Best Pregnancy Stretch Mark Creams and Oils 2020

Best Pregnancy Stretch Mark Creams and Oils 2020

If you are pregnant or have already given birth, you’re probably wondering about what you can do to get rid of your stretch marks. You may also be wondering how to prevent them from showing up all together. Though difficult at times to accept, stretch marks are a common occurrence during pregnancy (and during growth spurts when you’re younger), and they are 100% normal to have. However, you can minimize their appearance on your skin by using stretch mark creams and/or oils.

Important Factors to Consider about Pregnancy Stretch Mark Creams and Oils

Stretch mark creams and oils work to either prevent stretch marks or reduce the appearance of them. Keeping your skin nourished and moisturized is an important habit whether or not you’re pregnant. So if you already moisturize your skin on a daily basis, you are well on your way to preventing the formation of new stretch marks while you’re pregnant.

If, however, you are at a point where your stretch marks have already formed on your body, be prepared to accept that they most likely will not disappear. If you use stretch mark creams and oils on them, they are likely to reduce the appearance of stretch marks rather than get rid of them altogether.

What Should You Look for in a Stretch Mark Cream or Oil?

Although there are a ton of different options on the market when it comes to creams and oils that reduce stretch marks, there are a few simple things that you can keep in mind to make searching for options a bit more straightforward.

Creams vs. Oils

If you’re considering oils over creams, you will find that oils are lighter in feel and more easily absorbed in the skin. Lotions also tend to contain more added ingredients to lengthen their shelf life, so be sure to pay close attention to what’s in your stretch mark cream or oil of choice.

Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which one you’d rather use, and either option will offer excellent benefits in the prevention or reduction of stretch marks on the body.

Your Skin’s Specific Needs

Not all creams or oils will work the same way for every skin type. Each person has their own specific needs, which means that some creams/oils will perform great for one person while they perform not so great for others.

Pay attention to what your specific skin needs are when you are considering the best stretch mark cream/oil for you. Some creams/oils are made specifically for fading stretch marks while others are made to help prevent them from forming.

Skin Sensitivities

If you have sensitive skin, choosing a product that is hypoallergenic should be a top priority for you. Try to avoid products that have added fragrances, dyes and/or essential oils that can potentially irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Hydration Factors

Keeping your skin properly hydrated should always be a priority whether you’re pregnant or not. When choosing the right stretch mark cream or oil for you, look for ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid and ceramides on the product label. These will work well to keep your skin moisturized and will promote skin elasticity.

What Are the Best Ingredients to Have in a Stretch Mark Cream or Oil?

There are many things you’ll need to refrain from eating and drinking while you’re pregnant. It is just as important for you to pay attention to the products you’re applying to your body. Ingredients like retinoids, retinols and tretinoin and vitamin A are ones to avoid while you’re pregnant. Other ingredients include hydroquinone and phthalates.

Look for These Ingredients Instead

The ingredients in a stretch mark cream and oil are important factors to pay close attention to, especially if you’re pregnant. This is to ensure that you don’t choose products that could be potentially harmful to your baby’s development.

Before you get too worried, it is important to know that many creams and oils made for pregnant women use natural ingredients and refrain from using chemicals that are harmful for developing babies. When you’re looking at the product label, be sure to look for ingredients like ceramides, glycerine, hyaluronic acid, shea or cocoa butter and vitamin E.

Although it isn’t possible to completely get rid of stretch marks, various treatments can help them look less unpleasant—plus, they’ll moisturize your skin and can become an important part of your self-care routine. So let’s get into the best of the best!

Top 10 Best Pregnancy Stretch Mark Creams and Oils 2020

1. Best Overall Stretch Mark Cream: Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter

Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter

Why we like it: Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter has been formulated especially for pregnant women. Made with 99% natural ingredients, you can be certain to keep you and your baby safe from harmful chemicals when using this product.

Editor’s Rating:

Burt’s Bees stretch mark cream is great at relieving itchy skin and irritations that occur with rapid skin stretching. It will keep you feeling nice and comfortable while also working to prevent the growth of new stretch marks. Since it does not contain irritable ingredients, it is a safe option for people who have sensitive skin.

