Stretch marks are a common thing for moms. It’s a sign that you’ve put your body to hard work during the entire nine months of carrying your precious baby.
Having itchy and dry skin is often normal throughout pregnancy. As your tummy starts to stretch, it prepares itself to accommodate your growing baby. As a result, the layers of tissue that supports your skin tend to have tiny tears.
Stretch marks can develop not only on your belly but on your hips, breasts, thighs, and but. Its color varies as well, from red, purple, tan, red, yellow, and brown.
Thankfully, there are plenty of products available today designed to rehydrate your skin and combat stretch marks. The best stretch mark cream for pregnancy presents many benefits, including moisturizing your skin during pregnancy.
What Are Stretch Marks Exactly?
Just about anyone can have stretch marks. However, women tend to acquire them more than men. In fact, stretch marks affect more than 50% of women during pregnancy. These scar-like marks can occur on different parts of your body, such as upper arms, thighs, stomach, lower back, breasts, and hips.
It’s kind of scarring that looked like narrow, long stripes or streaks in varying colors. The condition happens when your skin can’t return to its normal form following a period of extreme growth. It is frequently due to weight loss, weight gain, puberty, or pregnancy.
And although it’s not a serious condition, it tends to make you feel conscious and anxious. As a result, you’ll most likely feel less confident about yourself. Some people even see it as a major cosmetic issue that affects how they live their everyday life.
How Do I Treat Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks, like any other type of scar, are permanent. Nevertheless, using the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy can help them become less noticeable. Also, treatment can help relieve the annoying itch.
Keep in mind that not all treatment will work or suitable for everyone. Additionally, a lot of products out there are not as effective as they claim.
Stretch mark creams, gels, and lotions are the most popular treatments for stretch marks today. While some products are helpful, some do not work as advertised. So it’s crucial to do your research first before making any purchase.
Furthermore, keep the following things in mind to make the most out of these products:
- Use the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy in the early stages of development. As they say, prevention is better than cure.
- Massage the cream slowly and gently in your stretch marks to make. Doing so will increase the efficacy of the product.
- Results will usually take weeks to show, so use it every day and don’t get frustrated.
Make sure to ask your doctor first, especially if you’re breastfeeding before going ahead with any treatment. Some products may contain ingredients like retinol, that may potentially harm the baby you’re carrying.
With that in mind, here’s a list of the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy that can help minimize the appearance of your stretch marks.
#1. Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter, Fragrance Free Lotion
A lot of new and seasoned moms love Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter. The product is not only effective at providing postpartum relief but it can also soothe your dry, itchy skin due to your growing belly.
The belly butter with shea cream is made especially to nourish your belly during and after pregnancy. It’s a rich and moisturizing lotion you can use to pamper yourself as well.
Another notable feature of this natural skincare is that it is fragrance-free. You’ll be able to enjoy a smooth and soft skin, thanks to its blend naturally hydrating ingredients like jojoba, shea, and cocoa butter. It’s non-irritating and 99% naturally formulated without any parabens, phthalates, SLS, or petrolatum.
#2. Cusson’s Mum and Me Bump Stretch Mark Cream
Cusson’s Mum and Me Stretch Mark Cream is clinically proven and dermatologist approved. It is designed by mothers and developed by specialists. This best stretch mark cream for pregnancy is designed to help boost the elasticity of your skin and soothe it.
The rich cream contains Tamanu oil, which is known for its juicy smell and how easy your skin can absorb it. It’s an affordable option and worth your time and money to try.
#3. Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy
The paraben-free Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy will hydrate your skin to help prevent stretch marks. Not only will it treat existing scars, but it can also prevent new ones from forming.
It has a powerful formula combining dimethicone and hyaluronic acid. The combination can increase your skin’s moisture and make it more elastic.
Additionally, the cream contains Cepalin, the proprietary botanical ingredient of Mederma. It also has Centella Asiatica, recognized for its excellent healing and skin-soothing properties. All these ingredients work together to neutralize the appearance of your stretch marks.
