Getting your hands on the best stretch mark cream during your pregnancy is a must. Approximately 80% of pregnant women will end up with stretch marks due to their rapidly growing bellies. Although they’re a normal part of pregnancy, especially with twins or multiples, the majority of women would rather avoid stretch marks altogether if possible.
Stretch marks are an expected part of pregnancy. You will most likely start to see your first stretchmarks anywhere from thirteen to twenty-one weeks of being pregnant. They are typically seen on your stomach, but it isn’t uncommon to get stretch marks on your breasts, lower back, thighs, buttocks, and hips. It may sound scary, but you don’t know how your body will develop throughout your pregnancy. Some women get a very small amount of stretch marks while others can have quite a few.
When they first appear, your stretch marks may be pink and itchy. You might get some skin that looks flattened and thin directly around your stretch marks.
As the months progress, your stretch marks may become bigger and may change color to a purple or reddish color.
Towards the end of pregnancy, the stretch marks may lose their reddish color and after pregnancy, they typically become much less visible and smaller. It does take some time though, so expect them to stick around for a little while.
There are two main parts of the process that creates pregnancy stretch marks. The first cause is the actual stretching of the skin that comes from your belly growing so quickly over the nine months of pregnancy.
While your skin is very flexible and has an amazing ability to stretch and adjust to body changes, it typically does not have enough time to adjust to the changes in pregnancy.
Because your skin is forced to stretch at such a rapid pace to adjust to the baby growing inside of you, it tears. The stretch mark you see on your stomach is basically the scar of the tear that occurred.
There is still speculation among experts about the second factor in stretch marks. This factor is the hormones produced in pregnancy. These hormones bring more water into the skin and this, in turn, causes the bonds between collagen fibers to relax. This whole process makes it easier for your skin to tear compared with how strong your skin would normally be when you are not pregnant.
Your stretch marks shouldn’t be super prominent for too long. After you deliver your baby, they may look more noticeable, but this will slowly go away and your skin will little return to what it formally was, little by little. Often, you will hardly be able to notice the barely present silver lines that were once stretch marks.
While stretch marks during pregnancy appear to be somewhat genetic and may not be preventable, there are a few things you can do to keep your expanding skin more pliable and help minimize them.
- Eat lots of organic fruits and veggies. Vitamins A, E, and C have been shown to support healthy, supple skin. Eating foods rich in these vitamins, like sweet potatoes, avocados, and berries help nourish your skin from the inside out. It also prevents a variety of skin conditions by preparing your skin for all the growth and change it must endure over the next 9 months.
- Staying hydrated is also important. You should be drinking at least twelve to thirteen 8-ounce glasses of water each day. The non-pregnancy norm is eight glasses/day. Your body is using a great deal of water to give your baby everything he needs and remove the things he doesn’t. Staying properly hydrated throughout your pregnancy can also help prevent conditions like hemorrhoids, fatigue, headaches, and swelling.
- Get Your EFAs. Whether through your diet or supplements essential fatty acids offer a myriad of benefits for you and your baby, including vibrant, stretch mark-free skin for you and supple, healthy skin for baby.
- Use an Anti-Stretch Mark Cream. You can also minimize or even eliminate stretch marks during pregnancy by regularly applying a natural stretch mark cream starting as early in your pregnancy as possible.
Ingredients to Look For in a Natural Stretch Mark Cream
The best stretch mark cream to use during pregnancy will focus on improving your skin’s elasticity while also keeping it healthy and hydrated. Some of the ingredients that are important to look for include:
- Aloe Vera – Aloe Vera is one of the best moisturizers around. It’s been used for ages to treat burns and other skin wounds, like stretch marks. This is a natural plant that is made up of mostly water but also has minerals, vitamins, fatty acids, and vital enzymes that can heal your stretch marks faster. This plant also contains natural plant collagen that can help improve your skin’s elasticity.
- Cocoa Butter – Cocoa butter is rich in antioxidants that protect the skin inside and out from environmental and other types of damage. It can also reduce inflammation and the appearance of blemishes and scars. Cocoa Butter is often used to help with dry skin and also with reducing undesirable scars or blemishes on the skin. Cocoa Butter has six major fatty acids which make it very effective in moisturizing and repairing skin.
- Shea Butter – An excellent source of essential fatty acids and Vitamins A and E, Shea butter is another moisturizing powerhouse. It can help reduce the redness in stretch marks as well as making your skin feel youthful again. It also has a history of treating skin conditions like frostbite, eczema, sunburn, and blemishes.