This may not be a great product choice for you if you have extremely dry skin, and some have found its natural scent displeasing—those who really need hydration should try something like the BELLA B Tummy Honey Butter instead.

Ingredients

This belly butter contains 99% natural ingredients, and has been formulated with pregnant mothers in mind. You won’t find any ingredients in this cream that are dangerous or questionable for women who are expecting. Natural ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E will moisturize your skin and lighten the visibility of existing stretch marks.

How and When to Apply

Use this cream according to your existing skincare routine. You can apply it directly to your skin or while you’re in the shower.

Extras

If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, you can return it for a full refund within 30 days of receiving the stretch mark cream.

Pros

  • Made with 99% natural ingredients
  • Great option for people with sensitive skin
  • You can get a full refund within 30 days of receiving it

Cons

  • May not be effective for those with extremely dry skin
  • Some find the natural scent displeasing

2. Best Stretch Mark Oil: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil

Why we like it: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil is lightweight and full of nourishing ingredients that help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, uneven skin tones, fine lines, scars and wrinkles.

Editor’s Rating:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter oil is lightweight in feel and contains no mineral oils. This means that it is less likely to feel greasy and/or clog your pores. Its moisturizing features last for up to 24 hours, and the rosehip helps to reduce the appearance of scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tones, fine lines and wrinkles. Your skin will feel soft, smooth and silky without worrying about the oil staining your clothes.

The oil may prove to be a bit too strong to use on your face, and you will have to take some time to wash your hands completely of any residue oil after applying it to your body. If you want a gentle, unscented oil that will be good for morning sickness, you might prefer the Earth Mama Belly Oil.

Ingredients

There are no preservatives, retinol or vitamin A in this oil. It is also phthalate-free. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil does contain ingredients like vitamin E, cocoa butter and argan oil to help nourish and hydrate skin while promoting skin cell rejuvenation.

How and When to Apply

You can use this oil as often as you like during the course of the day. Gently massage it into any problem areas of your skin where you’d like to reduce the appearance of stretch marks or to prevent the development of them. Though you can use it on your face, it is not recommended.

Extras

If you are not satisfied with the results of this stretch mark cream, you can contact customer service and get your money back within 30 days of receiving it.

Pros

  • Feels lightweight enough to avoid that greasy feeling
  • Moisture locks in for up to 24 hours after application
  • Promotes skin cell rejuvenation
  • You can return it within 30 days of receiving it

Cons

  • Oil may be a bit too strong to use on your face
  • You will need to wash your hand thoroughly after application

3. Best Stretch Mark Cream for Sensitive Skin: Earth Mama Belly Butter

Earth Mama Belly Butter

Why we like it: Earth Mama Belly Butter is certified by Oregon Tilth, dermatologist- and clinically-tested and never used on animals. You can be confident that the ingredients used in this pregnancy stretch mark cream will work for even the most sensitive skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Earth Mama stretch mark cream is dermatologist-tested, clinically-tested and never tested on animals. It has a natural scent that won’t make morning sickness worse than it needs to be. Some people with skin allergies have found this cream to be gentle enough to use on their face as well as their body.

Additionally, Earth Mama Belly Butter can help relieve the stress of itchy skin while it grows and stretches as your baby develops, but it may not work for people with extremely itchy skin. You may find that the cream is a little runny and greasy in feel.

Ingredients

This belly butter is rich in feel and moisturizes your body with herbs and oils that can help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It does have some artificial fragrances in it, so be sure to test this out before purchasing it in order to ensure that it does not overwhelm any sensitivities you may have with smells.

There are no mineral oils, petroleum or parabens in this cream that could potentially interfere or mimic the hormones you produce while pregnant. The main ingredients are shea butter, organic herbs and oils that maintain and restore your skin’s elasticity throughout pregnancy.

How and When to Apply

It is best to use this cream if you want to prevent the development of new stretch marks while you’re pregnant. You can even continue to use this cream after your baby is born to help restore skin elasticity. Be sure to massage a generous amount of cream into your hips, belly and breasts. Focus on the parts of your skin that you are most worried about developing stretch marks.

