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12 of the best stretch mark creams and oils for your pregnancy

Discover the best stretch mark creams, oils, lotions and butters, particularly those aimed at pregnant women and new mums

10_Of_The_Best_stretch mark creams and oils
Published: August 19, 2022 at 12:35 pm

Stretch marks occur when our skin stretches or shrinks really quickly. They're completely painless and harmless, and can appear in various colours depending on your skin type and tone. The elasticity in our skin depends on our genetics ultimately, but can also be slightly impacted by how well we look after our skin topically. Having dry skin can aid stretch marks appearing as tiny breaks and cracks happen on the skin's surface.

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If you want to treat them and reduce their appearance – or stop them appearing in the first place – it's all about moisturising. There’s no way of knowing if you’ll get stretch marks, but they do often appear during pregnancy, and it may be hard not to worry as we watch our tummies grow. There's lots of advice on what to do to minimise stretch marks, but the one method that skincare experts agree on is to keep the skin well moisturised.

There are a range of different products on the market that aim and claim to help reduce or prevent the stretch marks that form with a growing tummy. Additionally a maternity support belt or band can help with any pains that come with growing a big tummy when pregnant. We spoke to mums about the products they loved, and put various creams and lotions through their paces to see which ones lived up to their claims over time. We hope you'll find a stretch mark cream or oil that suits you in our list below.

Best stretch mark creams and oils at a glance:

  • Best for uneven skin tone: Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, £9.99 for 60ml
  • Best easy application: Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter, £24
  • Best for whole body: Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks, £4 for 250ml
  • Best for a lightweight feel: My Little Coco Baby Mama Cocooning Bump Butter, £9.99
  • Best for a mild scent: My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic, £19.50
  • Best for an organic choice: Dr Organic Vitamin E Scar & Stretch Mark Serum, £8.99
  • Best for massage: Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, £19.95
  • Best quality packaging: Nuture Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil, from £8.99
  • Best luxury butter: Nessa Body Saviour, from £34
  • Best for a balm texture: Neal’s Yard Mother’s Balm, £20
  • Best for easy dispensing: Bloom & Blossom Elastic Fantastic Stretch Mark Cream, £24
  • Best for a concentrated formula: Stria Lab Redefining Stretch Mark Cream, £40

What to consider when buying stretch mark creams and oils

Type/texture – Depending on your preference and needs, you can opt for a stretch mark cream, butter, serum or oil. The key is to keep your bump and body moisturised so as to avoid the skin breaking and causing stretch marks. The type of product you choose impacts the feel and texture of the product on your skin, you may want to go for a lightweight oil if you have normal skin and maybe consider a rich cream or butter if your skin is dry and/or itchy.

Goal – Although we've selected these products for the main purpose of combating stretch marks, some of the products below are multi-purpose and can help with more than one issue. Aside from preventing and fading stretch marks some of the products deal with fading scars, uneven skin tone or dry and itchy skin. Additionally they can be suitable as a massage oil.

Skin allergies – Always check the ingredients of the products before purchasing if you have any allergies or sensitivities. The majority of the products we've featured are suitable for sensitive skin, but you might wish to look at those with smaller ingredients lists if you know your skin is very sensitive.
Fragrance – These products are often quite heavily fragranced and the scents range from rich and chocolatey to more aromatic and herbal. Which one you opt for us solely down to personal preference.

Size – Will you be using this religiously everyday or just as and when you need it (or remember)? If you plan to use a stretch mark cream or oil regularly during your pregnancy then it's worth thinking about purchasing a larger size bottle if this is available. Our list features products that mostly come in one regular handy size, but some of them are available in bigger sizes to use over a longer period.

Price – We've carefully picked a list of stretch mark products that are effective but vary in price so that you can have options depending on what you can afford.

Here are our picks of the best stretch mark products...

1. Bio-Oil Skincare Oil, £9.99 for 60ml

– Best for uneven skin tone

bio oil

Type: Oil | Size: 60ml, 200ml | Features: Non-comedogenic, contains PurCellin Oil™ which thins the formula's thickness

This blend of vitamin A and E, plant extracts, calendula and rosemary oils is designed to help dry and ageing skin, improve blemishes and stretch marks, as well as uneven skin tone. It’s suitable for sensitive skin and can be used as a massage oil or bath oil.

