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Can certain creams actually reduce stretch marks?

edited February 2014 in Ask the Beauty Brains
Hello Beauty Brains,

I just found out I'm pregnant - yay! - but I'm also prone to stretch marks - boo!  Stretch mark creams claim to help prevent and also reduce the appearance of the scars, but I'm skeptical. What do you think? Are there any that contain ingredients that can prevent and heal stretch marks?

Here are a couple popular ones:

- DermaRESTORE : Deionized Water, Aloe Vera Gel, C12-15 Alkyl Benzoate, Glyceryl
Stearate, PEG-100 Stearate, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Butylene
Glycol, Cetyl Alcohol ...

- Palmer's Cocoa Butter : Water (Aqua), Theobroma Cacao (Cocoa) Extract, Glycerin, Propylene
Glycol Stearate, Petrolatum, Glyceryl Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Cocos
Nucifera (Coconut) Oil, Cetyl Alcohol ...

- Clarins Stretch Mark Control: Water, Cyclomethicone, Cetearyl Alcohol, Caprylic/Capric Triglyceride,
Isononyl Isononanoate-Alcohol, Hydrogenated Coco-Glycerides, Glycerin,
Cetearyl Glucoside, ...

Thanks for your help!


  • Anything that keeps the skin really well lubricated can help prevent the stretch marks to some degree, so just go for the cheapest option. I would definitely do Palmers, that product worked like a charm for me when I went through some weight gain in my teenage years and it smells yummy.

    By the way, there's no special, amazing anti-stretch mark active ingredient out there, so don't let yourself get sucked in. If you do develop some stretch marks, ask for a prescription for a tretinoin product after you're done nursing (it's contraindicated for pregnant or breastfeeding women) and that might bring it down a bit. Vitamin A derivatives in prescription form are one of the only real options for skin damage as severe as a stretch mark.
  • Congrats to Tara!! Good luck with your pregnancy. 

    We agree with Brainybimbo's comment. We have written about this a little in the past, so check out these: 

  • Futurederm did a post on some fancy pants expensive cosmetic dermatology treatment for stretchmarks. Just search stretchmarks on that site.
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