Dermatological Analysis: Best Anti-Stretch Mark Creams

For many of us, stretch marks are a part of life. Our bodies change as we age, especially if we decide to have children.

Puberty, pregnancy, obesity, and even normal growth can stretch the skin in different ways, resulting in changes in skin texture.

But stretch marks are not just a problem for a few, 80% of people (both men and women) have stretch marks ; something that seems to go hand in hand with pregnancy, as up to 70% of women suffer from them due to stretching of the skin during pregnancy.

And although stretch marks are not a health problem, they are unsightly. Nobody likes their fair, even skin marred by different colored lines, and they often lead to self-esteem issues.

But it does not have to be like that. Although stretch marks are often hereditary (if your mother had them, you may have them too), not everyone does.

For this, nothing better than an anti-stretch mark cream to minimize their appearance or prevent them completely . These products help in the synthesis of collagen and elastin to reduce its appearance, texture and color, while keeping the skin hydrated and smooth, thus avoiding the formation of more stretch marks.

They can also reduce the sensitivity and discomfort that sometimes accompany stretch marks.

When looking for the right anti-stretch mark for your specific skin problems, the most important thing to consider is the product’s ingredient list .

Any company can hire a graphic designer to make eye-catching packaging and boxes, or pay influencers to recommend their product, which is why the INCI is the only thing that doesn’t lie, and the only thing you should trust when choosing a cosmetic . .

It is up to you, as a consumer, to ensure that the product has the most effective ingredients for your stretch mark problem.

To do this, we have analyzed the best-selling and most recommended anti-stretch mark products, looking only at the INCI. After the analysis, you have at your disposal valuable information about stretch marks and about the creams that aim to eliminate or avoid them. You can’t miss it if you are looking for an anti-stretch mark cream.

I explain how it is organized. I have analyzed each ingredient of the two best anti-stretch marks options, but if the ingredient is already explained in another article, I leave the link to access it.

Of the rest of the products I only make a summary, although below you will find a link that takes you to the complete analysis, in case you are interested.

Best Anti-Stretch Mark Creams

Akento Stretch Mark Cream

Do you have stretch marks? If you have 10 minutes a day, with Akento cream you can blur its appearance in a very short time, as it contains all the ingredients that your skin needs to heal properly.

Its operation is logical and effective: if stretch marks are caused by insufficient skin regeneration, caused by pregnancy, rapid weight gain, or any other circumstance, this anti-stretch mark cream provides the skin with everything it needs to its correct regeneration, and accelerates this process until it is eliminated .

We are talking about removing recent stretch marks, those that are reddish in color, and also about old stretch marks, which have a whiter color, and are more difficult to remove due to their permanence.

But due to its composition it also serves to keep the skin hydrated, elastic, and with optimal collagen and elastin values , to avoid the formation of more stretch marks.

So I think it is a very complete cream, for all skin types, totally recommended for skin that wants to reduce or prevent stretch marks. We are going to see its ingredients to verify its effectiveness.

The brand also has Hydroalcoholic Gel in stock , an effective product that fights against most bacteria and viruses – also the coronavirus – and leaves the skin soft and hydrated. 

The cream starts with moisturizing ingredients , as good hydration is the first step in keeping skin elastic and healthy. And then the assets appear.

The most desirable are Methylsilanol Hydroxyproline Aspartate, which is nothing more than a combination of silicon and the amino acid proline . Silicon is known to be an essential element for the structure of the skin, and that it interacts with the collagen and elastin present, favoring their synthesis, thus helping to regenerate the skin.

Proline helps prevent damaged tissue from losing its elasticity and texture. A winning combination.

Very interesting is also the resin of the Croton Lechleri, commonly called Dragon Blood. It has a powerful antioxidant activity that stimulates the early stage of healing, stimulating fibroblasts . Therefore, it is a great regenerator.

Backed by in vitro and ex vivo studies, dragon blood improves the layering and quality of the new epidermis and contributes to a complete repair and regeneration of tissues, for skin rejuvenation.

