So this is a really delayed post, because my skin started reacting to Bio-Oil at least 3 months ago (Sorry! On the bright side, I’ve found a really really good alternative for stretch marks since then).
In short, after 4 months of applying Bio-Oil onto my body daily to prevent stretch marks (I even put it on my Top 10 First Trimester Essentials list), I started developing a rash on my fingers and the top of my hand (mostly my right hand). It was itchy, annoying, bumpy and almost looked like really tiny blisters. Eurgh.
So I started on a hunt to nail the culprit of this rash. Because I wanted it to STOP and I hated scratching in the middle of the night! I grew up with eczema so it brought back a lot of memories. Plus, being pregnant, I wasn’t sure about applying steroid creams on the rash so I was relying on pure willpower to not scratch it.
First I stopped using normal hand wash and swapped over to Cetaphil. I also bought really good gloves for dishwashing, but even after all that, though the rash had improved slightly, it hadn’t disappeared.
One night, as I was applying Bio-Oil on myself (I do it just before bed) I noticed that I was predominantly using my right hand to apply it and by the end of the whole ‘ritual’, my hand would pretty much be covered in oil. And my right hand was the one that had the worse rash.
I looked up the ingredients of Bio-Oil (because they aren’t listed on the bottle, which I always thought was strange!) and it was just a long list of many things I didn’t understand. I searched online for comments on Bio-Oil ingredients and came across a few disturbing posts, including this one and this one, which say some chemicals in it can cause irritation to skin.
So I stopped using Bio-Oil and swapped over to virgin coconut oil (which a friend had just given me a bottle of). I figured since there were way less ingredients in coconut oil, that it was a good change anyway. To my surprise and delight, my rash steadily improved after that.
Now I pause here to admit that pretty much all products we use nowadays have a host of chemicals in them. I also know that pregnancy can lead to more sensitive skin (which I’m pretty sure is what happened to me) and I know of women who have been using Bio-Oil for years without a reaction. But I can say for sure that I’ve happily given up Bio-Oil in favour of coconut oil, and my skin is thanking me for it.
On the up side, coconut oil is also cheaper! I used up the oil my friend got me, so I bought a big 1L Country Farm Organics extra virgin coconut oil from my local Jaya Grocer for RM68 (with a free mini bottle). Win.
The only thing is that I really smell like lightly toasted coconut every night.