Living / 5 May, 2023 / Ellie Thompson
Stretch marks are a common worry and according to the NHS website, 8 out of 10 women will get them during pregnancy. They’re a natural reaction to your skin stretching as your body grows to accommodate your baby. They may seem inevitable, but there are some fabulous products you can use to help your skin during that stretching process – here’s my round-up of favourites, together with some expert GP advice from Dr Clare Thompson from The Courtfield Private Practice.
Top tips for managing stretch marks
- Preparing the skin for a degree of stretch in pregnancy is certainly helpful in strengthening the skin and makes it less likely to be damaged. If you wish to use topical creams then best to start doing so at the beginning of the second trimester.
- Maintaining your water intake is beneficial for keeping the skin hydrated and plump.
- Creams and oils will help target the surface layer of the skin and prevent dryness and itching whilst improving the appearance of any scar tissue from the stretch marks.
- For more intensive and effective therapies you will likely need to target the dermal layer of the skin after the pregnancy with laser therapy and new techniques such as PRP to get the best results.
- By only gaining a sensible amount of weight during the pregnancy you are less likely to over-stretch the skin and thus less likely to tear the dermal layers.
- Remember that even if you do develop stretch marks during the pregnancy the appearance will improve over time and they will fade and flatten to a much lighter colour.
For more in-depth info from Dr Clare Thompson, check out this article.
My Baba’s recommended products
Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil for Scars, Stretch Marks & Dry Skin, Nuture
This nutrient-dense moisturising formula is enriched with 5 Omega-Rich Oils like Rosehip, Sweet Almond, Grapeseed and Chia along with replenishing Vitamin E & hydrating Squalane. A deeply nourishing, moisturising and restorative oil, it is rich in essential fatty acids and antioxidants and helps to assist the skin in becoming more supple to improve the appearance of scars & stretch marks in just 8 weeks.
Cocoon Of Bliss Stretch Mark Butter, Little Butterfly London
Quickly penetrating, it combines creamy whipped butters of cupuaçu, kokum, mango, illipe, cacao and shea that deliver long-lasting nourishment, help to boost cell regeneration and provide lipid barrier protection.
ElestanTM from the leaf of Manilkara protects the elastic fibre network and ArganylTM from the leaves of the argan tree boosts the collagen structure. Sea algae extracts plump and smooth, whilst comforting rooibos and arnica flower help to calm itchiness and soothe sensitivity. Anti-oxidants shield the skin from age-accelerating environmental stressors, bolster the skin’s defences and help to protect the cell structure.
The Perfect Ritual Set for Stretch Marks, Joone
A duo of complementary textures for the same cocooning ritual, Joone’s set contains The Perfect Stretch Marks oil and The Perfect Stretch Marks cream. Designed for pregnant women, these organic cosmetics are designed to be used from the very first month of pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, and are also compatible with breastfeeding.
Musk rose oil is known to repair the skin and improve the appearance of stretch marks and scars, as it accelerates the regeneration of skin cells. Shea butter is known for its moisturising properties and to reduce the appearance of existing scars and stretch marks.
Stretch Mark Oil
Stretch marks are part and parcel of most pregnancies, and it can be difficult to know which products to use to help ease itching and soothe skin.
This new Stretch Mark Oil in the Matchstick Monkey Babycare collection promotes skin elasticity and can even help to minimise the appearance of stretch marks over time.
Almond Supple Skin Oil, L’Occitane
This lightweight body oil has been created to make your skin feel firmer and smoother. Enriched with almond oil and omegas 3 and 6 this body oil spray melts into the skin, leaving it nourished and moisturised.
Tonic Treatment Oil, Clarins
A firming body oil that tones and improves elasticity, ideal for stretch marks removal.
Clarins’ best-selling firming body oil—with 100% pure and powerful plant extracts including Rosemary, Geranium and Mint making a healthy formula—helps firm, tone and improve elasticity, smoothing the appearance of stretch marks. Hazelnut Oil locks in moisture to leave body skin soft, satiny-smooth and elastic.
Skin is prepared to face the strains of weight changes and stretching. The Tonic Body Treatment Oil is effective in removing stretch marks. Aromatic natural botanicals promote an overall feeling of well-being.
A blend of natural agents in one body oil to indulge in. Spending some time to really relax and massage your skin with Clarins body care, can help to refresh and revitalise. Especially recommended for use during pregnancy and dieting. Suitable for all skin types.
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Fantastic Skin Elastic, My Expert Midwife
A serum that soothes and hydrates tight, itchy, and stretching skin during pregnancy, this rich massage serum offers relief to skin anywhere on your body and can help to reduce the appearance of pregnancy stretch marks.
Nourish & Relieve, Natural Birthing Company
Thi natural blend of oils and butters are designed to help soothe and hydrate your skin, locking in the moisture and helping to maintain its elasticity – thereby also reducing the appearance of those dreaded stretch marks.
Solution for Stretch Marks, Science of Skin
Developed by a team of skin and scarring experts, this formulation works by combining active natural phytochemicals and highly moisturising natural ingredients with vitamins C and E to offer a soothing and active stretch mark treatment.