Extras

Earth Mama Belly Butter has been certified compliant with NSF/ANSI 305 by Oregon Tilth, which is given to products that are made with 70+% organic ingredients. You can buy a bottle in two different amounts (4 or 8 fl oz.). Additionally, you can purchase the 4 fl oz. bottle in a pack of three or the 8 fl oz. bottle in a pack of two.

Pros

  • Dermatologist- and clinically-tested
  • Made mostly with organic ingredients
  • Helps to maintain and restore skin elasticity through all stages of pregnancy

Cons

  • Cream may be runny and greasy in feel
  • May not relieve all types of itchy skin

4. Best Premium Stretch Mark Cream: Body Merry’s Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream

Body Merry’s Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream

Why we like it: Body Merry’s Stretch Marks and Scars Defense Cream is chock full of vitamins and antioxidants that are great for your skin.

Editor’s Rating:

Body Merry’s is a great option for pregnant mamas who want to avoid developing stretch marks. The blend of ingredients provides excellent hydration to the skin that helps to smooth out rough skin as well as any skin marks you have developed.

It can also be used to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks that are already there. It is rich in feel, spreads quickly and is easily absorbed, so you won’t have to wait for long periods of time before you can get dressed after application. Your existing stretch marks won’t completely disappear, but the cream helps to drastically reduce their appearance.

Some may find that the cream smells a bit odd, but most have been able to get past it. This cream could potentially cause rashes for people with highly sensitive skin—if you tend to break out easily, you might want to play it safe with something gentle like the Earth Mama Belly Oil.

Ingredients

This stretch mark cream is full of vitamins and antioxidants: vitamin E, vitamin C, vitamin B3, vitamin B5, plant stem cells, seaweed and rich oils. It is generally safe for all skin types. Additional ingredients include organic aloe vera leaf juice, glycerine stearate (plant-derived), organic cocoa butter and kosher vegetable glycerine.

How and When to Apply

You can use this stretch mark cream according to your existing skincare routine.

Extras

You can purchase this in two different amounts: 4 oz. or 6 oz. It comes in an original scent or in vanilla orange.

Pros

  • Spreads quickly on the skin and is easily absorbed
  • Full of vitamins and antioxidants
  • Several options for amounts (4 or 6 oz.) as well as scent (original or vanilla orange)

Cons

  • The smell may be odd for some people
  • May not be effective for those with highly sensitive skin

5. Best Budget Stretch Mark Cream: Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream

Why we like it: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream provides up to 48 hours of hydration. It is also hypoallergenic, ensuring that sensitive skin types are less prone to irritations.

Editor’s Rating:

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter cream will keep your skin hydrated for up to 48 hours and will relieve any dryness experienced from stretching skin. Not only that, but it is also dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic which means that it is less likely to cause skin irritations.

This cream is designed to prevent stretch marks in the most common areas of the body (i.e. your belly, hips, thighs and buttocks).

Because it is a concentrated lotion, it may have a strong scent for people with a sensitive nose.

Ingredients

This stretch mark cream is free of mineral oils, parabens, phthalates, fragrance allergens and dyes. One of the main ingredients is vitamin E, which is excellent at combating stretch marks. Additionally, Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream has argan oil, cocoa butter, shea butter, collagen, elastin and natural oils that help to improve skin elasticity, to reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks and to smooth and plump skin.

How and When to Apply

Use this stretch mark cream according to your existing skincare routine.

Extras

You can buy this stretch mark cream in a pack of one, two or six.

Pros

  • Up to 48 hours of hydration and moisturization
  • Dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic
  • Can purchase in a pack of one, two or six

Cons

  • May be smelly for people with sensitive noses

6. Most Gentle Stretch Cream Oil: Earth Mama Belly Oil

Earth Mama Belly Oil

Why we like it: Earth Mama Belly Oil has a natural scent that is sure to be inoffensive to pregnant mamas when morning sickness hits.

Editor’s Rating:

Earth Mama oil contains herbs that are traditionally used to help reduce the appearance of new stretch marks. It is light in feel, absorbs easily and works wonders to relieve the itchy sensation in your skin as it stretches with the growth of your baby.

