Do creams to prevent stretch marks work?

No. Save your money!

Whether or not you will get stretch marks in your pregnancy is largely based on genetics (so blame your mother if you do, but thank her if you don’t!). Many creams are marketed to prevent the onset or progression of stretch marks. None of them have been studied in a way that proves they actually work, and since they can be very expensive, you may as well save that money and use it for something else!

Stretch marks (and a pregnant belly in general) can sometimes itch, so it is fine to use creams like cocoa butter to keep the skin from becoming dry. Thankfully, these basic creams are much more affordable.

Reviewed by Dr. Jen Lincoln, December 2018

Comments

  1. My mom and 3 of my sisters all got stretch marks from pregnancy. I was sure that I was doomed! So I invested in this Almond Supple Skin Oil- http://usa.loccitane.com/almond-supple-skin-oil,82,1,39162,262124.htm. It was expensive, but after 2 pregnancies I am stretch mark free. I have no clue if this oil had anything to do with it, but if I go for a third I will be investing in it again. I also used the 100% Shea Butter at night. I was an oily mess-lol! 🙂

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  2. I used an expensive cream only because a co-worker got it for me as a gift. She swore by it for all 3 of her pregnancies. I gained about 30 lbs. during my pregnancy, and I have no stretch marks. My mom has quite a few stretch marks, so maybe it’s just the placebo effect, but I would probably use the cream again just to be on the safe side! And it smelled so good. I can’t stand the smell of cocoa butter!

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  3. I used 100% shea butter on my belly- it kept the itching at bay… Plus, even though my OB/GYN told me otherwise, I couldn’t help but control what little part in it we can control and make sure I applied it every day. (Control freak problems!)

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