A popular choice in our Top Testers Club and known as the UK's No.1 selling scar and stretch mark product – this oil does a whole lot. I also swore by this during my own 2 pregnancies. I had a set routine when it came to moisturising everyday. I'd use my normal body cream everywhere and then would apply the Bio Oil and another cream all over my tummy and put a vest on to keep the moisture locked in for the day. Seems like a lot, but I have zero pregnancy stretch marks so I think it was worth it!

Parent tester Frances mentioned, "It also helped to relieve the really tight feeling you get on the skin on your tummy near the end of pregnancy." Another parent tester found that it was a bit greasy so only used it occasionally but said it did help with her stretch marks.

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In addition to the 60ml size, you can buy a larger 200ml bottle. This is great if, like parent tester and mum of 2 Hannah, you want to religiously use it twice a day. She said, "I was so happy with the results – no stretch marks and it's working promisingly on my c-section scar at the moment."

Pros: Pleasant scent, absorbent, multi-use, 2 available sizes
Cons: Can be a little greasy

Read the full MadeForMums Bio Oil skincare review

Available from: Amazon and Boots

2. Mama Mio Tummy Rub Butter, £24

– Best for easy application

mama mio tummy rub butter

Type: Cream, butter | Size: 120ml | Features: Vegan, cruelty free, 93% natural, 100% natural fragrance

A nourishing tummy butter, this is designed to protect against stretch marks and itchy tummies as your bump grows by building strength and elasticity. This butter is comprised of 93% natural ingredient origin and contains a complex omega combo including omega 3, 6 and 9, plus vitamin E, shea butter and a fresh citrus scent. It's also vegan and cruelty free.

Parent tester Sam commented, "I got a free sample whilst pregnant and I was hooked and ended up buying it in full size. It just felt so luxurious when applying. A nice thick texture but not oily. It really soothed the area and I believe it worked as I have zero stretch marks on my tummy since giving birth".

Though the formula is quite thick, one parent tester found that it wasn't as moisturising for her very dry skin. Parent tester Hannah said "it left my skin feeling beautifully soft and it smelt gorgeous. It was a lovely evening bonding routine with my unborn baby".

Additionally mum of 1 Laura said it had a "nice smell that's not too strong for if you’re feeling a little queasy" and agreed with Sam saying it feels quite thick at first, but once you rub it in properly it dries quickly and doesn't feel sticky.

We know for some the price might be a little steep but as well as the quality ingredients, Mama Mio claims that its packaging is 100% recyclable and sourced sustainably and responsibly.

Pros: 93% natural ingredient origin, recyclable and sustainable packaging, easy to rub in
Cons: Pricey for the size, too light for very dry skin

Available from: Mama Mio, Amazon and Next

3. Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks, £4 for 250ml

– Best for the whole body

palmers stretch mark massage lotion

Type: Body lotion | Size: 250ml | Features: Free of mineral oil, parabens, phthalates

Another popular choice in our Top Testers Club is the classic Palmer's Stretch Marks Massage Lotion. This lotion has been on the market for a long time (similar to Bio Oil) and is a firm favourite with many of our parent testers. Suitable for sensitive skin, the lotion comes in a generous 250ml bottle and is suitable for use over your entire body. The lotion is formulated with cocoa butter, shea butter, argan oil, collagen, elastin and other actively moisturising ingredients.

Parent tester Natalie said "the thick consistency of the Cocoa Butter lotion makes you feel like you’re actually applying something that’s going to work, and although it does take a while to absorb into the skin – I’d give it five minutes before getting dressed afterwards – it keeps your skin well hydrated and nourished for hours. I don’t have any stretch marks but this lotion certainly helped ease my itchy skin as it stretched during pregnancy, probably due to its vitamin E, shea butter and elastin content – and it smells divine: just like chocolate!"

It is worth noting that the scent is something you'll either love or hate. Pregnant mum Laura shared, "I’m really not a fan of the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter products’ scent," but others swear by the sweet, pastry-like scent.

When it comes to treating stretchmarks, parent tester Eleanor commented "although I did end up with stretch marks I feel like it helped make them less red and angry. When they did appear they were only small and pale, I also used to apply it when my bump was getting itchy and it helped massively with that."

This bottle has a pump dispenser which is different to our other options and makes application really easy. At £4 per bottle, this is certainly on the more affordable side and should last you a while whether you use it on your bump only or all over your body.

