Stretch marks are bothersome and since you’re already reading this post, you must be looking for ways to get rid of them. If you don’t know what are stretch marks, let us explain it to you.
Simply put, stretch marks appear on your skin when it’s stretched beyond its limit as a result of extreme weight gain or loss, growth spurt, pregnancy or bodybuilding. While they’re harmless, it can visibly affect your skin’s appearance.
For pregnant women, stretch marks can appear as a result of extreme weight gain. However, applying moisturising creams to the abdominal skin during your pregnancy or when the skin is rapidly expanding can help support fragile skin.
While there are many ways to treat stretch marks including the use of stretch mark creams, gel, or oil, there are very few studies that can prove the effectiveness of stretch mark cream in preventing stretch marks.
So, one question remains: How effective is a stretch mark cream in permanently removing the marks from your body?
Scientific Effectiveness of Stretch Mark Creams
Stretch marks are like the rest of the scars on your body. They’re permanent but its appearance can be improved over time. That said, there aren’t enough scientific studies on the effectiveness of stretch mark creams although the ingredients featured in these products are known for its positive properties.
A study conducted in 2016 revealed that there is no topical formulation which is shown to be effective in removing or improving the appearance of stretch marks. Additionally, another study concluded that women apply a variety of products available to prevent or reduce the development of stretch marks.
There’s nothing you can do to prevent stretch marks except to constantly moisturise your skin with the right cream to minimise diminish its appearance.
How does stretch mark cream work?
Depending on the availability of active ingredients in stretch mark creams, some may work in treating skin-related issues such as pigmentation and texture as well as improve the appearance of stretch marks. Some of the active ingredients include:
- Tretinoin – Creams containing this ingredient helps to increase collagen production but they can also irritate your skin and make them appear scaly.
- Cocoa butter, shea butter, olive oil, etc. – These natural creams can make your skin feel softer but there’s no evidence proving they help or prevent stretch marks.
That said, stretch mark creams do work, to some extent. For you to be able to reap the full benefits from these ingredients, you’ll have to apply the stretch mark cream diligently over a long period.
Take the time to massage the cream into your skin so that it fully absorbs the active ingredients. As over-the-counter creams aren’t made to be highly potent, it may help to fade newer stretch marks but might not be effective on old stretch marks.
Preventing Stretch Marks
We often hear the saying, “prevention is key”. Likewise, it applies to anyone here who wants to prevent stretch marks from appearing on their skin.
For mothers-to-be, it’s best to start early to prevent or reduce the development of stretch marks throughout your pregnancy. That way, you can worry less about it after giving birth to your child.
Also, it’s common for a new mother to continue using stretch mark creams after childbirth as rapid weight loss can cause stretch marks to appear. Before using any topical creams during or after your pregnancy, seek medical advice from your doctor so that it doesn’t affect your child’s health.
How to Apply Stretch Mark Cream?
It’s similar to applying your facial moisturiser except that you have to spend some time to massage stretch mark creams into your skin.
First off, dispense a sufficient amount onto your palm – enough to cover your entire belly. Then apply the cream onto your belly and glide your palms in continuous motions, enough to stimulate your skin’s absorption. Make this a habit throughout your pregnancy so that your stretch marks are less apparent.
Stretch mark creams may work to a certain extent but it doesn’t mean that you can’t rely on them to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Besides, the effectiveness of stretch mark cream depends on the skin condition, whether it’s older or newer stretch marks. For more effective methods in removing stretch marks, you can consult our stretch mark removal specialist to know more.