a collage of some of the best stretch mark creams and oils

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Growing a human in your belly is a remarkable phenomenon. The human body goes through a wide variety of changes in the process — from sensory to hormonal, circulatory to physical — but the easiest to identify and track is the size of your belly.

“There are some changes that you don’t like about being pregnant, and the body performs wonders in that regard.”

Enter stretch marks.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, stretch marks are indented streaks or colored lines on your skin. They’re common during pregnancy due to skin that expands and stretches, and they’re also a result of weight gain and loss.

Newer stretch marks are typically red tinged. They’re easier to treat. White stretch marks are older and more difficult to treat.

Stretch marks are very common and completely natural.

Genetics play a part in the treatment of skin diseases, says a doctor. People who have growth spurts or gain weight can develop stretch marks.

She also mentions that stretch marks have a hormonal component. Females are more likely to get marks than males.

It is ok if you want to prevent stretch marks. It is possible that treatment can lighten the color of your marks. There are stretch mark creams that are meant to keep them at bay as your body changes during your pregnancies.

Stretch marks can develop on your breasts, hips, butt, and thighs during your pregnancies.

“There aren’t many stretch mark creams that are effective. The theory behind them is that they help to rebuild some of the elastin and collagen in our skin that is distorted as a result of the stretch marks.”

While there’s not a ton of research on the effectiveness of topical treatments, it’s still worth trying to prevent stretch marks since it can be difficult to minimize them once they’re fully formed.

You can apply a stretch mark cream to prevent it. Start after you find out you are pregnant and continue after you give birth.

It is not possible to prevent or eliminate stretch marks entirely, but using a stretch mark cream can help make them less noticeable by improving skin elasticity and smoothing your skin.

A stretch mark cream can be a great way to give yourself some extra care during your pregnancies.

Try incorporating stretch mark cream application into an indulgent self-care routine, which may include self-massage, exfoliation, or a good old-fashioned bubble bath.

Decide if you want a cream that is scented or fragrance-free. Scan the ingredients list for potential irritants, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities. And while pregnant and nursing, avoid products that contain retinoids.

Choose a product (or investigate creating your own!) that contains ingredients such as:

“Certain ingredients that can sometimes be helpful are The acid is called hyaluronic acid. or There is a peptides.,” Davis says. “I usually will check active ingredients and recommend the patient check with their OB-GYN for using it.”

There are stretch mark creams in the market. We searched through ingredient lists and product reviews to narrow down your search. If you feel overwhelmed by choice, read on to see some of our top picks.

Price guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Best overall stretch mark cream

Mustela Stretch Marks Cream

Price: $$$

Mustela’s dermatologist-tested cream is free of parabens, phthalates, and phenoxyethanol. It’s no surprise that this product is EWG Verified, since it’s made of 96 percent plant-based ingredients, including avocado oil and There is a peptides., passion fruit polyphenols, and witch hazel extract.

This velvety cream claims to improve elasticity, prevent stretch marks, and improve the appearance of existing ones, leaving you with silky, supple skin. Expecting parents mostly love this cream, but a few warn that even though it’s listed as “fragrance-free,” it still has a scent.

Pros

  • It was made from mostly plant-based ingredients.
  • It absorbs quickly.
  • “It’s free from phenoxyethanol.”

Cons

  • It is listed as scent-free, but still has scent.

Best stretch mark cream for sensitive skin

Earth Mama Belly Butter

Price: $$

This lightweight, creamy body butter aims to prevent and relieve dry, itchy skin without leaving a greasy residue. Free of petroleum, parabens, and artificial fragrances, this lush lotion is formulated with organic herbs and oils geared especially toward preventing stretch marks, such as aloe and shea butter.

Since it’s been clinically tested for irritation, it’s ideal for people who have skin sensitivities. Many reviewers prone to rashes, eczema, or breakouts report that they were able to use this cream with success, and a handful say its light, refreshing scent is reminiscent of a Creamsicle or fruity cereal. (Yum!)

Pros

  • “It’s great for people with sensitive skin.”
  • “It won’t leave a greasy mess.”

Cons

  • The bottle is too small.
  • scent is hard to use for some users

Best organic stretch mark cream

Glow Organics Belly Butter

Price: $$$

Made without parabens, sulfates, synthetics, or artificial fragrances, this organic skin butter is formulated to prevent stretch marks and improve skin elasticity. It contains macadamia nut, shea and cocoa butter along with grapeseed and sweet almond oil. These Natural ingredients. create a Light scent., making it ideal for parents-to-be with sensitive noses.

