Stretch Marks – all too natural but common! We can experience these during pregnancy, but are there any products to help reduce or minimise them! The important thing to remember is all round skin health, and helping to keep your tummy as healthy as possible! This will all help post birth!
NOTE: Before we get stuck in…any products we mention here are NOT paid and only feature due to merit and mummysaver experience!
What exactly are stretch marks?
- When our bodies change shape, such as in pregnancy, our skin is under pressure to stretch rapidly to accommodate your growing bump. A combination of not enough collagen in skin and the release of the hormone ‘cortisone’ can affect your skins elasticity and results in stretch marks!
- Commonly seen on your tummy, but can appear on hips, thighs, bum, breasts and upper arms too! They can peak in the 3rd trimester but can start appearing from the 1st!
- Start as reddish/purple streaks, but after pregnancy, over time fade to white or grey appearance! They can get exceptionally itchy, particularly if you have them during the warmer summer months!
What products are available to help?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with stretch marks, but some may find them upsetting! And although stretch marks are not totally avoidable, there are creams/oils/butter or lotions scientifically proven to help reduce or minimise the appearance of them!
Products – we have 5 products to list…but many on the market!
- Start of the best value..and a classic! ‘Palmer’s Cocoa Butter lotion’ from approx €6.50. Highly concentrated with vitamin E, collagen, elastin and argan oil to help support stretching skin. Try the palmers cocoa oil skin therapy from approx €11 for 150ml for an extra absorbing option! Both non-greasy, affordable but strong distinct smell!
- Burt’s Bee Mama Bee Belly Butter 180g from approx €15. Best for sensitive skin – cocoa, shea and jojoba butter, 99% natural, fragrance free and with vitamin E!
- Bepanthen stretch mark cream 150ml approx €20. This is aimed to minimise development of marks, provitamin and contains pure olive oil and skin lipids to keep skin sift and supple. It is also part of an entire Bepanthen range!
- Bio-oil skincare 200ml – approx €27! A widely trusted brand with its high intensity moisture applied directly to your skin. This is an oil, but non-greasy! Great for prevention and clinically proven to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks. It can even be used for anti-ageing and uneven skin tone!
- Mama Mio, Tummy rub butter 120g approx €28– Velvety butter with added omegas, shea butter, avocado oil and vitamin E. Will help prevent the appearance of stretch marks and increase skins elasticity. PART of an entire range also!
TOP TIPS to rememeber!
- So, firstly use a good quality stretch mark lotion from day 1! PLEASE check they are suitable for pregnant mummies! They will be hypoallergenic, full of vitamin E and suitable for sensitive skin!
- Super important not to use creams with added vitamin A/retinoid. These are aimed at reducing scars but only in non-pregnant women so avoid!
- Applying these in the shower can help lock in moisture already on your skin!
- Regardless of stretch marks, we all can be driven mad by itchy skin on our growing and stretching bumps. Try using these creams to help calm skin! Also Pop in fridge for that extra cooling effect!
Does it really work?
A lot is thought to be genetics… so some women with get them regardless. So, if not totally avoidable then hopefully they can be minimised using a daily pregnancy approved tummy moisturiser to keep skin nourished, well hydrated, healthy and itch free!
If you do get stretch marks, then at least your skin is in the best possible condition to grow with your changing body. If used AFTER pregnancy, this will help reduce the appearance and scarring associated with them! KEEP UP THAT TUMMY CARE well after baby is born!!! It really will help to reduce any red/purple and hopefully help to reduce to those more subtle silvery, white lines!
Anything else help?
- Limit excessive weight gain (yes…easier said than done, but every healthy choice will make the difference!)…and gentle exercise too!
- Healthy diet, in particular foods rich in nutrients to help increase collagen production – such avocadoes, tomatoes, eggs, most fruits and vegatables!
- Stay hydrated. Hydrated skin = healthy skin! Less likely to get stretch marks aim for 8 cups of water for life!
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