Stretch marks (striae gravidarum) are the silvery lines that often appear on the skin after pregnancy. They occur when the skin is stretched rapidly causing the delicate fibres that make up the dermis (skin) to break.
Stretch marks often appear on the tummy, breasts and buttocks after birth. Some women view them as a kind of battle scar, a testimony to the amazing thing their body achieved in pregnancy and childbirth while other women feel self-conscious about them. Love them or loathe them, stretch marks will benefit from some TLC. Here are some of my favourite products for nourishing the skin in areas of the body prone to stretch marks. Remember, the key is to use these products throughout pregnancy as a preventative – it is very difficult to heal stretch marks completely after they have formed.
1. Mothers Balm from Neals Yard is jammed-packed with essential fatty acids. It comes in classic blue glass Neals Yard packaging. The fragrance is neutral which is great of you are using the product whilst still breastfeeding. It contains 100% organic ingredients too.
2. The Body Shop’s Cocoa Butter Body Butter is a rich formulation that smells divine. The cream sinks deep into the skin providing long-lasting moisture. The product contains Fair Trade cocoa and what’s best…
3. The It’s Your Body Stretch Mark cream from Mothercare contains sweet almond oil and Shea butter. The cream is a nice, light consistency and the product is reasonably priced.
4. Bio oil is a combination of plant extracts (including calendula and lavender) and vitamins, all suspended in an oil base. Bio Oil has won lots of beauty awards including the Baby Awards 2013, and Best New Mum / Maternity Skincare Product, Mother & Baby Awards, UK, 2013. I sometimes find it a bit too sticky to use in larger areas of the body, but it is very nourishing and effective.
5. Olive oil – a classic home remedy that contains Vitamin E which is known to aid healthy skin. Buy a good quality oil and slather it on. Some women may not like the smell which is ‘earthy’ to say the least. It might be you feel like a slightly overdressed salad!
Do you have any top tips or products to help the appearance of stretch marks?
Featured Image from Renaissance Skincare