Pros: Affordable, absorbent formula, good sized bottle, chocolate scent, pump dispenser
Cons: Chocolate scent might be sickly for some

Available from: Boots, Amazon and Superdrug

4. My Little Coco Baby Mama Cocooning Bump Butter, £9.99

– Best for a lightweight feel

my little coco bump butter

Type: Butter | Size: 200ml | Features: Vegan friendly, cruelty free

If your baby bump needs some TLC, then try the Cocooning Baby Mama Bump Butter by My Little Coco, a brand founded by celebrity mum Rochelle Humes based on her own experiences during pregnancy and early motherhood.

During your pregnancy you may need something to combat stretch marks but also to relieve itchiness. This simple and lightweight butter contains organic coconut oil, shea butter and rosehip to achieve a nourished and moisturised finish. This butter is suitable for sensitive skin and is vegan friendly and cruelty free. At just £9.99 this bump butter is one of the more reasonably-priced options on our list, and comes in an easy-to-use squeeze tube.

Parent tester Shanna commented, "I'm 37 weeks and luckily I haven't had any stretch marks so far, don't know if it's because I've been using the My Little Coco Bump Butter but it definitely helps with the itchiness and it's lovely massaging it over my bump, it has a lovely smell and is nice and light".

Pros: Lovely smell, lightweight, squeeze bottle
Cons: May be tricky to squeeze out when the bottle is nearly empty

Available from: Boots and My Little Coco

5. My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic, £19.50

– Best for a mild scent

my expert midwife fantastic skin elastic

Type: Oil | Size: 150ml | Features: Mild fragrance | Award: Gold – Products for pregnancy, MadeForMums Awards 2022

Who better to create a hydrating stretch mark product than midwives who work so closely with pregnant women? My Expert Midwife products were developed by midwives and the Fantastic Skin Elastic Oil gets the thumbs up from some of our pregnant testers.

Thoughtfully made with a mild scent, so as not to bring on overbearing smells during pregnancy, the oil comprises of sweet almond oil, coconut oil, calendula flower extract, argan and lavender oils and more. All of these ingredients aim to help to reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks (and scars) or can prevent stretch marks entirely, though no product can 100% guarantee such results. Parent tester Catherine shared, "I used My Expert Midwife Fantastic Skin Elastic in the morning and at night and layered it with another tummy butter, still got some stretch marks in the last few weeks just on my belly, but had gestational diabetes and baby was big so wasn't too surprised I still got some."

A brilliant choice for massaging and relieving dry and itchy skin that tends to commonly occur during the third trimester, the oil is easily dispensed from the pump which saves you from clumsily knocking the bottle over and losing everything. Similarly to Bio Oil, it has a rich but thin consistency and it doesn't get absorbed into the skin straight away which is a plus if you want to pamper yourself with a DIY soothing massage. Parent tester Alison said, "I already had some stretch marks from puberty but I do think this oil helped stop them from getting worse and fresh ones developing. It also smelled great and made my skin feel amazing!"

Pros: Mild scent, nourishing, great for massages, pump bottle
Cons: Not as affordable as the others

Available from: Amazon, My Expert Midwife and Boots

6. Dr Organic Vitamin E Scar & Stretch Mark Serum, £8.99

– Best for an organic choice

dr organic scar and stretch mark serum

Type: Serum | Size: 50ml | Features: SLS free, no animal testing, Paraben free, 70% organic ingredients excluding water and salt

If you're looking for an organic stretch mark product then this is another good choice for you. A concentrated serum, it's made with a complex blend of bioactive, natural and organic ingredients such as glycerin, shea and cocoa butter and sweet almond oil. This serum helps to restore your body's natural moisture levels and will help to keep your growing bump nourished and hydrated during pregnancy.

Parent tester Amber praised the Dr Organic serum for its good quality and this was enough for her to make that personal investment. She commented, "I had a hamper made for me by my other half containing lots of Dr Organic products! They are really good quality."

Suitable to use all over the body, the serum can be applied to your problem areas and gently massaged in. Although the price tag is affordable, the size of the serum might deem this product as being on the pricey side. If you want to use this amply, then you may prefer another product instead that can be applied liberally and may be more cost effective.

Pros: Good quality, natural and organic ingredients, recyclable packaging
Cons: Pricey for the size

Available from: Amazon, Dr Organic and Holland & Barrett

7. Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, £19.95

– Best for massage

weleda stretch mark massage oil

Type: Oil | Size: 100ml | Features: 100% natural, vegan friendly | Award: Silver – Products for pregnancy, MadeForMums Awards 2022

You may have sensitive skin and be very particular about what you put on your body. Cue the Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, which consists of purely natural ingredients to make a lightweight, absorbent massage oil. The formula has sweet almond, rose, neroli and myrrh oil and vitamin E rich wheatgerm oil, all of which creates a subtle fragrance. Though the price tag is high, we can see why this is the case with the oil being accredited for being 100% natural, and as it's an oil, a little goes a long way.

