Stretch marks happen — and not even A-list celebrities are immune. The only difference between them and us? Access to the industry’s top experts to recommend products that work. TODAY Style is hoping to bridge that gap by sharing their go-tos.
Alas, there’s no proven way to prevent or erase stretch marks. “The idea that you can prevent or treat stretch marks by rubbing creams, oils or lotions on your skin is not supported by strong evidence,” the Mayo Clinic said. Genetics are the biggest determining factor in whether you’ll get stretch marks, according to “What To Expect When You’re Expecting,” and those “tiger stripes” do tend to fade with time.
But you can certainly make yourself more comfortable during pregnancy and after by treating your hard-working skin to some TLC.
- 1. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, $15 (usually $17), Amazon
Kim Kardashian and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge (aka Duchess Kate) are both fans of Bio-Oil for keeping skin soft and stretch mark-free during pregnancy. According to the Bio-Oil website, this product has won 349 skincare awards and has become the No. 1 selling scar and stretch mark product in 24 countries.
- 2. La Mer The Concentrate Treatment, $321 (usually $337), Amazon
- What are stretch marks?
- What causes stretch marks?
- Where can you get stretch marks?
- How to prevent stretch marks
- How to get rid of stretch marks
- Celebrities with stretch marks
- Kim Kardashian Opens Up About Getting Her Stretch Marks Removed
- Stretch Mark Removal Home Remedy
- Laser Stretch Mark Removal
- Before and After Stretch Mark Removal
- Laser Stretch Mark Removal Cost
- Stretch Mark Removal Cream
- Stretch Mark Removal Cost
- Stretch Mark Removal – Dr. Simon Ourian Appears on Good Day L.A.
- What’s The Stretch?
- Kate Middleton
- Molly Sims
- Ali Landry
- Victoria Beckham
- Kim Kardashian
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Finding a Stretch Mark Prevention Product
- Post-Baby Body: 6 Beauty tips celebrities swear by for removing stretch marks
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Chrissy Teigen’s secret for fighting “tiger stripes”? Ultra-pricey The Concentrate from La Mer. “I come from a stretch mark–prone family — I have them all over my butt and inner thighs. Luckily, I’m with a man who could not care less about them or else I would be insecure, but during my pregnancy, it was my belly I was scared of. I knew I’d have to do something about it before I started seeing them,” Teigen — who is also a La Mer spokesperson — told Allure.
- 3. L’Occitane Almond Smoothing & Beautifying Supple Skin Oil, $50, Amazon
Self-styled holistic living guru, Goop founder and mom of two Gwyneth Paltrow recommends sweet almond oil. While we don’t know what brand Gwyneth uses, this almond oil from Sephora has over 10K loves and according to the site it has more than 50 percent almond oil, making it naturally rich in omega 6, and camelina oil, rich in omega 3, to will help nourish skin and make it more supple.
- 4. Kora Organics Noni Glow Body Oil, $58, Sephora
In an interview with W Magazine, supermodel and Kora Organics founder Miranda Kerr, said that she applied the brand’s Noni Glow Body Oil (an Allure Best of Beauty winner) religiously throughout her pregnancy.
- 5. Elemis Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend, $56, Amazon
Meanwhile, Spice Girl turned fashion designer, Victoria Beckham shared her love of Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend on Twitter: “Pregnancy tip!!!! I have used this through every pregnancy, it’s amazing!! X VB.” This product is easily absorbed and rich in plant collagen. The Amazon product page claims that it is ideal for preventing stretch marks while pregnant and improving skin elasticity and condition over the whole body.
- 6. Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks, $15 (2-Pack), Amazon
Ali Landry, Miss USA 1996, mom of three and former face, err body, of Palmer’s, said she used Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks twice daily while expecting.
Despite all these celebrity claims, there is another option: embracing your stretch marks! We’re loving the recent surge in stretch mark pride from body-positive celebrities, publications and retailers such as ASOS and Victoria’s Secret.
“Sometimes I’ll look at myself and be like, ‘Dang girl, you got a lot of stretch marks.’ But then I’m like, ‘That’s just the road map of my strength,’” Danielle Brooks told People during a photo shoot for the 2017 Most Beautiful Woman issue.
