For many women, stretch marks are part and parcel of being pregnant. As your body gets ready for the new arrival, stretch marks can appear all over your body, from your bump to your boobs and beyond.
Take a look at our helpful guide on what causes stretch marks and how to prevent them.
Removing stretch marks can be difficult as they’re basically scar tissue, but using a good stretch mark cream during pregnancy could help prevent too many from appearing.
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Is it safe to use stretch mark creams during pregnancy?
If you can buy it off the shelf, yes. Although stretch marks are a unisex problem and can occur due to sudden growth spurts or fluctuating weight, most manufacturers are thinking of pregnant women when they create these creams.
If you have any doubts whatsoever, consult a pharmacist.
Do stretch mark creams work?
It’s a cautious ‘yes’ on this one. Reports are mixed but it’s said that massaging the stretched area with cream has a localised affect as it stimulates blood flow and helps the skin repair itself.
There’s no doubt that massaging your bump is a good way of connecting with your baby. And continuing to massage your skin after pregnancy is a little act of self-care, and that can only be a good thing.
What are the best stretch mark creams for pregnancy?
This lotion absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave any greasy residue on the skin like some others on the market. Our panel of mum testers all thought this helped fade and prevent stretch marks. It was shortlisted for the Best New Mum / Maternity Skincare Product in the Mother&Baby Awards 2018.
Any downsides? There were mixed feelings about the aloe vera scent.
Aveeno uses natural colloidal oatmeal proven to intensely nourish dry skin. Widely used for eczema, it's also brilliant for preventing and fading stretch marks, and keeping skin feeling calm and comfortable.
Any downsides? It feels more practical than pampering.
Katie Piper told Mother&Baby online: “I used it not just on the bump, but boobs, thighs, hips and bum, and it worked really well. After Belle was born, I applied the cream to my C-section scar and by the time the baby was two months old I noticed a huge difference.”
Any downsides? It comes in a small stick, so it’ll need replacing often.