You can use this best stretch mark for pregnancy beginning in your second trimester and even while breastfeeding.
#4. Body Boost Milk & Honey Stretch Mark Butter
Body Boost Stretch Mark Butter is a non-greasy cream that contains collagen and elastin. It’s effective at preventing and repairing stretch marks. It can also help stop your itching and heal dry skin right away.
The stretch mark solution contains the plant ingredient, Gotu Kula, which has a high concentration of Triterpenoids. The natural compound can help strengthen your core connective tissues to make your skin tighter and more resilient. Its formulation also includes borage, jojoba, grapeseed, and rosehip oils.
The cream is not sticky or heavy and will penetrate your skin quickly, working deep where damage happens. Furthermore, it is safe for pregnancy and nursing, making it one of the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy.
#5. Body Merry Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream Daily Moisturizer
Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream contains prime ingredients, including seaweed, plant stem cells, and rich oils. The gentle yet powerful stretch marks remedy is also packed with vitamins E, C, B3, and B5. All of these ingredients will work to tighten and lighten the appearance of your scars while providing maximum nutrients and care.
The lotion will not only help reduce and prevent the appearance of your scars, but it will also help firm and moisturize your skin. Its natural blend of high-quality ingredients delivers intense hydration. Additionally, this best stretch mark cream for pregnancy has no added fragrances. So the rich cocoa and shea butter scent will give you that luxury treatment you deserve.
#6. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks and Pregnancy Skin Care
The super-hydrating, hypoallergenic Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Pregnancy Skin Care is very popular among moms and moms-to-be. The lotion is not too thick but will leave your skin feeling soft, plump, and smooth all day long.
This derma-approved cocoa butter stretch mark lotion can help improve the elasticity of your skin. It also works great at reducing the appearance of your stretch marks due to weight gain and pregnancy.
Aside from shea butter and cocoa butter, it also has vitamin E to retain the moisture of your skin. On the other hand, its lutein ingredient supports skin stretching while improving hydration. Additionally, almond and coconut oils the product contains will provide you with deep moisturization and maintain the health and suppleness of your skin.
You can use this safe moisturizing cream on your belly, thighs, bust, and tummy. It works well on all types of skin, including sensitive ones.
#7. Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream With Natural Avocado Peptide
The best-selling Stretch Mark Prevention Cream from Mustela is specially designed for expecting moms. Some dermatologists even swear by this best stretch mark cream for pregnancy.
This prevention cream is not only gentle but quick-absorbing as well. The product’s avocado peptides and other patented ingredients of natural origin will minimize tightness while hydrating your skin.
It is safe, lightly scented, and you can use it starting from your first trimester until after birth. It’s also breastfeeding compatible. Simply apply the cream thinly both in the morning and evening for the best results.
#8. TriLASTIN-SR Maximum Strength Stretch Mark Cream
Are you looking for a quick way to get rid of your stretch marks? Utilizing the brand’s exclusive Sequenced Diffusion Delivery System, TriLASTIN-SR Stretch Mark Cream promises visible results in as little as three weeks.
The sustained-release technology will protect your skin while reducing the appearance of stretch marks. It works with the pace of your skin and according to its needs. Depending on the severity or nature of your stretch marks, you can expect results within three weeks. But its full efficacy can take up to 60 days or more to achieve.
This cream is suitable for all types of scarring. Its targeted formula includes powerful ingredients such as multi-vitamin complex, BeauPlex VH, the amino acid-rich Chlorella, Vulgaris Extract, Vitamin E, collagen, and elastin.
#9. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Fragrance-free Hydrating Body Gel Cream
One of the best ways to prevent the appearance of stretch marks is by hydrating your skin. Neutrogena Hydro Boost Hydrating Body Gel Cream has hyaluronic acid to quench your thirsty skin instantly. It can also keep your skin moisturized and healthy, which leads to the prevention of pregnancy scars.