Beauty is not only in the eye of the beholder, it’s a personal choice.
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But, even though we’re all about loving your body just the way it is, we also know that stretch marks can get in the way of self-confidence and body love. Kim Kardashian opted for a stretch mark removal treatment. “After breastfeeding North, I wasn’t happy with the stretch marks on my boobs, so I had the area Coolbeam lasered by Dr. Ourian. It made SUCH a difference,” she shared on her app.
If you’re thinking about getting rid of your stretch marks, here’s everything you need to know.
What are stretch marks?
Also referred to as striae or ‘tiger stripes’, stretch marks are smooth but slightly depressed scar-like marks on the skin that form when the skin rapidly stretches. The abrupt change causes collagen and elastin in skin to rupture, resulting in minute tears in the support tissue of the dermis.
Stretch marks are commonly white, but they can also be red or purple in colour in the early stages of formation – this is because the blood vessel can be seen through the skin. If you have a dark skin tone, they may appear reddish-brown or dark brown. While they don’t hurt, they can sometimes feel itchy.
What causes stretch marks?
The most common causes of stretch marks are weight loss or weight gain and pregnancy. They can also occur during adolescence if the body goes through a sudden growth spurt.
Where can you get stretch marks?
According to a study conducted by Justin Lewis Research on behalf of Palmer’s Australia, 70 per cent of Australian women surveyed had developed stretch marks on the stomach, 55 per cent on the thighs, 51 per cent on the hips, 32 per cent on the bottom, and 22 per cent had stretch marks on the chest.
For pregnant women, their bellies are most at risk of getting stretch marks as this is the part of the body that grows at a fast rate. But other areas like breasts are also prone, and stretch marks on the bum are possible, too. Stretch marks on the back are most common in adolescent men who have experienced a growth spurt, however anyone who gains weight rapidly is susceptible. Stretch marks on the thighs and stretch marks on the legs are most likely to occur during puberty, pregnancy and weight gain.
How to prevent stretch marks
This is a tricky one. If you’re pregnant, there’s not much you can do about the rapid rate at which your skin is stretching. Same goes for puberty – you can’t stop growth spurts. However, if you are gaining or losing weight, you can try to steady the rate to minimise the potential of stretch marks appearing.
Many mums-to-be swear by certain products for preventing stretch marks from appearing. It’s hard to know for sure if these products are the reason behind their lack of stretch marks (sometimes good genes or luck may be at play), but there’s little harm in giving them a go! The only thing to keep in mind is if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, run the product you plan to use past your doctor first as some products contain ingredients, such as retinol, that can be harmful to babies.
These are some of the stretch mark products celebs swore by when they were pregnant:
Miranda credits her own KORA Organics Noni Glow Body Oil for keeping stretch marks at bay during her pregnancy. “I used Noni Glow Body Oil throughout my pregnancy, and I didn’t get one stretch mark, even though I had a 10-pound baby. If you use it religiously morning and night, it really helps prevent stretch marks. It also helps minimise the appearance of stretch marks you may already have,” Miranda told W magazine.
Victoria’s Secret Angel Candice Swanepoel told The Telegraph UK that Bio-Oil was her pregnancy must-have. “I use a lot of body oils and I did so during pregnancy too, as I was terrified of stretch marks.” Kate Middleton is also rumoured to have used the cult oil during her pregnancies.
During her pregnancy with her first child to Adam Levine, Behati posted a snap on Instagram of “Stuff I’m loving right now”. The line-up of products included Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Oil, which contains a blend of natural oils that instantly soothing dry, itchy tummies and increases skin elasticity.
74k likes – View Post on Instagram Stuff I’m loving right now 🌸🌙 #josiemaran #vasaline #isclinical #lingnewyork #mamamio #witchhazel
While Khloe Kardashian was pregnant with baby True, she took to Instagram to reveal ALL the products she was using during her pregnancy. There were a lot – among them were Bio-Oil, Mama Mio The Tummy Rub Butter and Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Tummy Butter Stretch Marks Cream.