Fans of this butter say it locks in moisture and soothes dry, itchy skin. They also warn that, due to its thick, buttery consistency, you need to use the heat of your hands to melt it before applying it to your skin.

Pros

  • Light scent.
  • It soothed the itchy skin.

Cons

  • It needs to be melted before application.

Best drugstore stretch mark cream

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter

Price: $$

This unscented drugstore find from Burt’s Bees is great for moisturizing your skin both during and after your pregnancy. It’s formulated using 99 percent Natural ingredients. and is free of phthalates, parabens, petrolatum, and sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS).

In addition to moisturizing ingredients like cocoa, shea, and jojoba butter, this cream also contains sweet almond, sunflower, and coconut oil, which makes it ideal for soothing sensitive skin.

Reviewers rave that this cream helps to nourish stretched skin and prevent stretch marks from forming, and that its creamy consistency is absorbed easily so you won’t feel greasy or sticky after application.

Pros

  • 99 percent of the ingredients are natural.
  • It absorbs easily with no greasy mess.
  • It soothed sensitive skin.

Cons

  • Some users say that the scent can be off-putting.

Best stretch mark oil

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Price: $$$

Bio-Oil is one of the most dermatologist-recommended holy grail skin products for use as a stretch mark preventive and treatment for existing scars. With ingredients such as vitamin E, chamomile, rosemary, and lavender extracts, it It relieves inflammation and redness., which helps to minimize the appearance of skin discoloration and stretch marks.

Despite “oil” in its name, Bio-Oil is a non-greasy formula with a fresh, floral scent. Users say it makes their skin smooth, hydrated, and radiant. And beyond stretch marks, you can also use Bio-Oil to heal skin concerns such as scars, acne, and blemishes.

Pros

  • It is often recommended by the dermatologists as a preventive measure.
  • It relieves inflammation and redness.
  • Also useful for scars, and other skin conditions.

Cons

  • There are many chemical ingredients.

Best multiuse stretch mark cream

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks

Price: $

Free of mineral oils, parabens, and phthalates, this hydrating lotion was created specifically to prevent and treat stretch marks. Its ingredient profile includes cocoa and shea butter along with sweet almond and argan oil. This sweet-smelling lotion moisturizes your skin to improve skin elasticity, texture, and tone.

Even though it’s thick and creamy, reviewers say it absorbs well so you won’t have any stickiness after application. In addition to targeting areas of your body prone to stretch marks, it doubles as a body moisturizer that you can use everywhere.

Pros

  • can improve skin elasticity.
  • It can be used as a body butter.
  • It absorbs well and has no stickiness.

Cons

  • It is necessary to stop skin from feeling dry.

Best fragrance-free stretch mark balm

Munchkin Milkmakers All-Natural Belly Balm

Price: $$

If cream isn’t your consistency of choice, this soft, velvety balm from Munchkin (yes, that Munchkin!) Milkmakers might be the pick for you. The twist-style stick dispenser, which is recyclable, allows for easy application and is ideal to toss into your bag for on-the-go use.

Reviewers like that this unscented balm It absorbs quickly.. One mother-to-be notes that it wasn’t irritating, though her sensitive skin is prone to dryness, eczema, and contact dermatitis. And many people report that they also love using this balm on their elbows, cuticles, and heels.

Pros

  • The twist-style dispensers work well for on-the-go use.
  • It absorbs quickly. without irritating the skin

Cons

  • Reviewers report greasy messes on their skin and clothes.

Best postpartum stretch mark cream

Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Vanishing Cream

Price: $$$

Great for use after pregnancy, this thick cream relieves itchiness, reduces redness, and claims to lighten stretch marks. Containing vitamin E along with jojoba, cocoa, and shea butter, it’s designed to reduce the harshness of deep marks so they’re less textured, pronounced, and visible. You can also use it to reduce the appearance of scars, skin discolorations, and age spots.

Many reviewers are pleased with the creamy texture, which they say is hydrating without feeling sticky or greasy. This cream also has a light, minty scent, that isn’t overly powerful or long-lasting, but it’s still something to consider if you’re sensitive to scents.

