Tuesday, February 7, 2023
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Which Stretch Mark Products Actually Work?

Disclaimer – this post includes affiliate links.

*Hello, so I found this post in my drafts the other day, I wrote this post when I was days away from giving birth and then never finished it, however I have edited it and thought I’d post it in case anyone was looking for a stretch mark cream. So I’ll hand you back now to heavily pregnant me!* 

I seem to have gone on a bit of a stretch mark cream/lotion/oil expedition since becoming pregnant, as I think I’ve worked out that I’ve used almost ten different ones over the past few months.

I thought today, whilst I sit bouncing on my exercise ball, that I would compare my favorites and give you a bit of a lowdown.

Now before we begin, I will say that I have managed to get to 9 months pregnant without a stretch mark, will it be sods law that tomorrow I wake up with some and jinx myself? Probably. Or even who knows, my tummy is pretty big so I could even have some that I’ve not noticed or I may get some postpartum- but for the time being I don’t have any.

Whilst doing research, it doesn’t seem to be scientifically proven that stretch mark creams or oils prevent them 100%, however it has been said that keeping your skin moisturised can help.

So I don’t want to make any false promises, but I do think that keeping my bump well moisturised twice a day has helped, but I can’t comment 100% if this is due to a certain lotion though or if it’s just down to genetics. But I thought I would talk about these in terms of how much I enjoyed using them, how they made my skin feel, absorption and value for money.

Now before we get onto the products, I had a few questions in my DMs asking : When to start using stretch mark creams / oils? I would say it’s completely up to you and you don’t even have to if you don’t want to – stretch marks are part and parcel of pregnancy, and I came to terms with the fact that I’d probably get them but they’d be worth it as they show the growth of my baby. There is absolutely nothing wrong with them <3

Although you should never feel pressured to apply lotions and potions to avoid stretch marks, I however, saw applying some kind of lotion/cream each night as a chance to bond with my bump and have a little pamper, it’s one of my favourite times of the day.

I also am a big moisturiser fan normally as I tan so I moisturise 2 x day as that’s what keeps my tan looking fresher and lasts for longer by doing so. I started using products quite early on – maybe from about 10/11 weeks – but you could wait till you had more of a bump or apply straight away – there’s no rules 🙂

So let’s begin :

Budget :

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Stretch Mark Lotion

palmers stretch mark cream

This was the first lotion I used after my sister in law who is a midwife got me some as she was recommended it by the Mum’s in her clinic. I really liked this, and probably ended up buying about 4 maybe 5 bottles of this over the time of my pregnancy. It’s a great budget stretch mark cream and feels lovely on the skin, my skin always felt so soft after using it and it absorbed really quickly into the skin, so this is a great daytime cream to use.

With Pure Cocoa Butter, Shea Butter, Natural Oils, Collagen, Elastin and Lutein it’s said to keep skin moisturised and supple for 48 hours- I can’t comment on the 48 hour thing as you know I shower daily – but I can attest it does make your skin feel very soft.

Pros : Price it’s around £3-5 depending on if it’s on offer, absorbs quickly, smells nice and makes your skin feel really soft.

Cons : I found I always got through it really quickly!

Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter For Stretch Marks 

I was recommended this balm by someone on Instagram and this is a more concentrated balm version of the Palmers lotion, however – I only bought one tub of this as I found it quite faffy to apply.

It did make my skin feel nice, and although it was a balm, it still absorbed quite quickly and didn’t feel too greasy, but I just found it quite difficult to get out the tub and then would have to warm up in my hands to apply, which I know first world problems. I saw online, people suggested warming some up in the microwave – but who has time for that?

Pros : Feels nice, absorbs quickly, a more concentrated version of the Palmers lotion

Cons : annoying tub

Almond Oil

So I saw this almond oil on someone’s Instagram which annoyingly I can’t remember now, she popped up on my explore feed and I saw in her pregnancy highlight that she swore by this almond oil for not getting any stretch marks so I ordered some. Now this is the most budget friendly option as for this massive 1 litre bottle – it’s £6.99!

It’s also all natural so if you’re looking for a natural solution that won’t cost a fortune, this is a great shout. However, this won’t be for everyone as it is an oil, so needless to say, it’s oily, takes a while to absorb and feels greasy which I know some people don’t like.

Henry hates the feel of this stuff, and would say that my belly would look like a chippendale’s 😂 however it didn’t really bother me but it does take ages to sink in – I mean i do have hulk hands so I was probably applying too much, but it was definitely more of a nighttime product for me! I did find it a pain waiting for it to sink in on a cold winter’s evening 😂 but I also found it to be very soothing when my skin felt a bit itchy due to my bump growing.

Pros : Super affordable, I still over half a bottle left and I bought this in August and have used it most days, natural.

Cons : An oil so more greasy and takes longer to absorb into skin, also would recommend decanting into a smaller bottle as the big bottle is a disaster waiting to happen!