This oil is lightweight which is perfect for you if you have normal skin and are wanting to steer clear away from anything rich or heavy. It's great for a gentle tummy massage, and you could get your partner involved for some pre-birth bonding.

Parent tester Bex approved the lightweight texture claim of this oil and commented, "I really liked the smell and texture, I found that the stretch mark products that were creams or balms just made me sweaty." Simply apply this oil onto your tummy 2-3 times daily and it will prevent you from experiencing dryness which is such a common pregnancy issue.

Pros: Lightweight, 100% natural
Cons: Expensive

Available from: Amazon, Weleda and Boots

8. Nuture Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil, from £8.99

– Best quality packaging

nuture nourishing skin treatment oil

Type: Oil | Size: 50ml, 150ml | Features: Plant based | Award: Bronze – Products for pregnancy, MadeForMums Awards 2022

It's one thing to be able to have an oil for your baby bump, but for it to be just as good for your face and body is a bonus. The Nuture Nourishing Skin Treatment Oil is designed to help with stretch marks, scars and dry skin, but not only that, the brand claims that you'll see results in a matter of 8 weeks from using it twice daily. Parent tester Leah was able to testify to this claim, she said "I used this product twice a day on the stretch marks I have and since using it (about 2 weeks) they have definitely become less defined.”

Made in the UK, the lightweight oil easily absorbs into the skin to keep your baby bump as supple as possible. It's enriched with rosehip, sweet almond, grapeseed, chia oils, plus vitamin E and Squalane – an emollient that prevents moisture loss. Contained in a luxurious glass bottle, our parent testers were impressed by the quality of the packaging and branding. Parent tester Jerry praised, “I like how it’s a glass bottle with a pump as it makes it very stylish and durable to use.” But it didn't stop there, the oil was also a great hit for her, she said "the product sinks into your skin very quickly and you don’t feel too oily after applying it".

Although this isn't the most affordable choice for some, you could always get the smaller bottle shown above. You can use it sparingly or in conjunction with another stretch mark product during the course of your pregnancy.

Pros: Lightweight texture, 2 available sizes, pump dispenser, absorbent
Cons: Expensive for the size

Available from: Amazon, Ocado and Lloyds Pharmacy

9. Nessa Body Saviour, from £34

– Best luxury butter

nessa organics body saviour

Type: Butter | Size: 115ml | Award: Bronze – Products for pregnancy, MadeForMums Awards 2022

The Nessa Body Saviour is a lovely stretch mark butter to treat yourself during pregnancy. This was another loved option by our parent testers and even the MadeForMums Awards judges – landing the Body Saviour a well-deserved bronze spot. The butter offers intense nourishment to the skin which is super helpful if you suffer from dry skin, this tends to be a common pregnancy symptom for many. Additionally, the butter helps to prevent and to treat stretch marks as well as treating scar marks by gradually brightening the skin. The responsible ingredients are vitamin-packed rosehip, shea butter and turmeric.

It's recommended to use the butter daily by liberally applying it your problem areas and massaging it in. You may not want to use this too liberally as the price is a bit steep but perhaps it's best to see this product as more of a luxury-treat-yourself product. Parent tester Carly agreed and said "The rich texture of this body butter gives that luxury feeling when applying and the subtle fragrance reflects the natural ingredients used. Price is placing this product in the luxury body butter market".

Aside from the Body Saviour, you can also get your hands on the Scar Saviour butter which claims to help with all kinds of surgery scars, hyperpigmentation and any other problems with scars on your body. You can use the Body Saviour all over your body and even on your children too, parent tester Carly loved how hydrating and "silky-soft" the butter felt and commented, "even my dry winter elbows are benefitting from this!"

Pros: Luxurious texture, multi-use, 2 sizes available, subtle fragrance
Cons: Expensive

Available from: Nessa and Cult Beauty

10. Neal's Yard Mother's Balm, £20

– Best for a balm texture

neals yard remedies mothers balm

Type: Balm | Size: 120g | Features: 100% organic, fragrance-free

Originally founded in London back in 1981, Neal's Yard Remedies create ethical wellbeing products that benefit your skin. A trusted brand by many, mum of 2 and parent tester Jessica commented, "I have always used Neal’s Yard Mother’s Balm, I don’t have any stretch marks."

