Which product for stretch marks is best?

Stretch marks occur naturally when the skin is rapidly stretched, and most people will have them at some point in their lives. Because stretch marks are technically a scar, they need time to heal and should be supported with moisturizing ingredients. Whether you have stretch marks or are trying to prevent them, stretch mark creams and oils help nourish your skin, so they heal or prevent further scarring.

For a hydrating, nourishing product that helps heal and fade stretch marks, Bio-Oil Skincare Oil is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a product for stretch marks

Safety

Stretch marks often appear during pregnancy, usually a time of rapid weight gain. Check that the ingredients used in your stretch mark products during this delicate time are safe. It’s crucial to avoid any products with retinol or retinoids, common skin care ingredients that are harmful if you’re pregnant. This shouldn’t be hard — plenty of pregnancy creams and oils are formulated to support those who are pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Regular use

Stretch marks are notorious for being hard to get rid of. Because of this, you must prioritize using stretch mark creams regularly. Be consistent, whether you decide to do it daily or a couple of times a week. Consistent use ensures that skin is kept hydrated and nourished, aiding in getting the scars to fade or even better, preventing them altogether. And it’s helpful to take time to massage the area so that the product seeps in deeper.

Patience 

Stretch marks are often an unavoidable result of changes in your body; it’s normal for them to occur anywhere, and remain visible longer than we’d like them to. The quickest route to removing them is by visiting your dermatologist, who can discuss options such as laser treatment and therapy. If that is not an option for you, be patient and wait for regular use of stretch mark products to work. 

What to look for in a quality product for stretch marks

Hydration

Keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated is essential to preventing or reducing stretch marks and other concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles. These ingredients are common in stretch mark products:

  • Shea butter 
  • Cocoa butter 
  • Retinol 
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Coconut oil 
  • Jojoba oil
  • Vitamin E 
  • Glycerin

Constant hydration keeps your skin supple and helps the product’s other ingredients penetrate more deeply. 

Active ingredients 

Though retinol is known by many to treat acne and hyperpigmentation, it is also effective in fading old stretch marks and preventing new ones from forming. Retinol, retinoids, silicone and hyaluronic acid are some of the key active ingredients that help improve the overall appearance of stretch marks. They aid in: 

  • Helping new skin surface 
  • Strengthening the skin 
  • Smoothing the texture of stretch marks 
  • Hydrating and plumping the skin 
  • Fading scars 

Make sure you’re not pregnant before using retinol or retinoids.

Targeted use

One size does not fit all when it comes to buying stretch-mark products. Many are made for general use, but some are specifically for those who are pregnant and breastfeeding, for new stretch marks, for tougher and older stretch marks, or for stretch marks in particular areas of the body, such as the hips or the arms. 

Before you buy any cream, consider what you want the product to do and what preferences you have. For instance, you may prefer drugstore items or vegan options. 

How much you can expect to spend on a product for stretch marks

There’s a wide range of products that prevent and diminish stretch marks. They can cost as little as $6 or as much as $140, depending on the brand, ingredients and size.

Product for stretch marks FAQ

Do stretch mark creams work?

A. Yes. Stretch mark creams are effective in slowly fading stretch marks and preventing them. 

When is the best time to start using stretch mark creams? 

A. As a preventive measure, you can start using stretch mark creams before you have them or if you are about to go through a change in weight. For existing stretch marks, start using them as soon as you notice the scars form. 

How quickly do stretch marks fade?

A. There is no one answer to this. However, for the quickest results, visit your dermatologist or laser therapist. Topical creams tend to take longer to show visible results. 

What’s the best product to buy for stretch marks?

Top product for stretch marks

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

Bio-Oil Skincare Oil

What you need to know: This multi-use moisturizing oil fades stretch marks and scars and is easily absorbed by any skin type. 

What you’ll love: With a vitamin-packed formula that won’t clog pores, this oil evens skin tone and repairs scarred skin. Its acids and plant extracts help protect, nourish and support the skin barrier. It’s easy to use and smells great.

What you should consider: Some people find this oil too greasy. Avoid form-fitting clothes that may stain immediately after application. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty and Amazon

Top product for stretch marks for the money

Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter

What you need to know: This intensive scar-treatment butter, recommended during or after pregnancy, improves skin elasticity and reduces the look of stretch marks. 

What you’ll love: This preventative treatment’s natural oils ensure 24-hour hydration and protection while leaving your skin supple and soft. It’s fragrance-free and hypoallergenic, making it suitable for sensitive skin.

What you should consider: Depending on the climate where you live, the butter may harden, making it difficult to use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

StricVectin SD Advanced Plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch Marks

StriVectin SD Advanced Plus Intensive Moisturizing Concentrate for Wrinkles and Stretch Marks

What you need to know: This moisturizing concentrate cream doubles as a wrinkle cream and intensely hydrates to visibly reduce stretch marks and fine lines. 

What you’ll love: Packed with active hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid and aloe, this formula targets skin collagen to revitalize your skin and make it supple, yet firm. It’s a potent blend that moisturizes and strengthens.

What you should consider: People with sensitive skin should patch-test this cream, as it may cause some irritation. 

Where to buy: Sold by Ulta Beauty 

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Nentapmun Gomwalk writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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