I mentioned this on the “affordable” stretch marks roundup, but I’ll repeat: I know that beauty people are divided in their opinion of stretch mark oils. Or just the use of body oils in general to prevent stretch marks. From my own personal viewpoint, I have no scientific evidence that they work but I kind of think, why would I risk NOT using one? It’s such an enjoyable thing to do anyway, a bit of massage and oiling, and you don’t have to spend the earth to get a suitable oil. (See previous oils post!) I moisturise my skin after a bath or shower anyway, so it’s not like it’s a total mission to add in a bit of a bump-boobs-bum massage to keep skin supple and hopefully reduce the chances of marking.
Anyway, here are some of the more expensive oils that I’ve been testing – not hideously dear, by any means, but a bit more spendy than your typical pharmacy or supermarket buy. Two of them are dedicated “stretch mark” oils, the rest are just perfect for keeping skin supple and soft. The main difference seems to be in ingredients (such as rosehip) that target regeneration and repair, but let’s take a closer look…
Balance Me Super Moisturising Body Oil: £24.50 online here. This doesn’t shout from the rooftops about being a stretch mark prevention oil, but it certainly says all of the right things when you do a bit of research. High in fatty acids to restore elasticity, rosehip to help repair and rejuvenate, and a high percentage of coconut oil which the brand claims “allows this body oil to naturally tackle, prevent and reduce stretch marks.” Bravo. It also feels great to massage in and it smells nice. Win-win.
Clarins Huile Tonic Body Treatment Oil: £35.20 here. Clarins’ best-selling body oil and the product name that popped up the most whenever I mentioned pregnancy oils in tweets or posts. This seems to be a firm favourite! Clarins claim on their website that this is “effective at removing stretch marks” which is a whopper of a claim, so I’d be interested to know how other people with existing marks have fared. My own thoughts are that it must be a million times easier to try and prevent them than remove them, which is why I have been so totally obsessed with my daily (and twice-daily!) oiling but yes. Let me know your success stories. This oil smells good – very herby – and has a great massage-able texture.
Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil: £27 here. Excellent, this one, with the lovely signature Mama Mio scent (I think they must have a certain blend of oils and ingredients common to many of their body products because they all smell so invigorating and zesty!) and a good, firm texture for proper massaging-in ability. I went through this bottle like the clappers – I think it has new packaging, now, which might make it a bit easier to do restrained pouring!
Kiehl’s Superbly Restorative Argan Dry Oil: £37.50 here. Wah! Seems pricy, this one, but you get 200ml in comparison to the 100-ish from Mama Mio and Clarins. In fact Clarins is fully twice as expensive, so you have to keep things in perspective! I love a bit of Argan (see post on Simple Oils) and this one is a kind of “Argan Lite” dry-oil version that’s quick to apply and rub in. Good for a morning post-shower treatment, rather than a heavier oil that might feel claggy once you get dressed. Downside: loads of ingredients to make it light and dry. If you just want pure Argan, check this out.
Pai’s Pomegranate & Pumpkin Stretch Mark Cream and Stretch Mark Oil: £45 online here. Again, looks expensive, but this is actually the best value stretch mark treatment of the lot. You get 200ml of cream and 100ml of oil, both used the most impeccably sourced and chosen ingredients and are suitable for sensitive, allergy-prone skin. (Full ingredients list here.) A hydrating cream and a replenishing oil, the stretch mark system is essential oil free, so great for those who can’t handle them or who would prefer to avoid during pregnancy. Packed full of essential fatty acids to nourish the skin and formulated to help increase elasticity, this is one of my absolute must-buys. The oil drizzles out at an annoyingly slow rate and the cream dispenser needs some looking at (I have literally never had such bad hand and wrist fatigue trying to extract a body cream from the bottle!) but all is forgiven for the beautiful formulas and soft, supple skin they reveal.