Splurge :

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil

This oil from Mama Mio alongside with the butter is very hyped up, so I was really excited to try it when they reached out to me a couple of months ago. The tummy rub oil is a really nice product, although it is an oil, I found it to not feel too greasy or take too long to absorb compared to the almond oil.

It’s vegan, cruelty free and has lots of lovely ingredients such as coconut oil, almond oil, rosehip oil and many more, I really liked the smell of this as it smelt like oranges and as you may know, chocolate orange was a big craving of mine for a while.

Pros : Feels lovely on skin, moisturising but doesn’t take too long to absorb, natural ingredients.

Cons: quite pricey at £27 – but this has lasted quite long, they say one pump is enough for your bump, I was probably using 2/3 pumps but I do like to be quite liberious when I apply.

Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter

mama mio tummy rub butter

This is the butter version of the oil, so has the same lovely ingredients such as natural oils but as it’s a cream, it’s  a but quicker to absorb. It made my skin feel really nice and was a great daytime cream as you could get dressed very soon after applying.

However I did find that I got through the tub quite quickly and at £24 it’s quite pricey to keep repurchasing.

I preferred the oil personally as I felt you got more for your money/felt more moisturising.

Pros : Good daytime cream, natural ingredients, made skin feel soft

Cons : Quite pricey and ran out quickly.

Typology Stretch marks gel-to-oil with baobab oil

I was recently contacted by Typology asking if I’d like to try their new stretch marks gel to oil product, and I jumped at the chance. I’ve not used a gel so was intrigued to see how it would pair compared to the butters and oils.

So this is 100% naturally derived and has ingredients such as baobab oil, maracuja concentrate, shea olein so is really moisturising for the skin. I found this was great for both daytime and nighttime as it absorbed really quickly but the gel to oil felt moisturising but not too greasy.

The main ingredient is baobab oil which is rich in essential fatty acids (omegas 6 and 9) which offers restorative properties to nourish skin and prevent the appearance of stretch marks. The smell really reminds me of marzipan/almonds – so if you don’t like those – maybe avoid!

Pros : 100% Naturally derived, absorbs quickly so can be used night and day, skin feels moisturised and soothed, aesthetically pleasing tube.

Cons : On the pricier side, not good for anyone with an aversion to the smell of marzipan.

Elemis Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend

Okay so here we have the most expensive (and luxurious) product I used during my pregnancy. This was a Christmas present from my sister in law, and I have to admit that this was possibly my favourite product from the whole bunch I tried. And I know, I know, of course it would be the most expensive one! I think what I liked about it, was that it felt like a real treat using it, I would have never have bought it myself, but loved massagaing it on each night. At christmas I was 8 months pregnant, officially uncomfortable and officially housing a basketball on my front! 

elemis japanese oil, stretch mark lotion

This oil has Camellia and Sweet Almond Oils, which makes it very lightweight (it would absorb so quickly and wouldn’t feel greasy at all!) it smelt amazing too!! The official spiel from the Elemis website is : ‘Rich in plant collagen and antioxidant Vitamin E, it maintains moisture and suppleness, whilst helping to minimise the appearance of stretch marks. Ideal for dry hair, skin maintenance and use throughout pregnancy.’ 

Also it’s the oil that Victoria Beckham used throughout all of her pregnancies so if it’s good enough for Posh Spice, it’s good enough for me! I also enjoyed using it post birth too on my deflated bump!

Pros : Incredibly moisturizing, absorbs quickly, smells wonderful, same oil that Victoria Beckham uses

Cons : Pricy!! Found the little lid quite fiddly. 

My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic 

my expert midwife fantastic elastic

Okay, we got there, the final product I used for stretch marks, when pregnant. So this My Expert Midwife serum was one I used like the Elemis oil in the later stages of pregnancy. I found that this bottle lasted for ages, and I used it well into my postpartum stage too. I even packed this with me in my hospital bag. 

So what I liked about this, was that it wasn’t an oil but wasn’t a cream, it was a serum almost jelly like texture, but it had the same moisturising qualities as an oil but none of the faff of waiting for it to dry/feel greasy. It has ingredients such as sweet almond oil for preventing dryness, coconut oil for deep moisturisation, lavender oil, argan oil  and anti-microbial properties for itching and rashes as I did find my tummy to be quite itchy at times!

Whilst this didn’t feel as luxurious as the Elemis oil, I really liked this and this was a great day to day product. 

Pros : Moistrusing, quick to dry, felt really soothing, lasted for ages too!

Cons : A bit pricey, not too much of a scent (but this could be a pro too)

So we got there – my stretch mark cream lowdown, I have no idea if any of this helps – and I don’t know if it’s pure coincidence I didn’t get a single stretch mark or if it was down to using these – I’m not sure, but regardless, I thoroughly enjoyed massaging my bump every night and found these to help with soothing stretched skin. 

I’d love to know if you had a favourite stretch mark cream when pregnant?

Catch up with all my other pregnancy related posts here.


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