The increased hormonal activity may lead some expectant women to experience melasma, or pregnancy mask — essentially, patches of brown spots that appear most often on the cheeks and forehead.
Although you may be under the impression that cocoa butter is best for moisturizing skin, the ideal ingredients for keeping the skin on the stomach hydrated (just as on the face) are actually lipid-rich oils like linoleic acid, soybean sterols, jojoba oil, phospholipid, borage oil, kukui nut oil, grapeseed oil, squalane, and rose hips seed oil. By helping to repair the skin’s protective barrier, these oils keep the skin strong and less resistant to tissue injury. If the moisture barrier is intact, then the skin will be better prepared to deal with the inevitable stretching, which often leads to marks. (There are some small studies I’ve seen confirming this.)
What To Avoid
While there are a lot of good products to remedy skin flare-ups, there are certain ingredients to avoid while expecting because of the harmful effects they may have on your fetus.
While you're being prudent, you should also stay away from salicylic acid. This ingredient, commonly found in products formulated for acne and clogged pores, is a derivative of aspirin and one that a large number of gynecologists suggest steering clear of during pregnancy.
Furthermore, phthalates (found in artificial fragrances) should be avoided because studies have shown that this ingredient may have an effect on pregnancy hormones.