Women's Healthcare Topics

Lotions for Pregnant Bellies

Reviewed by James Brann, M.D.

Which Product is the Best?

In the pregnancy quest for the best belly lotion, I’ve made frequent use of three products. For those of you interested in selecting a belly lotion to help you resist the stretch marks, itchy dry skin, and taut feeling that accompany a growing tummy, I thought I’d offer my two cents on these items, all of which are relatively affordable and each of which has its high points.


Belly Lotion Numero Uno: Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter

A gift from my little sister, this Belly Butter has a number of good features. Firstly, it’s unscented, so you can use it on the belly, hips, back, and other potential stretch-mark prone areas and still use a scented lotion or perfume elsewhere without clashing scents.

Another definite pro is its largely natural list of ingredients (99.0% natural). In keeping with Burt’s Bees general skin care line, it doesn’t contain harsh dyes, parabens, phthalates, or petrochemicals that could irritate sensitive skin, and I’ve been pleased with how long it’s lasting, despite using a large quantity with each application.

This product seems to moisturize fairly well and does not leave a greasy feeling on the skin. However, in comparison to the other two lotions featured here, it doesn’t seem to last as long, even when applied thickly right after a shower. All in all, it’s a nice lotion that is light and easy to wear, but I don’t feel like it offers as much staying power as the two competitors below.

Body lotions which is best in pregnancy.

Belly Lotion Numero Dos: Lubriderm Advanced Therapy Lotion

This one’s “dermatologist developed,” or at least the label tells me so. I have to admit, this variety of Lubriderm seems equally safe for sensitive skin as the Burt’s Bees.

Lubriderm is virtually unscented and offers vitamins E and B5. It is a tiny bit thicker than the Burt’s Bees cream, and seems to offer a nicer seal over your skin; I think this lotion moisturizes better and lasts longer than Burt’s Bees. It does seem to leave a bit of a coating on your hands after applying that isn’t quite greasy, but it absorbs relatively quickly into the skin overall.

Unlike the Burt’s Bees, I feel like this lotion is cost-effective for total body use. It does a killer job on dry knees and elbows, and seemed to heal my itchy & scratchy dry skin from several weeks ago fairly well, with no added irritation.

Belly Lotion Numero Tres: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula

Specifically marketed toward pregnant women, Palmer’s little tub of Cocoa Butter Formula is a treat for stretching bellies. Free of harsh additives, this lotion offers Vitamin E, a classic cocoa butter scent, and long-lasting moisturizing power. The cocoa butter does leave skin noticeably (but not overpoweringly) scented; it’s pleasant but could interfere with other scented perfume or lotion you might want to apply elsewhere. Palmer’s is by far the greasiest or waxiest of the three options, but it is delightfully rich and really keeps your skin feeling soft and moist for a solid 24 hours.

Its texture is like firm petroleum jelly, so you have to rub it in between your hands to warm and soften it before applying; this makes for a warm and soothing application that helps soothe stretched tummy muscles as well as dry skin. I would only recommend this lotion for the belly and targeted stretch mark zones, as well as dry knees and elbows, due to the greasy residue. As a heads up, you will have to rub any remaining cream off onto other dry skin or a towel, as the lotion creates a heck of a water barrier.

Product Verdict: Which is Best for the Belly?

Overall, I’d say each of these products has its good features. The product you will prefer will depend on how important ingredients, price, scent, and moisturizing power are to you. If you want a light, non-greasy and unscented lotion for the belly, opt for Burt’s Bees.

If you want a long-lasting, all-over body lotion that won’t irritate, opt for Lubriderm. If you want the max moisturizing and can handle a little grease and cocoa butter scent, opt for Palmer’s. For the price, I prefer Lubriderm over Burt’s Bees. For moisture and anti-stretch protection, however, I prefer Palmer’s over Lubriderm.

If I had to choose just one, however, I’d go with the Lubriderm. It offers the nice all-over body potential of Burt’s Bees for less money, and it provides the long-lasting moisturizing potential of Palmer’s without the scent or as much grease.

That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it. Hope my at-home test lab is useful for you!

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