lizard analogy explained below

since pregnancy my complexion has adopted what i’d like to call “lizard skin”. nobody talks about lizard skin, they only talk about that that glow that all pregnant women seem to bask under. not me, my skin went from kinda okay and normal to dry and red, yet also hormonal – seemingly overnight. i’ve never suffered from dry skin before. i panicked. i had to rethink my entire beauty regime. i contemplated dipping my face into a bowl of coconut oil.

instead, i took to the internet. i asked some savvy friends. and i just generally calmed down. that’s one thing i am finding strangely easy to do these days. i just tell myself it’s not worth stressing over, try to kick back and deal with the lizard skin. (also i started drinking more water because clearly my body is a desert right now)

i’d also like to ask you, if you have been or are pregnant, did you experience any weird skin issues? and what did you do? any magic tricks i should know about – please spare no details!

so, this is what i’ve been using. and here’s my way more detailed (and fun!) beauty post.

Beauty things that have helped me with my weird pregnancy skin

Body Stuff

1. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula

i used this legendary cream pre-pregnancy, because it is just the best. i basically just put it everywhere after having a shower. it’s cheap, and it has a handy pump thingimajig.

2. Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil

i’m using this because i’m deathly afraid of acquiring even more stretch marks. i already went through all that as a teen, okay? available in SA at Wellness Warehouse.

3. Sans Ceuticals Activator 7

this stuff just smells amazing. it is also apparently very good for elasticity and all those good things (will report back on this). i slather it all over.

Face Stuff

4. Sans Ceuticals Lip Aid

my lips have also been suffering hugely, i’m basically Chevy Chase in Three Amigos with his lip balm. this stuff is magical, it’s not tinted or flavoured or anything weird, just good old moisturising goodness.

5. Aesop Fabulous Face Oil

i have been using this for a few years, and enjoy it even more now that my skin is so parched. i actually use this under my usual moisturiser if it’s feeling particularly dry. it also helps with issues of redness and sensitivity. you can buy it in SA from Loading Bay.

6. Ordinary Skincare Co Night Cream

i received this as a sample before the pregnancy, tried it once & put it aside. i didn’t think i needed night cream (yet) and the scent reminded me of what i imagine all grandmas to smell like. but when my skin went rogue i gave it another shot out of desperation, and it REALLY changed my skin. i put it on my clean face at night & wake up in the morning feeling perfectly hydrated. you can buy it in SA at their online shop.

7. Skin Creamery Everyday Cream

this stuff is so good that i’m currently dipping my fingers into the last dregs of the bottle. the ingredients are all natural and you can use it on your face and body.


8. Freeman Avocado & Oatmeal Cleanser

i never really cared what face wash i used until now, a bad hangover from my teen days of just buying any old bottle of Neutrogena or Clearasil face washes. so i had to switch to a more gentle cleanser, but i also really like face washes that feel like you’re getting a proper wash. this stuff is a nice balance between the two. you can get it in SA at Dischem.

9. Body Shop Camomile Silky Cleansing Oil

i love cleansing oils (spoke more about them in this post). this one just works, and it’s cheap.

Things that make me look less like a lizard

10. LA Girl Pro HD BB Cream

i have been hoarding this stuff, because whenever i see it in stores it gets sold out. just yesterday i bought two bottles of two different shades. that’s when you know something is good! basically it’s like a subtle Instagram filter for your face. it’s not as much coverage as a foundation, so you don’t look too done up – but you don’t look like an angry lizard either. it’s perfect if you’re going into summer, when you generally wear less makeup since it melts off your face anyway. available in SA at Dischem.

11. Bourjois 123 Perfect CC Cream

if ever i were to brand something a “miracle product” this would be it. it’s one level up from number 10 – basically Photoshop for your face. it evens out your complexion and gives great coverage, while still looking natural. available in SA at Clicks. no lizards here.


  1. Preggie Miss Moss is so sweet (despite feeling reptilian)! Loving the new twist to your stuff.

  2. “Pregnancy glow”… LIES!!
    During my first trimester I got black eyes from all the throwing up that I was doing. Now (third trimester) my skin is just a worse version of what it used to be.
    BUT – since I had such a miserable time at the very beginning, some of my smile wrinkles have disappeared / become softer. So… yay? Total win?

    • By the way.
      Regarding stretch marks – I was told that you shouldn’t scratch your boobs and belly because this will directly cause them.
      I am currently losing my mind over this because I want to tear my belly to shreds. Need a frickin straight jacket to keep my nails at bay.

