Last updated: September 26, 2020

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Are you pregnant, or have you recently given birth? Stretch marks are a common consequence of pregnancy, but fortunately there are some products out there to help you minimize them. If you are wondering what you can do, we will tell you all you need to know in the guide below. One of the first steps to follow is to get the best stretch mark cream on the market.

Considering the vast array of products and the promises each brand makes, every pregnant woman asks herself which cream is the right one for her. In the following article, we will help you discover the stretch mark creams that truly work. Are you ready to learn more about this wonderful product?

Key Facts

  • Stretch mark creams are moisturizers that stimulate cells and provide vitamins to your skin.
  • These creams can both prevent the appearance of stretch marks and try to reduce existing ones.
  • You are advised to check the composition of the cream. It should not contain any preservatives, colorings, parabens, or any type of synthetic perfume, as we will discuss in our Buyer’s Guide section.

Our Selection: The Best Stretch Mark Creams on the U.S. Market

We want to make your life a little easier, so we have selected the very best stretch mark creams currently on the market. These products are best sellers and have received high ratings and great reviews from past customers, so you know the cream you are purchasing is tried and tested by other moms. Read the descriptions below to find out which product best suits your needs:

Best-Selling Stretch Mark Cream

Palmer’s stretch mark cream is Amazon’s Choice in the category and has received hundreds of great reviews. This body lotion is composed of cocoa and shea butter, vitamin E, and various oils. It is designed to reduce the appearance and size of stretch marks. It moisturizes the skin, relieves itching, and improves skin elasticity. Various package sizes are available so you can choose the quantity you need for your pregnancy.

Best Massage Oil for Stretch Marks

While this isn’t a cream per se, this massage oil by Pure Life Science will help you alleviate any existing stretch marks you have. Its ingredients include grape seed oil, lemon, grapefruit, and eucalyptus, all of which play a role in attacking fat tissues and keeping your skin hydrated. Note that you are advised to apply the oil on damp skin to lock in the moisture. This product is manufactured in an FDA-approved facility.

Best Cream for Removing Stretch Mark Scars

This versatile removal cream will help you combat stretch marks, as well as any other unpleasant scar you want to attenuate. According to the manufacturer, old scars will lighten, while new scars can be fully removed. Made with natural ingredients such as ginseng and Centella asiatica, this product penetrates the skin and softens scar tissues, allowing the skin to repair itself more efficiently. It can be applied to the whole body.

Best Organic Stretch Mark Cream

If you are looking for a 100% organic product to care for your skin and the environment, Glow Organics’ belly butter is exactly what you need. Designed to help prevent the appearance of stretch marks, this product will promote your skin elasticity during and after your pregnancy. One great feature of this butter is that it is completely unscented, so you know you won’t feel nauseous when applying it. Vegan-friendly and gluten-free product.

Shopping Guide: Everything You Should Know About Stretch Mark Creams

In the next section, we have answered the most frequently asked questions regarding stretch mark creams. If you have any remaining doubts about the purpose and efficiency of these products, you can find all explained in our guide. Keep reading and be on your way to protect yourself from stretch marks!

It is hard to get rid of stretch marks entirely once you have them.
(Source: Dolgachov: 68093812/ 123rf.com)

What are stretch mark creams exactly?

These cosmetic products are one of the most commonly used treatments to fight stretch marks and to prevent their appearance. They work by contributing to the prevention of skin breakdown through its hydration. The most effective creams are composed of natural substances such as essential oils and plant extracts.

What are the benefits of stretch mark creams?

Any body cream offers various benefits to your skin, but anti-stretch mark products have near-magical capabilities since they can eliminate and prevent stretch marks. Discover their main advantages in the list below:

  • They hydrate the skin and give it elasticity through lipids and oils.
  • Their aroma is good for the skin.
  • They stimulate cells. The most commonly used stimulant, Centella asiatica, increases the production of collagen and elastin. You can also find vegetable oils such as rosehip oil.
  • They provide vitamins A, E, and F or provitamin B5.
Ted LainBoard-Certified Dermatologist & Chief Medical Officer at Sanova Dermatology
“Rapid weight gain or loss and genetics play a role in their formation, and the underlying cause seems to be a loss of elastic tissue. Replenishing this proves very difficult.”

Do these creams eliminate stretch marks?

Once you get stretch marks, it becomes tough to get rid of them completely. However, some women who only suffer from them during pregnancy can fully eliminate them if using the right cream. Unfortunately, this percentage is very small, and most women try to reduce them as much as possible so that they are not very visible or prominent.

If you are buying an anti-stretch mark product during your pregnancy, avoid those containing vitamin A. 
(Source: Dolgachov: 40250598/ 123rf.com)

While creams can genuinely help, time is your best ally when fighting stretch marks. As the months go by, you will notice that your stretch marks will slowly fade, become lighter, and take on another color. Here are some tips for choosing the right cream for your stretch marks:

  • Vitamin E: Look for products containing this substance, as there is evidence that vitamin E may reduce scarring and have an effect on the visibility of stretch marks.
  • Retinoids: These derivatives of vitamin A are used to treat wrinkles, acne, and scars, including those linked to stretch marks. Retinoids are used topically but should not be applied during pregnancy. They are more appropriate for treating your stretch marks after you give birth.

