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The 8 Best Stretch Mark Creams, According To Derms

mbg Contributor

By Dorian Smith-Garcia

mbg Contributor

Dorian Smith-Garcia is a diverse writer across beauty, fashion, travel, parenting, consumer goods, and tech. She has written for Inverse, Healthline Parenthood, The Confused Millennial, XONecole, Glowsly, and The Drive along with a variety of other publications.

Image by Palina Liashkovich / Stocksy

August 28, 2022

Our editors have independently chosen the products listed on this page. If you purchase something mentioned in this article, we may earn a small commission.

In today’s body positivity-focused world, stretch marks are a badge of honor. It’s important to note that stretch marks can happen at any time. For example, you can gain stretch marks simply by hitting the gym, lifting weights, and boosting your muscle mass. In fact, you can experience stretch marks anytime you’re experiencing rapid growth.

And in that regard, they’re most often associated with pregnancy. For moms everywhere, stretch marks are often lauded as a proud representation that your body was able to grow a whole human. That’s no small feat! And if you’re proud of your tiger stripes — wear them with pride.

But if we’re being honest, not everyone wants to rock them. Or some people are simply looking for creams to help support their skin elasticity during pregnancy, thereby minimizing their formation from the start. If you fall into either of those camps, these creams might be the right move for you.

Can stretch marks go away with cream?

Stretch marks simply show that your body grew or shrank faster than your skin was able to produce collagen and elastin, the components that allow for the skin to be elastic. When the body changes rapidly, but collagen and elastin production can’t keep pace, the skin is ruptured. As a result, you get stretch marks in the a form of a scar.

In a perfect world, you could nod your head and blink your eyes like I Dream of Jeannie and banish your stretch marks with a wish. But the reality isn’t so simple. The truth is, there’s no over-the-counter (OTC) topical solution that will make your stretch marks go away. However, some products are effective at reducing their appearance.

It’s also important to keep in mind that your body chemistry, as well as your willingness to regularly apply products, will impact how effectively they work. For this reason, it’s a good idea to purchase products targeting stretch marks with an open mind.

And for best results, you should begin applying a stretch mark cream before you get stretch marks–even before you start to show. The goal is to keep the skin supple. Board-certified dermatologist Luke Maxfield, M.D., reminds us that “…the most important thing is to try to treat scars and stretch marks early while they are still maturing. Being proactive is always better than being reactive.”

Alternatively, Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist, recommends focusing on medical-grade silicone. They note that “Medical-grade silicone products have been clinically [shown] to be one of the most effective at-home scar treatments available for a variety of scar types, including hypertrophic, keloid, acne, and burn scars, as well as surgical scars.”


And if you’re pregnant, always speak with a physician before incorporating a stretch mark product into your routine. This is because some stretch mark creams or lotions contain ingredients that might be harmful to your baby.

For example, retinol–a common ingredient that can diminish the look of stretch marks–is usually not recommended for pregnant women because it increases the risk of birth defects.

Keep in mind that a variety of factors can impact whether a stretch mark cream makes sense for your routine. Everything from texture, efficacy and even scent can all impact whether an item makes the cut. Also, remember that topical products will usually take time for results to become visible. At a minimum, plan to wait at least four weeks before deciding if a product is working or a dud.

How we picked:

Effective & safe ingredients

The ingredients in this formula are safe for skin, help support skin elasticity and hydration, and are effective at easing the appearance of stretch marks.


No matter where you are on your journey–from pregnancy to postpartum–there’s an option for you here.

Price points

There’s a price point for every budget, because all moms deserve quality skin care.

Quality reviews

These come recommended from the pros and loads of real users.

The best pregnancy creams for stretch marks

Best overall: Bio-Oil Body Lotion

Bio-Oil Body Lotion

VIEW ON Amazon | $12VIEW ON Ulta | $16


Lightweight texture absorbs quickly into the skinRich moisturizing ingredients like jojoba oil and hyaluronic acid keep skin soft and suppleDesigned to protect skin’s natural moisture barrier


May not have a pleasant smellTexture may be too runny for some people used to traditional lotions

Ingredients: Jojoba oil, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, Hyaluronic acid, Shea butter, Essential oils

When it comes to scars, Bio-Oil is a well-known brand–and for good reason. While most people are familiar with the classic oil, this brand also released a lotion, which is packed with skin-loving ingredients like jojoba oil, vitamins E, A, and hyaluronic acid. And the lightweight lotion means you won’t be left feeling greasy.

Best budget: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Tummy Butter for Pregnancy Stretch Marks

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Tummy Butter for Pregnancy Stretch Marks

VIEW ON Amazon | $6 (was $7)VIEW ON Target | $6


Moisturizes for up to 48 hoursImproves skin elasticity


Heavy formulaOnly intended for night use

Ingredients: Vitamin E, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, Lutein, Argan oil, Almond oil

There are a lot of amazing skincare brands out there. But then there are those tried and true drugstore brands that we all know just work. This is a wallet-friendly nighttime cream designed to boost the skin’s elasticity thanks to the inclusion of shea butter, cocoa butter, elastin, collagen, and lutein. The brand promises you’ll achieve up to 48 hours of moisture between applications.