The natural scent won’t add to your morning sickness woes, and the oils in the formula help to promote great skin elasticity while reducing the appearance of stretch marks. It may clog your pores.

Ingredients

There is no petroleum, mineral oil, artificial fragrance or parabens in Earth Mama Belly Oil. Natural ingredients like flower extract, grape seed oil and jojoba seed oil help to moisturize and hydrate your skin, provide relief from itchiness and reduce the visibility of stretch marks.

How and When to Apply

You can use it during and after pregnancy. The best way to apply it is with a little bit of water, so it may be ideal to apply the oil after you’ve had a shower or a bath.

You can use it on your face without it causing any irritations, but test it out first. If you have extremely allergic or sensitive skin, this is a good option for you.

Extras

You can purchase this stretch mark oil in a 1-pack or 3-pack in two different amounts (4 or 8 fl oz.).

Pros

  • Natural scent ensures it won’t add to your morning sickness
  • Light in feel, absorbs quickly and safe for sensitive skin
  • Safe to use during and after pregnancy
  • Two purchase options in a 1-pack or 3-pack: 4 or 8 fl oz.

Cons

  • May clog your pores

7. Best Fast-Acting Stretch Mark Cream: Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy

Why we like it: Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy cream has statistics on their side: 76% of women who used this cream saw a massive reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks in 12 weeks’ time, and they were more satisfied with Maderma over other stretch mark creams on the market.

Editor’s Rating:

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy nourishes skin with its creamy formula, locking moisture into your skin to help prevent and/or reduce the appearance of stretch marks. A survey of women who used this stretch mark cream for a period of 12 weeks found that 76% of women saw a massive reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks. Not only that, but they were also highly satisfied with Mederma over other stretch mark creams.

This cream may not work as well for stretch marks that are darker in color. Additionally, if you have a sensitive sense of smell (which is very common during pregnancy), you may find that the scent is too strong.

Ingredients

Mederma stretch mark cream is paraben-free. Instead, it is formulated with a combination of nourishing ingredients including cephalin, hyaluronic acid and centella asiatica plant extract.

How and When to Apply

This stretch mark cream has been clinically-tested to be safe to use during pregnancy. Please be sure to start using this from your second trimester onwards. You can even continue to use this cream while you’re breastfeeding! Make sure to apply this cream evenly and gently massage it into your skin in a circular motion on all areas of your body where stretch marks have developed.

Apply it twice a day: once in the morning and once in the evening. You may see results as early as 4 weeks, but the best results come after 12 weeks.

Pros

  • Reduction in the appearance of stretch marks happens as early as 4 weeks
  • Can be used while breastfeeding
  • Clinically-tested to be safe to use during pregnancy (2nd trimester onwards)

Cons

  • May not reduce the appearance of dark colored stretch marks
  • May be too strong of a scent for sensitive noses

8. Best Hydrating Stretch Mark Cream: BELLA B Tummy Honey Butter

BELLA B Tummy Honey Butter

Why we like it: The natural-oil based formula richly hydrates your skin in a way that water-based creams just can’t. If that isn’t enough, you can test this cream out in a 1 oz. trial-sized jar to be absolutely certain it’s the right choice for you.

Editor’s Rating:

BELLA B stretch mark cream has a natural oil-based formula that penetrates deeply into your skin, improving skin elasticity. The ingredients are extremely hydrating and help to deter any itchiness while your skin stretches as your baby grows.

It is ideal to use for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. The oils and fats in the cream feel greasy and may take some time to soak into your skin, so you may find that it may leave stains on your clothing over time. But don’t worry! It does wash out.

Ingredients

Some of the main ingredients in BELLA B Tummy Honey Butter include cocoa butter, shea butter, plant-based oils, vitamin D & E, and aloe vera gel. It is full of antioxidants that will help to improve skin elasticity and relieve dry, itchy skin.

The beeswax in the formula helps to create a natural barrier between your skin and any irritants in the environment while also allowing your skin to breathe freely. It also boasts being hypoallergenic and free of water, petroleum and lanolin. All of these ingredients work well together to prevent new stretch marks from growing.

