With the fact that pregnancy is a “magical” time, it brings some unwanted changes into women’s lives. Without a doubt, one of the most upsetting “side effects” are stretch marks.
I want to begin with the words that even if you have tried your best with preventing stretches on your skin, you should feel nothing bad about having them! Stretch marks are natural and they come into people’s lives because of different reasons, but none of them should make you feel less self-worthy or affect your self-confidence!
Fighting stretch marks should be considered as a prophylactic treatment for your skin health, and it helps you to avoid pain caused by rapidly stretching skin (deep stretch marks can hurt). However, the appearance of stretch marks should not make you feel less beautiful!
Although nothing can promise you a 100% stretch mark free pregnancy, you still can significantly decrease the chance of their appearance or help already formed stretch marks to fade a bit better and blend with your skin.
Keep reading below to learn more!
1.) Hydration! (Drinks)
Staying hydrated is the best thing you can do to increase your skin quality. Hydration should come from both ways; internal and topical.
Drink at least two liters of pure water daily, and if you have the opportunity, drink natural electrolyte-containing rich drinks like watermelon, coconut, or maple water as well!
For watermelon water I love the product WTRMLN WTR.
This brand produces the finest quality watermelon water, which helps to save the most nutrients for you and your baby. They have pure watermelon water as well as flavors that include natural juices such as:
- Tart Cherry
- Blood Orange
In my opinion, I like the one which contains ginger, since ginger is helpful for pregnant women to control morning sickness.
For maple water I prefer the brand Drink Maple.
For coconut water, ZICO offers a good deal compared to its price and quality.
2.) Hydration! (Topical)
At some point, from the rapid stretching, your pregnancy skin will start to itch like crazy! Surprisingly, not all creams and oils relieve this problem, as well as not all of them are equally working well for preventing stretch marks.
My advice for you is to start rubbing the right creams into your skin as early as you can so this symptom passes you as much as possible.
I tried a large amount of different creams and oils and I have two absolute favorites on this “battle front.”
Bio-Oil for Pregnancy Stretch Marks
My first suggestion is Bio-Oil. Honestly, I can’t describe how much I love Bio-Oil!
My first experience with Bio-Oil was about a year ago, when I used it to soothe my post-acne and prevent scaring (which worked very well by the way). I personally use this oil during my pregnancy, and I am thrilled with my results!
After using Bio-Oil, my skin definitely became more toned, my old stretch-marks became more faded and blended into skin, and my skin feels like buttery silk!
I do not promise that everybody will have the same result as me, but I am confident that Bio-Oil should bring a positive impact to your skin quality!
Additional Reasons I Suggest You Use Bio-Oil
- The effect of Bio-Oil for scars and stretch marks is clinically proven and dermatologist recommended (GfK Recommendation Study 12-2014)
- Hypoallergenic and works for all skin types, even sensitive skin
- Helps to improve uneven skin tone, dry and aging skin
- Non-greasy and won’t clog pores
- Bio-Oil is safe to use on scars, once the surface is fully healed
- Number 1 scar and stretch mark product in 18 countries, and winner of 224 skincare awards
For the best results, use Bio-Oil twice a day, every day, for at least three months.
I suggest using topical creams throughout your pregnancy and during your postpartum time. You can stick to one brand or try different ones throughout your pregnancy but make sure to be consistent and finish each course before starting a new one!
Earth Mama Belly Butter for Stretch Marks from Pregnancy
My other favorite topical product for stretch marks during my pregnancy is Earth Mama Belly Butter.
I found out about this brand from my sister-in-law who worked for years in maternity industry (although she isn’t medical specialist), and she told me that a lot of women reported that this brand helped them the most with itchy skin and skin quality.
After giving Earth Mama Belly Butter a try, I wasn’t disappointed at all! So far for me, Earth Mama Belly Butter works the best for itchy skin relief.
This option contains only organic and natural herbal products, and has no:
- Mineral Oil
- Artificial Ingredients
Also, Earth Mama Belly Butter is certified to the NSF/ANSI 305 Standard for Personal Care Products Containing Organic Ingredients.
Overall, in my opinion, Bio-Oil works deeper for stretch marks, but for those who prefer a fully organic and mineral oil free (I personally use mineral oil) options, or need extra anti-itch effects, Earth Mama Belly Butter is the right option for you!
After using Earth Mama Belly Butter my skin quality increased and it feels more elastic. However, on old stretch marks, it had fewer results compared to Bio-Oil.
Earth Mama also has an oil option: Earth Mama Belly Oil ($24.35).
For those who already have developed deep scars or are recovering from a C-Section, Earth Mama has an Organic Skin and Scar Balm for C-Section Scars and Stretch Marks ($17.99).
I personally did not use this product, but I tried multiple products from Earth Mama and loved each of them. Also, each of their products is clinically and dermatologist tested, so I trust this one as well!
