Being pregnant or the parent of a new baby is an exciting time, but it’s also thoroughly exhausting.
Those hair changes, skin sensitivities, the nausea, daily emotional rollercoaster rides and being unable to reach below your hips can, understandably, stress you out. What you need sometimes is a bit of pampering, and yes, your pampering products can be totally ethical!
There’s no official advice from the NHS about exposure to chemicals in beauty products, but it makes sense to avoid anything too harsh. Your skin’s likely to be more sensitive when you’re expecting. The products reviewed here are all gentle on your skin and kind to the environment.
The Body Shop Rainforest Moisture Hair Butter
Hair has a mind of its own during pregnancy and it’s likely to grow at a faster rate too. A good quality intensive conditioner will help keep it manageable. The Body Shop only sells cruelty-free products and it has a Community Trade project ensuring growers and farmers are treated fairly. Its recycling stats are impressive too.
Scent: The scent is clean and fresh without being overpowering – I can’t put my finger on the exact scent though.
Feel: It feels silky and moisturising.
Results: After five minutes it left my hair soft and tangle-free right to the tips. It didn’t irritate my sensitive scalp either.
Affordability: 50ml costs £3 which was enough for two applications on my long coarse hair. The full size 200mls is £8.
The Body Shop Peppermint Cooling Foot Spray
Pregnant feet have a tough time with extra liquid making them swell up and sweat. A cooling foot spray can really help to soothe tired feet.
Smell: The scent is fresh and strong. It’s a little overpowering at first, but after a few minutes it settles into a refreshing tingle.
Feel: It’s not slippery at all and after 20 minutes my feet still felt cool.
Results: It certainly refreshes tired toes. The main problem I found when pregnant was that I couldn’t reach my feet, so the spray is a godsend because it reaches a good ten inches.
Affordability: It’s £6.50 so a bit pricey for a foot spray, but pregnant ladies with swollen and pulsing feet will definitely appreciate it.
Superdrug B. Restored Eye Cream
Pregnant ladies and new mums often sleep badly, so a cooling eye cream is an essential treat – particularly since you’ll be cutting down on caffeine! Superdrug have pulled it out of the bag with their vegan B range which is also cruelty free.
Smell: There’s no smell that I could detect.
Feel: It feels light and cooling and it sank in quickly to my skin.
Results: This is a skin phase 3 product, meaning it’s designed for women in the 40-50 age range, but I don’t care about that as long as it does the job! My eye bags did look refreshed and smoother after using it three times.
Affordability: It’s £10 for 15ml which isn’t bad considering what you’d pay for well known brands that are not so ethical.
Lush Therapy Bar
All Lush products are cruelty free and they actively fight against animal testing – each year they give £250,000 to anti-testing innovators. Their packaging is recyclable and they’re removing environment-harming palm oil from products too. The Therapy bar was recommended by staff because it helps prevent stretch marks and contains organic lavender, neroli and sweet wild orange to raise serotonin levels.
Smell: Clean and relaxing – the scent became stronger as it warmed up.
Feel: Therapy bar melts with skin contact so it takes a while to get going. It’s worth it though because the texture is slippery without feeling oily.
Results: It leaves you feeling properly moisturised and chilled out. My six year old son Max used it too and his skin didn’t react at all.
Affordability: It’s £6.50 a bar. I’ve used mine three times and it doesn’t look much smaller, so I think it’ll last a long time and be worth the money.
Burt’s Bees’ Mama Bee Nourishing Body Oil
Burt’s Bees are Leaping Bunny certified, so you know it’s cruelty free, and they do great things for sustainability too. If you’re worried about stretch marks this is an environmentally-friendly alternative to Bio-Oil.
Smell: It smells like lemons.
Feel: It’s slippery and stays on the skin for around an hour. Burt’s Bees say you can use it on your baby and Max had no reaction to it.
Results: Moisturised soft skin that felt really clean and I didn’t get any insect bites either despite having been bitten all month. I’d say this easily compares to other body oils and it’ll do as good a job on stretch marks.
Affordability: It’s £9.99 for 115ml whereas Bio Oil is £8.99 for 60ml in Superdrug. So it’s cheaper, environmentally friendly and just as good in my opinion.
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Leg and Foot Cream
This is a peppermint oil and rosemary extract cream with no parabens or other chemicals. It soothes and conditions tired legs and feet – just what the doctor ordered for exhausted, aching pregnant ladies.
Smell: It smells of peppermint and is maybe just a touch too strong for sensitive ladies.
Feel: It’s a thick substantial cream that soaks into the skin and leaves you tingling.
Results: This is a great tired leg pick-me-up and even better if you can get someone else to apply it! It does a great job of nourishing the skin and helping you feel refreshed.
Affordability: It’s £12.99 so not cheap, but if your legs are suffering, it’s worth it – especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
Beauty Without Cruelty Natural Infusion Moisturising Lipstick – Paprika 79
If you’re pregnant or a new mum, sometimes getting dressed is about all you can manage in the morning. A bright lipstick can make you look and feel great without the need for any other makeup. Many red-toned lipsticks are coloured with Carmine (made from crushed up beetles) but BWC won’t use it. They are cruelty-free, Leaping Bunny certificated and environmentally friendly. All BWC products are suitable for vegans too.
Smell: There’s very little scent.
Feel: This is a matte lipstick so it feels drier on your lips than some, but it’ll also last longer, meaning there’s less to do on your twentieth loo trip.
Results: I love the russet shade and it lasts for hours, even after drinks and snacks. An instant pick-me-up when you feel like a balloon.
Affordability: It’s £9.99, which is more than your usual Rimmel et al prices but this is worth it for the ethical animal-friendly choice.
Go Forth and Feel Good
It’s so important to relax and make yourself feel good when you’re expecting. Pregnant and new mums need time for themselves too! Hopefully we’ve shown that you don’t need to compromise your values when you’re pregnant and want to feel fab. After all, being kind to our planet is another way of keeping our world safer for your new baby.