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Oil Cleansing Method (OCM): How-to with Bump Gloss

If you’ve been following natural beauty blogs, you’ve probably heard about the Oil Cleansing Method. The process is as old as Cleopatra and even Hollywood cuties Ginnifer Goodwin and Zooey Deschanel swear by it.

Well, what is OCM? It’s cleansing your face — brace yourself – with oil.

Now don’t raise that judgmental brow at me. This age-old beauty routine has proven itself time and time again. And upon my own investigation, I’m now a believer! My skin, usually dry and a bit dull, has been LOVING this nurturing oil treatment.

OCM lovers credit the ritual with clearing up greasy, rough and pimply skin, as well as unclogging pores and blackheads. What’s left is clean, rejuvenated, glowing skin — and who doesn’t want that!

So what’s the magic behind this?

The Oil Cleansing Method rests on this simple principle:

Oil dissolves oil.

By massaging oil into the skin, the formula breaks down dirt, makeup and excess oils your skin may be producing.

Instead of boring you with how-to’s that have been so well documented at sites like Almost Exactly, I’m going to focus on why the gentle, nutrient-packed Bump Gloss stretch mark oil is actually the perfect OCM blend for your face!

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While some beauties use simple olive oil or a castor oil mixed with a carrier oil, advanced oil blends give you a host of additional nutrients and benefits.

Here’s what you get with our oil blend for OCM (and why it’ll rock your world!)

First off, always choose the best organic, cold-pressed and unrefined oils you can your hands on. Refined oils are a big no-no because heat destroys all the awesome stuff you want to put on your skin. Here’s the breakdown of Bump Gloss:

Organic Olive OilFull of antioxidants that help repair skin damage from sun exposure, cigarette smoke and other pollutants. Adds elasticity and promotes soft, supple skin.

Organic Jojoba OilGreat for all skin types, especially acne-prone, sunburned or chapped skin. Rich in natural fats that mimic those in the outer layer of skin. Reduces natural moisture loss from skin. Quick absorption.

Organic Borage Seed Oil - Restores dry or damaged skin. Improves the health and appearance of skin. Treats redness, inflammation and moisture loss.

Organic Rosehip Oil - Great for sensitive, normal or dry skin.  Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, non-greasy and easily absorbed. Natural acne and eczema treatment.

Organic Tamanu Oil Great for all skin types. Tamanu oil helps heal scars (including acne scars!), encourages new skin cell growth and is an effective treatment for sunburns and dry skin. Has anti-inflammatory, anti-microbrial and anti-oxidant properties. This stuff is the best! (And the price tag reflects that.)

Organic Calendula Oil - Naturally brightens skin and protects from blemishes. Anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial and antiseptic. Treats dermatitis, eczema and dry skin.

Organic Avocado Oil - Great for dry and aging skin. Easily absorbed into skin, and great for eczema and psoriasis.

Shea Oil Full of nutrients, including vitamin A, which helps treat blemishes, wrinkles, eczema and dermatitis. Anti-inflammatory.

Apricot Oil - Perfect for dry, aging, oily or normal skin. Light, easily absorbable. Rich in gamma linoleic acid, which helps maintain skin’s moisture balance. Firms and tones skin.

Organic Vitamin E OilMoisturizes, adds elasticity and promotes new skin cell growth. Nourishing, nutritive and perfect for dry, damaged or aging skin.

Now on to the essential oils!

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When using the oil cleansing method, essential oils provide a further enhanced and therapeutic skin treatment. Essential oils are teeny tiny in molecular size, so they can easily absorb into the skin and work their magic.

When shopping for essential oils, you’ll want the purest stuff you can find. Since organic skincare is sort of our thing, we only purchase from ethical suppliers that offer organic essential oils grown without icky pesticides.

As for Bump Gloss, we mix this trio to create the stretch mark oil‘s signature therapeutic fragrance:

Lavender essential oil - Great for oily, aging or acne-prone skin. Promotes relaxation and serenity when used for aromatherapy.

Chamomile essential oilSoothes sensitive, dry and aging skin.

Neroli essential oilRegenerates skin cells for dry and aging skin. Promotes smoother skin; anti-microbial.

A few more notes on the Oil Cleansing Method:

  • Many use castor oil in their OCM blend; however, the jury is out on whether topical application of castor oil is OK during pregnancy. Castor oil makes the OCM blend easier to remove; however, it’s not necessary for an oil cleanse. As always, ask your doctor if you’re unsure.
  • Try Bump Gloss on a small patch of your face to make sure your skin doesn’t react adversely. While the oil blend is great for sensitive skin, everyone reacts differently.
  • If you’re just beginning, do the oil cleansing method every other day to see how your skin reacts. Many do it every night, while others do it once a week. If you have extremely oily or acne-prone skin, you may cleanse every night and taper it off to every few days as your skin clears. The rule here is PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SKIN!
  • After washing off the oil, many find they don’t need to moisturize. However, if your skin is still a bit dry (like mine), add a couple drops of back of oil back to your face to moisturize.
  • OCM isn’t for everyone. If you decide it’s not for you, Bump Gloss is still perfectly awesome as a facial oil, stretch mark oil or perineal massage oil — a win-win if you ask me!

