x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

The Beauty Spy: pregnancy beauty

The Beauty Spy shares her secrets on beauty products for mothers-to-be.

What is the first thing a woman thinks when she discovers that she is pregnant? Will it be a girl or a boy? Who should I tell first? No, it is "in what way will this little tyke damage my body?"

Just as there is no such thing as a free lunch, there is no such thing as a pregnancy that leaves no mark, whether it be in weight gained, Caesarian scars acquired or that old favourite: stretch marks.

I will deal with those first. To be brutally honest, if your mother is covered in stretch marks then the chances are you will be too. But there are things you can do to avoid them. First, don't let pregnancy be an excuse to sit around eating doughnuts all day. The stretching your skin has to do to accommodate the baby is quite enough.

Second, moisturise, every day, even at the beginning. Rub that cream or oil into your thighs, hips, stomach and buttocks. The one I used for all my pregnancies (just the smell of it now makes me feel slightly anxious) was Clarins Huile Tonic Body Treatment Oil. I swear by it, but you can also go for products such as cocoa butter or any kind of cream containing vitamin E.

If you are opting for a Caesarian, invest in some scar-busting products for afterwards, such as the Dermatix Silicone Gel, or the Bio-Oil mentioned in our 3 of the Best.

In some women the higher levels of hormones can cause a bout of acne, which is seriously unhelpful as you're already feeling like a hippo. Treat this as you would any skin outbreak if you weren't pregnant - that is, stay indoors and cry. OK, if that's not an option, treat your acne gently - don't try to scrub it off, which will just make it worse - and pat your skin dry rather than rub it. Use water-based make-up as opposed to oil-based; this applies to creams as well. Make sure all products are labelled non-comedogenic or non-acnegenic, which means they won't clog your pores. I love a product that you will need to invest in for your baby but you can also use as a cleanser: L'Occitane Eau Maman & Bebe. Pregnancy acne can come and go like April showers, or it can stay with you throughout; what a joyous thought. Do men get acne when we're pregnant? I think not.

The good news is that whatever else happens, your hair will look glorious. For some reason it stops falling out at quite the same rate and actually grows more quickly when you're pregnant. The downside is this also applies to body hair. What did I tell you about a free lunch?


M Loves


When it comes to changing mascara, we can be painfully picky. It has to be black enough, thick enough (without being too clumpy) and, most important, the wand has to be just right. This new Rimmel mascara ticks all the right boxes. For starters we needed only one stroke of the "volume" wand to get dark dramatic lashes, then the "length" wand separated any fine clumps and extended our lashes. For a daytime look, use the "length" section alone and then use both for evening glamour. Dh47, stockists nationwide


3 of the best

BOO BOO SUPER STRETCHY MIRACLE OIL, DH90 Prevent stretch marks with this luxurious blend of oils: argan oil, rich in omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids, firms and helps to restore the elasticity in your skin, while passion flower and sweet almond oils soothe and soften.

BIO OIL, DH100 Beloved by women the world over for its ability to erase scars and stretch marks and to improve skin tone - not to mention as a multi-tasking moisturiser.

ELEMIS JAPANESE CAMELLIA OIL, DH225 A pregnancy beauty staple of Victoria Beckham, this oil is easily absorbed and is rich in plant collagen. Ideal for helping to prevent stretch marks, soothe aching legs and improve skin elasticity and condition.