brand even comes close to Lavanila. The funny part is it’s not just me. Megan on Daily Mom got a chance to try some of their products and she is a complete convert, as well. You can read my review of it from a year ago here.

It’s one of the few companies that has absolutely ZERO questionable ingredients in their products. Period.

MAMA MIO

This is another brand that isn’t very well known but deserves a big shout out. Mama Mio got me through my pregnancy with a stretchmarks-free tummy and a scent that doesn’t make you want to throw up in the first several months of morning sickness. They have a great skin care line that includes all your pre-,during and post- pregnancy body and face needs.  Their motto is NO NASTIES, so you can be sure the line is safe for pregnancy and nursing. You can read my review of Mama Mio from a year ago here.

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JOSIE MARAN

This is a relatively new find for me. I  didn’t have much time to look for non-toxic cosmetics once Lexi was born, so I kept putting it off. Finally I decided to try the brand that sounded interesting to me. Most of her cosmetics is made from Argan oil which I use and love. I definitely fell in love with some of the products and will continue using them. I still use other brands for my other needs, but Josie Maran cosmetics covers some of the items in my cosmetics bag.

UNITE HAIR

I discovered this company thanks to the Argan Oil I was sent to try out and it’s become my favorite  non-organic hair brand. Most of their products don’t have parabens, sulfates, phthalates  and a few other questionable chemicals which is amazing for salon quality hair products . I am yet to find an organic brand that does what I need, so in the meantime I use Unite as a good alternative.

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DR JART+

To me this company is the epitome of what a BB cream is supposed to be. It’s only good for light skin tones or as a primer for darker skins, otherwise it might make you look like a zombie.  But it does amazing things with evening out skin tone and hiding blemishes ( which all of a sudden I have a ton of).

MALLY BEAUTY

If you don’t really break out or have a need for a BB cream, then this other line I used to use when my skin was blemish free is perfect. Mally Beauty has some amazing foundation and skin perfecting compacts, as well as a nice line of beauty items. It’s not particularly non-toxic, so you just have to go over the ingredients before you buy to make sure it’s something you’re ok with.

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PRODUCT LINE UP

IN SHOWER

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Shampoo and Conditioner – After having tried about a million organic/natural shampoos and conditioners, I gave up. They all left my long hair stringy, greasy and lackluster. Unite Shampoos and conditioners, in my opinion, are a perfect compromise. They are free of Sulfates, Parabens, Gluten, Sodium chloride, Dea, Mea, 100% Vegan, Color Safe, yet really do  make my hair look significantly better than any other shampoo/conditioner combo I’ve tried since switching to the “safe” routine. I’ve even made a homemade shampoo and rinse but none of it worked well for me.

Hair TreatmentVolumizing repair treatment by Unite (paraben free) is something I use once a week to add a bit  of life to my hair.
Detangler 7 second condition – It doesn’t really work in 7 seconds as advertised, but is still a great leave in conditioner and detangler.
Argan Oil – This is my love! When I first started using it, I couldn’t believe how great it worked. I literally just ran out of it and will be buying more.
Face and Body ExfoliatorMama Mio Body Buff is a multitasker for me. You can use it on your face before you get it wet and then your body. It is super fine (it’s a buff, not a scrub) and gets better results than most scrubs.

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Facial CleanserMama Mio’s Clean Slate. I’ve had love/hate relationship with it for months. On one hand I don’t love the smell of it, so I keep trying to switch to a different face wash, but yet come back to it every time after being disappointed by other wash’s results compared to this one. The cleanser leaves your skin particularly clean, more than any other wash I’ve tried, yet it doesn’t dry it out. I think I am going to get over myself and just use it for the rest of my life, because everything else I’ve tried just doesn’t work as well. Plus I am very happy with the ingredients. I have been using the same 5oz bottle for a year now. It seriously lasts a lifetime :)
{not sure why these two ended up in the in-shower picture, but I’ll go with it}
Hair VolumizerUnite Expanda Dust. It’s kind of  like a dry shampoo, but it puffs up your roots instead of just absorbing oils. Really helpful after all those natural shampoos that leave your hair flat. :) lol
Shine SprayUnite Shina-Mist. Love this thing! Super fine mist that doesn’t make your hair greasy but leaves it shiny and clean.