Can these creams combat all types of stretch marks?

Yes, absolutely! Stretch marks are a consequence of pregnancy, but also breast implants, rapid weight gain, steroid use, or medical conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome or Marfan syndrome. Nowadays, manufacturers develop products that will help you any of these cases. There are two different types of stretch marks:

Red stretch marks (Striae rubrae) White stretch marks (Striae albae)
Age They are more recent. They are older.
Treatment These stretch marks are easier to treat. They are more difficult to eliminate.
Cause Blood vessels under the skin are responsible for their color. They are white because blood vessels narrow, making collagen production more difficult.

How do stretch mark creams work?

Stretch mark creams work in two totally different ways. We have detailed them below so you can know which one best applies to you:

  • Prevention: You can completely prevent the appearance of stretch marks by keeping your skin nourished and hydrated. Approved pregnancy creams applied regularly will help reduce your chances of developing stretch marks.
  • Reduction of existing stretch marks: Once they have formed, it is virtually impossible to fully eliminate stretch marks. You should therefore focus on reducing their visibility, which is generally achieved by using creams rich in vitamins A and E.

These creams are one of the most commonly used treatments to combat stretch marks and prevent their appearance.
(Source: Dolgachov: 39649592/ 123rf.com)

What ingredients should be avoided?

If you are buying an anti-stretch mark product during your pregnancy, avoid those containing vitamin A. It is listed as a retinoid in skincare products and is often used in products to treat wrinkles, discoloration, or scarring. These cosmetics have been linked to congenital disabilities when taken orally.

While this is not as evident for topical use, pregnant women are generally advised to avoid them in all their forms. If you are expecting and want to treat your stretch marks, do not use products labeled as retinoids or containing vitamin A. Note that they are safe to use after birth.

How can I prevent stretch marks?

Rapid stretching of the skin causes stretch marks. When you are pregnant, your abdomen, as well as other parts of your body, will grow rapidly. The good news is that you can do something to combat the appearance of stretch marks.

  • Consult your doctor: he or she will tell you how much weight you should gain.
  • Stay hydrated: hydrated skin may be less likely to develop stretch marks.
  • Exercise: not only does it help keep you healthy and limit excessive weight gain during pregnancy, but it also increases blood flow. Physical activity increases skin elasticity and limits stretch marks.
  • Eat certain nutrients: they help create collagen, which improves skin elasticity and may help reduce the risk of stretch marks. These nutrients include vitamin C, E, B2, B3, zinc, and silica.

Most stretch mark creams are quickly absorbed by the skin.
(Source: Georgerudy: 66658419/ 123rf.com)

Shopping Criteria

If you thought that you already had enough information to make your decision, we have more coming your way. In the following section, we will look at specific criteria that you should evaluate when buying your cosmetics online, be it a stretch mark cream or any other skincare product. If the manufacturer does not offer this information, we encourage you to contact them before making your purchase.

Shelf Life

You should always check the expiration date of a stretch mark cream before buying it. While every product has a different expiration date, they generally won’t last less than 12 months. Make sure that the cream is a new product with over a year of use ahead of it. If that’s not the case, we encourage you to opt for another cosmetic.

Ingredients

As we briefly discussed earlier, the composition of your stretch mark cream is another key criterion. Always prefer a product free of preservatives, dyes, petrochemical substances, parabens and alcohol, and without synthetic fragrances. You will need to be particularly careful regarding this if you are expecting or are purchasing the cream for a pregnant or breastfeeding woman.

Aroma

You may not think that this is so relevant, but it certainly is when the cream is intended for pregnant women. Why, you ask? Simply because the body changes during this period, and odors can often play a dirty trick on you. For this reason, we recommend you to opt for a cream with a pleasant aroma to avoid nausea or vomiting.

Size

The package presentation of stretch mark creams will vary in size. The majority of manufacturers offer the same product in smaller and larger versions. Keep in mind that you will need to use your cream twice a day from the second trimester of your pregnancy onward. If you get the larger sizes, you will get better value for money and won’t have to buy the product so often.

Absorption

You may notice that many stretch mark creams are advertised as ‘fast absorption’ products. This is no coincidence because discomfort often gains ground during a pregnancy. Opting for a stretch mark cream that is absorbed quickly will allow you to get dressed immediately, so you don’t have to worry about unnecessary things.

Justine HextallConsultant Dermatologist for La Roche-Posay
“Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and it’s found in bones, muscles, tendons and skin. It’s essentially the substance that holds the body together and gives the appearance of bouncy, full, smooth skin.”

Summary

We know that stretch marks can be a real headache for every pregnant woman, but also for those who lose weight quickly. This is why we want to help you choose the best stretch mark cream on the market. The good news is that there are products for every need and various skin types.

We hope that the information you found in this article gave you a much clearer idea about stretch mark creams. As we always advise in our guide, you should consult your doctor if you have any doubts about the benefits or contraindications that any particular ingredient or cream may have.

We would love to hear your opinion on these products, so feel free to leave us a comment in the section below. You can also share our article on your social media so that your friends and family also reap the benefits of stretch mark creams.

(Source of featured image: Dolgachov: 38676550/ 123rf.com)

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