On her Twitter account, Victoria Beckham revealed that she used Elemis Japanese Camellia Body Oil Blend when she was pregnant: “Pregnancy tip!!!! I have used this through every pregnancy, it’s amazing!! X VB.”
Australian beauty Rebecca Judd sang the praises of this Switzerland stretch mark gel, Stratamark Stretch Mark Therapy Gel, on her Instagram story, saying, “I measured at 47 weeks by the end with the twins and I didn’t get a stretch mark…I use this every day.”
How to get rid of stretch marks
There are A LOT of stretch mark treatments out there. If you’re looking for something more hardcore than the celeb-approved products we’ve already mentioned, here are two other treatment options that can help fade stretch marks. Remember: There are no serious long-term health risks of stretch marks, so if you do get them, it’s completely up to you whether or not you want to treat them. Some stretch marks will fade on their own over time, too.
Fractional laser treatments
Coolbeam laser, which is a type of fractional erbium laser, was the stretch mark treatment Kim Kardashian opted to have done. On her app she explained, “The Coolbeam lasers are the best for removing scars, stretch marks and skin imperfections. They treat stretch marks by resurfacing the top layer of skin, which increases collagen regeneration. The best part is that there’s very little pain and downtime!” While this specific name of resurfacing laser isn’t available in Australia, most skin clinics will simply refer to the same or similar treatment as erbium laser or fractional laser on their treatments list.
You can opt to have microneedling done in a salon, but if you want an at-home option, you can use a dermaroller like O COSMEDICS Skin-Inject Derma Roller. While the results aren’t as quick as a professional treatment, you can still see an impressive improvement in your stretch mark scars. The way microneedling and derma-rolling works to heal scars and stretch marks is by stimulating the skin’s natural healing response. This non-invasive procedure creates tiny puncture channels with microscopic needles in the epidermis and dermis (don’t worry, it’s only a tad uncomfortable if you have a low pain threshold), which encourage skin cells to renew and regenerate. You can use your at-home dermaroller two to three times a week.
Celebrities with stretch marks
The queen of keeping things real, Chrissy has showed off her stretch marks on social media again, and again, AND AGAIN!
Fitness influencer Kayla Itsines posted this photo on Instagram, saying, “This one is for the ladies asking me if I have stretch marks anywhere, yes I sure do 😍😘….. and if any of my friends or family are on here you know how much I love them!! I am a woman, and I am proud to be one and have these marks!”
163.4k likes – View Post on Instagram Hey chicks!!! This one is for the ladies asking me if I have stretch marks anywhere, yes I sure do 😍😘….. and if any of my friends or family are on here you know how much I love them!! I am a woman, and I am proud to be one and have these marks! Some of us wont have any at all, some will have them just like me and others will be completely different. We all have them, mine are on the sides of my legs…. for now 😝 I’m sure when I decide to have some babies, I’ll get some more – but hey, #thisisme! My beautiful bubba will be so much more important than a few lines on my bod! 👌 www.kaylaitsines.com/app
In response to rapper Kendrick Lamar’s release of his ‘Humble’ music video, which features the lyrics: “I’m so…sick and tired of the Photoshop / show me something natural like afro on Richard Pryor / Show me something natural like a– with some stretch marks,” Kelly Rowland decided to oblige by sharing a pic of the stretch marks on her bum.
When Rihanna posted this photo, a fan praised her for showing off her ‘tiger stripes’. While Riri clarified that it’s actually the sun’s rays that can be seen in the pic, she did admit to having stretch marks: “I got stretch marks but that’s just the sun 😂.”
3.8m likes – View Post on Instagram when u can’t wait for summer.
Kim Kardashian Opens Up About Getting Her Stretch Marks Removed
Kim Kardashian West isn’t shy when it comes to discussing cosmetic procedures. In a recent Snapchat, the mother of two told her millions of followers that she paid her cosmetic dermatologist Dr. Simon Ourian a visit to help get rid of her stretch marks. “I feel so excited that I finally did it,” she said using a voice-changing Snapchat filter with bunny ears.
According to E! News, the stretch mark removal procedure costs between $2,900 and $4,900 per area and involves cooling the skin using a CoolBeam laser to vaporize superficial cells. After removing 10 millionth of an inch of skin tissue at a time, the results are permanent, though patients usually need a few days to recover.