After Shower:

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Obviously, I do not use them all every day. I do what I can with the time I have on my hands (which is never any). That is if I get to shower at all. :)

DeodorantLavanila Healthy Deodorant all the way! The ingredients of this deodorant are amazing, the smell is to die for, it goes on really nicely and guess what? It really works. I still use the nasty conventional antiperspirant when I know I will be sweating a lot ( living in Florida I don’t always have a choice not to), but for every day use The Healthy Deodorant is a must have. For more options and ideas for non-toxic deodorants, including the homemade version that works really well, check out  Daily Mom’s post on Deodorant Dangers and Healthy Options. 
Neck CreamMama Mio Nexercise. This thin tube of neck cream makes me feel guilty every time I lay my eyes on it. It’s a great cream and a great brochure on how to exercise your neck muscles to keep it looking young. I just don’t do it enough. I need to! Like most women postpartum I now have a funky chin. Whether it comes with extra weight or it’s a postpartum thing, I don’t know, but I see everyone with that issue after they’ve had a baby. My neck skin has really suffered from neglect. This cream is supposed to do magic. That is if you actually use it along with the exercises outlined there.

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Body Cream Lavanila Body Butter. I love that thing! It’s so soft and smooth and glides on like, well, butter. BUT the tube is so small and it’s pretty expensive, so I only buy it occasionally to pamper myself.
O-Mega Wonder Balm -This is a do-it-all balm: chopped lips, dry skin, cuticle cream, anything you can think of- it helps. It’s like a very concentrated cream, perfect for those elbows  in the first months of postpartum ( for some reason my elbows were shot at that time)
Lavanila Rollerball perfume – I fell in love with Lavanila scents after using their rollerball perfumes. They are not as expensive as sprays but work just as well if used on wrists and neck. The scent is to die for and I’ve been using this for over a year non-stop. A must have in my book.

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Perfume- There is probably NOTHING more toxic than perfume. A fragrance can have over 3000 untested, unlisted chemicals without disclosing them on the ingredient list. Oh man, I stopped using perfumes completely during pregnancy and now with Lexi around, I just can’t justify spraying all those phthalates and chemicals into the air. Enter the world of amazing natural fragrances by Lavanila.  The smell of passion fruit is to die for and it’s completely non-toxic. Their new summer scent is YUM! It doesn’t stay on for as long as traditional perfumes, but that’s the trade off you make when you decide to say no to nasty ingredients.

Body washLavanila Shower and Shave. I tried Lavanila wash a while ago and I loved it. But since I am already over my personal care budget, so I had to forgo it and use a bar soap instead ( which I have always loved. I just don’t smell as good any more). Note: I just check it out and it’s only $14, so I might go back to using it again.

MAKE UP

Like I said earlier, I have not done much research about make up and I’m still using some of the old brands I used to. But slowly I am making changes.

Mally Beauty

This brand isn’t specifically non-toxic, but they do list all their ingredients which is very helpful. I use and love Mally beauty’s eye liners. Before my face started breaking out so bad my go to product was this professional foundation. it comes with the softest sponge and literally glides on. Then I would apply the Poreless Face Defender and this is truly a magical product. I preferred using it as a primer without foundation first, but it works amazingly when applied over foundation by minimizing pores and creating a perfect finish.

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BB CREAM- DR. JART +

So you all had to have heard about BB Creams. Let me preface this by saying that I have tried quite a few of “american versions” of BB creams, including the expensive ones ( they originated in Asia) and they SUCK compared to the Dr. Jart creams. Seriously, if you ever wanted to try a true BB cream, not L’Oreal or whatever other company makes them nowadays, but the real deal, order Dr. Jart. it comes in variety of colors and actions, but the one I swear by is BB Blemish Base  Silver Label.

I am not sure what happened to my skin but around Lexi’s first birthday it exploded and never calmed down. Silver Label is the only thing that saves me from looking like a total teenager. If your skin is prone to breakouts, Silver label is your savior. Initially it goes on like clay.  It’s very thick and white, so unless you have porcelain skin, you will probably look like the undead. The coverage is perfection for problematic skin. If you’re darker, the color issue can be easily fixed with your shade of foundation laid on top, since Dr Jart acts as a primer as well. Again, since I’ve discovered Dr Jart I have not bought any other product.
{Note: If you don’t need such hardcore coverage, try the Black label instead. It’s lighter coverage and darker color.

