There is a commercial on the radio that drives me insane. (Um, am I the only human in NY that still listens to the radio?) It starts with something like, "Studies show that cocoa butter does NOT work to heal stretch marks! We repeat, it does NOT work!" Then they let you know that you just have to call their toll-free number to get their super-secret, super-special, super-effective (obvs) treatment that does work. We repeat: It. Does. Work. Not to mention that the super-secret ingredient is probably glycolic acid, which burns your skin and can run you up to $300 for one treatment. Or it may be retinoids, which you cannot use while you are pregnant or breastfeeding (A.K.A., right when you need the help). And it's true, the chemicals do work, but does it sound like it's worth it? Let me tell you how these chemicals work. It's super-simple actually: they increase collagen production and elasticity. They reverse the tightness that happens when your skin stretches out. You know what else does that? Shea butter. Aloe. Avocados and avocado oil. Vegetable glycerin. Lavender oil. And... cocoa butter. The key to making these ingredients work for you is using them preventatively. You can't just suddenly decide to apply topical treatments after ignoring what's been going on with your skin and health. Unfortunately, many women turn to cocoa butter, then lose their minds from frustration, and decide to drop a few hundred dollars on painful treatments or injections instead. You don't have to do that. Instead, try two things. First, watch your diet. Eating healthy fats and lots of vitamin C is actually the best way to prevent stretch marks in the first place. Second, take care of your skin regularly. The cocoa butter applications need to start before you get the stretch marks. It's so, so simple. Just buy any of the ingredients I mentioned above, and apply them to your skin as often as you think of it. Do it after you shower, or have your baby co-producer massage it onto your belly at night. Want a more deluxe option? Try this: 1 cup cocoa butter melted in a double boiler Take off burner Add 1/4 cup avocado oil Add 20-30 drops lavender oil You can store this in your cabinet for up to a year, and apply as much as you want. As often as you want. No burning skin. No doctors. For a total of about $10. Doesn't that sound like a way-better radio commercial? Get more info about S.W. Basics of Brooklyn here.
Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.