The Best Stretch Mark Creams to Use When You're Pregnant
Unfortunately, getting rid of pesky stretch marks -- whether from pregnancy or fluctuations in weight -- is no easy feat. Here are the best stretch mark creams on the market, as well as tips on how to use them correctly so you achieve real results
Meanwhile, anyone who's ever really been pregnant -- or had an honest pregnant friend, or even seen the movie "What to Expect When You're Expecting" -- knows all that sunshine and lollipop stuff is basically a load of crap. Most women don't feel their prettiest when they’re preggers. To wit: Most pregnant women suffer from problems like hair loss, melasma, breakouts, and broken blood vessels. And that bowling-ball-sized-or-bigger belly expansion likely means one thing: stretch marks.
Skip ahead to see the best stretch mark creams.
If you're thinking, "Meh, I have good genes, I won't get stretch marks," we have some bad news for ya: "There's no way to predict whether you're going to get stretch marks," says New York City cosmetic dermatologist and founder of 5th Avenue Dermatology Surgery and Laser Center, Paul Frank, MD. "Stretch marks generally don't even appear until the end of the third trimester." Fortunately, there's also some good news: Stretch marks can be avoided -- but you have to act early.
The research and development team at Mustela (makers of one of our favorite stretch mark creams, included here) suggests starting to use a stretch mark cream at the first signs of pregnancy until at least one month after you give birth. If you choose the right one, it should be perfectly safe for both you and your baby. (You'll find out what we like about each stretch mark cream as you read on.)
While there are tons of stretch mark creams on the market, most dermatologists and aestheticians agree that it's less about which one you choose and more about the way you use it. "During pregnancy, I recommend using natural oils to massage the skin," says New York City aesthetician Cecelia Wong. "The oils will strengthen and nourish the skin while promoting circulation." And Frank agrees. "I tell pregnant women to massage the skin every day," he says. "And avoid the sun -- stretching tissue is like a scar; sun exposure will only make it worse."
As with all things during pregnancy, check with your doctor before you do anything. But once you get the green light, choose one of the best stretch mark creams (or your favorite oil) and start massaging like crazy. Or, better yet, have someone else do it for you -- maybe you'll feel so pampered that you might even get that sought after glow.
SEE NEXT PAGE: Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action Cream, $41