Best postpartum stretch mark cream to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks.
When I got pregnant one thing I didn’t think much about was stretch marks in pregnancy, or what I would do about those stretch marks after pregnancy.
I really didn’t think I would have any problems with stretch marks – genetics and age were on my side. I was young, and the ladies in my family didn’t get many (if any) stretch marks.
For the first several months of pregnancy, all was well. There were no signs of stretch marks here, and I thought I was in the clear.
But lo and behold, my skin decided it was going to be the skin to stretch.
And stretch it did.
I remember catching a glimpse of my pregnant self in the bathroom mirror and letting out a gasp of pure shock – loud enough that my husband quickly popped his head out of the shower to make sure I was okay.
I was fine, but my body wasn’t (or so my dramatic pregnancy brain thought).
I couldn’t believe what I was seeing – stretch marks in various areas on my pregnant skin. It seemed like they just showed up overnight. The last time I checked I was still proud to say I was stretch-mark free.
Stretch marks can really bring down your confidence.
I remember feeling so discouraged and like I had failed my body in some way. Why these thoughts filled my mind, I don’t know – but I do know that seeing stretch marks cover your once stretch-mark-free body can be a sad sight for any mama out there.
While I do realize now that these stretch marks aren’t anything to be ashamed of at all, – in fact, I should be proud of them, they’re the very proof that my body created and carried a beautiful human life in it for 9 months, and you should be proud of yours, too – I also realize that it can be a real blow to one’s confidence.
Your stretch marks are nothing to be ashamed of – you should be proud of them. But if you’re just looking for a way to get your skin back to its post-baby state without those scars, there are a few things you can do.
Before we get into the list of the best postpartum stretch mark cream, there are a few things we should go over first. Before you can fix the “problem” (I hate calling it that) you need to be able to understand what it is, what caused it, and why you have it.
What are stretch marks? Why do people get stretch marks?
Stretch marks are lines or streaks that can occur when skin is stretched quickly (which often happens in pregnancy, with many women getting stretch marks towards the end of their pregnancy). (Source)
Collagen is a protein found in your body that is a major component of connective tissues that make up many parts of your body, including your skin. (Source) This protein plays a big role in your skin structure by strengthening, hydrating, and making your skin more elastic-like.
If you don’t have enough collagen (the protein that gives your skin elasticity) you may have a higher chance of getting stretch marks.
Stretch marks occur when the layers of your skin stretch over your growing body. Stretch marks may appear rippled in appearance and come in a wide variety of colors, such as:
- Light blue
Over time, most all stretch marks will fade to a white scar-like color, and eventually, they will fade away almost completely.
Up to 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks.
Don’t worry mama, you’re definitely not alone here.
The most common areas for pregnant women to get stretch marks are their stomach, butt, thighs, hips, and breasts.
So, why do people get stretch marks?
Genetics play a big role in whether or not you will get stretch marks. If your mom or sister got stretch marks, you are more likely to get them as well.
Stretch marks can appear on your skin for a number of reasons, not just due to pregnancy. Things such as:
Rapid weight gain
Rapid muscle growth
can all cause stretch marks.(THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE. YOU CAN READ OUR DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.)
Can you eliminate stretch marks? How to heal your pregnancy stretch marks
You may be thinking that once you’ve got stretch marks, that’s it – they’re there for life. The good news is, that’s not the case.
Stretch marks will naturally start to fade around 6 – 12 months postpartum. (Source) But, if you don’t want to wait that long to get rid of the stretch marks, there are a few things you can do to speed up the process.
Here are a few things that you can do to possibly speed up the process of healing those pregnancy stretch marks.
- Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water helps your skin stay hydrated and healthy, therefore promoting and helping the healing process along a bit faster.
- Keep your skin moisturized. Keeping your skin moisturized by applying lotion to it twice a day will help your skin rejuvenate itself and create elasticity in your skin. (This is the cream that many people recommend as an affordable daily moisturizer.)
- Stay fit. You don’t have to jump up and hit the gym every morning if that’s not your thing. Simply doing light exercises like walking, swimming, or pilates will help strengthen and tone the muscles all over your body, which will help tighten your skin and heal those stretch marks.
- Use special stretch mark creams. Using postpartum stretch mark cream will help you get rid of your pregnancy stretch marks. The entire process of researching and finding the right cream can be overwhelming, so I’ve put a list together further down in this post with the best postpartum stretch mark creams. (Want to skip the post and head straight to the list of postpartum stretch mark creams? Click here.)
- Eat healthy foods. While you might want to diet hardcore to lose all the extra baby weight, it’s important to remember that your body needs lots of nutrition (especially if you’re breastfeeding, and even if you’re not), so now is not the time for an extreme diet. It’s also not a time to pig out and eat lots of junk food. You want to be eating plenty of healthy foods every day so you can keep not only you and your baby strong, but also helps keep your skin healthy.
- Use vitamin E. When applied topically to the affected area, vitamin E oil supports new skin cell growth and speeds up cell generation, so this together makes it a perfect fit for fading marks and scars and supporting new cell growth over the affected areas. Vitamin E oil, when applied directly to the skin, can be quite sticky, so it is suggested to use a nice cream that contains vitamin E oil to help heal the scars. (This is a good cream)
- Be patient with it. Stretch marks aren’t going to go away overnight (in fact, it’s going to take some time for them to even start fading). Stretch marks will often start to fade 9 – 12 months postpartum, but by eating healthy, staying hydrated, using creams on your skin, and staying active you can help speed the process along.
What is stretch mark cream and how can it help you?
Many of the stretch mark creams that you will come across will claim to “prevent, reduce, and diminish” stretch marks. While I’m not confident that the creams can necessarily “prevent” stretch marks (as we talked about earlier – if your skin’s gonna stretch, it’s gonna stretch), I do believe there are many creams out there that can reduce and diminish stretch marks, after they have occurred.
When I was trying to find a good postpartum stretch mark cream for me, I found myself getting extremely overwhelmed. Just Google the terms “creams to get rid of stretch marks” or “pregnancy stretch mark cream” or “postpartum stretch mark cream” and you will have a LOT of different results thrown into your face, and a lot of different people swearing by a lot of different products.
The whole process was extremely overwhelming for me, and that made me realize it is probably pretty overwhelming for other ladies looking for ways to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks, so I did what I do best – I dove even deeper into the products and reviews.
And when I finally came out of my rabbit hole (a long while later), I believe I have found a list of the best postpartum stretch mark creams, and I’ll share it with you below.
But first, to answer this question, here’s what dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, MD. has to say:
“Stretch mark creams containing ingredients like alpha hydroxy acids combined with retinol (or vitamin A), cayenne pepper, tiger’s herb, vitamin C – anything that encourages collagen or elastin (elastic tissue) production and circulation – can help,” – Dermatologist Dr. Howard Murad, MD. (Source)
The different types of postpartum stretch mark cream
When you are looking for a postpartum stretch mark cream that is going to help your stretch marks fade and diminish over time, there are three different routes you can go.
There are stretch mark oils, stretch mark lotions, and stretch mark creams.
To keep things simple, throughout this article I have been referring to them all as “stretch mark creams”, but I’m not necessarily favoring the cream, it’s just a whole lot easier than saying “stretch mark oils, lotions, and creams” over and over again.
There are pros and cons to all three stretch mark substances, so it’s important to read the reviews below to get a good idea on which one will work best for you.
Using vitamin E oil for stretch marks
Vitamin E oil is what I have been using to fade my stretch marks. I use a bottle of straight vitamin E oil (this is the one I use) and apply it to the stretch marks nightly, but keep in mind that if you’re going to use just the oil, you have to rub it in really, really well (it can take a little while) or else you will end up with oil stains on your pajamas.
An alternative to applying straight vitamin E oil to your stretch marks is to apply a cream that contains vitamin E in it (a cream like this one). This way it’s easier to rub into your skin and you won’t feel so sticky afterward, instead, your skin should feel moisturized and healthy.
Vitamin E works so well because, when applied to the affected area, it supports new skin cell growth and regeneration.
What products to avoid using to get rid of pregnancy stretch marks
When choosing the right postpartum stretch mark cream for you, you will want to take a few factors into consideration.
Of course, if you’re using creams during your pregnancy or while you are breastfeeding, you will want to make sure you are choosing the safest option out there since you will be slathering this cream on your body every day and you definitely don’t want a product that is going to cause harm to your growing baby (whether in or out of the womb).
Here is a quick list of products you want to avoid during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Retinoids are a type of vitamin A and they work to speed up cell division and regulate cell growth.
Retinoids are often found in anti-aging creams, acne treatment products, wrinkle treatment products, and to treat scarring.