      • Michelle Erba Reply

        I am a student midwife…and I am here to to tell you ladies to itch your belly (and your boobies) and don’t invest in expensive creams! In fact, stretch marks are almost entirely hereditary and their is little (or nothing) you can do to prevent them. Did your mom get stretch marks? If she did, than you probably will too and vice versa. Ask any ole midwife this and she will tell you the same!!

      • While there are definitely many factors which influence the outcome of your skin (yes, your genes as well as your body type + the age that you got pregnant, etc.), there ARE things which can be done to directly prevent them from occurring in certain areas or getting worse. And trust me – don’t scratch your skin. Not that you can’t touch yourself at all when an itch occurs, but stay away when it gets vicious. Your skin is naturally stretching the fatter you get, so it’s in a delicate state – its elasticity can only go so far, so pulling and digging in to it with your nails will leave permanent marks.
        The same goes for moisturisers. Yes, super expensive “miracle” creams may be pointless, but moisturising in general is important and it absolutely helps.

  3. Ugh that sounds so not fun! I had a really crappy pregnancy rash with my first pregnancy called PUPPS (red itchy fairly untreatable rash that doesn’t go away until you have the baby!). It’s supposed to be most common in first pregnancies… but I’m pregnant again, and it’s just starting to show up again at 30 weeks. I am way, way bummed. I hope you don’t have to go through any of this itchy misery! And I will be going through your list above to see if there’s anything that might help, so thank you!!

    • Oh and I should say – I’ve had super dry lips too, and the lanolin cream that people use for nipples during breastfeeding is the best for keeping the dry lizard lips away!! Weird but does work.

  4. No glow here either! Just insanely dry and itchy skin. I’ve been dipping myself in Burt’s Bees baby oil after the shower. But the mister doesn’t exactly love that I smell like a baby. I’ve been looking for a product that has the same effect with a more mature scent. Love all these recommendations but even more that I’m not the only one feeling betrayed by the promises of pregnancy glow.

  5. aw, no fun! i remember breaking out like crazy because the influx of hormones, especially on my chin. i’ve been trying this French moisturizer brand, Avene, recommended by my derm and liking it!
    the glow will come, usually around the end of tri 2-3!

  6. I have eczema and ichythiosis (chronic lizard skin), and these are some of the things that i really love. E45 is so old school, but so brilliant. Try and avoid, fragrances, as this aggravates already dry skin. Cetaphil cleanser is great for your body/face. and Eucerin with urea is sticky going on, but a real lifesaver when your skin is barren desert. And try to avoid using a rough loofah or scrubber, instead use a soft natural sponge or just your hands. Hope this helps!

  7. I was so super concerned about getting stretch marks during my pregnancy, as my mum had them and i thought the might be in my DNA.. Luckily, i didn’t get any. This is what i was using:
    Cocoa Butter by Palmer’s – I kept a small tub at work, so I could reapply whenever my bum felt itchy. Moisturising helped the itchiness.
    Organic Almond Oil, as I read some women in France use it – thought I could not go wrong with that!
    Mountain Ocean Products: Mother’s Special Blend Skin Toning Oil – it has only natural ingredients and I wanted to keep it as simple and close to nature as possible. I really liked both oils, it just felt right to put those on.
    Besides, I made sure my body gets enough Omegas: I took these as a supplement (Udos choice ultimate oil blend for instance) and ate really healthily, very simple, mostly organic. Lots of avocado and soft boiled organic egg (!) for breakfast. I know that soft boiled egg is not allowed and have been told off by a health practitioner. In some Ayurvedic books it is advocated though as easy to digest and good source of nutrition. I suffered from a bad case of IBS at the time and breakfast of egg, avocado and yeast free/wheat free bread felt good. Also, lots of liquids and only one coffee a day (that was tough). oh, and i was making sure of not overeating as many believe that this makes the baby grow unnecessarily big, which, understandably, stretches the skin.
    I also wore a belt for pregnancy, which supported my bum and helped with backache.
    I believe that keeping it healthy and simple helps to harmoniously and gradually prepare body for growing.
    hope this helps! good luck!

  8. I only started “glowing” in my last trimester! so you might need to wait a little bit. Congrats

  9. Rosea is very common during pregnancy. Patchy dry red areas on the skin. You can clear it up quickly with a cortisone cream and then cut out all fragrances and fancy creams lotions make up etc. Have cooler showers. Never wash your face in the shower ( water too hot) and wear loose clothing made from natural fibres. Also wash clothes and bedding in a detergent for sensitive skin.
    I had terrible skin before getting pregnant but since kids it’s worked itself out? Much better.
    Good luck

    • thanks! i always wash my face in the shower, i see now i am going to have to change my habits.