Have you tried the Oil Cleansing Method? What’s in your OCM recipe? Share below!

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Things to do in your first trimester

Release the balloons: you’re pregnant! Whether it’s been a work in progress or an unexpected surprise, your first pregnancy can be joyous, overwhelming and a bit scary. But fret not, Mama — we’ve been there and live to tell about it…with happy, healthy children in tow.

Five actions to prioritize in your first trimester

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Yay, you’re pregnant! Now what?


1. See your doctor or midwife.
 Whether choosing a midwife or OB/GYN, find a care provider who respects you and your right to informed consent. Keep in mind you don’t have to do it alone. Bringing your partner to prenatal appointments can help him feel more involved throughout the pregnancy and provide you support as well. 

2. Eat for two. This is probably one of the biggest perks of pregnancy, but despite popular belief, “eating for two” doesn’t mean doubling your calories. According to the NICHD, pregnant women only need to increase their caloric intake by about 300 a day! To make those calories count, choose nutrient dense foods that will serve you and your baby. Here are some must-eat foods for your first trimester.

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3. Get off your booty. Keeping fit through pregnancy is basically a win-win for you and baby. Not only will it help you bounce back to your pre-pregnancy bod, it has benefits associated with a healthier pregnancy outcome and even shorter labor. Before you continue with your previous exercise routine or begin a new one, discuss the changes with your doctor or midwife. 

4. Take care of your skin. Unless you’re blessed with amazing genes (in which case, go thank your mother right now!), you’ll probably have to deal with one or more of the following pregnancy skincare issues: acne, melasma (aka “the mask of pregnancy”), itchy skin and stretch marks. Especially with stretch mark prevention, it’s never too early to begin hydrating and adding elasticity to your developing bump. No matter your concerns, choose organic pregnancy skincare that’s safe for you and baby.

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By its very nature, pregnancy is stressful; however, don’t let that affect the health of your baby.

5. Chill outIt’s natural to feel overwhelmed, but stress can negatively affect you and your growing babe. According to Calvin Hobel, MD, vice chairman of the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles:

 “What many women don’t realize is that, in and of itself, pregnancy is a stressful event. Your heart rate increases, your blood volume increases, your weight increases, there is additional stress on ligaments and bones. So just the physical aspects of pregnancy can add to your load.”

Stress can increase the risk of low birth weight and premature birth, so give yourself permission to check out and kick back.

What are your top concerns during the first trimester? How have you dealt with stress? Share below!

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Postpartum recovery essentials + checklist

Finally. After 40 weeks of sweat pants, hairy legs,  awkward sleeping positions and intense labor — you’re finally ready to take home your little bundle of joy…hooray!

But if you find yourself overwhelmed with your postpartum experience, you’re not alone. Many first-time mothers are so occupied with planning for their baby’s arrival, that the discussion of after birth recovery is all but forgotten.

While every woman’s birthing experience is different, here’s a list of postpartum recovery essentials to keep in mind. Mamas, take note!

  •  Ask for help, and don’t be afraid to receive it. No one expects you to be Super Mom, and overexerting yourself will certainly delay your recovery. If you have the support, let your partner, family members and friends bring you meals, run to the grocery store or do a couple loads of laundry.
  • Don’t be afraid to say “no.” Naturally, everyone is super excited and can’t wait to meet the little bundle of goodness. However, it’s exhausting to play hostess. Give yourself space when you need it, and your loved ones will understand.
  • Disposable undies are your new BFF. I always advise new Mamas to take a bunch of these home from the hospital if they can — they are great! Postpartum bleeding can last up to six weeks, so avoid the extra laundry and spot cleaning if you can.
  •  Stock up on ice packs incase of tearing during birth or swelling after.
  • Buy some super absorbent pads.  It’s kind of a war zone down there after birth, so be prepared! If your hospital has ‘em, ask for extra thick pads to take home (some women prefer using Always overnight pads — but anything thick, long and absorbent will do the trick). Once the heavy bleeding subsides, thinner pads and panty liners will do.
  • Take some me-time. This may be the hardest lesson new Mamas have to learn. While you may want to be there for every moment, you will quickly wear yourself down being everywhere at once. A big part of recovery is taking care of your own emotional and mental needs. Don’t be afraid to treat yourself to whatever luxuries you can afford, whether it’s a soak in the tub, a massage or catching up on “The Real Housewives…”
  • Take care of your postpartum bod. Whether you have a C-section or vaginal birth, one thing is true: your body is changing once again! It’s critical to begin a healthy after birth diet and proactive skincare regimen during this transitional period. For example, early treatment of stretch marks and C-section scars, will greatly reduce healing time and appearance.

What’s on YOUR postpartum checklist? Share below!

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C-section skincare & scar recovery

After safety and recovery concerns, Mamas prepping for Caesarean sections will commonly ask the same question: “But Doc, won’t I shave a nasty C-section scar for the rest of my life?”