You will want to avoid these during your pregnancy as studies have shown that high doses of vitamin A can be harmful to an unborn child when taken orally. Studies have not concluded, however, if applying vitamin A products to your skin topically has any effect on your unborn child. Due to the lack of knowledge, it is suggested that you avoid using retinoids or vitamin A products topically while you’re pregnant, as well.
Hydroxy acids are chemical compounds that can be found in certain skin care products. Skin care products used to treat acne, inflammation, and redness often contain hydroxy acids.
The most common form of hydroxy acid (including beta hydroxy acid (BHA) and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA)) is salicylic acid. Studies have shown that high doses of salicylic acid (when taken orally) can cause birth defects and pregnancy complications. (Source)
This acid is also an ingredient in Aspirin, which is why it’s best to avoid taking aspirin during pregnancy.
Different products to use to heal stretch marks after pregnancy
There are several different types of products that you can use to treat and heal your stretch marks after pregnancy, with the most common of these being:
Cream, lotion, body butter, and oil all work well for treating stretch marks when they have the right ingredients in them. They work together to heal and rejuvenate your skin without drying it out or causing cracking or itchiness.
Like mentioned before, vitamin E is an effective way to treat and diminish stretch marks that have appeared by supporting new skin cell growth and speeding up cell regeneration. You can either opt for the pure vitamin E oil (though you will want to note that it tends to be pretty sticky, and doesn’t rub in extremely well, as it is a pure oil), or a stretch mark cream that contains vitamin E oil.
Now that you have a good idea of what stretch marks are, why some people get them, how you can prevent them, and what you can do to speed up the process of fading them, there are my top picks and the best postpartum stretch mark cream to help you eliminate those stretch marks.
1. Bio Oil
Like all of these creams and lotions for stretch marks, Bio Oil doesn’t work overnight. Some users suggested using the product for at least a month or two before expecting to see changes, but with consistent, daily use, Bio Oil can help fade scars and stretch marks.
If you’re hesitant to try an oil because you think it may leave a greasy film on your skin (and clothes), this oil quickly absorbs into your skin and doesn’t leave your skin feeling greasy. It also won’t clog your pores.
It is hypoallergenic and suggested to be safe for all skin types, so you don’t have to worry about breakouts or allergic reactions if you have had problems with them in the past. While this is the recommended type of oil for reducing scars and stretch marks, it also works to improve the appearance of uneven skin tones and helps maintain moisture in the skin, without causing it to become greasy.
|It is hypoallergenic.||It is an oil, so it may require more
rubbing time than a cream or lotion before
it absorbs into your skin completely.
|Not greasy and easily absorbs into skin.||Some people don’t like the scent.|
|It is recommended by many dermatologists.||Some people say it is not as effective on old scars.|
This lotion is made with shea butter and vitamin E. The shea butter keeps your skin moisturized and hydrated, which is an important part of pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and post pregnancy. The vitamin E helps lighten the appearance of existing stretch marks and supports new cell growth to quickly heal and fade those stretch marks.
Along with keeping your belly moisturized and working to fade your stretch marks, this cream also helps reduce the itchiness that many mamas and mamas-to-be face with during and post pregnancy.
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter is 99% natural and contains no parabens, phthalates, petrolatum, or SLS.
|It is safe for sensitive skin.||Some people don’t love its natural
|It is made with all natural ingredients.||It may not contain as many nutrients
as other products.
|It contains vitamin E which helps
substantially with skin regeneration.
|It is a bit pricey.|
|It is a pregnancy cream and was created
with mamas in mind.
This Earth Mama belly butter is a moisturizing lotion that helps ease stretch marks. It has a light natural scent, so if you are using this while pregnant the scent shouldn’t aggravate your morning sickness.
This lotion will help comfort your itchy skin by gently moisturizing the skin and keeping it hydrated.
Earth mama belly butter is completely toxin-free, certified organic, and pregnancy safe, so you can ease your worries of what you’re slathering on your belly, whether you’re pregnant or postpartum.
You can use this body butter all through your pregnancy, as well as postpartum to restore the elasticity back into your skin and help it bounce back into shape.
|It is toxin-free and organic.||Some say it leaves a bit of
a greasy residue on skin.
|A very mild scent.||Most people use it for
preventing rather than healing
|It is pregnancy safe.|
This tummy butter is made with a handful of ingredients all effective in rejuvenating skin health, including vitamin E and shea butter. This cream helps improve skin elasticity and reduces the appearance of stretch marks from pregnancy.
