Pregnancy does a lot to your body throughout the 40 or so weeks it takes for your little peanut to grow. And while the best way to prevent stretch marks is to moisturize daily, there is always the chance that stretch marks will still appear. Stretch marks can happen to everyone for many reasons, especially when your body grows so quickly during pregnancy.
If that is the case, you’ll want to continue your stretch mark cream regimen even after the wee babe is born (maybe for a while). Remember that hydrating your skin is never a bad thing.
Some of the most effective stretch mark removal creams are ones that have been around for a long time, and even though big brand-name companies sell them, most of their ingredients are natural.
Table of Content
How Do Stretch Marks Form?
Stretch marks form when our skin stretches too quickly or becomes too dry. In pregnancy, your body changes daily so there will be extra weight and added changes to spur on the development of stretch marks. As stated above, you can’t always prevent stretch marks, but you can help minimize them with hydration and eating foods with a lot of vitamins C, D, and E.
You can help yourself by staying hydrated with water and moisturizing your skin every day or as soon as you begin to see red or brown marks develop. The fresher the marks are, the easier they are to eliminate.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter
Palmer’s cocoa butter is great for all parts of your body, especially your bust, thighs, and stomach—those most affected during pregnancy. The formula is fueled with argan and almond oils, pure cocoa butter, vitamin E, shae, and a mixture of collagen, elastin, and Centella (called bio C-Elaste). These ingredients increase the elasticity in your skin to help stop new stretch marks from forming. It is an ideal price and has a great following of people who swear by it. With all the natural ingredients in the lotion, it doesn’t have a perfumy-type smell either.
Although Mustela has several lotions, the preventative cream is top-rated among pregnant women. Due to its ingredients, this lotion reinforces skin elasticity and has some keen science to back it up with a study of 26 women. In this study, 96% of those who used the lotion claimed they didn’t develop any stretch marks. The formula includes avocado peptides, galactoarabinan, and an ingredient patented to Mustela itself. The great part is that this preventative lotion comes with or without a fragrance, so make sure to read the labels to get the one you want.
Mederma has quite a few benefits that prevent new stretch marks from forming and treats existing stretch marks. The ingredients in Mederma start by addressing the current marks with cephalin and Centella. Other ingredients are set up to prevent new marks from forming; these are hydrating hyaluronic acid and dimethicone, which increases moisture in the skin to keep the elasticity fresh with less tearing and scarring.
The Honest Company: Belly Balm
Belly balm comes in many shapes and flavors, and while The Honest Company is not the only balm for bellies out there, it is one of the most popular for its effectiveness. This company has ingredients in its list that are certified organic oils like sunflower, coconut, and olive. There is also cocoa butter and beeswax. The formula has a ton of fatty acids to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Other Types of Help
Healing Oils — If you find that the creams mentioned above don’t do the trick, note that healing oils are a great way to go. There are items you can use from your home, like olive oil or coconut oil, or there are other dermatologist-recommended oils that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. These oils have blends of vitamins A and E and will erase the skin discoloration that comes with stretch marks. It will also help repair cellular damage with chamomile oils. There are some oils, such as the household ones, that can be greasy, while the dermatologist-recommended kind comes in non-greasy types.
If you find that you have sensitive skin, household oils should help; however, if you’re looking for the dermatologist-recommended, you’ll find some for sensitive skin as well.
Ice Packs — Did you know that stretch marks are tiny scars that form as skin stretches? The marks come from the inflammation and swelling of your skin when your body makes a quick change. Using an ice pack or a cold compress can reduce or relieve any swelling that may come with stretch marks and will begin to diminish the look of your stretched lines.
Exfoliating Body Brush — Using an exfoliating brush on the skin that has stretch marks can help remove dead skin cells on the top layer of your skin. Dry body brushing can help get a little deeper too. This action will promote growth and healing and reduce their appearance.
Extra Hydration — While it may come as a surprise, drinking water (or more of it) when your stretch marks begin to form or your body starts to show your baby bump, will help keep your skin cells adequately hydrated. With proper hydration, you will function properly, and your body will be able to repair itself with more efficiency. Keeping a reusable bottle with you to refill with water will be a great practice to get into and stay in.
Keeping your skin moisturized and your body hydrated is key to the prevention and treatment of stretch marks no matter how or where they formed. The reason your body forms stretch marks is that there is a great and quick-change happening within your body. Pregnancy is something that changes your body daily, and while you can’t always prevent them from popping up, you can get creams, oils, and other items to help you treat stretch marks effectively.