  10. If you have someone coming from the UK or US any time soon, then the Weleda Stretchmark Oil is excellent (this post is a good round-up of oils – – and in fact, all her pregnancy posts are lovely), I know the debate around whether you can afffect stretch marks in any way is fraught, but I will say this – mine appeared around the back of my waist and under my boobs (charming! they’re like deep crevices), where I didn’t oil!

    • oh that’s so interesting… yes i mean, i’d rather just oil than NOT oil. i’ll see about getting my hands on some of that Weleda.

  11. It could be your diet, try cutting back on the dairy/ maybe cutting it out entirely. I had problems with my skin and this had a huge impact.

    • i actually only have a bit of cream in my coffee in the morning and that’s about it… i cut out diary a few times before pregnancy and it did nothing for my skin (fortunately, because i enjoy my cheese)

  12. One word: Aveeno. Inexpensive, fragrance free and seriously hydrating. It’s so effective I tried putting it on my baby’s scalp to get rid of the cradle cap scales… They get so hydrated they flake off. Gross sounding, but it’s that effective! Hope your skin feels better soon x

  13. Hello Diana!
    Firstly, congratulations to your pregnancy, I am very happy for you! Anyways, I wanted to tell you that when I was pregnant, I experienced two major changes – I was thirsty all the time and drank gallons of water, but my skin was better than anytime before (I have struggled with acne for my whole life). What I used for my face was just a pure and simple argan oil and I think it is the best thing I have ever used.

  14. I used to love ALL the fancy creams, but I decided to try and lay off the chemicals when I was pregnant and started using rose hip oil after seeing it recommended by Aussie beauty guru Zoe Foster Blake. Changed my life! Now it’s almost all I use (and I don’t stress out if my baby tries to eat my face).

  15. Anne Smith Reply

    Sorry to hear you’ve gone reptilian! My body skin was also super dry and itchy & I was deathly afraid of stretch marks during my recent pregnancy. I slathered my tummy with bio oil a few times a day. No stretch marks, yay!. During my 2nd trimester my face skin went completely bonkers… really sensitive and broke our big time . I looked like a fat version of my 15 year old self. Nothing really helped for it, just kept on using gentle dermalogica products and all settled by 3rd trimester. Good luck!!

  16. I had to comment because I know a miracle product for the face.One winter the same thing happened my face and nothing would work until I discovers clarins blue orchid face oil it fixed my dryness in three not sure about using it while pregnant so you would have to find out if it’s okay it has a very perfumed strong smell it’s a lovely smell but strong

  17. I started using the Palmer’s body cream and after 10 years I’ve kept using it because of the same reasons you list. And now I’ve discovered that they make it in a thick stick version and I always carry it with me because I’m the kind of person that carries a lot of crap in my bag and creams always ended up everywhere so cream on a stick rules! Also their skin therapy oil is even better than the cream for very dry skin.
    Hope the lizard skin gets better :)

  18. Hi Miss Moss,
    Contrats on the wonderful news. Currently in the beginning of my second trimester, second time around.
    I’ve had the most sensitive skin ever, my entire life and during my first pregnancy, I had such a hard time finding beauty products and makeup that a. didn’t make me break out in hives and/or pimples and b. didn’t make me gag from the strong perfume.
    I started using products from Biologique Recherche (P50W as a toner and the Vernix mask as day and night creams), I don’t know if you guys carry it on your side of the world, but they have been a godsend. I wash my face with the cult Bioderma
    I’d love to say I’m all into vegan-edible-non toxic-earth friendly products but my skin didn’t get that memo so I’m just getting over it.

    • … Aaand I pressed post before I could finish, sorry about that. The Mario Badescu drying lotion is pure magic during this pregnancy! No pimples, not even once during the first trimester. I kid you not. To finish, I’d highly recommend the Makeup Forever HD foundation which is basically pregnancy glow in a bottle year-round, no joke. Even if you can’t get the rest, get this, it will change the way you look and feel. And it covers e v e r y t h i n g without looking cakey.
      Happy pregnancy Miss Moss, enjoy every second of it. I look forward to reading your posts!

  19. I’m late, I know. Maybe your skin problems have been solved? You joke about dipping your face in a bowl of coconut oil, but that’s exactly what I think you should do. I’m halfway through my second pregnancy and slathering on my trusty coconut, jojoba oil, and 100% shea butter. I stay away from moisturizers that contain synthetic ingredients or alcohol. I didn’t get any stretch marks with my son, and I hope to be as lucky this time. I highly recommend reading Skin Cleanse, by Adina Grigore. Good luck, and congrats on your pregnancy! Enjoy it, the first time is SO intense and special.

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