JOSIE MARAN

Color Stick – this is my go to make up product. It’s a color stick made with Argan oil that can be used virtually anywhere on the face. I use it as blush, eyelid tint and lip tint. On days when I simply don’t have time to apply mascara or line my eyes, all I do is cover my face with Dr Jart cream and apply some tint to my cheeks, eyes and lips and look as fresh faced as one does getting out of a spa treatment facility. I also use Josie Maran’s eye liner, and love it.

Whew! I am exhausted writing all of this!
So that’s about it! Hope this is helpful. Feel free to share your own go-to products in the comments. I don’t think I have the energy to write another word…. :)
Note: Some of the products mentioned here were sent to me free of charge to try, others were purchased by me. None of the products here are listed as a review, but merely a line up of stuff I like and use.

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Comments (40)

  • Lindsey

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    Apple cider vinegar is the best natural conditioner/detangler! Just mix it with water- equal parts- and put it in a spray bottle. Let it sit on your hair for a few minutes in the shower and rinse. Works amazingly and it’s so inexpensive!

    Reply

      • Lindsey

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        Ya, I think so! I’ve never heard of using regular vinegar, just ACV. You buy it right by the other vinegar at the store but it’s a brownish color.

        Reply

    • Emily W

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      I gave ACV a solid 4 month trial run on my hair and it did not work at all. :( I was really disappointed because I had heard great things about it! After 4 months of wearing my hair in a bun or wearing a hat I gave up and went back to pantene. :(

      Reply

      • Amanda

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        It must be raw ACV.

        Reply

        • Emily W

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          I used the Bragg’s organic unfiltered/raw that I also use for cooking!

          Reply

      • Corinne

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        Pantene isn’t going to be the best for your hair. If you really want to treat dry damaged hair, go to a salon and get a good professional deep conditioner. Make sure it’s from a salon though. The “professional” hair products sold in drug stores or grocery stores are usually diluted with water and not nearly as potent as they should be.

        Reply

        • Emily W

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          Thanks for your comment, but I wasn’t using ACV for dry, damaged hair. I was just trying to go a more natural and less expensive route, but I gave it a good solid try and it didn’t work for me!

          Reply

  • Caroline

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    Stretch Mark Cream? Aren’t stretch marks decided by genetics? I didn’t touch a drop of anything for stretch marks and I didn’t get any. A good friend bought(and used) everything under the sun and she refuses to ever wear a bikini again.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      SMs are largely genetic, however environment plays a huge role like in any other health aspect. Even if your skin elasticity is relatively good based on your genes, lack of hydration, moisture and lots of weight gain will offset it.

      Reply

    • B

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      Yes, they are genetic, I gained the recommended 25-30 pounds with my first pregnancy, applied cocoa butter and oils religiously and still got them, along with a lovely case of PUPPs which is also usually genetic. Yet a friend of mine never applied anything, gained 60 pounds and her stomach went back to its flat, unstretchmarked self soon after pregnancy, life just isn’t fair sometimes.

      Reply

      • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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        That really sucks! I’m sorry about that. In your case genetics took over completely, but I would still always do my best ( like you did) to try and prevent them.

        Reply

        • B

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          It doesn’t help that I am short waisted, my babies had no where else to go but out, towards the end I looked like I swallowed a beach ball lol. I knew it was coming though, my mom had stretch marks and her mom had them so it was a bit futile to try but I did anyway.

          Reply

          • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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            Oh I’m sure that plays a huge role. I have a very tall torso so Lexi had lots of room up and down and didnt have to come outwards as much.

            Reply

  • Julie

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    We went the no poo shampoo method about 4 months ago and love it. It’s just baking soda and I only have to wash my hair once a week. I also use ACV as a conditioner. Google it!

    Reply

    • Sara

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      would love to know more about this!