How and When to Apply

Use this stretch mark cream twice a day, everyday. It is important to note that your skin will need a longer amount of time to properly and completely absorb BELLA B Tummy Honey Butter when compared to other water-based creams.

Extras

If you’ve never used this cream before, you can buy a trial size to test it out (1 oz.). If you find that you like it, you can purchase BELLA B in a 4 oz. jar as a 1-pack or 2-pack. Each 4 oz. jar should last you approximately 30 days!

Pros

  • Full of antioxidants that improve skin elasticity and relieve itchy skin
  • You can purchase a trial-sized jar to test it out (1 oz.)
  • 4 oz. jar should last approximately 30 days

Cons

  • Skin does not absorb this cream as quickly and may leave stains on clothing

9. Most Reliable Stretch Mark Cream: Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Cream

Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Cream

Why we like it: Though this cream may take a longer period of time to show results, 100% of participants who used this product in a clinical study stated that they saw a clear reduction in the appearance of stretch marks, age spots, scars and skin discolorations.

Editor’s Rating:

A clinical study of Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Cream resulted in 100% of its participants reporting that there was a clear reduction in the appearance of their stretch marks, age spots, scars and skin discolorations over prolonged use. In addition to lightening the appearance of stretch marks, this cream also softens the look of them, so they appear less harsh against your skin.

The body butter is very thick in feel and effectively hydrates your skin without leaving behind that greasy feeling. It will also work well to restore and maintain skin elasticity. It has worked very successfully for a wide range of skin types and leaves a faint, minty sensation after application which leaves you feeling fresh, but it may take quite a bit of time before you see visible results—if you’re in a rush, the Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy might be a better bet.

If that isn’t enough, this cream is also cruelty-free!

Ingredients

Mommy Knows Best has nourishing ingredients like vitamin E, jojoba, cocoa butter, and shea butter. Please be aware that older formulas of this stretch mark cream used to contain retinol, but they have since been removed from the ingredients to make it safer for you and your baby.

How and When to Apply

Use this cream daily to promote softer and smoother skin. It is safe to use while you’re pregnant and after you’ve given birth.

Extras

When you purchase Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Cream, you are also provided with a satisfaction guarantee. If you are unhappy with the results after using this stretch mark cream, you can contact customer service to get your money back within 30 days of receipt.

Pros

  • Clinical study showed that 100% or participants saw a reduction in stretch marks
  • Can also lighten the appearance of age spots, scars and skin discolorations
  • Does not leave behind a greasy feeling after application
  • Each purchase comes with a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied

Cons

  • May take a longer time than other products to show results

10. Best Organic Stretch Mark Cream: Botanic Tree Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

Botanic Tree Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

Why we like it: Botanic Tree Stretch Mark Prevention Cream is made with 100% organic ingredients which is perfect for people who want to be eco-friendly.

Editor’s Rating:

Botanic Tree cream is cruelty-free and works wonderfully to either reduce the visibility of stretch marks or prevent them from forming altogether. It hydrates your skin effectively and since it dries so quickly, you are able to apply several layers to your skin depending on your preferences.

If you have a particularly sensitive nose, you may find that this cream is a bit smellier than others.

Ingredients

This stretch mark cream is made with 100% organic ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter, vitamin B5, olive oil, avocado and centella asiatica. All of these ingredients work together to moisturize your skin while reducing the appearance of stretch marks and scars. Botanic Tree contains no parabens, so you won’t have to worry about it causing any hormonal disruptions while you’re pregnant.

How and When to Apply

Apply this cream one to two times a day. You will most likely see results after approximately two months of use. This cream is completely safe to use during pregnancy as your belly grows with your baby. You can even continue using this cream after your baby is born.

If you have particularly sensitive skin, please be sure to test this cream out first by applying a small portion to the back of your hand. If no irritations pop up, you are safe to use on the desired areas of your body.

Extras

If you are not satisfied with the results of this stretch mark cream, you can contact customer service and get your money back within 30 days of receiving it.

