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As fall descends upon sun-worn skin, itchiness, irritation, and those small red bumps that make you tilt your head to the right and go huh? begin to signal that summer’s solutions just won’t cut it anymore. Now is the time to reach for all the unsexy stuff sold in big giant tubs – ceramides, colloidal oatmeal, petroleum jelly. To my surprise, when I was looking for these necessary-but-less-exciting skin-care actives, I stumbled upon the velvety, nourishing Summer Fridays Babymoon Belly Balm ($29) meant to help stretching pregnant bellies and super dry, angry skin.

So let’s back up a bit, yes? Last year, I found myself pregnant with twins, and my body was really going through the ringer as it made room for two new lives. According to Mona Gohara, MD, a dermatologist based in New Haven, CT, stretched-out bellies often itch due to the skin’s expansion. And one tried-and-true antidote is belly balm, which can soothe your skin by providing hydration and relief from inflammation.

Why Is Belly Balm Great For Aggravated Skin?

It’s these anti-inflammatory properties that made me continue slathering the stuff from head to toe after I gave birth. The stress we put our skin through (be it pregnancy, UV rays on beach days, or cool wind that cuts through skin) can cause inflammation, which can lead our skin barrier to not function optimally.

Take UV (the easiest environmental aggressor for beauty editors to pick on): when your skin absorbs the sun’s rays, skin cells are damaged. You may not be dealing with the immediate effects of sunburn, but regular exposure to UV radiation that takes place over time can add up and actually lead to a compromised skin barrier. When skin is compromised, it isn’t as able to hold onto water as easily to help it stay supple and moisturized; it also means that itch-associated nerve fibers get flipped on, so that your skin is dry and can feel insufferable to be in.

Now you might be thinking: big whoop. It’s fall, and I’m spending all day laying in the sun. But you would be wise to understand that this same stress-induced, chain-of-events-type reaction occurs over and over again, each time your skin is exposed to an aggressor. Cold air, a stretched tummy, scratchy fabrics, and other stimuli can all compromise your skin barrier, leaving you feeling itchy, red, aggravated, and on the hunt for all the skin-care actives that most resemble butt pastes.

Enter this balm. Packed with a blend of sunflower seed and avocado oils to help ramp up collagen production and repair the skin barrier, alongside vitamin E to boost elasticity and calendula oil to soothe stressed-out skin, the vegan Babymoon Balm is a multitasker that helps to combat the woes of summer and the threats of colder weather.

“Since pregnancy balms are so nourishing, they not only help soothe the skin and alleviate itchiness, but will also help protect the barrier from further damage and moisture loss,” says Dendy Engelman, MD, a New York City dermatologist.

What Does the Summer Fridays Babymoon Belly Balm Feel Like to Use?

When you first slather it on, the balm feels like velvet, melting into skin somewhere in between the texture of a lightweight argan oil and Aquaphor. But make no mistake, this stuff doesn’t feel like it will stick to everything you touch once it’s on your bod. Instead, it just helps to go about its business of repairing and hydrating while interfering with your life as little as possible (the highest praise for a product like this one).

I usually apply the Babymoon Belly Balm at night before I go to bed on the parts that get chapped – sort of like slugging my entire body – and when I wake up, my skin is really soft and itch-free. You know, like the midsummer-taking-a-dip-in-the-deep-blue-without-a-whisper-of-fall-in-the-air kind of skin that is now a faint memory. Babymoon, indeed.

Pros and Cons


  1. You can use the Babymoon Belly Balm to patch-treat parts of your body that are super dry without slathering it from head to toe. If you already have a body moisturizer you love, you can layer this on top of super-rough patches and be good to go.
  2. It’s occlusive, which means that it will form a physical barrier to keep water within your skin, leading to it being more hydrated and less itchy.
  3. Because of the vitamin E in the formula, pregnant people will find that while helping with elasticity, it also targets stretch marks.


  1. If you like to put your moisturizer on in the morning, this balm might not be for you – unless it’s on your belly or a small eczema patch. Its thick texture makes getting into jeans or pants difficult.
  2. It’s worth washing your hands after you apply it because it can leave some residue on things like your computer keys.
  3. There’s not (yet) a travel-size balm, so you can’t take it with you when you’re on the go.