      Reply

      • Eliska

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        Crunchy Betty is a really great blog for all sorts of natural body things – this post in particular is a good jumping off point for the “no ‘poo” shampoo method: http://www.crunchybetty.com/no-poo-to-you-too

        Good luck!

        Reply

  • Anne

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    I have the same deodorant routine – Lavanila most days; supertoxic antiperspirant when I actually really need to avoid sweating.

    Have you tried Juice Beauty products? They are supposed to be pretty natural, and I love their BB Cream and serums.

    Reply

  • Karley

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    Agreed, Lindsey! You can also use it as toner, which helps with breakouts. Or you can ingest as well to clean from the inside out as it regulates the bacteria in your stomach, which will be reflected in your skins appearance.

    I just love natural (and cheap!) remedies for beauty care. Thankfully, with a quick Google search you can come across so many options, brands, etc.

    Reply

  • Sara

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    Thank-you so much!! I really appreciate all the research you have done. I too am in love with mama mio & lavanilla thanks to your original posts. I wanted to suggest researching oil cleansing method (ocm). I have had awful skin for years especially since my pregnancy too. I NEVER would have thought it would work, but after several months I have seem a significant improvement in the quality of my skin. Basically I make a mixture of olive oil, castor oil & vitamin E (I’ve also used coconut oil & you can adjust the mixture bases on your skin needs). Then I massage a small amount into my face. Afterwards I take a washcloth with water as hot I can stand and ‘steam’ my face. Then gently rub the oil off my face with the washcloth. I usually do this at night before bed & I don’t need to moisturize as the oil does that for me. I use the Clean Slate in the morning with a Clairsonic tool. I really suggest it, like I said, I would have never thought it would work for my oily acne prone skin, but I got so fed up with nothing working that I’m so glad I gave it a shot. I also switched to washing my hair with baking soda nearly two years ago and haven’t looked back. There was an adjustment period, but nobody can tell I don’t use shampoo! I also rinse with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice mixed equally with water. Wow! I just wrote a book!

    Reply

    • Eliska

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      OCM, heck yeah! Best thing ever. Just a note, though – be careful using coconut oil on your face, because while it is amazing and wonderful for all sorts of things, it is also somewhat comedogenic – meaning it can clog your pores and cause breakouts. Some people can use it just fine (and I am completely jealous), but it’s good to be aware that not everyone can.

      Reply

  • tarynkay

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    Totally off topic, but I just figured out who you remind me of- the actress Susannah Harker, back when she played Jane Bennett in the 1995 Pride and Prejudice.

    Reply

  • Irina

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    Interesting post, have to check out the hair products. Have you ever researched Davines? I am interested in them for hair color (I know, it is bad for you, but I am not ready to go all salt’n’pepper :) )

    What exactly is the “funky post partum chin”? Your chin looks totally non-funky to me, but may be it is all in the lightening :)? I have olive/yellow skin tone, so few coverage products work for me, but I am embracing all the interesting spots that come with kids, plus many do go away after you have the baby :)

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      ugh I wrote a response and my computer ate it.

      I haven’t heard of Davines, but I am looking to make a list of all the natural-ish brands I can find and work with them on trying them out and narrowing down to a few that really work to post on here. I already found 2 companies that we tried on Daily Mom that I am currently OBSESSED with ( post coming on DM), but I am sure there’s a lot more and it’s possible to make a good line up with the best product for each need.

      Post partum chin- ugh, it’s not something you’d see in my photos, because i usually delete those as rejects, unless Lexi is doing something cute in them. The chin is more like a double chin but not a FAT double chin, but just thick… not sure how to explain.. I see it in most moms. It might be cuz we are always looking down at our babies and smiling which creates extra layers underneath the chin… Not sure.

      Reply

  • nikki

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    What is the funky postpartum chin? I had a baby 11 months ago and have several friends with children and none of us have ever heard of this. What am I missing?

    Reply

  • Tamera

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    What facial sunscreen do you use? I tried using badger balm, but I think it is breaking my face out…

    Reply

  • Simone

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    Thank you for your honesty! I love the first part of this post when you explain your priorities. My daughter is 10 months and I often receive comments from my family that I should have makeup on or I should dress better. The truth is I might do those things if I had the time but my daughter, our home and our wellbeing comes before foundation, lipstick or a new pair of shoes.