Affordable Products for Pregnancy Stretch Marks
A great budget friendly option is Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks which cost $5.28 per 8.5 Fl. Oz bottle of lotion or $19.97 for the full Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Complete Stretch Mark & Pregnancy Skin Care Kit which includes a lotion, oil, cream and tummy butter.
They also have a good deal for an after pregnancy skin care set. For $15.89, you can get the Skin Recovery Kit for New Moms from Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula which includes:
- Tightening Body Lotion
- Nursing Butter
- Bust Cream
- Skin Therapy Oil
I had good results with the Palmer’s Stretch Mark Lotion. My skin felt softer and leatherier from the first application, and it worked well with relieving itchy skin, as well as helping my skin feel fresher. Since the lotion texture is pretty light and slightly watery, it absorbs well.
If you decided to go tight on your budget during your pregnancy, I totally support you! Pregnancy and childcare is pricey and requires a lot of spending and cutting off on certain things. However, you don’t have to cut off on your beauty, since Palmer’s stretch mark products are good quality and will help you to prevent stretch marks without saving on your baby!
Reasons to Choose Palmer’s Stretch Mark Massage Lotion
- Number one stretch mark brand in the United States. Over 98% of women saw improved elasticity, texture and tone of skin.
- Made with real Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Vitamin E, Lutein, Argan Oil, Almond Oil and Coconut Oil.
- Dermatologist approved, hypoallergenic, and free from mineral oil, parabens, and phthalates
- Provides 48 hour moisturizing
Scrubbing works amazing on already existing stretch marks, as well as it increases skin quality and prevents the appearance of new ones. For the best possible result, you want to use a combination of a dry brush and sugar or coffee scrub.
The Dry Brush is my personal favorite choice since it’s an economic option, doesn’t leave any mess, and it’s easy to transport.
A dry brush gently exfoliates the skin and should be used before showering. Just gently rub your skin with your preferred brush in circular motions and enjoy your soft, nice looking skin!
My favorite dry brush is Ecotools Dry Body Brush ($8.90).
I found it very soft and gentle, while other brushes often damaged and scratched my skin, so I couldn’t use them often. I have really sensitive skin and I have no problems with using this brush twice a day (just be gentle with your rubbing).
For a sugar scrub, I found the Brooklyn Botany Sugar Body Scrub ($13.99) and it seems like a great deal for me since you can use it for body, face and feet!
The Brooklyn Botany Sugar Body Scrub contains only natural ingredients, including:
- Brown Sugar
- Sweet Almond Oil
- Apricot Kernel Oil
- Jojoba Oil
- Evening Primrose Flower Extract
- Lemon Oil
- Calendula Flower Extract
- Ginseng Extract
- Lis Extract
- Arnica Extract
- Peppermint Extract
- Grapefruit Oil
- Litsea Cubeba Oil
- Orange Oil
- Bergamot Oil
- Lemongrass Oil
- Citron Oil
I rarely see such a great selection of oils in body scrubs since most brands add cheap, low quality ingredients in their scrubs, but this brand seems transparent with high standards. I like that all of the ingredients are only expensive, high quality oils, as well as the seller promises that their scrub works for sensitive skin and it is made in the U.S.A!
The same brand (Brooklyn Botany) also has an Arabica Coffee Scrub ($13.98).
I love the ingredients as well! Ingredients include Dead Sea Salt Granules, Dead Sea Salt, Organic Kona Coffee, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Organic Grapeseed Oil, Coffee Arabica Seed Oil, Organic Shea Butter, Cacao Extract, and Organic Coconut Extract.
If you are curious what the difference between the sugar and coffee scrub is, I will explain it for you in a couple of sentences.
The main benefit of the sugar scrub over the coffee scrub is that the sugar one doesn’t leave much of a mess compare to the coffee scrub, as well as the sugar scrub is gentler compared to the coffee.
The coffee scrub works more intensively and will produce a bigger result compared to the sugar one. So, if your skin is easily damaging or you are searching for lighter exfoliation – the sugar scrub is your bro! If you need an intense exfoliating – the coffee scrub will be your best friend!
If you want an even better result, you need to consider taking collagen supplements.
I personally love Vital Protein Bone Broth Collagen Peptides.
I personally use this brand and am in love with the results. Collagen in peptide form is easy to digest (especially if you are like me and have a sensitive stomach) and they will help you not only with increasing your skin quality, but will work great for your nails, hair, and muscles as well!
After the first days of using this product I already saw a result on my skin; it became more elastic and “alive.”
Concluding Thoughts – Preventing Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
As you can see, fighting stretch marks is not a “one step program,” but it is possible! After doing all the steps I described above, my skin became unrecognizably better, as well as the appearance of old stretch marks sufficiently faded away!
I hope you found my article helpful and will consider at least some of my advice for increasing your skin quality!