Pros

  • Great choice for people who are environmentally-conscious
  • Dries quickly so you can apply more than one layer if needed
  • Contains 100% organic ingredients
  • Comes with a money-back guarantee

Cons

  • People with sensitive sense of smell might find the scent too strong

Guide to Buying the Best Pregnancy Stretch Mark Creams and Oils

Woman on bed applying cream to her belly

The medical term for stretch marks is “stria,” which are long, thin lines (or striations) that show up on your skin when rapid stretching occurs. This happens when the collagen and elastin in the layer under the skin cells (i.e. the dermis) begins to rupture. They look like ripples across your skin and can show up in different colors: red, purple, white, silver and light blue.

When you’re pregnant, they’re most likely to show up on your baby bump, but they can also turn up on any part of your body that experiences quick stretching across the skin. Some of these body areas include your belly, breasts, hips, thighs, buttocks and arms.

Who Gets Stretch Marks

There are some factors that contribute to the likelihood that you will develop stretch marks in your lifetime. These factors are: being female, getting pregnant, gaining or losing weight and getting breast enhancements.

If you have certain skin conditions like inflammation, allergies, asthma or arthritis, you will most likely develop stretch marks. You may also be genetically predisposed to developing stretch marks.

So, if you’re pregnant right now or are planning on getting pregnant soon, chances are you will develop stretch marks at some point during your pregnancy.

How Stretch Mark Creams and Oils Work

Keeping your skin nourished and moisturized is an important practice, whether you’re pregnant or not. If keeping your skin properly and adequately moisturized is a top priority for you, well done! You have already developed a common practice that may help you prevent the formation of stretch marks altogether. However, it is never too late to start, even after you get pregnant.

Using a pregnancy-approved cream or oil that helps with preventing stretch marks from developing is the best option for you. Make sure to apply your cream or oil of choice to your belly bump (and any other areas of concern) to help lower the chance that stretch marks will show up.

Reduction

If you are at a point where stretch marks have already formed, be prepared to accept that they will be visible in some way for the long term. Meaning that it’s not likely you will be able to get rid of them completely. If this is the case, you can use oils and/or creams that help to reduce the visibility of your stretch marks. Choose creams and/or oils that have lots of vitamin E, such as Body Merry’s Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream.

What to Consider in a Stretch Mark Cream or Oil

The feel of applying stretch mark cream can be incredibly soothing for pregnant mamas, but oils tend to be lighter and more easily absorbable. Additionally, lotions often contain synthetic ingredients, preservatives and emulsifiers to have a longer shelf life, while oils have fewer added ingredients.

If this is a concern for you, make sure to read over the ingredients listed on the bottle. This will make it less messy for your clothes after application.

However, it is important to note that both oils and creams will provide great hydration and nourishment to your skin. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide, and either option will offer excellent benefits to the prevention or reduction of stretch marks on the body.

Effectiveness for Your Skin’s Specific Needs

Everybody’s skin has different needs, which means that some creams which perform well for one person may not be as effective for another. Please pay close attention to what your specific skin needs are when choosing the right stretch mark cream or oil for you. Certain creams are made specifically for fading existing stretch marks while others are made to prevent them from forming in the first place.

Factors to Consider for Skin Sensitivities

If you have particularly sensitive skin, choosing a product that is hypoallergenic in nature will be a top priority for you. Try to avoid products that have added fragrances, dyes and/or essential oils that can potentially irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction.

Products like Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter and Earth Mama Belly Oil are great options if you have skin sensitivities.

Hydration Properties

Keeping your skin properly hydrated should always be a top priority whether you’re pregnant or not. When choosing the right stretch mark cream or oil for you, be sure to look out for ingredients like glycerine, hyaluronic acid and ceramides which will work well to keep your skin moisturized and to promote skin elasticity.

If you’re looking for a cream with these types of hydrating ingredients, consider purchasing Body Merry’s Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream.

Pay Attention to the Ingredients

There are many things you’ll need to refrain from eating and drinking while you’re pregnant. It is just as important for you to pay attention to the products you’re applying to your body. Ingredients like retinoids, retinols and tretinoin and vitamin A are ones to avoid while you’re pregnant. Here are some key things to avoid in products you purchase while pregnant.