    Reply

    • Summer

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      I disagree Simone and I think that belief if what makes other moms judge me so harshly. I have three kids, with a new baby on the way. I homeschool (all my kids knew how to read before three), make almost everything from scratch in the kitchen, read stories, cuddling, etc, but I also always have my make up and hair done and dress nicely around the house. And I not only think, but I know some of the things other moms have had to say about me. But firstly taking a shower has never been a problem for me since i had a baby. Even though I had the worst newborn possible too the first time around. No sleep, no rest, nothing for me it was horrible. But she did sleep occasionally, or have tummy time, etc and I would take 5 minutes and put on some makeup. When the kids are older they shower with me, and I usually do my makeup before they wake up. But they also have quiet time, have alone play, etc and I can take some time for myself then.
      Honestly some moms scared me SO much about having a baby. This whole no time for me thing was daunting, I like feeling cute! I don’t want to let myself go! But I also didn’t want to not be there for my babies, they are only babies once. And here i am with number four on the way happy, happy with my babies and happy with myself. I don’t feel neglected, I make sure mommy is happy as well as them since that makes for a good household.

      Now with that said I think anyone who says that can’t shower/makeup/etc. is wrong and they just have different priorities. Which there is NOTHING wrong with if your happy. But you chose when you have kids what you do with your spare time, if that be watching a tv show, browsing favorite blogs, magazine reading, etc. It DOESN’T mean as a mom you have no time to dress better, it’s just as easy to put a nice outfit on as a slouchy one, the difference is only you’re happier in a slouchy outfit- not that you’re putting your baby first and can’t do it. Same as with make up, most moms feel like whats the point right now. Again not that the baby is so time consuming those five minutes are not possible. You just don’t want to.
      My priorities are my children, their health, well being, and happiness, but that doesn’t mean I turn a cold shoulder to myself or my husband and I’s relationship. Even with a colicky baby and no nanny, showers can be taken and some lip gloss can easily be applied if you WANT. If you don’t, who cares if you’re HAPPY! But no one should say that if one was to do those things their priorities are not in line.

      Reply

      • mel

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        well said!!! i sometimes live in sweatpants, with messy hair and i certain,y don’t showerband doll myself up like i used to pre-baby…. but that is my choice. i sometimes just prefer wasting timd on the internet, or bake cookies or call a friend.

        Reply

  • Jen

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    Thanks for this post. I am still working on my beauty and skin care routine, but have found homemade coconut oil my savour for everything!

    Reply

  • Marie

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    I love Mamma Mio Tummy Rub! I started using it based on your recommendation. I love the smell and feel of it and used it throughout my pregnancy and didn’t have any stretch marks. My mom and sister have tons of them so I assumed I would get them but figured I would try it out to see if I could prevent them. I also just started using Mamma Mio Get Waisted and really it as well.

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I haven’t used them and I can’t really judge without seeing the ingredient list and trying the products. Not everything I use postpartum is absolutely natural. I try to Make sure most products are natural while others are quick. And it’s still work in progress. I just discovered the desert essences line.

      Reply

  • AnnaK

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    Hi Elena! I’m not sure if you’re still checking these comments or still using these products, but I had a question about the Dr Jart cream. I just got some off amazon, and I’m thinking it might be counterfeit… you said it looks really white and feels like clay? Cause mine is beige and looks like regular foundation. And I wouldnt say it is hard to spread.
    Mainly wanted to check if yours has parabens? I saw all three kinds of parabens on the ingredient list – could that be right?!

    I went on the Dr Jart website and they dont even have the silver label cream on there…

    Reply

    • Elena @The Art of Making a Baby

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      I did once get Dr Jart that was a counterfeit and it was more water and smelled funky. If you want to email me a pic of what it looks like and how it applies, I can try to help you.
      I don’t have the bottle now so I can’t look at the ingredients, but I don’t believe I would have outright been ok with parabens.

      In the meantime I found a BB cream that works even better for me. It has similar coverage but gives more moisture. Try Amarte BB cream. It’s my new favorite.

      As far as the cream you got, email Amazon and tell them it’s counterfeit and they will get you refunded.

      Reply

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