The cocoa butter and shea butter work together to soften and moisturize your skin, while the vitamin E supports moisture retention and new skin cell growth. The lutein improves hydration and helps support stretching skin, argan oil softens and conditions the skin, almond oil acts as a moisturizer, and the coconut oil supports healthy, supple skin.
Palmer’s cocoa butter is hypoallergenic and works well on sensitive skin so you won’t have to worry about breaking out due to an allergic reaction with this lotion. It provides 48-hour hydration for your skin, so you won’t have to be applying it every couple of hours throughout the day to keep your skin supple and soft.
The body butter is free of mineral oils, parabens, and phthalates, making it a very safe option whether you’re pregnant or postpartum.
|It provides long-lasting hydration.||It has a strong scent that
lasts for a long time.
|It is dermatologist approved.||It is a very thick lotion and may
be slightly greasy.
|It is cheaper than most creams|
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Skin Therapy Oil helps improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks, along with dry, aging, damaged, or uneven skin tones.
This oil is made with cocoa butter and also includes vitamin E oil (which I strongly believe is one of the most important factors of getting rid of scars and stretch marks).
It is free of mineral oil, parabens, and phthalates, so you don’t need to be worried about what you’re putting on your skin. This moisturizing body oil offers 24-hour moisturization without clogging your pores as some creams and lotions do.
Palmer’s skin therapy oil was made with sensitive skinned people in mind. This oil has a lovely rosehip fragrance, though this scent may not be a favorite for everyone.
|It moisturizes without clogging pores.||It is an oil rather than a lotion.|
|It contains vitamin E.||Some people may not like the scent.|
|It has a rosehip fragrance.||Some people found it to be greasy.|
|It is dermatologically tested.|
Essential oils work to support blood flow and circulation throughout your body and ensure your skin is getting a sufficient amount of oxygen. In turn, your skin will become healthy and be able to focus on healing those stretch marks, rather than focusing everything on trying to keep itself hydrated and healthy.
One of the most recommended essential oils to use to get rid of stretch marks is:
Frankincense is said to treat dry skin, promote skin cell regeneration, and help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. All this makes Frankincense a no-brainer when it comes to picking the right essential oils for your skincare.
Frankincense is also safe to use during pregnancy, so you don’t need to wait until that little one is out to start using this oil to regenerate your skin. As an added benefit, Frankincense will help you relax and unwind, which is particularly nice if you struggle with anxiety during pregnancy or postpartum.
This is an essential oil I had never heard of until I started doing my research, and I’m surprised I have never heard of this oil before.
Patchouli oil has very strong cell regenerating properties meaning it – you guessed it – works exceptionally well for healing and diminishing stretch marks.
On top of strong cell regenerating properties, Patchouli oil also encourages new cell growth and repairs damaged tissues, making it one of the best options for getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy.
If you just can’t wait until after this baby is out to start using oils on your stretch marks, Patchouli oil is pregnancy-friendly and safe.
As well as being an option for getting rid of stretch marks in pregnancy, Patchouli oil also said to help with indecision and confusion. You may find this oil coming in handy for many more things than just getting rid of stretch marks (I’m talking to you, baby brain).
It’s important to note that though Patchouli oil has many benefits in pregnancy, it has a fairly strong scent and some mamas-to-be may find the scent too strong in pregnancy.
Geranium oil boosts elastin fibers to help improve your skin’s elasticity (which is super important). It also mends collagen (which is an important component in preventing stretch marks).
You can also use Geranium oil to help with the ever-present leg cramps that come with pregnancy by boosting circulation throughout your body. It is recommended that you wait until to use Geranium oil until after the first three months of your pregnancy.
Neroli oil assists in the regeneration of scarred tissue, making it a good choice for treating stretch marks. This oil also has anti-scarring properties that may help prevent stretch marks and will help fade old stretch marks.
Neroli oil has some added benefit of helping balance your emotions (which are probably everywhere if you’re pregnant or postpartum). It is also said to help you feel tranquil and relaxed, which comes in handy especially if you find you struggle with pregnancy or postpartum anxiety.