Retinoids

Pay close attention to the label on any product you’re considering purchasing. If you see words like retinoic acid, retinyl palmitate, retinaldehyde, adapalene, tretinoin, tazarotene and/or isotretinoin, it is best to refrain from purchasing it. Using retinoids have demonstrated a link to a higher risk of birth defects for developing babies.

Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is used as a skin lightening treatment for dark patches of skin. Pregnant women may be tempted to use this during pregnancy. If you have to choose between dark spots and your baby, choose the spots: studies have shown that your skin can absorb as much as 45% of it after application to the skin. Though there isn’t enough evidence yet of how this affects a fetus, it’s just not worth the risk of having that much chemical absorption while you’re pregnant.

Phthalates

As with retinoids, phthalates can have many different names on a product label: BzBP, DBP, DEP, DMP, or diethyl, dibutyl, or benzyl butyl phthalate. If you see any of these listed, do not buy that product. Phthalates have been linked to high blood pressure, ADHD and diabetes. Additional studies have found links between prenatal exposure to phthalates and abnormal fetal development.

Choose Products with These Ingredients Instead

The ingredients in a stretch mark cream and oil are important factors to pay close attention to, especially if you’re pregnant. This is to ensure that you don’t choose products that contain potentially harmful things like phthalates or parabens that could be dangerous for you and your baby.

Before you get too worried, it is important to know that many creams and oils made for pregnant women use natural ingredients and refrain from using chemicals that are harmful for developing babies.

Additionally, though you will have unscented options, please be aware that ingredients used in creams specifically for stretch marks will affect how they smell. However, the payoff is that many of the ingredients used to make stretch mark creams and oils have beneficial effects on your skin aside from reducing the appearance of stretch marks:

Ceramides

Ceramides help to lock in moisture in the skin by creating a barrier that prevents permeability. This will help you avoid skin irritations and dryness. Ceramides may also potentially help protect your skin from environmental damage. They also have anti-aging effects on your skin!

Glycerine

Glycerine traps moisture in your skin, and because it also helps to bring moisture up to the top layer of your skin, it in turn helps reduce the visibility of wrinkles. Your skin will look healthier, smoother, younger and have a fresh glow.

Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid helps to relieve dry skin. It can also help to reduce the look of fine lines and wrinkles. If you have joint pain or osteoarthritis, hyaluronic acid can also help you to relieve discomforts associated with these ailments.

Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy is a great option for you if this is what you’re looking for in a stretch mark cream.

Shea & Cocoa Butter

Shea butter and cocoa butter works wonderfully to calm irritated skin. It is an excellent moisturizer. Cocoa butter helps to improve skin elasticity, and the fat contained within it helps to hold in moisture. If used regularly, cocoa butter can smooth out scars, wrinkles and other marks on the skin. Shea butter softens your skin and has anti-inflammatory and healing properties.

Consider purchasing Botanic Tree Stretch Mark Prevention Cream or Earth Mama Belly Butter if this is what you need in a stretch mark cream.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a great antioxidant which can prevent damage to skin cells. It has the ability to soften and repair damage done to the skin. This ingredient works especially effectively for preventing the development of stretch marks, but can also treat them if they’ve already shown up.

Choose a product like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil if you’re main goal is to treat existing stretch marks, or choose a product like Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream if you’re looking to prevent them altogether.

Pregnancy Stretch Mark FAQ

Graphic image of a pregnancy stretch mark cream

Why Should I Use Stretch Mark Creams or Oils?

While you’re pregnant, it is likely that you’ll develop stretch marks on your breasts, belly, hips, buttocks, arms and/or thighs. Though there isn’t definitive research on how effective creams and oils work to get rid of stretch marks completely, you may be able to prevent new stretch marks from showing up while you’re pregnant.

For the best results, be sure to start using stretch mark prevention creams and/or oils as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Continue using them after you give birth. It is likely that you won’t eliminate every single stretch mark that forms on your body, but applying creams or oils made specifically for the prevention or reduction of stretch marks will help make them to be less visible or pronounced on your skin.