This isn’t the first time Kardashian West has paid Dr. Simon Ourian a visit. She previously visited the dermatologist for infamously having her belly button tightened.
“Thank you, dear #kimkardashian, for introducing myself and Epione to your Snapchat friends!” Ourian wrote on Instagram, reposting Kardashian’s Snapchat videos. “Nonsurgical skin tightening after a couple of pregnancies. We are doing Ultraskintight. It can tighten the skin all over the body.”
While we’re all about accepting your stretch marks, cellulite, and more, the decision to get procedures like this are personal. And whether or not you’d do something similar yourself, you’ve gotta appreciate Kim K’s honesty.
While they may be completely natural, stretch marks (depending on their severity) can be unsightly enough to cause a major dive in any person’s self-confidence. Pregnancy, weight gain, rapid growth in teens, certain medications, and a handful of conditions and diseases are known to cause the appearance of stretch marks all over the body. For whatever reason, stretch marks are caused by a loss of elasticity.
These marks are most commonly found on the stomach, buttocks, thighs, breasts and upper arms, though no part of the human anatomy is entirely safe. Frustratingly enough, stretch marks are not always uniform and they can present themselves in a variety of different ways. Some people suffer from a few thin white or gray streaks, while others are faced with multiple strands of pink, red, or purple. Irrespective of their shape or form, the zebra-effect caused by these marks can be disconcerting.
Thankfully, stretch mark removal treatments are as varied as the blemishes themselves, though the success rate of one treatment may differ from the next.
|Stretch Mark Removal on The Doctors Show||CoolBeam treatment developed by Dr. Simon Ourian is used to decrease and improve the look of stretch marks and scars caused by pregnancy.||Blue Light Therapy is used to decrease the look of stretch marks.|
|Stretch Mark Removal on Balance||Stretch Mark Removal on Balance||Stretch Mark Removal on Balance|
|The Doctors – Stretch Marks|
Stretch Mark Removal Home Remedy
As is the case with most skin-related ailments, the Internet is full to the brim with an arsenal of home remedies for stretch marks. Depending on the depth and size of the blemish, some of these stretch mark removal home remedies may actually help to a certain degree. Teenagers in particular, who often have light stretch marks to begin with, may benefit from a combination of different store-cupboard treatment programs.
Natural stretch mark removal generally involves a process of exfoliation and moisturization, with a few dabs of oils or extracts intended to promote cell regeneration. In many cases, raw sugar is used as a simple exfoliant. This is often followed by rubbing lemon or potato juice into the stretch marks in an effort to lighten them. Olive oil and aloe vera are applied in an effort to heal and moisturize the skin. Unfortunately, these natural stretch mark removal treatments are not always effective. Depending on the age of the patient, the condition of the skin, and the size and depth of the scarring, more mainstream treatments will need to be sourced.
Laser Stretch Mark Removal
Of all the possible treatments available, laser stretch mark removal may very well be the most successful. Without the necessity of a long recovery period, laser stretch mark removal is designed to suit virtually every skin type and every type of stretch mark. This treatment can improve the overall appearance and elasticity of the skin, using short pulses of tiny laser light to penetrate the sub-dermal layer.
After the initial treatment, the body will begin its own natural, reparative processes by sweeping away old and damaged tissue. At the same time, the body will regenerate fresh collagen and elastin. Collagen assists in lightening and smoothing out stretch marks bit by bit, until they become almost completely invisible. Elastin serves to provide a more toned, youthful looking skin texture overall.
Patients generally do not experience any serious pain or side effects when opting for this treatment. A little swelling or redness may be apparent immediately after the treatment session, though it does not last for much longer than a few days. In rare cases, patients may experience slight bruising or sensitivity. These effects depend largely on how sensitive the treatment site is overall.
Before and After Stretch Mark Removal
Laser Stretch Mark Removal Cost
While some patients consider a single treatment to be enough, others with more serious blemishing may need to schedule a few extra sessions further down the line. Laser stretch mark removal cost is significantly lower than one would expect to pay for surgery or even a shelf full of lotions and potions designed to achieve a similar effect.
