Do Stretch Mark Creams Really Work?

How Stretch Marks are Formed?

When the tissue under the skin is stretched, the normal production of collagen is disturbed and damaged, causing stretch marks (striae gavidarium) to surface. Stretch marks are also connected to the influx of glucocorticoids, which are hormones that elevate during puberty, excessive weight gain, obesity, and pregnancy.

According to Dr. Suzanne Gilberg-Lenz, a board-certified OB/GYN and owns a private practice in Beverly Hills, California, about 90% of pregnant women develop stretch marks by their third trimester. High levels of glucocorticoids prevent elastin and collagen formation which makes a person more prone to stretch marks.

Stretch marks usually appear on the stomach, hips, thighs, and buttocks but can show up in other areas of the body as well.

stretch mark creams

Can Stretch Marks Be Prevented?

There are some studies indicating that stretch marks can be prevented by using certain substances like essential oils and vitamin E.

A study in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that expectant women who used a cream with vitamin E had fewer marks than those who didn’t. Since stretch marks are due to rapid weight gain or loss, it can also be prevented by gaining or losing weight gradually.

Do Creams Help Remove Stretch Marks?

A handful of stretch mark creams and serums can help make the marks almost unnoticeable.

These products are the better alternative to cosmetic procedures that cost several thousand dollars. “diminishing stretch marks is a patient’s best bet”, said Barrington, Illinois dermatologist, Dr. Amy Derick.

It may not be realistic to remove every streak of stretch mark on your skin, but creams can help lighten the appearance.

Tretinoin (Retin-A) can greatly help fade stretch marks early on when lines are still pinkish or purplish. Many studies have shown that topical tretinoin can also reduce the size of stretch marks.

The best products should be able to give visible results in four to six weeks.

Ingredients to Look For in Stretch Mark Creams

You need to look for clinically proven ingredients that really work in reducing stretch marks.

A good stretch mark cream should also contain ingredients that protect skin during mechanical stretching and those that reduce inflammation, which makes stretch marks worse.

Some of the ingredients you should be looking for are:

  • Vitamin EDr. Cindy Pan, a Sydney-based medical practitioner and media personality with more than a decade of experience working in general practice in women’s health, recognizes the benefits of Vitamin E, especially in keeping healthy skin. “By massaging the skin regularly with Vitamin E, you’re moisturising and conditioning the skin, and over time this can help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone”.
  • Vitamin A – improves the skin cell growth.
  • Cocoa Butter – contains natural antioxidants and has healing and softening properties.
  • Squalane – softens the skin and effectively reduces skin imperfections. It also helps with the growth of new skin cells.
  • Hyaluronic acid – it is a potent moisturizer that makes skin firmer and elastic for rapid stretch mark reduction.
  • Squalene Oil – a strong regenerative property when used on skin protects skin surface and aids in the healing of scars.
  • DL – Penthenol – also called, pro-vitamin B5. It improves the structure of the upper and lower of skin and reduces the appearance of existing stretch marks.
  • Regu-Stretch – a paraben-free solution that improves skin firmness and elasticity. It also moisturizes and smoothens skin, and helps repair scars. Regu-Stretch prevents formation of new stretch marks and reduces the appearance of existing stretch marks.

Stretch Mark Creams Benefits

  • Repairs damaged tissue which causes the appearance of stretch marks
  • Prevents stretch marks from developing by protecting skin during mechanical stretching
  • Prevents tissue degradation by protecting the extracellular matrix structure of skin
  • Stimulates the production of collagen to reduce the appearance of stretch marks fast

The Bottom Line

There surely is a wide range of stretch mark creams available on the market.

And yes, that can be confusing, especially if you do not know what to look for. That’s why we make things easier for you.

We rigorously evaluated the best stretch mark creams being sold today based on their effectiveness, safety, and affordability.

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Here are some of the best stretch mark creams on the market today:

Below you'll find some of the most effective Stretch Mark formulations on the market in our opinion:


Our Top Stretch Mark Creams

Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy
#1 Skinception Intensive Stretch Mark Therapy
Removes Cellulite and Skin Bulges
Skin Firming & Cellulite Treatment Cream
Intense Moisture to Provide Plumpy Effect
Shrinks and Reduces Fat Cells
#2 Revitol Stretch Mark Cream
Removes Cellulite and Skin Bulges
Skin Firming & Cellulite Treatment Cream
Intense Moisture to Provide Plumpy Effect
Shrinks and Reduces Fat Cells

**This is a subjective assessment based on the strength of the available informations and our estimation of efficacy.

*Result may vary. If you are pregnant, nursing, have a serious medical condition, or have a history of heart conditions we suggest consulting with a physician before using any supplement. The information contained in this website is provided for general informational purposes only. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease and should not be relied upon as a medical advice. Always consult your doctor before using any supplements.

Disclosure of Material connection: Some of the links in the post above are "associate sales links." This means if you can click on the link and purchase an item, we will receive a commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services which we use personally and/or believe will add value to our readers. We are disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials."