Stretch marks that appear during pregnancy are often accompanied by dry and itchy skin. These marks can occur on the stomach, arms, breasts, buttocks, and thighs, and they are caused by tiny tears in skin tissue. As the belly stretches to accommodate a growing baby, the tissues continue to stretch and tear.
Depending on the stage of the mark they can be pink, yellow, tan, red, or purple. While not everyone is concerned about the appearance of stretch marks, some people do feel conscious about these newly developing lines. If you’re looking to minimize pregnancy stretch marks, here’s some things you can do.
Since your skin is more sensitive during pregnancy, it is important to make sure you choose a cream with a good-quality formula. This means that the product should be clinically tested for safety during pregnancy and that the formula shouldn’t be watered down or too thick. You really want something that feels comfortable, isn’t sticky, and doesn’t feel heavy on your skin. You also want to ensure good moisturizing and skin hydration.
Choosing a product with natural and good-quality ingredients is probably the most important consideration when it comes to purchasing stretch mark creams. Look out for the following beneficial ingredients:
Shea butter, cocoa butter, and jojoba oil are all thick and well-tolerated naturally moisturizing ingredients. These ingredients offer deep moisturization, can help alleviate itchiness, and can help with keeping skin supple.
To help minimize any existing stretch marks, look for creams containing vitamin E since it is an excellent antioxidant that can assist with wound healing.
Products that include hyaluronic acid can help with skin tightening and also reduce inflammation. They can also help with improving skin texture and with fading existing skin marks with regular use.
It is especially important to stay clear of anything that may trigger an allergic reaction during pregnancy. Women are generally more sensitive during this time so natural ingredients and fewer chemicals are a priority. Look for a product that does not contain colorants, preservatives, and artificial perfumes. Something labeled as “hypoallergenic” is ideal. Remember that even topical products are absorbed through your skin and into your body. Chemicals can make itching worse, cause redness, and won’t promote natural healing.
Besides applying cream once stretch marks appear, you can also take some preventative measures at the very beginning of your pregnancy. Make sure you stay hydrated and continue to aim for a healthy weight. Your medical professional will guide you with some appropriate weight-related advice to keep both you and your little one in good health. Keeping your weight gain slow and steady can help minimize stretch marks since your skin has a little more time to adjust.
Also remember to eat nutrient-rich foods that are high in Vitamin C, D, E, and zinc. And of course, stay moisturized!
This option by Trilastin has it all. From its natural plant-based extracts to a luxurious non-greasy formula, this maternity stretch-mark prevention cream is safe for moms and babies and is also cruelty free. The 4-ounce tubs include a formula designed to hydrate, lock in moisture, increase cell regeneration, relieve itchy skin, and suppress stretch marks during early pregnancy. The nourishing blend of botanical oils, shea butter, almond oil, grapefruit extract, and vitamin E is ideal for daily use and also contributes to collagen production. Start applying the cream twice daily from your first trimester for the greatest preventative care. The relief this product gives to customers, as well as its quality ingredients, helped us judge it as the best overall on this list.
This option from Beautivity is also beneficial for other types of scarring from burns and acne to surgical and C-section scars. The special formula combines natural ingredients such as rosehip seed oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter with key ingredients including collaxyl and elastonyl. Collaxyl specifically helps with skin repair while elastonyl works by stimulating collagen growth, which is essential for the healing process. This cream is helpful for fading existing scars as well as preventing new ones. The formula can be used on the arms, abdomen, legs, breasts, hips, buttocks, and thighs. Apply this product two to three times a day on existing scars for optimal results.
Palmers combines natural and raw ingredients to bring you an ultra-hydrating formula that can be used all over your body. With pure cocoa butter, argan oil, almond oil, shea butter, collagen, Vitamin E, elastin, and lutein, this lotion is designed to improve skin elasticity, enhance skin tone and texture, and reduce the visibility of stretch marks during and after pregnancy. Lutein and Vitamin E are antioxidants that help improve hydration and moisture retention to support stretching skin. Start applying the formula during your first trimester to keep your skin supple and elastic as preventative care.
This option from Burt’s Bees is a rich, moisturizing lotion designed to nourish your skin during pregnancy and also help your skin recover after pregnancy. The formula is 99% natural including a combination of coconut oil, sweet almond oil, shea butter, jojoba butter, and cocoa-seed butter. Burt’s Bees prides itself in using responsibly sourced ingredients and its minimal eco-footprint from providing recyclable packaging and cruelty-free products. Start applying this product from the beginning of your pregnancy to help with skin hydration and softness.
This fast-absorbing cream from Mustela is safe for moms and babies from the first month of pregnancy till after birth. This lotion is packed with natural, plant-based ingredients including avocado peptides and shea butter for deeper moisturizing and more skin nourishment. The formula is designed to enhance skin elasticity and promote collagen synthesis for improved tissue healing. It is hypoallergenic and has been tested in pediatric, dermatological, and gynecological settings.
Your skin will start to look pink and thin and may feel itchy or irritated before the marks develop. As they start to develop they can appear wrinkly or as raised streaks on your skin.
Vitamin C boosts collagen which is vital for skin health. Make sure you take in a lot of vitamin C to keep your skin healthy and more elastic while also helping boost your immune system during pregnancy.
Although staying well hydrated is important for skin health, there is no proven link between drinking water and reducing stretch marks. Drinking plenty of water should be part of a healthy skincare routine anyway, and it can help improve the overall appearance of your skin.
Yes! Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in the body and works well as an anti-aging skincare ingredient with great hydration benefits. It is also safe for all skin types.
It is best to start applying stretch mark creams from the very beginning of your pregnancy. Don't wait until you start noticing marks to apply it. Use the cream daily to promote skin hydration and elasticity. You can also use it as a preventative measure and continue applying it throughout your pregnancy.