It also includes sunflower oil, with nourishing and antioxidant action , and vitamin E in the form of tocopherol.

It highlights that in the formula there are no parabens or any type of harmful ingredient , apart from the perfume that can irritate the most sensitive skin. And also the low level of preservatives it has. This puts a brake on the combined effect that we suffer on a daily basis.

In short, the combined effect is the accumulation of small amounts of toxic or harmful ingredients, which occurs when we apply any cosmetic (be it makeup, creams, serums, body milk, or cleansers), for days, months, or years.

This accumulation is not regulated, since each cosmetic is regulated individually, but it does have harmful effects on the skin and health, especially in the long term.

This effect can be avoided by using cosmetics that have little preservatives, or harmful or toxic ingredients . And luckily, Akento cream is one of them.

Anyone can use this formula . It is not only for pregnant women, but also for those who are going through puberty and those at high risk of developing stretch marks. It can be used by anyone who wants to prevent the development of stretch marks.

Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter Anti-Stretch Body Butter

Mama Mio Body Butter helps in the fight against stretch marks. It is a mainly organic topical cream that can be used to hydrate and maintain the elasticity of the skin to prevent the formation of stretch marks.

It promises users maximum protection against stretch marks and itchiness on the abdomen, especially during pregnancy.

It can also be used to prevent stretch marks in other cases of rapid weight gain, such as puberty and bodybuilding.

creamy, easy-to-apply product that provides essential nutrients that promote healthy skin cell growth.

Packed with Coconut, Avocado, Sacha Inchi, Olive Oil, Rosehip, Argan, Sweet Almond Oil and Shea Butter, and without harmful ingredients , it is a safe formula to use even in pregnancy and lactation; and it can be applied to the abdomen, breasts, hips, thighs and other areas close to them.

All of these areas are considered extremely prone to developing stretch marks during the course of a pregnancy. In addition, it also helps the body recover after delivery.

I love how it smells , spreads and penetrates the skin; Although I would prefer it not to be a jar with a lid, since each time you apply it you have to insert your fingers to remove the product.

To better understand how Mama Mio’s The Tummy Rub Butter Anti-Stretch Body Butter works, and the effects the cream can actually offer users, let’s take a closer look at its ingredients.

The anti-stretch mark cream essentially increases the elasticity of the skin. This protects the skin from the development of stretch marks caused by small tears in certain areas of the skin, when there has been considerable stretching.

Already from the first ingredient there are moisturizing agents, mainly emollients. Shea butter is also in a good concentration, as well as antioxidants that increase cell renewal or act as protectors.

It uses omega 3, 6 and 9 and other natural oils to increase the strength and elasticity of the skin, and reduce the appearance of scars.

And although it is full of assets, the final part is simply a cluster of fragrances that does not contribute anything to the skin.

On the positive side, it does not include any harmful or irritating ingredients or too many preservatives, something that largely avoids the combined effect of cosmetics.

Effective and quality, if you are looking for a cream that protects your skin from developing unpleasant skin scars, such as stretch marks, as well as improve the appearance of the ones you already have, Mama Mio’s anti-stretch mark cream is definitely a smart choice.

Regenerating anti-stretch mark cream Repavar

It is a hypoallergenic cream indicated for the corrective and preventive treatment of stretch marks caused by pregnancy, lactation and weight loss.

Its main function is to help regain the tightness and freshness of the skin, improving its regenerative capacity.

Thanks to the gotu kola activates the synthesis of collagen and elastin, it hydrates and tones the skin, blurring already present stretch marks.

Its creamy texture is easily and instantly absorbed. And since it has no irritating ingredients, it is a suitable cream for pregnant and lactating women.

We are going to see what it can offer by analyzing the INCI.

It uses good active ingredients such as rosehip, amino acids, witch hazel, and triterpenes from gotu kola in high proportions, which is why it is one of the best anti-stretch mark creams that we can find on the market today.

