The increased sense of smell can play havoc on your life if you're pregnant. Suddenly scents you once loved are vomit-inducing. Your lotion, shampoo, and facial soaps can become your worst enemies. So what do you do? You have to replace them with a more subtle or fragrance free alternative. I had to figure this out by trial and error. That doesn't mean you have to.
First, it should be noted that companies like Burt's Bees, Avalon, and Alba have fragrance free options. However, if you check out these product lines, you'll notice immediately that you're paying PREMIUM prices.
I don't know about you, but I'd rather not spend $11.00 on a 4 oz bottle of shampoo.
So what is a preggo lady to do? Well, you can benefit from my trial and error.
First, let's examine the options for haircare. I will admit my chief concern with haircare was shampoo and conditioner. This is because when you're in the shower the steam helps to enhance the smell of whatever products you're using. Suddenly "Head and Shoulders" was "Head To the Toilet." Christian, good man that he is, smelled an obscene amount of shampoos. The best he found was Prell. Yes, Prell! It has a lilac scent. It's simple. It's dirt cheap. It works. Prell also has a conditioner, making it a completely inoffensive scent haircare combo for those on a budget.
A second option? Suave. All Suave choices are not created equal. I like the Moroccan knock-off in the gold bottle. It smells like a lightly floral chocolate. It doesn't overwhelm or overpower, and like Prell, has a corresponding conditioner.
What about body wash or soap? I'll be frank. Most body washes are down right putrid when you're pregnant. I couldn't handle the thought of wading through the gagging scents as I tried to find a budget option. Instead, I pulled out a hand-milled bar of soap I'd gotten from a living museum. Obviously you don't need to get basic soap from a living museum, but this should help direct you to some real life budget options. I recommend checking out good-ole Ivory. If you want to be a little more swank, go for my typical favorite corp bar soap - Dove (which also comes in sensitive). These soaps barely register on the preggo sniffer which makes them IDEAL. They're also incredibly budget friendly and can be found EVERYWHERE.
When it comes to your face, it's better to be a little more discerning. I *did* wade through some scents on this one because face wash is something that actually comes in contact with my nose. I didn't just want to tolerate whatever smell of product I was using. I wanted to love it. Welcome Purpose face wash! This is a Johnson and Johnson product that while being cited as great, is under appreciated. This stuff smells light and clean, but doesn't come even close to overpowering. I ENJOY using it. Like most face washes, it is a little pricier than other products (about twice as much as that bottle of Suave shampoo you just picked up)
I might have picked up the lotion attached to my face wash if they had a night version available at the store where I was, but they didn't. So I looked around and actually bit the bullet for Burt's Bees sensitive night cream. Yes, it is pricey, but it IS low on the fragrance scale (though I have to say I don't like the cotton smell as much as I like Purpose's clean scent) and it works for delicate preggo lady skin.
I did NOT check out alternative toners or day lotion. This is because I have used witch hazel forever with great success. There was a *short* period where the witch hazel scent was...ahem...difficult, but I got over it quickly. The price and it's effectiveness was enough to keep me loyal despite the temporary preggo sniffer setback.
As to my day lotion, I get the Target knock-off of Aveeno's lotion. It's cheaper but has the same ingredients and I love the light summer sunblock scent. It always makes me happy!
And how do I keep the rest of my skin moisturized? I like the shea and cocoa butter based lotions. There are plenty of them out there with all variety of scents. The one most often suggested for preggo ladies trying to prevent stretch-marks is Palmer's. I have used it in the past and liked it well enough, however as summer hits, I'm not sure how much of the thick goop I'm going to want on my skin. We'll have to experiment.
One thing every preggo lady MUST HAVE in her skin regime is sun-block. I absolutely LOVE the sprays. I can't get enough of them. I used them before I was preggo, and I use them daily now. While I have a knock-off Target version, the other name brands are close enough in price that even the brand slave won't feel too put out by shelling out a few extra bucks for the label. The knock-off doesn't have a strong smell but I do recommend applying any spray in a well ventilated area. I haven't had any problems with them since being pregnant.
So there you have it. Every thing in low or no fragrance on a budget - perfect for the discerning mommy-to-be who wants to save a buck (probably to spend later on that Diono Radian Rxt Car Seat in Shadow). Enjoy your scent liberation!