Best for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy: Nakery No More Stripes Stretched Skin Oil

Nakery No More Stripes Stretched Skin Oil

VIEW ON Nakery | $28


Clinically proven to improve the look of stretch marksAlso effective on older stretch marks or scarsOrganic vegan formula


May be expensive for someNot everyone will like an oil

Ingredients: Essential oils, Apricot oil, Tamanu oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil, Rosehip Seed Oil

Prevention is the best way to avoid stretch marks. While you can’t guarantee that you won’t get stretch marks, incorporating a skin-friendly moisturizer like throughout your pregnancy is a smart way to get ahead of them. This oil is packed with 10 organic botanical oils such as orange peel oil, lavender oil, and apricot oil to improve the skin’s tone and appearance.

Best for postpartum stretch marks: Paula’s Choice Skin Smoothing Body Treatment

Paula’s Choice Skin Smoothing Body Treatment

VIEW ON Paula’s Choice | $29VIEW ON Amazon | $29


Retinol aids in cell turnover and targets uneven skin toneShea butter and vitamin E boost moistureNon-greasy lotion texture


Retinol is not safe for use during pregnancyExpensive

Ingredients: Vitamin C, Retinol, Shea butter, Evening Primrose Oil

If you weren’t able to tackle your stretch marks during pregnancy, or they appeared anyway, you’ll want a good postpartum stretch mark product. This cult-favorite treatment is a great way to banish uneven skin tone, texture, and blemishes. It incorporates moisturizing ingredients like shea butter and vitamin E, while the brightening ingredients retinol and vitamin C help to tackle issues like hyperpigmentation. However, because this contains the active ingredients retinol and vitamin C, you should avoid using this while pregnant, and consider speaking with your physician before using if you plan to breastfeed or nurse.

Best natural stretch mark cream: Bamboobies Belly Balm

Bamboobies Belly Balm

VIEW ON Amazon | $15VIEW ON Target | $15


All natural and organic formula Safe for use during and after pregnancyMoisture-rich ingredients to boost skin elasticity


Formula may be a bit greasy May have an earthy scent that doesn’t appeal to everyoneNot vegan

Ingredients: Jojoba oil, Shea butter, Essential oils, Sunflower Oil, Olive Oil

When you want to be confident that you’re using a product that isn’t loaded with absolutely questionable ingredients, opting for a stretch mark cream with a natural formula is a good idea. This moisturizer is made with just natural and organic ingredients like jojoba, shea butter, olive oil, and rosemary oil. Plus, it’s safe for use during and after pregnancy.

Best SPF stretch mark cream: Derma E Scar Cream Sun Protectant SPF 35

Derma E Scar Cream Sun Protectant SPF 35

VIEW ON Ulta | $21VIEW ON Derma-E | $21


Clean beauty and vegan formulaBroad spectrum SPF 35


Can be difficult to emulsify

Ingredients: Panthenol, Mineral sunscreen, Allantoin

If you weren’t aware, tanning doesn’t make stretch marks go away — it amplifies them. So, you’ll want to also incorporate SPF if you’re going to be spending time outdoors and your stretch marks will be visible. This sunscreen is a clean beauty product that works to minimize the look of scars or blemishes while also providing vital sun protection with broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Best stretch mark cream for sensitive skin: Pipette Baby Butter

Pipette Baby Butter

VIEW ON Amazon | $20VIEW ON Pipette | $20


Clean beauty and vegan formulaHypoallergenicDermatologist tested


Very thick formula, if you want a lightweight option

Ingredients: Panthenol, Hyaluronic acid, Shea butter, Squalane, Ceramides

This natural and clean brand makes a gentle hydrating blend that’s hypoallergenic and dermatologist tested (and pediatrician approved, so the whole family can use it). It combines the a natural squalane with vitamin B5, hyaluronic acid, shea butter and ceramides for a well rounded formula that bolsters your skin barrier function and reduces irritation.

Best stretch mark cream for itchy skin: Aroamas Professional Silicone Scar Sheets

Aroamas Professional Silicone Scar Sheets

VIEW ON Amazon | $20


Reusable & washableSensitive skin safe


Harder to use if your stretch marks cover a large surface area

Ingredients: Silicone

Technically speaking, this isn’t a cream. But if you’re looking for an intensive option that delivers on minimizing your stretch marks, these pads work overtime. Along with being easy to apply, they’re reusable, washable, and non-irritating. While they won’t banish the marks entirely, they’re clinically proven to reduce the look and appearance. Additionally, they create a physical layer between you and your skin–which can help keep you from itching and scratching.

Can you prevent stretch marks?

In short, you can’t completely prevent stretch marks. Still, experts have noted that while there’s no magic potion that can prevent stretch marks from appearing, there are healthy habits you can incorporate that will lower your chances of getting them.

Stay hydrated inside and out: Drinking plenty of water means that your skin can maintain elasticity–an essential component to prevent stretch marks. Don’t forget that keeping your skin hydrated by moisturizing it regularly can also help.Check your diet: Incorporate foods that are rich in zinc, protein, and vitamins A, C, and D. Just be sure that you’re also following pregnancy food guidelines to avoid known foods that might not be safe when you’re eating for two. Exercise: While you should be mindful of pregnancy-related limitations, staying active boosts blood flow which aids in collagen production.

The takeaway

You can’t banish stretch marks with OTC skincare products. The best way to manage stretch marks is to take a preventative approach. This means that you focus on moisturizing your skin while you have your baby bump, drink plenty of water, and focus on a diet rich in skin-friendly foods. But, remember that you can’t always avoid stretch marks–no matter how proactive you are. And this is why a good moisturizing product with ingredients that target stretch marks is important to help minimize their look and appearance. Want more full body hydrators? Check our mbg’s favorite body lotions.

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