The Mother's Balm is an intensely nourishing product made to protect against stretch marks and an itchy baby bump. Comprised of beeswax and coconut, almond and macadamias oils, this balm can be used on the thighs and hips too. Although it is a beautiful balm, one of our parent testers Tanya shared that it was too rich and greasy for her. This is to be expected with a balm – it's certainly not going to have a light texture but that does mean it should keep skin supple and moisturised for a long time.

On the expensive side with the price but it's definitely a luxury product. Made with 100% organic ingredients, we think it's worth the price especially if you want to spoil yourself during your pregnancy.

Pros: Rich consistency, great for dry skin, fragrance-free
Cons: Too greasy for some, expensive

Available from: Amazon, John Lewis and Marks & Spencer

11. Bloom & Blossom Elastic Fantastic Stretch Mark Cream, £24

– Best for easy dispensing

bloom and blossom elastic fantastic serum

Type: Cream | Size: 150ml | Features: Vegan friendly, cruelty free

Bloom & Blossom's Elastic Fantastic is a hydrating stretch mark cream created to aid the appearance of stretch marks. Another product that is natural based, the cream helps to build elasticity and is made with horsetail leaf extract, chlorella extract and shea butter. The cream is 99% naturally derived which is a plus if you have super sensitive skin or if you just prefer a more natural product.

Parent tester Nikki commented, "I am 29 weeks pregnant and using Bloom & Blossom, they are amazing and really helping my ever stretching bump. The cream is a little thicker but when you're super itchy it's a welcome treat". You can apply this to your tummy but also to your thighs, hips and bust for a moisture boost, especially if you're suffering from dry skin during your pregnancy.

£24 is a big outlay for the size of this bottle but we must say that the pump dispenser is neat and durable and will be a great way to apply the cream to the skin without mess or contamination. It also has a relaxing scent of lavender, patchouli and ylang ylang, so if that sounds lovely to you then it's worth a try!

Pros: Thick texture, easy to dispense, 99% naturally derived ingredients
Cons: Expensive, divisive scent

Available from: Bloom & Blossom, Next and Marks & Spencer

12. Stria Lab Redefining Stretch Mark Cream, £40

– Best for a concentrated formula

stria lab stretch mark cream

Type: Cream | Size: 100ml

Featuring Clinically proven actives to reduce the length and width of stretch marks from 3 months, this cream by Stria Lab is a powerful product for those who really want to invest in treating their little lines.

It includes a number of active ingredients such as probiotics, peptides, ceramides and vitamins E and B3 in a concentrated formula. The key ingredient is TECA (Titrated Extract of Centella Asiatica) which the brand says is the only ingredient in the world clinically proven in peer-reviewed medical journals to both prevent and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

If you're fascinated with the scientific performance of the cream, want to see effective results and are willing to spend a lot to get that, it's definitely worth trying out this Redefining Stretch Mark Cream...if you can get hold of it: it has a tendency to sell out pretty quickly!

Pros: Active clinical ingredients, concentrated formula
Cons: Expensive, may not be suitable for sensitive skin

Available from: Stria Lab

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How we chose these products

When testing these stretch mark creams and oils with home testers, we asked them to report back on texture of the cream, whether it met the intended goal, skin allergies, fragrance, product size, potential length of use, and whether they thought it was worth the money.

Our Best lists are compiled by qualified and experienced parenting journalists. They rely on a number of sources, including our independent reviews, testing undertaken during the MadeForMums Awards, and feedback from our home testing panel and Top Testers Club. Each year thousands of products are put through their paces by hundreds of parents across the country on behalf of MadeForMums, to ensure we’re bringing you honest and true reviews and recommendations.

Our list is not an ordered ranking from 1-10, instead it is a carefully selected group of tried-and-tested products, each of which we believe is best for a different situation or requirement. We don’t just tell you what is best, we help you discover what is best for your family.

About the author

Janet is a Digital Journalist for MadeForMums. Over the years, she has developed a keen eye and passion for creating online media content. She writes and creates visual content sharing her journey of motherhood, self-care and encouragement for new mums via her Instagram page. During her time as a Content Creator/ Influencer she has tested and worked on several brand partnerships including skincare brands such as Garnier, Super Facialist, Superdrug and more. She is a wife and mother to a boy and girl both under 4.

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