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New and expectant mothers have enough on their plates as is without the worry of stretch marks. While it's true that the likelihood of stretch marks is largely due to the genetic lottery, more than 90 per cent of women will receive their tiger stripes by the end of their pregnancies.
And while stretch marks are completely fine — and beautiful! — if you’re looking to avoid them you can do so by moisturizing and building up your skin's elasticity to win the battle against these marks. For women looking to reduce the appearance and likelihood of stretch marks both during and post-pregnancy, these are some of the best-rated oils, creams and balms available online.
With more than 5,100 five-star reviews on Amazon, Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion is one of the most popular stretch mark products on the market. The ultra-hydrating blend of cocoa and shea butter is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids.
"This cream is a must have. I used it right when I found out I was pregnant till I gave birth and I don't have one single stretch mark on me,” raved one mom. “I still use it. Love it thank you!"
SHOP IT: Amazon, $5
Burt's Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter (say that ten times fast) is an extra rich cream designed to see you through your 42-week stretch. The unscented formula contains hydrating cocoa, shea and jojoba butter and has earned more than 1,300 five-star reviews on Amazon.
"Love this belly butter!” said one shopper. “It is the only butter I have used that has actually left my skin moisturized for 24 hours. I use this once a day when I get out of the shower and the next night my skin is still smooth and not itchy."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $24
Weleda's Stretch Mark Massage Oil uses sweet almond oil, arnica extracts and wheat germ oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks during pregnancy. It's recommended to use until the end of breastfeeding to achieve the maximum result.
"This stuff is absolutely fantastic and I highly recommend it to anyone who is pregnant and looking avoid stretch marks,” explained a user. “I had stretch marks from puberty and my mother was covered in them when she was pregnant so I thought it was a sure thing that I would get some... but I'm now 41 weeks and 3 days pregnant without a stretch mark in sight."
SHOP IT: Well.ca, $33
The stretch mark massage oil from Pure Life Science has garnered more than 1,200 five-star ratings on Amazon.
"Just bought my second bottle because the first served me well I have been using it through my pregnancy and I haven't seen any stretchmarks yet,” wrote a customer about this blend of geranium, grapeseed, sweet orange, and carrot seed oil. “I use it on my belly, hips, and bum and it seems to be working really well to fade marks I have had since my teens."
SHOP IT: Amazon, $47
This Canadian holistic skincare company has amassed a collection of five-star reviews for their Belly Jelly. The rich emollient balm is designed to increase the skin's elasticity for your growing belly and is chocked full of vitamin E, organic shea butter, lavender, and essential oils.
"Based on its excellent reviews, I decided to try this early on in my pregnancy in efforts to prevent stretch marks and an itchy, dry belly,” raved one mom-to-be. “I am now 35 weeks and have ZERO stretch marks! I LOVE LOVE LOVE this product."
SHOP IT: Well.ca, $21
An oldie but a goodie, Bio-Oil has been a stretch mark saviour for millions of expectant mothers. The oil is designed to improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone and unlike many other targeted oils, it's light and ungreasy.
"My stretch marks were still horrible 3 months postpartum when I was recommended this product. Within one week I had seen a huge difference, and within two weeks even more so,” said one user.
SHOP IT: Well.ca, $22
Earth Mama's Belly Oil is a hypoallergenic blend of all-natural oils, including jojoba, grape seed, and sweet orange oil. It has a nearly perfect rating on Amazon, with an average review of 4.7/5 stars.
"Love this belly oil. Really hydrates the skin for stretching without feeling greasy. And a little goes a long way, I only use two bottles a pregnancy,” recommended one mom.
SHOP IT: Amazon, $20
Egyptian Magic's All Purpose Skin Cream is a hidden secret among new and expectant mothers. While it's not designed specifically for growing baby bumps, the luxurious cream can be used for stretch marks, cracked nipples — and even as an antidote to diaper rash.
SHOP IT: Well.ca, $47.99