This treatment does not necessitate the use of anesthetic, which further adds to its cost effectiveness. No strong pain killers will be needed after the procedure, which means that patients will not need to spend their hard-earned money on medication either.
Stretch Mark Removal Cream
Drugstores and pharmacies across the globe are filled with shelves of creams designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Pregnant women, in particular, will be drawn to products containing shea or cocoa butter. In cases where the marks are light, a stretch mark removal cream may assist in reducing the appearance of these scars.
More often than not, however, a stretch mark removal cream will be prescribed for use after an initial laser treatment. The laser treatment will begin the healing process, while the cream will assist in lessening the effects of stretch marks over time.
Of course, it is also important to consider the fact that any type of surgical procedure presents an element of danger. Even a minor blip could have serious consequences, as there is no way to accurately predict the body’s reaction to going under the knife. As such, it is in every patient’s best interests to consider other options before committing to stretch mark removal surgery.
Stretch Mark Removal Cost
Overall, laser stretch mark removal is likely the most affordable effective option. Creams and lotions may seem like an affordable option, but patients should consider the fact that they could find themselves trying hundreds of creams without ever seeing the results they are looking for.
Three or four treatment sessions are considered to be effective enough to reduce stretch marks to the point of invisibility. Even so, laser treatment is still likely more cost-effective than any of the other treatments available. Add to this the fact that there is no required down-time, and the whole procedure becomes even more attractive.
Stretch Mark Removal – Dr. Simon Ourian Appears on Good Day L.A.
Dr. Simon Ourian Treats Stretch Marks on Good Day L.A.
Los Angeles, CA (PRWEB) April 11, 2014
On Tuesday, April 8, 2014, Simon Ourian, M.D. appeared on Fox TV’s Good Day L.A. to discuss and demonstrate the stretch mark removal procedure he developed called the Coolbeam technique. Dr. Ourian briefly described how stretch marks are formed, then proceeded to demonstrate the Coolbeam technique on live TV. At the end of the segment, Dr. Ourian revealed the Coolbeam technique’s dramatic results to the amazement of the show’s hosts.
Stretch marks, a type of scar, reportedly affect nine out of 10 women. Stretch marks develop when there is a breakdown in the collagen and elastin fibers inside of the dermis. The dermis is the dense layer that is found underneath the epidermis and it’s composed of connective tissue, sweat glands, hair follicles, sensory nerves, and blood and lymph vessels.
“A variety of life events may lead to the development of stretch marks,” says Dr. Ourian, Medical Director of Epione Medical Corporation. “Causes include weight gain during pregnancy, rapid weight loss, body building, especially for men, and breast augmentation surgery. Heredity can also play a role in the development of stretch marks.”
Dr. Ourian demonstrated the special device that cools the skin’s surface and gives the Coolbeam technique its name. After the skin has cooled, light pulses will be flashed on the skin’s surface. Approximately one ten-millionth of an inch of tissue is removed as the light from the device passes over the skin. The skin cells being treated will absorb the light’s energy, causing these cells to instantaneously vaporize.
Dr. Ourian also demonstrated another device that he has incorporated into the Coolbeam Technique. Using radio-frequency energy, a gentle heat is generated in the sub-dermal tissue. This heat offers an improved appearance in the skin by promoting a restructuring of the collagen.
“I believe the Coolbeam technique has several advantages over other stretch mark treatments,” says Dr. Ourian. “The Coolbeam technique does not require a recovery period like many other treatments do. This treatment technique is considered safe and may be used to address both new and old stretch marks. Finally, though some swelling is possible, the side effects are typically minimal and transitory.”
Dr. Ourian has been a pioneer in laser technology and non-invasive aesthetic procedures including Restylane, Juvéderm, Radiesse and Sculptra. These treatments are used for the correction or reversal of a variety of conditions such as acne, acne scars, skin discoloration, wrinkles, stretch marks, varicose veins, cellulite, and others. More information about stretch mark removal can be found on Epione’s website.
One year after Kim Kardashian revealed that she had some of her stretchmarks “lasered off”, the demand for such procedures is increasing in Australia.