Pros

  • It relieves itch.
  • scars, skin discolorations, and age spots are reduced.

Cons

  • “Long time users don’t see much difference in stretch marks.”

Best stretch mark cream with clean ingredients

Pipette Belly Oil

  • Price: $$

Pipette Belly Oil It absorbs quickly. and helps calm itchy skin. It’s It is a very rare form of allergic reaction., making it a good fit for sensitive skin. Pipette claims the oil keeps your skin soft and supple as it changes shape.

The oil uses clean ingredients, including winter cherry extract and calendula for itchiness, and squalane for balance.

Pros

  • “It’s good for sensitive skin.”
  • fast-adjusting

Cons

  • Only sold in a small container.

Best splurge-worthy stretch mark cream

Mutha Body Butter

  • Price: $$$

Although the Mutha Body Butter is expensive, previous customers say the price is worth it for this rich, high quality butter. This product is “It’s good for sensitive skin.”. Ingredients include shea butter, cocoa butter, and mango butter, plus vitamins, fatty acids, and seed extracts.

The body butter is clinically proven to hydrate for 48 hours. It has a subtle citrus fragrance. Reviews state that this butter It absorbs quickly. and feels luxurious and rich.

Pros

  • Very rich.
  • It is a very rare form of allergic reaction.
  • Natural ingredients.

Stretch mark creams Price Key ingredients Type Customer rating
Mustela Stretch Marks Cream $$$ avocado peptide and shea butter cream 4.5 stars
Earth Mama Belly Butter $$ aloe, sunflower seed oil, shea butter butter 4.9 stars
Glow Organics Belly Butter $$$ organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, grapeseed oil butter 4.5 stars
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter $$ coconut oil, jojoba butter, cocoa seed butter butter 4.4 stars
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil $$ vitamin A, vitamin E oil, sunflower oil, lavender oil oil 4.6 stars
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks $ cocoa butter, shea butter, vitamin E butter 4.6 stars
Munchkin Milkmakers All-Natural Belly Balm $$ coconut oil, shea butter, organic rose hip oil twist stick 4.5 stars
Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Vanishing Cream $$$ shea butter, jojoba oil cream 3.8 stars
Pipette Belly Oil $$ winter cherry extract, calendula, vitamin E, squalane oil 4.5 stars
Mutha Body Butter $$$ shea butter, cocoa butter, mango butter, vitamins, fatty acids, seed extracts butter 5 stars

“You can use stretch mark creams early on in your pregnancies. You don’t have to wait until you notice something. It is helpful to begin using a cream as soon as you discover you are pregnant.”

You can use the cream throughout each trimester and even after you give birth. Davis recommends using the cream every day after you take a bath or shower.

“retinoids can help with stretch marks after a baby is born. They help to restore the skin’s elasticity. It may be best to avoid retinoids while you are pregnant.”

They’re most likely safe while nursing — with topical application only — but that research is limited. Oral use of retinoid-containing treatments isn’t recommended during lactation.

Davis also recommends in-office stretch mark treatments such as microneedling or laser treatments.

“There isn’t much evidence that stretch mark creams work to prevent or eliminate marks during pregnancy”

“We don’t have a cream that has evidence-based medicine behind it.”

What we do know for sure is that keeping your skin moisturized as it expands helps support fragile skin and encourage circulation, which can help your skin look and feel better.

It is difficult to prevent stretch marks because they are just what happens when the stomach gets larger. hydration with cream is helpful.

Not all stretch mark creams are created equal. Some people are more focused on hydrating and hydrating than preventing marks. If you are going to purchase a stretch mark cream, you should do your research.

Do stretch mark creams work on old stretch marks?

“Old stretch marks won’t go away with stretch mark creams. It may reduce the appearance of the marks if you use a cream that is not cream.”

Do stretch mark creams work during pregnancy?

There is not much evidence that stretch mark cream can completely eliminate stretch marks. Many users say that stretch mark creams reduce the appearance of their marks while keeping their skin hydrated.

What helps prevent stretch marks during pregnancy?

Eating a well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, getting regular exercise, and massaging your belly every day are all ways to prevent or reduce stretch marks during pregnancy.

You can talk with your doctor about gaining baby weight at a slow and steady pace and making sure you are not deficient in vitamins.

There is a lot going on in your body and mind. There are stretch mark creams that can help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.