Plus, it’s just a great way to exercise self-care while you’re growing a baby! Try including other self-care practices like self-massage, exfoliation or a nice, warm bath when it’s time to apply your stretch mark cream or oil.

Does Stretch Mark Cream/Oil Even Work?

It is important to emphasize that there is no special cure for stretch marks. You can be proactive to prevent stretch marks from showing, but most likely, applying stretch mark creams or oils will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks that show up when you’re pregnant.

Even though there is no definitive proof of how well stretch mark creams and oils work on the skin, it is always beneficial to use products that help keep your skin hydrated while it is being stretched and distended in such a short period of time. Moisturizing your skin while pregnant can help your skin cope with the stress put on it while your baby is growing inside you.

Do All Pregnant Women Get Stretch Marks?

Women and men of all ages, sizes and backgrounds can get stretch marks. Studies have found that approximately 50% or pregnant women are likely to get stretch marks during pregnancy. This usually happens in the third trimester.

Other factors like genetics, excessive weight gain and/or overly dry skin can also cause them. Though not all pregnant women get stretch marks, applying stretch mark creams and oils while pregnant is a great way to be proactive about preventing or reducing the appearance of them.

Does Pregnancy Change a Woman’s Skin Care Needs?

When you get pregnant, your body goes through a lot of hormonal changes. These changes will most likely result in changes to your skin and thereby your skin care routine. Pregnant women’s skin often becomes more oily, dry or sensitive during their pregnancy.

In addition to that, growth in the abdomen, breasts and other body parts will cause itchiness, skin stretching and (most likely) stretch marks. This is all normal and necessary for the healthy growth of your baby, so don’t worry! Your body is doing exactly what it needs to do.

Pay close attention to how your skin is affected when you get pregnant, as this will be a great indicator for the exact types of stretch mark creams/oils and other skin care products you’ll need to use to keep your skin and your baby happy and healthy.

Are Stretch Marks Preventable or Curable?

Although this is a frequently-asked, much-debated question, the simple answer is no. Health professionals will state that stretch marks are genetic while also promoting the benefits of using moisturizers in vulnerable and itchy areas of your skin during pregnancy to prevent or fade the appearance of them. So the best answer is to take care of yourself as best you can while you’re pregnant. Here’s how:

Eat a Balanced Diet

Eat a healthy, balanced and diverse diet, so that you gain a healthy amount of weight (25 to 35 pounds) during your pregnancy. Not only will it keep you and your baby healthy, but it will also keep your skin healthy. A healthy diet will also ensure that you gain weight steadily, which in turn means that your skin will stretch at a steadier pace and avoid any unnecessary strain.

Drink Lots of Water

You should always drink plenty of water. Hydration on the outside and the inside of your body is important for your well-being, and it is important for a growing baby. Keeping hydrated with plenty of water ensures that your skin will be healthy and hydrated too. This will help your skin’s elasticity, an important element for that growing baby bump.

Take Your Vitamins

Taking your omega-3s and the necessary vitamins during pregnancy will keep you, your baby and your skin healthy.

Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

Make sure to keep your skin liberally moisturized as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. You’ll also want to keep your skin moisturized throughout the recovery period after you’ve given birth. Using stretch mark creams or oils will ensure that your skin maintains its elasticity and suppleness. The ingredients in your chosen cream or oil will also serve as “food” for your skin.

Monitor Your Weight Gain

As best as possible, try not to go over the weight gain recommended by your doctor. If you are within your normal weight range, it is best to stay within a range of 25-35 pounds of weight gain. Never diet during pregnancy. Your baby will need the regular supply of calories and nutrients from the food you eat for healthy development. You will need to gain weight during your pregnancy. Just make sure that you eat a healthy, balanced diet, that you exercise regularly within your doctor’s recommendations, and that you gain weight steadily over the course of the pregnancy.

Final Thoughts

Thankfully, there are many options out there for you to choose from when looking for the best stretch mark cream for you to use while you’re pregnant. Now that you know the important factors to consider when purchasing pregnancy stretch mark cream, you’ll be able to buy the best product for you.