If you want to use Neroli while pregnant, it is completely pregnancy safe.
|They are an all-natural way of diminishing stretch marks||Not all essential oils are pregnancy
safe (learn what ones are and what ones aren’t here).
|Essential oils can be used for a wide variety of pregnancy and postpartum symptoms, aches, and pains.|
This lotion provides relief to your itchy and achy skin with intense hydration and by providing protection against rough skin.
If you can’t handle strong scents, this stretch mark cream is unscented, so you don’t have to worry about being turned off by the smell.
The body butter is a rich, creamy lotion that doesn’t make your skin greasy or leave you with a residue on your skin. It absorbs quickly into the skin with its hydrating properties. This body butter also contains vitamin E, which helps and supports new cell growth and is an important factor in getting rid of stretch marks.
They offer a 90-day manufacturer guarantee, just in case you happen to buy this body butter and find it doesn’t work for you, or you just aren’t happy with it.
|It is unscented||It is a thick texture|
|It contains vitamin E|
|Many people have seen
Here’s a quick refresher on what vitamin E oil can do for your skin:
Vitamin E oil is a popular choice when it comes to getting rid of scars (old and new). It supports new skin cell growth as well as speeding up the cell regeneration process. You can find vitamin E oil in many stretch mark creams, or you can opt for using straight vitamin E oil to eliminate your stretch marks.
Using the pure oil on your stretch marks isn’t as popular of a choice, as it can be quite sticky and needs a lot of rubbing to fully absorb into the skin without leaving a sticky residue on the surface of the skin. But, this is all I have been using and I am quite pleased with it.
I put my vitamin E oil on my skin just before going to bed and spend a few minutes rubbing it into my skin fully, then I grab some pajamas that I don’t care if they get a bit of oil on them, and wear them for the night.
Vitamin E oil’s main role in many creams and lotions is to be an antioxidant, but it also helps soften skin as well as moisturize skin.
|It helps reduce & remove stretch
marks & scars.
|It is an oil.|
|It is all natural & pregnancy safe.||It can be a bit sticky on the skin.|
|It is extremely healthy for your skin.|
Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks has a long list of raving reviews, and for good reason. This stretch mark cream is toxin-free and vegan.
Tummy Butter stretch mark cream includes a long list of pregnancy-safe ingredients, such as:
- Cocoa butter. Cocoa butter is used to assist repairing damaged skin. In addition to repairing damaged skin, it also moisturizes, softens, and smooths out the tone and texture of your skin to make scars less noticeable.
- Organic tamanu oil. Tamanu oil has antimicrobial qualities and antibacterial qualities, along with being an anti-inflammatory, these all work together to help reduce scars.
- Organic sea buckthorn oil. Sea buckthorn oil is known for its ability to recover skin damage, including scars.
- Organic rosehip oil. This oil deeply moisturizes dry skin and improves the appearance of dark spots and scars.
|It has an orange-chocolate scent.||It doesn’t prevent stretch marks.|
|It makes your skin smooth.||Some people don’t love the smell.|
|Reduces skin itchiness.|
With so many different options readily available to you, it can be difficult and overwhelming to know which one is right for you. Do you want an oil? A cream? A lotion? What about just using pure vitamin E oil?
You may also have questions like, “how long until I see results?” “‘is it worth my money?”. These are all valid questions and concerns, and the answer is: It depends.
How important is it to you to get rid of your stretch marks? Do they bother you, or could you live with them no problem? If you don’t mind your stretch marks, there’s no point in spending money on a postpartum stretch mark cream when you could save that money and be happy with your body the way it is.
But, if you struggle with your stretch marks, getting a good stretch mark cream, lotion or oil is a good idea to help you get rid of your stretch marks and gain your confidence back.
If you’re wondering how long it will take for you to start seeing results, the answer is: It varies.
I know – I’m not giving you a ton of straight-forward answers right now, but the truth is that it is going to vary for everyone. Body type, skin condition, genetics, and many other things have to be factored in when talking about stretch marks.
Generally, people tend to see their pregnancy stretch marks start to fade anywhere from 6 – 12 months postpartum, but it may differ from person to person.
There’s a good chance that the sooner you start using a postpartum stretch mark cream, the sooner your stretch marks will start to fade and go away altogether. But either way – patience is key.
Did you get stretch marks during your pregnancy? Share this with a mama-to-be or a new mom to help them gain their confidence back and get rid of pregnancy stretch marks.
Do you have an awesome postpartum stretch mark cream suggestion that isn’t on this list that helped you get rid of your stretch marks? I’d love to hear from you.