9 Natural Stretch Mark Treatments That Have Science to Back Them Up

Stretch marks are an annoying and unavoidable side effect of pregnancy. These pinkish streaks show up around six or seven months of gestation, and they usually stick around after your little one is born. Some women turn to expensive, chemical-laden creams to banish stretch marks on their stomach, hips, and breasts. But did you know that natural remedies can work just as well? Here are nine natural stretch mark treatments to buy or DIY

Postpartum Body Hand on Stomach With Stretch Marks
Photo: Monning27/Shutterstock
01 of 09

Coconut Oil

Spoon Scoop of Coconut Oil From Jar Glass
New Africa/Shutterstock

Coconut oil’s fatty acids easily absorb into the skin. It’s also anti-inflammatory and encourages collagen production, which will speed up stretch mark recovery.

How To Use: Thoroughly rub coconut oil (such as Nutiva Organic Virgin Coconut Oil; $10 for 15 oz) onto stretch marks. No need to wipe off this natural ingredient afterwards!

02 of 09

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera Indoor Plant
New Africa / Shutterstock

The stalky green leaves of aloe vera store water and nutrients. These components contribute to aloe vera’s healing properties, as well as its ability to minimize the appearance of stretch marks.

How To Use: If you have an aloe vera plant at home, break off one of the stalks and rub the gooey insides on your stretch marks. Don’t rinse off the residue. Alternately, you can buy aloe vera gel (such as Seven Minerals Aloe Vera Gel; $20 for 12 oz) and rub it onto your stretch marks once a day.

03 of 09

Cocoa Butter

Unrefined Cocoa Butter

Derived from cocoa beans, super-hydrating cocoa butter seeps deep into the skin, allowing it to retain moisture. This will fade the appearance of stretch marks over time.

How To Use: Apply a generous amount of cocoa butter (like Unrefined Cocoa Butter by Better Shea Butter; $19 for 16 oz) to your stretch marks and massage into the skin. Do this once or twice per day—especially after showering.

04 of 09

Egg Whites

Carton of Eggs
Hello I'm Nik/Unsplash

Thanks to their amino acids and proteins, egg whites can regenerate stretched-out skin.

How To Use: Whisk two egg whites with a fork. Apply the foamy whites to your skin, let them dry, and then rinse them off. Follow up with a layer of moisturizer or olive oil. Repeat this process every day (or several times per week) to see results.

05 of 09

Lemon Juice

Meyer lemon
Peter Ardito; Styling by Suzanne Lenzer

You probably know that lemon juice can stain your countertops and fabrics. But these acidic fruits can also “bleach” stretch marks from pregnancy.

How To Use: Soak a cotton ball in the juice of a lemon, then let it sit on your skin for about ten minutes. If you do this regularly, the natural acids of the lemon juice will lighten stretch marks.

06 of 09

Sugar

Sugar Is Sole Culprit In Causing Tooth Decay

The fine grains of sugar work as a natural exfoliant. Scrubbing away dead skin cells can reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and it also promotes healthy blood circulation (with means increased healing power!)

How To Use: Make a homemade sugar scrub to combat pregnancy-induced stretch marks. Combine one cup of sugar with one tablespoon of the following ingredients: honey (for moisturizing and tightening), olive oil (for moisturizing and elasticity), and lemon juice (for lightening). Scrub into your skin for several minutes, then rinse with water. Repeat one to three times per week.

07 of 09

Olive Oil

olive-oil-and-lemon-shutterstock_55620178-700x_0.jpg

Olive oil contains plenty of antioxidants and vitamin E. If you apply the moisturizing substance to your skin regularly, you may bid adieu to stretch marks over time.

How To Use: Grab your olive oil from the kitchen cabinet. Rub it onto your stretch marks and let your skin absorb the moisture. Leave it on overnight, or wash off with lukewarm water after 20-30 minutes. Also consider warming the olive oil before application to improve blood circulation.

08 of 09

Argan Oil

InstaNatural Organic Argan Oil

Argan oil contains vitamin E, vitamin A, fatty acids, and other nutrients that make skin more supple and less inflamed. That’s why it's ideal for minimizing the appearance of stretch marks from pregnancy.

How To Use: Once a day, massage a few drops of argan oil (like InstaNatural Organic Argan Oil; $17 for 4 oz) into freshly-washed skin.

09 of 09

Turmeric

Turmeric Powder

When ingested, turmeric has plenty of benefits for pregnant women, including the ability to decrease swelling and inflammation. (Check out Golde turmeric-based products here). It turns out that curcumin—the active ingredient in this yellow spice—can also treat stretch marks when applied to the skin.

How To Use: Mix turmeric powder or crushed turmeric root into water, lemon juice, or coconut oil to form a paste. Apply on stretch marks once or twice a day.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles