Whether you earned them through pregnancy or received a few tiger stripes during a growth spurt in your teens, stretch marks are both a part of life and completely normal.
And while some women may have chosen to embrace theirs and others would prefer to reduce their appearance, there’s nothing wrong with either choice.
For those looking to prevent marks from forming during pregnancy or minimising the ones you already have, it’s important to note that whether you will develop (or why you have) stretch marks largely comes down to your genetics, and you can’t really “get rid” of them completely.
“There is no one way to permanently and completely get rid of stretch marks, but we have a variety of different treatments that may make them look better,” Dr. Morgan Rabach, MD, board-certified dermatologist told Cosmopolitan.
And while stretch mark creams are arguably the cheapest treatment you can buy, there is also minimal evidence to support the efficacy of a lot of stretch mark creams. However, there are some that might assist if fading or preventing the onset of marks is the goal.
The Best Stretch Mark Creams & Oils You Can Buy In Australia
Best For Handling New Stretch Marks: Paula’s Choice Skin Smoothing Retinol Body Treatment, $43 At Paula’s Choice
Arguably the next-best thing to a prescription-strength retinol cream, this smoothing body treatment by Paula’s Choice may help reduce the appearance stretch marks that have only appeared recently in the skin. How?
Its retinol complex helps to stimulate collagen production. However, it is very important to note: do not use any kind of retinoid while pregnant or breastfeeding.
Best For Natural Ingredients: Lovekins Stretch Mark Oil, $49.95 at Lovekins
If you’re looking for a stretch mark oil that’s packed with natural ingredients, cruelty-free and vegan — this is the product for you.
A powerful yet gentle blend of Camelia Oil, Kakadu Plum, and Rosella Flower works to improve skin suppleness and elasticity.
Best Lightweight Cream: Clarins Body Partner Stretch Mark Expert, $84 at THE ICONIC
Utilising active, plant-based ingredients such as Organic Green Banana extract and asiaticoside from Centella Asiatica, this lightweight cream strengthens the collagen and elastin fibres that give skin its firmness and resistance.
Best Cream For Pregnancy: Mustela Stretch Marks Prevention Cream, $27.96 at Chemist Warehouse
Professionals and pregnant women alike praise this cream’s reported preventative properties. It features nourishing avocado peptides to enable skin elasticity, while galactoarabinan, a patented ingredient extracted from the Larch tree, helps the skin withstand stretching.
Beeswax and shea butter also offer their rich, hydrating services to keep the skin supple. And although the tangible evidence is small, a study of 26 women who used the product showed that 96% didn’t develop any stretch marks at all.
Best Local Buy: Bangn Body Firming Lotion, $48 at Bangn Body
There’s a reason this ‘Yellow Tube Of Goodness’ was a 2019 Prix de marie claire Beauty Award finalist! Boasting rave reviews all over the internet, this all-purpose Australian cream has been found to both firm the skin and minimise the appearance of stretch marks in as little as three weeks, thanks to its potent combination of shea butter, pineapple fruit oil and green coffee bean extract.
Best Overall: Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion For Stretch Marks, $16.99 at Chemist Warehouse
Don’t let the lower price tag fool you – this pharmacy buy has had a cult following for a very long time.
Formulated with the brand’s signature cocoa butter base, the additions of velvety almond and argan oils, as well as vitamin E, shea buter and bio c-elaste (a combination of collagen, elastin and centall asiatica), all work together to up the elasticity in your skin to keep stretch marks from forming.
While it’s designed for pregnancy, it can absolutely be used even if you’re not expecting.
Best Multi-tasker: BIO OIL Bio-Oil, $14.99 to $24.99 at Priceline
When it comes to multi-tasking products, it genuinely does not get better than BIO OIL’s famous signature oil.
Not only has it been clinically found to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it’s also been shown to improve the appearance of different types of scars, improve skin tone and smooth fine wrinkles. Talk about quadruple time!
Best Oil For Pregnancy: Weleda Stretch Mark Massage Oil, $27.95 at Adore Beauty
Rich in skin-firming vitamin E and almond oil, this elixir is designed to be used as a soothing massage treatment during and after pregnancy to help promote the elasticity and firmness of skin while combating dryness. While the formation of pregnancy-related stretch marks is largely genetic, many reviewers swear by this cult-favourite product.
Best Small Brand: Cle Naturals BELLY., $52.95 at Hard to find
This beautiful blend of essential oils combines Jojoba blended with avocado, rosehip and shea butter to hydrate skin while oils of geranium, grapefruit and lavender blended with monoi de tahiti create a soft floral scent.