Best Stretch Marks Creams
Published medical studies show preventing the depth and severity of pregnancy stretch marks is possible. Important discoveries to note are that vitamin E trumps cocoa butter in stretch marks prevention, as do topically applied gotu kola and marine-derived collagen hydrolysates ("Prophylaxis of Striae gravidarum with a topical formulation. A double blind trial," International Journal of Cosmetic Science, 1991). The best stretch marks creams are the ones, then, that are rich in proven prevention ingredients.
Even if genes are working against you, maximize your skin's resilience with the combination of the best stretch marks prevention creams, oils and lotions that are right for you.
Oils provide the most effective moisture seal for your skin, followed by butters or creams, followed by lotions. Use oils in combination with a cream or lotion for best protection. Apply one of the best stretch marks oils in the morning after bathing. In the evening, before bed, apply one of the best creams or lotions. You can also moisturize mid-day with a cream or lotion, if possible. You'll find that extra step of mid-day moisturizing helpful if you have an itchy belly, too.
The Best Stretch Marks Oils
The best stretch marks oils are made with pregnancy-safe, natural ingredients and free from fragrance, parabens, mineral oils and other ingredients linked to reproductive interference or cancer. After all, you don't want to swap your worry about stretch marks for worry about dangerous ingredients getting in your baby's bloodstream.
Instead of Bio-Oil, which contains retinyl palmitate (a no-no for pregnancy), toluene (that toxic ingredient that everyone wants to avoid in nail polish), artificial fragrance that may contain phthalates (and interferes with reproductive hormones) and mineral oil (a petroleum derivative), choose a natural oil rich in vitamin E.
Sweet almond oil, olive oil, safflower oil, avocado oil are examples of vitamin E rich oils. Avoid applying straight vitamin E oil, as it can cause contact dermatitis.
The Best Stretch Marks Creams
As with stretch mark oils (and all your skin care products), again, beware of common brand-names that include ingredients such as parabens, fragrance, and petrolatum. Popular and inexpensive options such as Palmer's Cocoa Butter are inexpensive for a reason. While they're paraben-free and phthalate-free, they're loaded with petroleum-based ingredients, including mineral oil, petrolatum and butylene glycol. Whether or not petroleum-based products cause cancer (there are links, but no causality has been shown and petroleum-based products are generally recognized as safe for use in cosmetics), they are known to dehydrate skin, reduce skin's regenerative ability and speed signs of aging. If your goal is to prevent stretch marks, drying out skin and reducing your collagen and elastin are NOT the way to achieve that!
The best stretch marks creams are the ones that will deliver the vitamin E needed to support your skin and will help lock in moisture and prevent dryness-without using artificial and potentially toxic chemicals to do that.
For Best Results Preventing Pregnancy Stretch Marks
- Begin your stretch mark prevention regimen as early in your pregnancy as you'd like, but especially by the beginning of the second trimester.
- Stretch marks don't appear only on the abdomen. Although the lower abdomen is the most prone to stretch marks, they're also notorious for appearing on the hips, buttocks, lower back, inner thighs and breasts. Follow those steps for those areas of the body as well.
- Prevention is key: stretch marks are very difficult to get rid of completely. Following these four steps for preventing pregnancy stretch marks will be more pleasurable and effective than trying to erase them after the fact.
- Remember: the best stretch marks prevention comes from the inside out, so drink plenty of water and support your skin with an Omega 3 DHA supplement.
- Stay moisturized