Also don’t forget about moisturizing agents, which are spread throughout the list as emollients and moisturizers.

While Mama Mio cream is more preventive, it is more corrective, helping to reduce the size, color and texture of stretch marks already present. So the combination of one cream and another can form a great anti-stretch mark duo.

To put a but, I would say that it includes a couple of irritating ingredients, although it is one of the least fragrant.

Suavinex Stretch Mark Cream

The Suavinex formula has failed to make better use of its assets. Gotu kola, one of the best healing and collagen synthesizers for stretch marks, is in too low a concentration.

This also happens with horsetail, another great regenerator, and with ivy, which tones and tightens the skin. Therefore, in the highest positions only moisturizing agents remain.

I am also concerned about the inclusion of a couple of ingredients that are irritating and toxic, the alcohol, and the amount of fragrances it has, most of them allergens and sensitizers.

In summary, it is a cream that acts mainly as a moisturizer, preventing stretch marks, not so much reducing their appearance.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Suavinex Stretch Mark Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Trofolastin anti-stretch marks

Lights and shadows has Trofolastin anti-stretch marks, a cream that includes great anti-stretch marks, such as gotu kola or hydrolyzed collagen and elastin; but that also includes the worst ingredients that a cream can have, such as parabens.

Actually, if the parabens were removed, it would be a very complete and efficient anti-stretch mark cream, although it would still have a toxic ingredient that I don’t really like.

It is a shame that by wanting to make the cream last longer, such a formulation is spoiled, since it includes all the ingredients that are recommended in a product with these characteristics.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Trofolastin Anti-stretch marks, Analysis and Alternative .

Estryses Sesderma Stretch Mark Cream

Although the product contains Centella asiatica, Shea butter, Cocoa butter, peptides, or Rose oil, a great complex of ingredients that act on stretch marks, hydrates the skin, increases its strength and elasticity, and stimulates collagen synthesis, its proportion is not adequate.

This seriously limits its ability to act, which is dwarfed by ingredients in higher concentrations, which are basically moisturizing and lubricating.

But the biggest flaw in the Sesderma formula is to include several parabens, irritating ingredients, a lot of fragrances and retinol, which is not recommended for pregnant women.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Estryses Sesderma Anti-Stretch Mark Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream

It is able to prevent the appearance of new scars, as it is formulated with avocado peptides, beeswax and shea butter.

A great option for treating the most troublesome areas that develop marks during pregnancy, such as the breasts, belly, hips, and even the upper thighs.

Overall, Mustela cream is not a bad product. But it is not the best either. It seems that using it is essentially a gamble. While it may work for some, it may not work for others.

The cream is honestly quite oily (probably not good for those who are prone to breakouts) and while it is fine as a moisturizer, the stretch mark diminishing effects are quite disappointing.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Mustela Stretch Mark Prevention Cream, Analysis and Alternative .

Bio-Oil anti-stretch mark oil

Bio-Oil promises to reduce scars, stretch marks, uneven skin tone, aging skin, and dehydrated skin, using rosemary, chamomile, lavender, and calendula oil; in addition to the antioxidants vitamin A and vitamin E.

It is important to mention that the company itself does not claim that it can completely remove or make any scar or stretch mark disappear completely. It just reduces its appearance.

And due to its natural ingredients, it’s no wonder it has so many followers. However, I am concerned about retinol (vitamin A) in the case of pregnant women.

And for my taste it has too many fragrances, and most of them are irritating and sensitizing.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Bio-Oil anti-stretch mark oil, Analysis and Alternative .

Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil

This stretch mark massage oil is made with wheat germ, almond, and jojoba oil, along with organic arnica montana.

All of these ingredients help to soothe tight skin, preserve moisture levels, and promote skin elasticity, but little else. I don’t think they are enough to reduce the size or coloration of the stretch marks present.

It certainly soothes tight, itchy and stretched skin and smells great, although there are too many fragrances for my taste, even one of them is sensitizing.

You can enter the full technical analysis in the following article: Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, Analysis and Alternative .

