It wasn’t long after I found out I was pregnant that I started to load up on stretch mark prevention creams. As a skin care fanatic, I started researching the best creams out there. There are a TON of options but below are some of ones that I tried. I have also been lucky enough to have been gifted some of the items but the head reviews are 100% true and honest. My regime involves applying the creams 2x/day, once in the morning and once at night. I apply the morning cream after I get out of the shower, and I keep the night creams on my nightstand so I remember to put it on as soon as I get in bed. I also make sure I don’t just apply it to my belly – it goes all the way from boobs to butt.
Now let me start off by saying that I think genetics, diet, and lifestyle play the biggest role in whether or not you’re going to get stretch marks but why not help the cause if you can? Without a doubt your skin will do a lot of stretching with your growing belly and a lot of woman complain of itchy dry skin because of it. A well made stretch mark lotion will help ease the itchiness and help prevent stretch marks by keeping the skin hydrated and elastic. A lot of stretch mark creams are also formulated with natural skin lighteners which will help lighten the appearance of stretch marks if they decide to show up.
I am pleased to say that I am now 7 months pregnant and have yet to see a stretch mark or deal with any dry skin on my belly, hips, or breasts! I will let you know if that is still the case as I approach week 40:) but I wanted to provide a review for others to reference when making their stretch mark cream decision.
There are a lot of different formulations out there and a variety of consistencies. Below is a mix of lotions, salves, and oils. The thicker creams and salves I tend to use at night just because they take a little longer to absorb and I am usually rushing in the am. It is completely personal preference!
Primally Pure Belly Balm – There is a reason this one is at the top of the list! I’ll start off by saying that this is an amazing company and I would recommend any of their products, which are formulated in house using only the cleanest ingredients. This balm is an intensive moisturizer so I have incorporated it into my nightly routine. Not only does it contain certified organic extra virgin olive oil, calendula oil, emu oil, and tallow, which are excellent moisturizers, but it also has marshmallow root which is nature’s answer for preventing stretch marks on growing bellies! This product is a great multi-use product that can be used even after the baby is born. Check out this article to see all the ways it can be for both mama and baby – https://blog.primallypure.com/this-balm-is-a-beauty-must-have-and-here-are-5-ways-to-use-it/.
Burts Bees Belly Butter- This is the most basic belly cream that I used out of all of the others. It is a nice thick shea butter that has some extra conditioning ingredients such as Vitamin E, and jojoba butter. It is 99% natural which is one of the reasons why I gave it a try. It is Phthalate-free, Sulfate-free, butylparaben-free, formaldehyde-free, nonylphenol ethoxylate free, propylparaben-free, paraben-free, and dye-free. It blends and absorbs well but to honest is really isn’t anything worth noting. Since there is no fragrance added (which really is great because fragrance is an irritant) the smell is a little funky. I wouldn’t discourage the use of this product but it’s definitely not the highest on my list of recommendations. Their original formula got a lot of good reviews but they apparently discontinued it recently.
Motherlove Belly Salve – This is one of my favorite creams that I use at night! It has a wonderful lavender and chamomile scent that helps me relax right before bed – I am a serious sucker for anything lavender. It is a salve so it is a little thick and greasy (which is why I don’t use it during the day) but it absorbs well and doesn’t stain your clothes – think Vaporub consistency. I just love how this salve melts right into your skin! I also love that I recognize all of the the ingredients which are all certified organic – apricot oil, beeswax, shea butter, marshmallow root, rosehips, lavender flower, chamomile flower, calendula flower, lavender essential oil. This company also carries a lot of really great natural breastfeeding products as well.
Earth Mama Belly Butter – This is one of the first creams that I bought and still love! I discovered this on the EWG Skin Deep Cosmetic database that I use with before purchasing a lot of my products. The ingredients were rated very low as being hazardous which was very important to me. It contains no petroleum, mineral oil, parabens, or artificial fragrance. It is a lovely body cream that is very hydrating and absorbs well. It is still one of my go-to creams for during the day. It can certainly be used at night but I have several others that are better suited to use at night. One of the reasons I keep going back to it is the scent. The essential oils create a wonderful natural and refreshing scent, similar to the Motherlove Belly Salve.
The Mama Mio products are another great natural option for mamas-to-be! They state on their website that their stretch mark products are clinically proven to protect against and prevent stretch marks, and increase skin elasticity by 20% in 2 weeks! Their products are also free from parabens, petrolatum, colourants, xenoestrogens, PEGs and phthalates.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub Oil – If you are an oil fan, this is a good one! I initially thought that this would be too oily to use during the day but I was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly this oil absorbed into your skin. It actually absorbs so quickly that you have to work relatively fast to work it in your skin. This lovely product is infused with a nourishing blend of organic oils, including argan, Coconut, Sweet Almond and rosehip fruit, leaving your skin soft and silky. My only qualm with this line (and of course this is a personal preference) is the scent. I try to stick to fragrance free products and although this line smells lovely, it is a little too fragrant for me. They do offer some fragrance free products on their website so I plan on checking those out.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter – This is the thickest cream of the bunch but really nice to use at night. Just like all of their other products, this butter leaves your skin velvety smooth and applies very well. This product almost feels like it is giving your skin a deep conditioning treatment, which is especially nice in the winter. It contains all of the essential ingredients for stretch mark prevention – shea butter, organic avocado oil, organic sacha inchi oil, organic rosehip oil, and vitamin E. I would order this product again but as I stated in the review above, I would opt for the fragrance free version.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub Scrub – I use this scrub twice a week, as recommended. This product utilizes fine particles of volcanic lava, bamboo extract and natural papaya to delicately slough away dead, dry skin without stripping moisture. (Tip: keep this exfoliator in the shower so you remember to use them). It is an excellent exfoliator and really leaves your skin silky smooth immediately after washing. Love this one! Keep in mind that any product will absorb better if you exfoliate before.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion -this is a great all around lotion that can be used all over your body. It is lightweight and non-greasy which makes it a great daytime option. It contains pure cocoa butter, vitamin E, collagen, elastin, shea butter, argan oil and lutein. As with all of Palmer’s products it is hypoallergenic, mineral oil free, paraben free, phthalate free, phenoxyethanol fee, and dermatologist approved.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream – This massage cream was created as a concentrate, specifically formulated for the tummy, hips, thighs, and bust. It is a little bit thicker than the lotion but isn’t too heavy which makes it a great option for daytime or night. None of the Palmer’s products have a distinct scent so this is a great option for someone who is bothered by scent. As with the lotion, this is a straightforward product that gets the job done at keeping your skin hydrated and supple.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Tummy Butter – This product is an intensive treatment so I would only use this one at night as it is very heavy. If you are experiencing dryness and itchiness with your current stretch mark prevention creams then I would definitely consider this one to boost your skin’s hydration. The company states that it keeps your skin hydrated for 48 hours and that it does! An excellent option for the winter! My only complaint would be that it takes some effort to soften the product – I usually need to warm it up in my hands before applying.
As I mentioned before, these products are an excellent way to keep your skin hydrated, supple, and elastic but it is just as important to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I try my best every single day to make sure I am eating a balanced diet to ensure I get all of the nutrients by baby and body need. I always always make sure I drink at least 90 oz. per day. Lastly, I make sure I get a workout in about 5 days a week, even if it’s just walking for 30 minutes. I am happy to share any other information regarding my stretch mark prevention regime!