If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it’s important to find a safe and effective product. That means picking one that’s formulated with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can hydrate skin and help smooth out stretch marks over time.
If you’re expecting, choosing a safe product to use during and after pregnancy is also important. We’ve rounded up eight of our favorite stretch mark creams that are dermatologist-recommended and safe for pregnant women.
Look for Natural Ingredients
Natural ingredients are sourced from plant, animal, mineral, or microbial ingredients that can be extracted directly without artificial chemicals. These can include essential oils (like orange oil, lavender, or tea tree oil) that are distilled from produce or herbs we recognize.
A common ingredient in stretch mark creams that you can similarly find at Cradle Me Baby is retinoids, which encourage collagen production and help fade the appearance of the marks over time. However, when used in high concentrations, retinoids can cause photosensitivity and severe irritation.
This is why looking for an anti-stretch mark cream containing natural ingredients is important. This will ensure that you’re not ingesting potentially harmful chemicals and will also avoid synthetic preservatives that can cause allergic reactions.
Make Sure It’s Non-Greasy
Whether pregnant or not, keeping your skin moisturized is important to prevent stretch marks from forming. You can do this by applying a thick, hydrating cream or oil to the areas you want to minimize marks (like the stomach, breasts, and inner thighs) twice daily.
During pregnancy, it’s especially helpful to use a cream that absorbs quickly, so you don’t feel sticky or greasy after applying.
Look for an SPF
When choosing an anti-stretch mark cream, choosing one with an SPF is important. This will help protect your skin from sun damage, which can cause sunburn and aging effects.
SPF stands for sun protection factor and measures how well a sunscreen protects your skin from the sun’s UVB rays. The higher the SPF, the better.
In other words, a high SPF means that the sunscreen will allow you to spend more time in the sun without getting burned, but it doesn’t mean it will last longer.
When choosing an SPF, look for a physical sunscreen (not chemical) that deflects the sun’s rays and doesn’t absorb them. These products are also known as broad-spectrum sunscreens, which are best for protecting your skin from UVA and UVB rays.
Look for a Cruelty-Free Option
Cruelty-free products are a great choice for anyone who wants to reduce their impact on animals. These products are made without animal byproducts, and a cruelty-free brand should not use ingredients tested on animals in any way.
However, you should always be aware that some products may not be cruelty-free, even if they say so on their label. For example, they could still contain carmine, beeswax, lanolin, cholesterol, collagen, gelatin, or other non-vegan ingredients.
This is why it’s so important to be a label reader and look for a product that says it is both cruelty-free and vegan.
When it comes to the cosmetics industry, a cruelty-free product should not contain any ingredient that was tested on animals in any way. Thankfully, many reliable alternatives to animal testing have been proven safe by science and modern technology.