The 36-year-old Keeping up with the Kardashians star told her Snapchat followers that she had some stretchmarks removed by Beverly Hills cosmetic dermatologist Dr Simon Ourian.
Although she didn’t reveal which part of her body was treated, Kim told fans that “I feel so excited that I finally did it… it didn’t hurt that badly”.
Before-and-after three treatments with the Icon laser (image supplied by Cynosure)
Sydney-based plastic surgeon Dr Michael Zacharia believes Kim’s openness about her procedure is one of the key factors driving growth for similar procedures all around the world – including Australia.
“I think anything Kim Kardashian promotes is really trusted by her fans as they know she always researches and makes an informed decision on what she chooses to promote,” he says.
“History shows that her decisions are often very different from other celebrities and her decisions pay off ‒ whether it be launching a new fashion look, promoting a new skin care range or, in this case,choosing a laser.”
Dr Zacharia said that until recently there haven’t been “a lot of treatments available that achieve great results for stretch marks”.
Before-and-after three treatments with the Icon laser (image by Cynosure)
“Many practices have been trying skin needling with PRP and all sorts of different lasers.
“However at my practice we tend to do combination of therapies to get the best results ‒ combining the Icon Max G (distributed by Cynosure) to remove the colour of the stretch marks with the Icon fractionated 1540 handpiece (also distributed by Cynosure)”.
Furthermore “we sometimes follow up with treatments like needling with growth factors and LED light therapy to get the skin cells working at their best function and collagen stimulation at the peak for best results.”
Before-and-after three treatments with the Icon laser (image by Cynosure)
Yet despite the technological advancement, Dr Zacharia is adamant that “there is no one treatment that will ever reduce stretch marks 100 percent”.
“Every patient is different and has to have realistic expectations,” he says.
“The most important thing a patient can do is stick to the program.
“If they commit to six to eight Icon laser treatments and have their treatments every two to three weeks they will see results they will be more than happy with.”
What’s The Stretch?
There are lots of tips for avoiding stretch marks during pregnancy. Some recommend following a special diet or using a special product, but how can you be sure that the tips you follow will effectively prevent you from getting stretch marks? If you’re expecting a child and trying to find the best way to avoid stretch marks as your body expands to accommodate your growing baby, consider these tips from some of your favorite celebrities on how they avoided stretch marks during their pregnancies.
While carrying both her son and daughter, the Duchess of Cambridge reportedly used Bio-Oil—a skincare product containing lavender, rosemary, and chamomile oils—to prevent stretch marks and keep her skin soft. Because sun exposure can weaken skin so that it’s prone to stretching and scarring, Middleton used bronzer for color and avoided sunning or tanning. She also practiced yoga during both of her pregnancies to prevent the excessive weight gain that can promote stretch marks.
Model and actress Molly Sims followed a specific diet during her pregnancy to avoid developing stretch marks. Sims recommends eating a diet that’s rich in fatty acids—nuts (sesame seeds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds), legumes (split peas and lentils), fish (salmon and cod), and greens (kale, spinach, and collard greens) to prevent the development of stretch marks during pregnancy.
1996 Miss USA winner Ali Landry is a fan of cocoa butter for stretch mark prevention. Landry applied cocoa butter lotion twice a day during her pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, and she applied tummy butter to her stomach at night before going to bed. She also recommends drinking plenty of water to keep skin hydrated in order to avoid developing stretch marks.
Fashion designer and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham posted to Twitter that her preferred stretch mark prevention product during her four pregnancies was Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend. Elemis Japanese Camellia Oil Blend is designed to strengthen skin and make it more elastic, containing sweet almond oil and camellia oil as its primary ingredients.
Like Kate Middleton, Kim Kardashian also recommends using Bio-Oil to avoid developing stretch marks during pregnancy. Beyond preventing stretch marks, Kardashian also notes that she uses Bio-Oil on her face to avoid getting wrinkles around her eyes.
Film star Gwyneth Paltrow recommends a simpler solution for avoiding stretch marks—sweet almond oil. While sweet almond oil can be found in many stretch mark prevention products, it can also be bought on its own at your local grocery store. Paltrow recommends applying significant amounts of sweet almond oil to your stomach, chest, and thighs during pregnancy to keep your skin hydrated and soft.