The product is from a brand known for offering some of the top facial skincare around. Their best stretch mark cream for pregnancy is refreshing and has a very light gel formula.
Moreover, it is clinically-proven to make your skin feel more hydrated, smooth, and healthy-looking. The moisturizing body cream is also paraben-free, fragrance-free, and non-greasy. It is suitable for normal to dry skin, as well as sensitive skin.
#10. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter For Stretch Marks
The solid Palmer’s Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks is from a well-established brand that’s been on the market for more than 50 years. Their stretch mark prevention cream is specially created for expecting moms.
The product is enriched with almond oil, argan oil, collagen, elastin, and soothing lavender. This formula will improve the elasticity of your skin while relieving its itchiness and dryness.
You can use the cream as an overnight deep treatment as well. To get the best possible results, combine it with Palmer’s Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks.
#11. Earth Mama Belly Butter to Help Ease Skin and Stretch Marks
If you want an effective cream that has a light scent, the Earth Mama Belly Butter is a pretty good choice.
The luxurious, rich, and moisturizing lotion for pregnant moms is packed with everything you need to hydrate your baby bump. It will also help improve skin elasticity minus the artificial scents and parabens.
The soothing cream has traditional oil and herb ingredients for easing the appearance of new stretch marks. It’s also clinically and dermatologist tested for irritation, making it ideal for sensitive skin.
#12. Botanic Tree Simply Organic Triple Action Scars And Stretch Marks Cream Removal
It pays to be extra cautious when you’re pregnant and even after giving birth. The best stretch mark cream for pregnancy is safe and comes with healthy ingredients. But if you want to take safety to the next level, using an organic cream like the Botanic Tree Simply Organic is a great option.
This scar cream can help improve and prevent any scarring, including stretch marks. It has ingredients considered to be some of the best treatments for childbirth marks, including cocoa butter, avocado, shea butter, and Centella Asiatica.
Furthermore, it delivers intense hydration and perfectly safe for recent and moms-to-be. It’s also ideal for all skin types.
#13. Glow Organics Pure Organic Belly Butter
Glow Organics Belly Butter is another natural best stretch mark cream for pregnancy you’ll love. The 100% organic cream is unscented and improves skin elasticity naturally. It doesn’t contain any dyes, synthetics, sulfates, phthalates, and even artificial fragrances. The product is also vegan, gluten and cruelty-free.
Some of its notable ingredients include organic shea butter and cocoa butter. It is also infused with grapeseed oil, macadamia nut, and organic sweet almond oil. This stretch mark-preventive cream is perfect for lightening your dark mommy marks.
Ingredients To Look Out For
- Collagen boosters. Collagen is a protein found within your skin, allowing it to appear healthy and maintain its appearance. Seed extracts of lupin and StriVectin-SD can help increase your skin’s collagen production.
- Hyaluronic acid
Collagen in your face and body decreases as you age. Hyaluronic acid can help stimulate its production.
- Tretinoin. Look for creams that include Retin-A or tretinoin. The ingredient contains the compound retinoid, which is associated with vitamin A and can help boost collagen production. It can help your newer stretch marks to fade. However, they may cause irritation and redness.
- Almond oil. Studies show that women who massaged their tummies with almond oil or creams that contain it throughout their pregnancy have fewer stretch marks in comparison to those who only use oil.
- Coconut oil. Coconut oil has some healing properties that may help with the appearance of scarring.
- Centella Asiatica. The herbal oil can help boost your body’s cells that build up your skin tissue and produce collagen. It’s even used by some people to help heal their wounds
Other Possible Treatments And Remedies You Can Consider
- Home remedies. Some mothers claim that massaging cocoa butter, vitamin E, olive oil, or almond oil into their scars help with the appearance. However, the method is still yet to be proven.
- Self-tanner. This won’t get rid of your unwanted pregnancy marks, but it can help conceal both early and mature stretch marks. Do not confuse it with tanning, as the latter can make your problem even more obvious.
