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13 Best Stretch Mark Creams to Actually Improve Your Skin’s Appearance

Spoiler alert: Our skin is shooketh!

stretch mark cream best 2020
Kayla Ramsey

Whether you have warrior stripes from a pregnancy or have simply developed pesky stretch marks over the years, we’re here to introduce you to stretch mark creams. Don't worry: You don't have to feel stuck with them.

But First, What Are Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are simply a scar that happens when skin is stretched too quickly. You can get them any time you gain weight, and teens sometimes get them around their joints if they have a particularly speedy growth spurt. Skin expert Laura Dyer MSHS, PA-C, a dermatology and aesthetic specialist in New York City, tells Best Products that unfortunately because of how stretch marks form, we're more susceptible to getting them during pregnancy because of how fast your belly is growing.

Dyer says that while you can’t always prevent stretch marks, you can definitely minimize their appearance by staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin E, and zinc. And of course, it also helps to keep that belly moisturized — enter stretch mark creams.

So, What Makes a Good Stretch Mark Cream?

To help minimize the appearance of the stretch marks that you already have, Dyer notes the healing ingredients you'll want to look for in effective stretch-mark prevention creams include vitamin A and vitamin E, along with cocoa, shea, and/or jojoba butters. Vitamin A helps the healing process and also assists with collagen production and pigmentation. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that is thought to help with wound healing. Cocoa, shea, and jojoba butters are thick, well-tolerated moisturizers that penetrate deeply into the skin, helping to keep it supple and healthy.

Dyer has personally used Burt’s Bees Belly Butter and Bio-Oil during her pregnancy, and has said she's had “zero” stretch marks. Dyer also says you should use products that contain hyaluronic acid, which can tighten the skin and reduce inflammation to improve skin texture and help fade stretch marks over time.

Best Stretch Mark Creams

    How We Tested

    Armed with our expert information, we researched the top creams on the market in terms of popularity and user reviews to determine which products to test. Then, twice a day for 3 weeks, our editors slathered their stretch marks with creams, butters, and oils to find the ones that are actually effective — and will finally make a noticeable change in your stretch marks.

    During the testing period, we looked out for a difference in texture (both the stretch mark and surrounding area), a change in the stretch mark’s appearance, and the scent and feel of the cream itself.

    These are the best stretch mark creams worth buying in 2022 that we’ve kept on using ourselves.

    Learn more about how we test products, from the questions we ask our testing team, to the types of products we feel are actually worth testing, to the overall time we put into our testing process.

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    Best Overall
    Stretch Marks Therapy

    Tester: Christine Anderson

    Standout Result: Stretch-mark prevention during pregnancy

    Starting in your second trimester, set aside time daily to stop stretch marks before they start. Massaging this thick cream into your skin until it's completely absorbed will be well worth the effort when you put on a bikini for the first time after giving birth!

    Our executive director — who at the time of review was 36 weeks pregnant — has found that the Mederma Stretch Marks Removal Cream is the best prevention option out there. She slathered the cream on her belly and hips for 7 months, and didn’t have a single stretch mark.

    It's recommended to use it even while breastfeeding, too. You can thank one of the main ingredients for this — Cepalin, a proprietary onion extract. It reduces swelling and inflammation, naturally!

    More: These Are the Nipple Balms All Breastfeeding Moms Need

    Best for Fast Results
    Stretch Marks & Scars Defense Cream
    Body Merry

    Tester: Erica Murphy

    Standout Result: Fast results

    If you read the reviews, this defense cream starts working quickly to make stretch marks fade fast. The nourishing formula of organic cocoa butter, jojoba oil, and antioxidant-rich green tea leaf extract is known for healing stretch marks.

    According to Murphy, "The first few times I used this product, I was shocked at how much the product diminished the appearance of the stretch marks. I feel like the main reason was because the product hydrated my skin so much, which lightened up the color of the stretch marks pretty significantly.

    While the moisturizing cream will give you noticeable results in about 2 weeks — with even better results after consistent use over the course of a few months — Murphy warns that the smell can be off-putting. She also recommends using the cream at night, since the texture is very rich and thick.

    Best Multipurpose Product
    Multiuse Skincare Oil
    Now 26% off

    Tester: Zarah Kavarana

    Standout Result: Skin-texture smoothing

    If Bio Oil is good enough for Kim Kardashian, then it's perfect for you, too! The mom of four swears by this classic oil as a daily body moisturizer.

    Our tester also thinks that the highly hyped oil is one of the best options out there. She said, "My stretch marks are much less textured than they were a few weeks ago. In fact, I feel like I notice more of a difference in the texture of my skin than I do in the appearance."