- Jojoba Oil – Extracted from the seeds of the jojoba plant, jojoba oil is rich in Vitamin E and has been shown to reduce the appearance of scars, and support the skin’s natural elasticity. It is capable of penetrating deep into your skin and also helps prevent water loss. This helps keep your skin moisturized and soft to speed up the healing process.
Top 5 Best Stretch Mark Creams to Use During Pregnancy
To help you find the best stretch mark cream to use during your pregnancy, we’ve compiled a list of favorites from experienced moms who have avoided stretch marks during theirs. Some stretch mark creams can be used throughout pregnancy while others are better for the second or third trimester. Some creams are specifically designed for pregnancy and others that are created for all different kinds of stretch marks. Make sure to research the cream you are interested in before purchasing, so you know it is the right one for you.
This stretch mark cream was created by two moms, one who is a doctor and the other from the beauty industry with over fifty years of experience. Amar Botanica was created as a safe way to care for your skin as well as reduce and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
This cream was created with only essential ingredients that are, pure, all-natural, organic, and vegan. It is designed to prevent stretch marks while keeping your skin extremely hydrated and firm from your first days of using it through your pregnancy journey.
The ingredients that really make this cream work are Shea butter, avocado oil, and centella asiatica. Centella asiatica is well known for its properties that help with both anti-aging and skin tightening. Each of these ingredients brings a special benefit to the cream to make it as effective as possible.
After you apply this cream, it will continue to melt into your skin anywhere from twelve to twenty-four hours later. Another benefit of this cream is it helps with the itchiness that often comes with your growing belly and stretch marks.
Past studies and previous customers both confirm that this cream left very few if any stretchmarks after consistent application. Even customers who used the cream after their pregnancy reported that their stretch marks faded significantly. It should be kept in mind that ultimate results will depend on how often you use it and your body’s genetics.
This nourishing, natural stretch mark cream includes cocoa, Shea and jojoba butters to deliver loads of goodness to your skin. It’s also fragrance-free so it won’t irritate those mamas battling morning sickness.
Many women swear by Bio-Oil as their stretch mark weapon of choice. However, it isn’t as natural as some of the other choices. The ingredient label also shows the product includes Retinyl Palmitate as the 5th ingredient. This is a form of Vitamin A contraindicated during pregnancy. If you’re interested in Bio-Oil, it may be worth discussing it with your prenatal care provider before use.
One of the most natural stretch mark creams available, this spray-on “natural stretch oil” from Earth Mama Angel Baby is made with grape seed oil, jojoba oil, and calendula, an herb known widely for its many skincare benefits.
Moms couldn’t decide whether Palmer’s cocoa butter massage lotion or their tummy butter was better. But, many did agree Palmer’s was their preferred stretch mark cream to use during pregnancy. Although these cocoa butter products from Palmer’s do contain less concerning ingredients than Bio-Oil, they’re also not as natural as the Earth Mama Angel Baby, Weleda, or Burt’s Bees products.
Weleda’s Pregnancy Body Oil for Stretch Marks also ranked high on many moms’ lists for the best stretch mark cream to use during pregnancy. It offers your skin a nice dose of Vitamin E and includes the homeopathic remedy arnica montana to help sore muscles and skin.
There are other natural stretch mark creams out there as well. Be sure to read each label so you can be sure the product is safe to use throughout pregnancy. As mentioned, some stretch mark creams are designed with ingredients that are contraindicated during the first trimester of pregnancy, the entire pregnancy, or during breastfeeding. Pregnant women aren’t the only ones battling stretch marks after all! When in doubt, check with your healthcare provider to be sure what you’re using is safe.
Even though stretch marks are somewhat genetic and you probably won’t be able to get rid of them completely, that doesn’t mean you should give up. If you do your research and start early, you can reduce them significantly, and sometimes, even make some almost invisible. You can start applying the cream you chose as soon as you find out about your pregnancy and continue several months postpartum to get the best results.
Keeping your skin moist, hydrated, and well taken care of will make you feel better. Giving your body some special care during pregnancy is important. Building a new little person for nine months is no easy task and your skin needs all the extra help it can get.
If you start out with a certain cream and decide it’s not for you, you can always switch to another one until you find one that you feel is the most beneficial to your skin. Make sure that you find a product that makes you feel great and helps your skin feel the best possible.
Once you’ve found the best stretch mark cream to use during pregnancy, apply as directed starting as early as possible for best results.