Woman Isdin anti-stretch marks

A cream with triterpenes from gotu kola, rosehip oil, shorea butter, and vitamin E, great anti-stretch marks, which have not been used optimally.

Full of moisturizers (emollients and humectants), the active ingredients do not have the proportion they should, to offer all their benefits reducing stretch marks.

These ingredients are mixed with irritants, lots of fragrances (some allergens), and a toxic ingredient that can cause neurotoxicity.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: Woman Isdin Anti-Stretch Marks, Analysis and Alternative .

Anti-stretch marks of E’lifexir

It is a formula that contains more hydrating ingredients (humectants, emollients and occlusives) than cellular stimulants that produce more collagen or elastin; however, it can be a good anti-stretch mark, delaying its appearance and minimizing its appearance.

It mainly has 3 active anti-stretch marks, which are peptides (reduces the depth of scars), rutin (an antioxidant that increases elasticity) and locust bean extract (which prevents more stretch marks). These are in the middle of the list, so it is not too powerful.

Finally, it does not have too many harmful ingredients, or preservatives, although it does have a lot of fragrances.

You can enter the complete technical analysis in the following article: E’lifexir Emulsion Anti-Stretch Marks, Analysis and Alternative .

What are stretch marks and why do they occur?

Stretch marks are long, narrow streaks or lines that form in the dermis, or middle layer, when connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity.

The width of the marks usually varies from 1 to 14 mm and sometimes covers a much larger area.

By stretching the skin so quickly, the elastin (located in the dermis) is also stretched, which eventually breaks down. It’s like when you stretch an elastic band, if you keep pulling and pulling, it won’t be the same shape again.

This type of scarring occurs when the skin cannot resume its normal shape after a period of intense growth, often due to pregnancy, weight gain or loss, or puberty.

Anyone can get stretch marks , although they tend to affect women more than men.

Stretch marks can appear almost anywhere on the body, but they are most common in places like the abdomen, hips, thighs, breasts, arms, and even around the knees or lower back. They can occur in a single area, or in multiple areas.

The most common causes of skin tightening include:

  • Pregnancy : Between 50 and 90 percent of pregnant women experience stretch marks during pregnancy or after delivery.
  • Puberty : Rapid growth is very common in young people going through puberty. This can cause stretch marks. During puberty, stretch marks are seen mainly on the upper and lower extremities, back, hips, abdomen, arms, flanks, and breasts.
  • Rapid weight or muscle gain : Gaining many pounds in a short time can cause stretch marks, as can building a lot of muscle in a short period of time.
  • Diseases : Certain conditions can cause stretch marks, such as Marfan syndrome and Cushing syndrome. Marfan syndrome decreases elasticity in skin tissue, and Cushing syndrome can lead the body to produce too much hormone leading to rapid weight gain and skin fragility.
  • Corticosteroids : The prolonged use of creams with corticosteroids or oral corticosteroids, can decrease the levels of collagen in the skin, which increases the risk of stretch marks.

Stretch marks are not a health hazard, but they can cause low self-esteem and anxiety disorders. For some people, stretch marks are a major concern that can affect their daily life.

Types of stretch marks

Not all stretch marks are the same. The color, location, and cause of stretch marks can vary from person to person.

When stretch marks start to form, they are usually pink, reddish, dark brown, or purple (depending on skin color). Color is a sign of inflammation due to overstretching.

The marks may appear flat, but they can also be slightly raised at times. The formations gradually increase in both length and width. At this stage, stretch marks can also itch, but usually do not produce any symptoms.

This is the best time to treat stretch marks, as they are more likely to respond to treatment.

Over time, the streaks fade and flatten, and tend to change to a pearly white color , more similar to scars.

The progression from pinkish stretch marks to white stretch marks is gradual, and can last from several months to years. Mature stretch marks can also become more prominent as a person loses skin elasticity naturally through the aging process.

