We include products we think are useful to our readers, including products we may have received for free. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Any lotion, oil, or cream can be used to help prevent stretch marks, but after talking with moms and dermatologists, we chose some favorites.

Stretch marks are extremely common and completely natural during pregnancy. While there isn’t any sound evidence to suggest we can prevent them, it’s also not a bad idea to, well, stay buttered up as your body grows and changes.

“A cream that has evidence-based medicine behind it — we don’t have that,” says Dr. DiAnne Davis, FAAD, a dermatologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

What we do know for sure is that keeping your skin moisturized as it expands helps support fragile skin and encourage circulation, which can help your skin look and feel better — and maybe help prevent stretch marks from forming.

There are several products available labeled as a stretch mark cream or belly oil, but in reality, any body lotion, oil, cream, or butter that’s made with pregnancy-safe ingredients works just fine.

Essentially, however you stay moisturized, keep at it and then some. But if you’re looking for suggestions, here are some that we recommend.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $10
  • $$ = $10–$20
  • $$$ = over $20

Stretch mark creamPriceKey ingredientsTypeCustomer rating
Mustela Stretch Marks Cream$$$• avocado peptide
• shea butter
cream4.5 stars
Earth Mama Belly Butter$$• aloe
• sunflower seed oil
• shea butter
butter4.8 stars
Glow Organics Belly Butter$$$• organic shea butter
• organic cocoa butter
• grapeseed oil
butter4.5 stars
Pipette Belly Oil$$• winter cherry extract
• calendula
• vitamin E
• squalane
oil4.5 stars
Burt’s Bees Mama Bee Belly Butter$$• coconut oil
• jojoba butter
• cocoa seed butter
butter4.5 stars
Bio-Oil Skincare Oil$$$• vitamin A
• vitamin E oil
• sunflower oil
• lavender oil
oil4.6 stars
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks$• cocoa butter
• shea butter
• vitamin E
butter4.6 stars
Munchkin Milkmakers All-Natural Belly Balm$$• coconut oil
• shea butter
• organic rose hip oil
twist stick4.4 stars
Mommy Knows Best Stretch Mark Vanishing Cream$$• shea butter
• jojoba oil
cream3.8 stars
Mutha Body Butter$$$• shea butter
• cocoa butter
• mango butter
• vitamins
• fatty acids
• seed extracts
butter5 stars

The market is full of stretch mark creams that promise amazing results. While there’s no clinical evidence to suggest stretch marks are totally preventable, there’s also no harm in trying.

To select the products above, we searched through ingredient lists and product reviews to help you narrow your search. We chose the best stretch mark creams for pregnancy based on the following criteria:

  • Experience: We considered feedback from 9 moms about 8 different products they purchased with their own money and tried throughout their pregnancies.
  • Ingredients: We looked for stretch mark creams formulated with hydrating ingredients, like nut butters and oils — such as cocoa, shea, or jojoba.
  • Brand integrity: We sought trusted brands that are leaders in their industry. They all passed our vetting process, which ensures brands follow ethical business standards and don’t have any pending lawsuits, among other factors.
  • Price: There’s no need to break the bank for a stretch mark cream. We tried to feature stretch mark creams that fall in the price range of $8–$30 (but we did recommend one splurge option).
  • Reviews: We combed through online customer reviews, only featuring the brands that were well-liked, easy to use, and alleviated customers’ skin issues.
  • Experts: We reached out to board certified dermatologists to get their opinion on what makes for the best stretch mark creams.

Decide whether you want a cream that is scented or fragrance-free. Scan the ingredients list for potential irritants, especially if you have allergies or sensitivities. While pregnant and nursing, avoid products that contain retinoids.

Choose a product (or investigate creating your own!) that contains ingredients such as:

“Certain ingredients that can sometimes be helpful are hyaluronic acid or peptides,” Davis says. “I usually will check active ingredients and recommend the patient check with their OB-GYN before using it.”

During pregnancy, stretch marks can develop on your breasts, belly, hips, butt, and thighs.

Retinoids can help with treating stretch marks postpartum. “They help to restore the skin’s collagen,” says Dr. DiAnne Davis, FAAD, a dermatologist at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas.

But it may be best to avoid retinoids while you’re pregnant. They’re most likely safe while breastfeeding — with topical application only — but that research is limited.

Oral use of retinoid-containing treatments aren’t recommended during lactation. Davis also recommends in-office stretch mark treatments, such as microneedling or laser treatments.

You don’t have to wait until you start noticing marks. Many creams work as a preventive measure, so it can be helpful to use one as soon as you find out you’re pregnant.

You can use the cream throughout each trimester and even after you give birth. Davis recommends using the cream every day after you take a bath or shower.

You can try making it part of an indulgent self-care routine, which may include self-massage, exfoliation, or a good old-fashioned bubble bath.

Stretch mark creams won’t make old stretch marks completely go away. However, depending on the cream you use, it may somewhat reduce the appearance of the marks.

In addition to using a stretch mark cream, eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, drinking enough water, getting regular exercise, and gently massaging your belly every day may help prevent or reduce stretch marks during pregnancy.

You can talk with your midwife or doctor about gaining baby weight at a slow and steady pace, and making sure you’re not deficient in any vitamins.

There’s not enough evidence to suggest that coconut oil can actually prevent or treat stretch marks. However, many skin experts are a fan of the ingredient.

Marisa Garshick, MD, a dermatologist at Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery in New York, notes that because coconut oil works to moisturize and may calm inflammation, it may help to improve the overall appearance of the skin.

There’s a lot going on in your body and mind right now. Go ahead and pamper yourself with one of these stretch mark creams. Best-case scenario, it prevents stretch marks. Worst-case scenario, you’re left with really soft and hydrated skin.