Pregnancy can change your body, mind, and soul. It’s also an incredible experience that can leave you with a few battle scars along the way — such as stretch marks. And while every mark your baby leaves you with is beautiful, there are a few ways you can avoid these marks from developing (if you choose to take preventative measures).
If you are currently pregnant or planning to start a family, stretch mark cream can help make those physical changes along the way a little bit easier. Applying it is just a little way of saying thanks to your body, and all it does for you — which includes growing your precious baby.
To learn more about stretch mark lotion, and how it can benefit you along your pregnancy journey, continue reading.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Weight gain and growth spurts in your teen years can cause stretch marks. However, stretch marks are also quite common in pregnancy. In those nine months, your stomach can grow up to the size of a small watermelon. Stretch marks are just the result of those underlying layers of skin getting pulled apart by your growing bump. You can expect to see them at around 15 weeks, once you start to ‘show.’ But this is just a rough estimate — a woman’s shape, size, and height are all determining factors when it comes to that expanding baby bump.
How to Avoid Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are completely normal. However, when the skin around your belly starts to grow, it can feel quite uncomfortable. Scratching can exacerbate these fine little lines around your stomach, so instead of using your fingernails to soothe the itch, try a stretch mark cream instead. These creams are formulated with ingredients that will keep your skin looking healthy all throughout your pregnancy to your delivery.
You can also help prevent stretch marks by following these next tips.
Consume Plenty of Vitamin C
What you put inside your body is just as important when trying to ward off stretch marks. Certain foods rich in vitamin C help promote elasticity and increase the amount of collagen in the skin. So, don’t skip out on the orange juice.
Exfoliate in the Shower with a Gentle Scrub
A sugar or sea salt scrub will get rid of any dry and dead skin still living on the surface of your epidermis. By ridding yourself of this layer, any cream or oil you use will penetrate your skin more thoroughly.
Drink Plenty of Water Throughout the Pregnancy
Staying hydrated also helps promote elasticity in the skin. Drinking plenty of water has multiple benefits, pregnant or not. But, it’s recommended that you drink eight to ten glasses every day while carrying your baby.
Keep Your Skin Moisturized
Of course, make sure to keep your skin moisturized with an oil or cream formulated for specifically for stretch marks to keep your skin healthy.
Using Stretch Mark Cream Regularly
Use your cream of choice at least twice a day. Turn it into a sweet ritual, by spending a little bit of time every day to sing to your growing baby, and massage the skin around your bump.
I do want to remind any new and expectant mothers out there, that stretch marks are often hereditary. These ‘tiger stripes’ are quite common, so no need to feel embarrassed or ashamed if you start to see them appear. Remember, there is a human life growing inside of you, so no matter what your skin looks like, know that you are a strong and powerful person. And your baby will love you, no matter how many stretch marks you have.
What to Consider When Buying a Stretch Mark Cream
Look for creams that contain a hydrating blend of vitamins D, A, and E. These oils nourish and moisturize the skin and can help calm down the uncomfortable and itchy sensation. These vitamins also help to promote new cell turnover, which can erase existing stretch marks and prevent new ones from developing. Consider any allergies you may have. Most creams are natural and safe for you and baby; however, always check the ingredients just in case. Here, we have some natural options that do not include harsh fragrances, dyes, or parabens. Also, consider your budget. You may need a couple of jars throughout your pregnancy, so if you do want to splurge on a more luxurious product, know that you may have to buy your item of choice two or more times.
Here are an array of options ranging in price point. All these options are natural and safe for any point in your pregnancy.
This cream is 100% organic, cruelty-free, and vegan. It also contains one of my favorite ingredients for the skin — sweet almond oil. Sweet almond oil has been proven to smooth fine lines and increase cell turnover. It contains three different vitamins such as zinc, vitamin A, and vitamin E. The Belly Butter by Glow Organics also smells incredible — almost like a bakery. Additionally, a little goes a very long way with this jar, so it may last you your entire pregnancy and beyond that. Make sure to keep your jar in a cool and dry area, so it doesn’t liquify.
Also, keep in mind, the texture is a bit more firm than most creams. However, once you start rubbing it into your skin, it should melt.
- Vegan friendly
- Thick texture
- 100% organic
- Made in the US
- Cream starts off firm but will melt once on your skin
- Can go very runny if left in a hot place
Organic aloe soothes and softens, for tighter and brighter skin. It also feels cool on the skin. Most notably, I am a fan of the bottle. The squirt cap releases the perfect amount of product every time. This cream does not contain parabens or fragrance — it has nothing but the good stuff, like sunflower seed oil and organic olive oil.
I found that this is a thicker cream, but it doesn’t leave your hands or skin feeling greasy like some other oil-based products might.
Though this is an unscented product, there is a light scent of lemon. I found it to be quite lovely, fresh, and almost therapeutic when applying. However, if you’re sensitive towards fragrance, take note of this.
- Made from natural ingredients
- Dermatologically tested and clinically tested for irritation
- It does have a slight scent
- Pump can sometimes dispense too much product
One jar will last throughout your entire pregnancy — however, I repurchased after my first baby came because of how much I loved the way it felt on the skin. The cream also absorbs quite quickly which is another definite plus when you’re getting ready in the morning. I highly recommend this for those moms who have sensitive noses, since it’s unscented. It glides on so smoothly and can help make the skin on your growing belly feel a little more comfortable.
- No artificial scents
- Safe to use during pregnancy
- Absorbs quickly
- It has a natural scent that some may not like
This is another cream that boasts a cruelty-free title, which is a huge bonus for any vegetarian or vegan moms out there. This formula is made in the U.S and is completely natural. And while it is higher in price, I noticed it did help with the stretching that came with my third pregnancy. Therefore, I recommend this for moms who are more prone to stretching since its formula is so concentrated and potent. It’s also a decent option for mothers who get exceptionally itchy during pregnancy. Due to the organic materials, it’s quite a greasy formula, so make sure to wash your hands after using it.
For best results, make sure to exfoliate and use the TriLASTIN cream twice a day — preferably in the morning and right before bed.
- Vegan friendly
- Made in the US
- Concentrated formula
- Slightly more pricey
- Oily formula which some moms may not like
Although it’s on the more luxe end of the spectrum, the Mustela Cream is outstanding for travelling. It comes in a tube, and it is so easy to take anywhere. It’s even sleek enough to fit inside of a handbag. One of the best aspects of Mustela’s brand is that they give you the option to purchase their cream in a scented or lightly fragranced version so that you can take your pick. The formula is hypoallergenic and made with avocado peptides — it’s terrific for expectant mothers who have sensitive skin.
Keep this in mind, you might have to spend an additional few minutes rubbing this into the skin. It takes a while to absorb, but massaging it in is quite soothing anyway.
- Small enough to fit in purse
- Different scented options
- Takes a while to absorb
Out of all the creams reviewed here today, my personal favorite is the Belly Butter by Glow Organics. One jar lasts a while, it can be used during, and after pregnancy, and it sits at a reasonable price point for one jar. If you want something to travel with, consider paring this lotion with the Earth Mama Belly Butter. These are both sold by trusted brands that care about offering expectant mothers safe and effective products.
Stretch marks are part of the journey. However, you can take care of the skin you’re in and help to prevent them with the right regimen.