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After two Caesareans, I can tell ya Mamas: it’s not that bad.

With patience and proper postpartum skincare, you can minimize healing time and reduce the appearance of scars.

Here’s everything you need to know about C-sections and your skin:

Every year, approximately 1/3 of pregnant women in America deliver via Caesarean section. In fact, it’s the most common operation in U.S. hospitals. If you want a overview, here’s one of my favorite articles on what to expect with C-sections.

How big will my C-section scar be? Most Mamas imagine the worst; however, incisions are surprisingly small. A majority of cuts are four to six inches, running parallel below the bikini line. With this incision, many Mamas find they can cover their scar even in a skimpy bikini! In rare cases, doctors will do a vertical incision below the belly button — but again, that’s in emergencies only.

What will my C-section scar look like? Like most wounds, the healing process for a C-section will be the same. At first, the incision will likely ooze a small amount of clear fluid discharge, and – like pregnancy stretch marks — be raised and red or purple in color. As it heals, itchiness, sensitivity and soreness is common. After several months, the wound will shrink and fade to a flat, silvery scar.

Can I make my C-section scar heal more quickly? Yes M’am! Once you get the thumbs up from your doctor that your wound has closed, you can begin treating the  scar. Most women use a combo of vitamin E and cocoa butter, while others head straight for the Mederma. For me, I continued using Tummy Butter, our cocoa butter for stretch marks and Caesarean scars.

Tamanu oil has been been used on scrapes, cuts and scars for centuries. Not only does it relieve sharp pain, it's antimicrobial and helps healthy skin regeneration!
Tamanu oil has been been used on scrapes, cuts and scars for centuries. Not only does it relieve sharp pain, it’s antimicrobial and helps healthy skin regeneration!

Unlike Mederma, Tummy Butter also helps subside the insane itching that can accompany the healing process. Tummy Butter also contains amazing tamanu oil, which has been used for ages to treat scrapes, cuts and accelerate wound healing.

To expedite healing, treat your wound before it has completely scarred. While it’s in its pink-purple stage, massage the surface twice a day with Tummy Butter for a few minutes. This increases blood circulation and helps the scar remain pliable. Meanwhile Tummy Butter’s vitamin E and cocoa butter moisturizes dry skin by penetrating the skin’s deepest layers.

Have you had a C-section? How did your scar heal? Share your experiences below!

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Inspiring celebrity Mamas who normalize breastfeeding

Ah, how quickly World Breastfeeding Week has come and gone. This year, Mamas took to social media in full force to share personal breastfeeding stories, advice and — my fave — nursing photos!

After actress Olivia Wilde’s breastfeeding photo went viral this week, it became apparent society needs more exposure to images of women breastfeeding. I mean, it was only two months ago that Facebook lifted its ban on nursing pics in light of the #FreetheNipple movement.

So after oohing and ahhing over hundreds of wonderful images of breastfeeding Mamas this week, here are some of our favorite celebrity nursing photos.

Hopefully they will inspire you to nurse free, proud and often!

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Celeb Mama & singer Gwen Stefani sits in the shadows of the Swiss Alps as she breastfeeds third kid Apollo. On nursing her previous child, Zuma:

“I didn’t want (Zuma to quit), it felt like a total rejection. It was really hormonal, and trying to stop in the middle of the tour was insane.”

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On Aug. 2, our fave 90s rocker Alanis Morissette celebrated World Breastfeeding Week by Instagramming an old photo of herself nursing her baby boy Ever. Look at the smile!

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Actress/model Jaime King looks ethereal on her Instagram as she nurses eight-month-old James Knight. Wrote King, “These are the moments a mother lives for. Breastfeeding should not be taboo — and bottle feeding should not be judged — it’s ALL fun for the whole family :).”

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Funny lady and actress Julie Bowen of “Modern Family” shows off her twins…with the twins! Now that’s some multitasking.

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When your baby is hungry, she’s hungry! Supermodel Gisele Bundchen proves a Mama’s job never stops in this now infamous photo.

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One of our favorite actresses, Maggie Gyllenhaal proudly breastfeeds daughter Ramona publicly in New York City. Last year, she went on “Chelsea Lately” to explain how she managed breastfeeding while working on set.

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Singer Pink considers herself “one of those militant breastfeeder women” — and isn’t afraid to put you in your place if you question her. Said Pink, “I think breastfeeding is healthy and natural, and it’s a comfort to my baby.”

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And finally, the image that got the internet all abuzz this week: Olivia Wilde nursing son Otis. Photographed for September 2014′s Glamour magazine, the actress spoke fondly of the photo shoot:

Being shot with Otis is so perfect because any portrait of me right now isn’t complete without my identity as a mother being a part of that. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing. I don’t know, now it feels like Otis should always be on my breast. It felt like we were capturing that multifaceted woman we’ve been discussing – that we know we can be.”

Which is your favorite nursing photo? How can we further normalize breastfeeding?  Share your thoughts below!

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Thoughts on pregnancy and motherhood from your favorite maternity skincare line

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