Finding a Stretch Mark Prevention Product
To purchase one of the products recommended by the celebrities above or to find a different stretch mark prevention product that will work best for you, browse our catalog of stretch mark prevention creams and lotions.
Post-Baby Body: 6 Beauty tips celebrities swear by for removing stretch marks
It used to be something that goes unacknowledged; but in an era of candid sharing on social media, it seems like celebrities are unabashed in openly discussing their stretch marks.
Although typically associated with pregnancy, stretch marks can actually appear anytime you’ve gained a bit of weight. According to What to Expect When You’re Expecting, your genes are the biggest determining factors for stretch marks – so you can be in the best shape of your life, but still have them if your parents and grandparents also do.
Don’t be disillusioned by the seemingly line-free torsos of celebrities though. It’s all smoke and mirrors – they have them too. Chrissy Teigen, who says she’s comes from “a real stretch mark-prone family” shares that she’s had stretch marks even before her pregnancy. Even Kim Kardashian concedes to having them and swears by the affordable Bio-Oil to keep them at bay. (She has since admitted to also using laser treatment to remove the lines around her chest.)
While we’d love to espouse the idea of loving yourself in all shapes and forms, the reality is that many women still struggle to accept and deal with the appearance of stretch marks on their body. There’s no proven way to completely prevent or erase stretch marks (as far as biology goes), but the lines do fade in time – and using the right products goes a long way too.
If your stretch marks have been stopping you from busting out your swimsuits or feeling comfortable in your own skin, browse the gallery above for 6 stretch mark skincare products that come highly-raved by the likes of Kim Kardashian, Miranda Kerr, and Victoria Beckham. (P.S. Some of them are really affordable too.) And for what it’s worth, according to Chrissy Teigen, “the most incredibly beautiful women (she’s worked with) all have stretch marks and butt dimples. It really is our common bond.”
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Dr. Heidi Waldorf:
“Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter if you apply a product that is 34 cents, $34, $340 or $3440 to a pregnant belly. There is nothing you can apply that will prevent stretch marks. Stretch marks develop in pregnancy from a combination of baby size, speed of growth of the belly, and mother’s genetics. The only evidence we have on topicals for stretch marks is on treatment of those that have already developed.”
Dr. Dendy Engelman:
“Stretch marks are a result of the body expanding faster than your skin is able to. They are, in a sense, scars caused by the tearing of the dermis. Due to genetics some people are more prone than others, but there’s one way you can help to prevent them, and that is moisture and hydration. During my pregnancy I used Bio-Oil all over my body. Studies show that usage helps prevent stretch marks and that it helps the appearance of scarring, for those who are seeing stretch marks. I also moisturized all over—the more pliable your skin is, the less chance there is that stretch marks will appear.”
Dr. Audrey Kunin:
“Treatments that encourage and support the production of collagen can help minimize the appearance of new stretch marks during pregnancy. High potency Vitamin C serums—15-20 percent—are my go-to suggestion for my patients.”
Dr. Howard Sobel:
“The price of the moisturizer—as long as you can afford it!—is really insignificant. It’s the efficacy of the ingredients that will make you see a difference in stretch marks. Ingredients such as vitamin A (retinol), vitamin C, niacinamide, peach leaf, raspberry fruit and rich antioxidants such as grapeseed or astaxanthin are sure to help retexturize and improve the look of stretch marks over time.”
Dr. Manjula S. Jegasothy:
“There’s some scientific evidence that any daily hydration can prevent stretch marks, so the La Mer serum would definitely fit this category.The only definitive study I’m aware of for stretch mark prevention involved prescription-strength Retin-A.”
As we suspected, smearing La Mer on one’s belly is best reserved for those who get it for free. The rest of us can get similar or better results with much less expensive products—and in the end, we’re probably at the mercy of genetics anyway. We’ll continue throwing money at the fine lines and discoloration on our faces, where topicals really can make a big difference.
Watch Ingrid Nilson Share Five Beauty Products to Try in 2016: