In partnership with EllaOla.
It’s no secret we’re huge fans of EllaOla, the organic, science-backed skincare line that quite literally transforms your baby’s skin overnight (seriously, my daughter’s eczema was gone in one night). It’s great for babies, but what about mamas? I already use EllaOla’s Moisturizing Baby Face Cream on myself more often than I’d like to admit, so I was really excited to see that the brand released an officially “adult” product, the Nourishing Belly Oil, made specifically for pregnancy and postpartum skin. A promising product, indeed – but in true TQE Throwdown fashion, we had to put it to the test. Let’s see how it stacks up against the competition.
Today, we’re comparing relative newcomer EllaOla’s Nourishing Belly Oil, a “luxurious oil developed by Harvard dermatologists and OBGYNs” that’s meant to “smooth, firm and brighten skin” during pregnancy and postpartum. We’ll see how it compares to Bio Oil’s Skincare Oil, a product made to improve the appearance of scars and stretchmarks with 55,000 rave reviews on Amazon. A tough match up!
Test #1: Efficacy
EllaOla: Full disclosure, I’m not pregnant (the baby #3 conversation is one for another day). However, I’ve been through two pregnancies and countless bottles of body oil. And, I have plenty of residual stretch marks to get an accurate gauge. I was immediately blown away by Ella Ola’s Nourishing Belly Oil. First of all, you can tell that it almost instantaneously makes the skin softer and stretchier. I also love the quick-dry formula which makes it really easy to find the time to apply.
Bio Oil: I actually tried Bio Oil in my first pregnancy and opted not to re-purchase with my second. I used it religiously day after day and the truth is, it didn’t actually do anything. It was a decent moisturizer, but still left my skin wanting more, like it was too superficial and didn’t actually soak in. Plus, it didn’t do much for stretch marks or scars from a previous surgery.
Test #2: Ingredients
EllaOla: It’s hard to beat EllaOla’s proprietary lineup of 15 organic natural plant oils, botanical extracts, and vitamin-rich ingredients, including things like Centella Asiatica for stretch marks, French Marine Algae to stimulate collagen production, Argan Oil to increase skin elasticity, and Squalane to restore the skin’s natural hydration. Rather than put a “band-aid” on skin issues, this oil addresses them head on, with superstar ingredients that help the body do its best work. Plus, it’s EWG certified and totally free of parabens, phthalates, dyes, and fragrance.
Bio Oil: I’m not sure where to start with this one. The brand’s website is pretty bare bones, with zero detail on ingredients other than to state that the Skincare Oil was “the first oil to be submitted to clinical trials.” The Amazon page is a little more informative, publicizing that the oil is free of parabens, phthalates, preservatives, steroids, and isopropyl alcohol. Upon further reading, we learn that the oil contains Vitamin E, Chamomile and Lavender Oils and Purcellin Oil, but we still don’t have a full ingredient list.
Test #3: Word of Mouth
EllaOla: Anyone who’s been pregnant knows word of mouth is king. My mom friends and I are constantly sharing the latest recs, whether for pregnant women, newborn babies, or older kids. Many of us are fully reliant on not only our friend groups, but experts, to help us pick the best of the best for our families. That’s one reason I love EllaOla. Despite being a relatively new skincare brand, most of my friends have already heard of and tried it. These baby products have worked for everyone I know, and three of my friends already swear by the Belly Oil. However, perhaps even better than a friend's recommendation is an expert one, and EllaOla doesn’t fall short in this category either. According to a Board-Certified Dermatologist, “I love these organic plant-based ingredients with strong science.” It’s hard to say no to science…
Bio Oil: So this one is interesting. It has a 4.6 star rating on Amazon, with 55,173 reviews. That’s great, right? But then I got to thinking, why are we trusting random people on the Internet? Sure, there’s something about general consensus and if a product has that many good reviews, it’s definitely not terrible. But none of my friends have had great experiences with Bio Oil, and a few have shared that many experts don’t recommend it. Why? It has a sub-par EWG rating to start (in contrast, EllaOla is EWG Certified, meaning it meets the highest and strictest standards) and when you dig into expert reviews, they're pretty mixed.
Test #4: Cost & Convenience
EllaOla: By now, it should be fairly obvious that EllaOla outperforms Bio Oil across all categories. But like many truly great products, it comes at a price. A 44 ml bottle will cost you $45 (or $38.25 with the subscribe & save option). It’s ultra-rich and you also really only need to use it on targeted parts of the body, meaning a little bit goes a long way; it’s not meant to be a full body moisturizer. But, at the end of the day, there’s no question this oil is a luxurious purchase (though I once paid $65 for a bottle of belly oil, so this isn’t exactly the ceiling in terms of price!).
Bio Oil: Bio Oil’s price point is what likely makes it such an online favorite. At $16 for a 125 ml bottle (plus a 35% discount with Amazon’s subscribe & save), it’s a great value. In fact reading the reviews, it sounds like many people put it all over their body – including their face. And at that price, why not? It is quite a bit thinner than EllaOla’s so I imagine you’d go through this bottle quickly. However, it’s definitely a much more affordable option.
Winner: Bio Oil
Final Verdict: EllaOla
At the end of the day, I’m picky about what I put on my body. I want it to contain the cleanest and most effective ingredients, and I want it to work. That’s what I found with EllaOla’s Nourishing Belly Oil, a truly luxurious oil that does exactly what it’s supposed to do.
Check it out and grab one for yourself (and a pregnant friend) here.