Stretch Mark Oil, Kit and Kin
A blend of 15 naturally nourishing oils including sunflower, jojoba, strawberry and mandarin, this smoothing soothing formula keeps skin supple and stretch mark free.
Approved by dermatologists and certified natural by the soil association, our stretch mark oil is made without any harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances. Nature at its best.
Tummy Rub Butter, Mama Mio
Expertly formulated to nourish and soothe growing bumps, Mama Mio’s Tummy Rub Butter is clinically proven* to increase skin elasticity and moisture, helping to protect against stretch marks. Packed full of natural plant-based actives to deliver results you can both see and feel.
Maternite Stretch Marks Cream, Mustela
Prevent the appearance of stretch marks during and after pregnancy with the Mustela Maternite Stretch Marks Cream, a lightweight cream that reinforces skin elasticity.
Clinically proven to limit the appearance of stretch marks while effectively moisturising the skin, Mustela’s delicate cream is made with 96% natural ingredients – so it’s safe to use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Scar & Stretch Mark Cream, Superbalm
This healing cream is deeply moisturising and promotes supple and silky skin. It contains lanolin, which was commonly used for stretch marks and scarring back in the day. As it’s an occlusive it locks moisture into the skin and provides Vitamin D3, a critical fat-soluble vitamin that promotes cell growth. The Ghee which is highly valued as a skin conditioning agent in Ayurveda provides further nutrition and the lard, duck fat and tallow are packed with fatty acids to nourish and keep skin healthy and glowing. This balm reduces the likelihood of stretch marks and scarring. It soaks right into the skin, leaving it silky soft and supple.
Lavender and Frankincense are safe essential oils for using while pregnant and they are known for both stretch mark prevention and for their calming and nourishing properties.
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Stretch Mark Balm, Cowshed
Cowshed’s Stretch Mark Balm is a specially formulated blend of natural oils that encourages epidermal elasticity and minimises stretch marks. Each is carefully selected for its enriching properties, with Coconut oil as a moisturiser and Sea Buckthorn oil as a source of protective vitamins and minerals to care deeply for your skin.
Gently massage your growing bump and any other areas that are changing throughout pregnancy for soft and smooth skin.
Skincare Oil, Bio-Oil
Clinically proven to help improve the appearance of new and old scars, stretch marks forming during pregnancy, teenage growth spurts, and periods of rapid weight gain and helps with uneven skin tone.
Contains vitamins and essential oils for improving your skin: the unique combination of PurCellin Oil and Vitamin A and E complex will ensure the improvement of the skin texture and elasticity & provide non-greasy hydration
Anti-Stretch Marks, Elifexir
e’lifexir Natural Beauty Anti-Stretch Marks Cream works in four ways: Centella Asiatica leaf extract helps to increase the firmness and elasticity of the skin. Scotch thistle extract helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks through a dual action, increasing both the elasticity and moisture levels of the skin, which stimulates the regeneration process. Natural cherry, orange and grape water, rich in antioxidants, improve the well-being of the skin’s protective barrier.
Mother’s Balm, Neal’s Yard
Certified organic and fragrance-free, this intensely nourishing balm helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks, making it the ideal gift for new mums and mums-to-be. With a blend of skin-nourishing oils and beeswax to replenish, soothe and boost skin’s elasticity.
Mama Bee Belly Butter, Burts Bee’s
Specially blended to soothe skin through the 9-month stretch of pregnancy, this rich Belly Butter will keep your growing belly soft, smooth and comfortable before and after your new arrival.
Stretch Mark Massage Oil, Weleda
Developed in conjunction with doctors and midwives, this pure product provides comfort and skin care for a mother before, during and after pregnancy. A base of sweet almond oil works gently, delivering intensely moisturising essential fatty acids that keep your skin supple and protected from drying. Because pregnancy is a big job for your muscles and skin, the organic arnica flower extract helps ease tightness and provides a layer of comforting warmth when you indulge yourself with a soothing massage.
Cocoa Butter Formula, Palmer’s
Palmer’s cocoa butter formula massage cream for stretch marks helps improve the appearance of stretch marks with a special combination of cocoa butter, vitamin E, collagen and elastin.
2-Step Stretch Mark Oil, Pai
A fragrance-free stretch mark oil and cream duo that maximises the skin’s capacity to stretch and bounce back during pregnancy and beyond. Rich in intensively nourishing oils, omegas and vitamins, our pregnancy stretch mark oil and cream contain pumpkin seed oil to effectively promote skin elasticity.
Safe from day one of pregnancy, this two-step routine is free from essential oils and uses only natural, organic ingredients. Twinning is winning, after all.
Scar Saviour, Nessa
Nessa’s best-selling high-performing skin and scar recovery balm is formulated for C-Section scars and stretch marks. Loaded with powerful plant actives to instantly hydrate and restore the skin, Scar Saviour helps to minimise the appearance of all scars.
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidants, turmeric, marshmallow root, and vitamin E penetrate the skin, boosting collagen, accelerating skin and scar recovery.
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