The stretch marks develop as a result of pregnancy. They are more prominent in the abdomen, breasts and thighs of the pregnant woman, and usually appear around the sixth or seventh month of gestation, but can also appear after 24 weeks.

These stretch marks start out as pinkish stretch marks and develop into hypopigmented linear depressions, often with fine lines.

How to remove stretch marks?

The fastest way to reduce this unsightly skin problem is with a laser treatment. However, this will not completely eliminate the problem, and the cost is very high. You will need several laser sessions, it is often a painful and uncomfortable treatment, and the total price can reach several thousand euros.

This is the reason why the use of anti-stretch mark creams is the most popular option for the main skin problem today.

Although there is no solution that completely eliminates stretch marks, current anti-stretch marks reduce the appearance of marks, and prevent the formation of new ones.

These creams focus on restoring the skin’s connective tissue, which in turn smoothes the skin’s texture, improving overall tone.

Some options are simply heavy moisturizers, often containing cocoa butter and vitamin E. Others rely on ingredients that form collagen to repair the middle layers of the skin and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Do moisturizers work as anti-stretch marks?

No. Body moisturizers do not have the necessary ingredients to minimize stretch marks. They may have great moisturizing and emollient ingredients, but most are not absorbed enough to affect stretch mark formation or reduction.

What ingredients should anti-stretch marks have?

A good anti-stretch mark should include mainly two components: cellular stimulants that promote the synthesis of collagen and elastin, and nutritional elements that improve the elasticity of the skin.

Among the cellular stimulants is gotu kola (also known as Gotu Kola). This plant contains a group of active ingredients known as terpenoids ( asiatic acid, madecassic acid, asiaticoside and madecassoside ) that are sometimes included in a product alone in pure form, or in combination as “extract of Centella asiatica”.

Terpenoids have very similar activities, they basically help healing by accelerating skin cell production and collagen synthesis. It is also antibacterial and can increase antioxidant activity and blood vessel formation.

Madecassoside could prevent the formation of hypertrophic and keloid scars, as well as hyperpigmentation induced by UV rays, according to an in vitro study; while asiaticoside helps hypertrophic scars.

The Rosehip may also be referred to as cell stimulating as it is a rich source of omega 3 fatty acids and 6 that helps treat damaged skin.

Hydrates and deeply nourishes the skin to promote elasticity and help prevent the development of stretch marks. It also offers natural trans-retinoic acid effects that can help prevent the development of stretch marks.

As for the nutritional elements of an anti-stretch mark, there are several that have great effects, the main ones: collagen and elastin hydrolysates .

The dermis cannot be stretched properly if there are no elastic fibers such as elastin and collagen or amino acids in the skin for these proteins to form.

The collagen is a type of connective tissue that helps other structures “sticking” together. In the skin, collagen is part of the matrix that keeps it firm and plump.

Collagen is a protein (which means it is made of long chains of amino acids) and it is very rich in two amino acids in particular: proline and hydroxyproline.

Hydrolyzed collagen, which is the type most used in cosmetics, is formed by taking mature collagen and chemically cutting it into tiny pieces, so that it can better penetrate the skin.

The elastin is an elastic fibrous protein that reinforces the bonds between the collagen to provide firmness and elasticity to the skin. The decrease in elastin causes wrinkles and sagging of the skin.

Like collagen, hydrolyzed elastin can better penetrate the skin.

Since both collagen and elastin are proteins, another great nutritive ingredient is amino acids and peptides (chains of amino acids).

The Palmitoyl Pentapeptide-3 is a synthetic compound that stimulates collagen production, elastin and glucosamnoglicanos. And the Palmitoyl Oligopeptide increases the elasticity of the skin and smoothes the contours by stimulating the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen.

In addition to these assets, it is always good to have skin restorers, emollients, fatty acids and vitamins:

Sweet Almond Oil . This natural oil is rich in Omega 3, 6 and 9 that nourish the skin and protect it against cell damage. It also hydrates and softens the skin to improve its smoothness and texture.