    While it will take several months to see a huge difference in the appearance of the stretch marks, Kavarana confirmed that her "stretch marks are noticeably much less visible than they were just a few weeks ago." However, the texture is a bit greasy, so she recommend avoiding form-fitting clothes right after use.

    Best for Prevention
    Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

    Tester: Latifah Miles

    Standout Benefit: Improves skin elasticity

    Stretch-mark prevention doesn't have to start after pregnancy: The Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream is formulated to be safe to apply during and after pregnancy, too, thanks to all-natural ingredients like avocado peptide and shea butter. The smooth cream absorbs quickly to nourish and hydrate the skin without that icky, greasy feeling left behind.

    Our tester, who gave birth almost a decade ago, noticed a big difference in the softness of her skin. However, she didn’t notice a huge change in the appearance of the stretch marks that have been hanging around for a while.

    But she does think that the product would help keep stretch marks at bay during pregnancy with continued use. She also noted the light and airy feel of the cream, as well as its pleasant scent.

    Most Improved Texture
    Advanced Silicone Scar Remover Gel

    Tester: Cat Bowen

    Standout Result: Better overall texture

    This silicone gel has well over 1,200 5-star reviews on Amazon, and we can understand why. The gel is colorless and odorless, and dries quickly after application.

    Our tester has been dealing with stretch marks for most of her life, and was pleasantly surprised by how effective this cream was. “After a couple of weeks of use, the stretch marks on my legs and the sides of my stomach were much softer, and didn’t feel like they were depressing my skin as much as they were before,” she said.

    She recommends applying it liberally a few times per day and keeping it away from sunlight for the best results.

    Best Reviews
    Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter
    Burt's Bees

    This stretch mark cream is an Amazon bestseller, and super nourishing. It's made with shea butter and vitamin E. Plus, the formula is designed to provide relief on stretched skin both during and after pregnancy.

    Best for Elasticity
    Palmer's Cocoa Butter Tummy Butter

    Palmer's Tummy Butter is formulated with cocoa butter and shea butter, vitamin E, and an argan, almond, and coconut oil blend to provide ultimate moisture for the skin. It's also designed to keep skin soft and plump throughout pregnancy. It's recommended for nighttime use. Plus, it's hypoallergenic!

    Best Organic Cream
    Botanic Tree Simply Organic Stretch Mark Removal Cream
    Botanic Tree
    Now 13% off

    Apply this stretch mark cream every morning and evening for 2 to 3 months for the best results. The triple-action formula contains cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, moringa, and vitamin B-5. It protects against and minimizes the appearance of fresh stretch marks, as well as older scars.

    Best Firming Cream
    Body Partner Stretch Mark Expert

    Along with stretch marks often comes another postpartum reality — loose, saggy skin. This formula contains Clarins' exclusive PhytoStretchComplex, which is a blend of centella asiatica from Madagascar and organic green banana extracts. These ingredients encourage skin firmness and elasticity, diminishing the appearance of stretch marks.

    Best for Darker Marks
    100% Organic Stretch Mark Removal Cream
    Glow Organics

    You're going to love this organic, unscented product that naturally promotes skin elasticity. Macadamia nut, grapeseed, and sweet almond oil are infused in this stretch-mark cream formula. It's the perfect go-to for prevention, or if your mommy marks are darker in color.

    Best Collagen Cream
    Milk & Honey Stretch Mark Removal Cream Butter
    Body Boost

    Body Boost's collagen- and elastin-containing cream also has gotu kola, a plant ingredient that aids in strengthening connective tissue for tighter skin. This formula also contains rosehip, grapeseed, jojoba, and borage oils. You can thank the shea butter base for the silky texture of the cream.

    Best for Sealing in Moisture
    Enhanced Silicone Fusion Stretch Mark System

    Dermaclara's solution is unique in that it is a wearable silicone pad that locks moisture into an area for a period of up to 9 hours. Reviewers on YouTube show promising results after long-term use of the product.

    It's a multistep process of cleansing the skin, adding a layer of the moisturizer, and then covering the area with a freshly cleaned, reusable silicone pad. After that, you allow the moisture to soak into the skin for many hours, and then cleanse again.

    It's very similar to silicone eye masks and wrinkle patches, and it works pretty much the same way.

    Best Patches
    Professional Silicone Scar Sheets (4-Month Supply)

    You won't believe how easy this product is to use: Aroama's silicone sheets are similar to the above by Dermaclara, except these are disposable and smaller in size. They're perfect for areas like under a C-section scar or at the back of the hips.

    This brand is another Amazon reviewer favorite for both scars and stretch marks: It boasts thousands of 5-star reviews and loads of before-and-after photos from happy customers.

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