Pregnancy is hard on the skin, and since I got pregnant, I have been paying extra-special attention to how I treat mine. Products for stretch marks, for discoloration, for intense moisture, the whole 9 yards. Some have worked wonderfully; some have been completely worthless. Given this focus, though, I was stoked to get the opportunity to review a new product from Dove®, VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash. The body wash is designed to promote elasticity and strength in your skin (important when you're fighting stretch marks!) and promises "visibly more beautiful skin" in just one week of use. It contains Dove's highest concentration of "NutriumMoisture technology," including ingredients like Vitamin E, glycerin, and stearic acid.

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For me, there are three major components to whether I like a beauty product: accessibility, experience, and results. Accessibility basically comes down to cost and availability--can I get it somewhere I go often, or order it easily online? Is it cost prohibitive? Dove's body wash gets a gold star in this category--it's widely available and inexpensive, retailing at about $6.69 for an 18 oz bottle. Score!

Probably my most important criteria is experience--do I enjoy using this product? In the case of a body wash, the experience includes the fragrance, the feel of it on my skin, how it lathers, how clean it rinses, etc. The VisibleCare™ Toning Crème Body Wash did pretty well on this count, too. The scent, which is a "warm ylang ylang and delicate wood fragrance with robust citrus notes of mandarin and Italian bergamot," is a bit strong and long lasting for me--it smells nice, but it lingers in a way that I don't love, since I like to wear other scented products. The rest of the experience of using it, however, is very nice. It makes a soft, rich lather that feels moisturizing as you use it (I tried with a washcloth, a shower pouf, and my hands and got great lather every time). It feels rich, but it rinses clean and leaves no residue feeling. Using it feels like using a more expensive product, which is really nice.

Finally, the results: I wouldn't go quite so far as to say that my skin visibly changed with one week of use, but it is certainly looking and feeling nice, especially given that I started using it in advanced pregnancy, during a heat wave. Everything is soft and smooth and no stretch marks have developed, which is pretty high praise. The end of pregnancy is a hard time to feel pretty, and I think using this body wash has added, however slightly, to my ability to do so. I'd call that a win.

Visit Dove® VisibleCare® to get a coupon for $1 off!

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