Riverside, California (NAPSI) - There’s good news for women who are concerned about the condition of their skin during pregnancy. It only takes a few simple steps to prevent dryness and stretch marks through those nine months.

For starters, diet is crucial. Fruits and veggies that are rich in antioxidants, such as berries, broccoli and tomatoes, can help to prevent skin from becoming too dry. Hydration is important both inside and out.

In addition to drinking enough water, maintaining skin’s hydration with a moisturizer is also key. That’s because many women come to find that hormonal changes deprive their skin of essential oils during pregnancy, which can lead to dry, flaky skin and contribute to stretch marks.

A favorite moisturizer amongst women during pregnancy has been Bio-Oil™, a product proven to reduce those concerns. The winner of 135 skin care awards since its global launch in 2002, it is designed to create a thin, nongreasy, protective layer over the skin to prevent dryness and guard against moisture loss, while allowing the skin to breathe and maintain its normal physiology.

Made from a combination of plant extracts—such as lavender oil and chamomile oil-as well as vitamins A and E, Bio-Oil also contains PurCellin Oil. This ingredient changes the formulation’s overall consistency, making it lighter and nongreasy. It also makes it easier for nutrients to be absorbed into the skin.

To reduce the appearance of stretch marks, the manufacturer recommends applying the oil twice daily for a minimum of three months. For maximum benefit, the product should be massaged in a circular motion until fully absorbed. During pregnancy, applying Bio-Oil from the start of the second trimester to areas that are prone to stretch marks—such as the abdomen, breasts, lower back, hips, buttocks and thighs—is also recommended.

“Many of my patients are concerned about forming stretch mark’s during their pregnancy and are always looking for safe and effective solutions. I recommend Bio-Oil because not only does it help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it minimizes scars, hydrates skin and evens out skin tone,” said Dr. Shari Brasner, OB-GYN.

Bio-Oil has been tested to be a nonirritant product for those with sensitive skin, contains no preservatives and is nonallergenic. It’s available at national drugstore chains nationwide.

To learn more about the product or to find where it can be purchased, visit www.bio-oilusa.com.