- Medicine prescribed by your doctor. Studies show that ingredients such as tretinoin and hyaluronic acid can help make stretch marks less noticeable or fade if applied early on.
- Dermatologist procedures. Chemical peel, microdermabrasion, ultrasound, radiofrequency, and laser therapy may not totally eliminate your stretch marks, but they can make it less noticeable. There are minor side effects, including swelling and redness, but they are temporary and will disappear in a few days or even hours.
- Vitamin E oil, shea butter, olive oil, cocoa butter, and other moisturizing ingredients. Although it’s not proven these natural creams can prevent or treat stretch marks, they, however, can soften your skin.
Why Do Pregnant Women Get Stretch Marks?
When you’re pregnant, there’s a sudden growth to your body. Your skin will stretch as your belly starts to grow to make room for your little one. And since your skin can’t keep up and stretch enough, stretch marks may occur.
Our skin is composed of three main layers. Stretch marks normally develop in the middle layer called the dermis. This happens when your skin’s connective tissue stretches over its elasticity limit because of the instantaneous contraction or expansion of your skin.
These connecting fibers in your dermis will begin to stretch slowly as your body grows to support the slow growth. As a result, the sudden stretching due to rapid growth will cause the dermis layer to tear, leaving your skin’s deeper layers to emerge.
Furthermore, the sudden surge of hormones during your pregnancy may also decrease your skin fibers, resulting in unwanted scarring. Additionally, these rippled, thin, long marks called stria may also show up if your skin doesn’t have ample collagen.
Any part of your body that gets bigger throughout your pregnancy could also obtain stretch marks. Nonetheless, there’s also a possibility that they may fade when you shed the pounds you’ve gained after giving birth.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms?
Your skin may look pink and think before your stretch marks start to develop. You may also feel some itchiness and irritation in the area. Initially, the marks will emerge as raised, wrinkly streaks. And depending on the color of your skin, they may appear red, pink, purple, dark brown, or reddish-brown.
Ultimately, these streaks will flatten and fade. Their color may also change to a silvery shade over time. Moreover, they may slowly become less obvious. But often, it can take years.
What Are The Risk Factors Of Stretch Marks?
The development of your stretch marks comes with several risk factors. The evidence varies, and its causes still need more research to be confirmed. Nonetheless, its development may be associated with the following risk factors:
- Your BMI or body mass index before getting pregnant
- Your baby’s birth weight
- Family history
- Chronic diseases
Obese women with bigger babies tend to be more prone to stretch marks due to the greater levels of skin stretching. The tearing may also be likely caused by the changes in the connective tissue and collagen in your skin because of your age.
How Do I Prevent Stretch Marks?
It’s hard to prevent stretch marks from happening. Nevertheless, you can reduce its risks by following these steps:
- Use the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy.
- Make sure you have a healthy weight.
- Your diet should include foods rich in vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamins C and A, silicon, and zinc, which can support and aid your skin.
- Drink plenty of water daily. Make sure to meet the recommended 6 to 8 glasses.
- Never go on a yo-yo diet.
- You can’t avoid gaining weight throughout your pregnancy. So aim for gradual and slow weight gain.
When Do I Need To Consult With A Dermatologist?
The best stretch mark cream for pregnancy can help take care of your stretch marks. But if you’re still not seeing the results you desire after months and months of using the product, then that’s the time to consider seeking the help of a dermatologist. Make sure that he or she is board-certified.
Board-certified dermatologists will assess your problem and provide you with the best possible options. These in-office procedures are proven to be efficient. Your dermatologist may also suggest after-care products.
As with any skin concern, prevention is still the number one treatment for your stretch marks. Keeping your skin hydrated can aid in maintaining its elastin, which your skin needs to prevent scarring.
Utilizing the best stretch mark cream for pregnancy can help moisturize your skin and the less likely for stretch marks to form. If you already have it, be patient, as it will fade eventually with the right treatment.