Wheat germ oil . With anti-aging properties that help soften and hydrate the skin. It is rich in vitamins A, B, D, and E, and high in antioxidants. It is one of the best oils to support collagen production and healing.

Avocado oil . Helps keep skin hydrated and moist and increase skin elasticity, ensuring that it stretches safely.

Shea butter . It is known as one of the most powerful natural healing agents for the skin. It is a popular stretch mark remedy that works by restoring youthful skin tone and providing a protective barrier that locks moisture into the skin. It also helps to considerably improve the elasticity of the skin to prevent the development of stretch marks.

Retinyl Palmitate . It is a derivative of Vitamin A (retinol) that helps eliminate stretch marks by increasing the metabolic rate of the skin, which stimulates the production of new cells and repairs older cells. However, it is an ingredient that should be avoided if you are pregnant.

Vitamin C . When applied topically, vitamin C can help produce more collagen and promote skin elasticity. Vitamin C also acts as a lightening agent that helps minimize the color of any stretch marks already present.

Omega 3 and 6 . Omega 3 can help prevent stretch marks thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties. While omega 6 helps repair damaged skin, which helps reduce dark stretch marks, nourishes the skin and keeps it hydrated.

Applying an anti-stretch mark cream

The application of an anti-stretch mark product is a very simple process. You just have to apply it to the areas that are most likely to develop stretch marks, or where there are already stretch marks, twice a day.

In the case of pregnant women, it is suggested that the application be as soon as possible, from the first week of pregnancy, and that it continue for about 4 months after delivery (as the skin returns to its normal state) to make sure not to develop no stretch marks at all.

How to prevent stretch marks?

Although there is no way to guarantee that a person will not develop stretch marks, the following tips can help reduce the chances:

A proper diet

Skin health starts from the inside, and to keep skin elastic and supple, eat a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids. You can find omega 3s in chia and flax seeds, and oily fish (salmon, herring, sardines, etc.).

Evidence shows that skin needs a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamins A, C, E, and zinc, to stay healthy. Fruits and vegetables are rich in these and other vitamins and minerals.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential for healthy skin, and the best way to get it is through sun exposure. However, if the area where you live is lacking in sun, you can take supplements as needed to ensure you get the amount of vitamin D you need.

Stay hydrated

Drinking enough water is good for your health, and good news for your skin, which will be in better shape to stretch without stretch marks.

In addition to hydrating inside, do it outside as well, applying moisturizer. Keeping the skin supple can be helpful in reducing the risk of stretch marks in some people.

Moisturizers can also help reduce the itchiness that occurs as the skin stretches.

Start hydrating your skin daily from the moment you discover that you are pregnant. Your skin will need as much elasticity as possible, so starting the habit in the first trimester is not too early.

keep a healthy weight

Whether you are pregnant or not, it is important to maintain a constant weight, to avoid fluctuations that can intensely stretch or reduce skin.

Pregnant women should talk to their doctor about how much weight to gain during pregnancy because underlying health conditions can affect range as well.

Exercising regularly can help you lose weight and prevent future weight gain. Exercise also increases blood flow to the skin, which can help the skin rebuild itself.

Avoid the use of anabolic steroids

Anabolic steroids weaken the structure of the skin, so people who use them, such as some athletes, may be more prone to stretch marks.

Corticosteroid creams (which generally contain cortisone) can weaken collagen in the skin and cause stretch marks. However, people who are using them should speak with a doctor before discontinuing them.

Use sunscreen

Ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun damage collagen and elastin in your skin, which can make stretch marks more likely.

If you are outdoors, wear clothing that protects you from UV rays and apply sunscreen daily. It is essential to let the sunscreen absorb for 30 minutes before sun exposure, and reapply it at least every 2 hours while you are exposed.

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Kathie Sand always saw the world of beauty as the terrain on which to build her professional career, a goal that was clear to her when she was only 15 years old. Her great concern to expand knowledge led her to settle in Paris where she studied hand in hand with the best beauty professionals and with the most advanced techniques for skin care.

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