Even if you don’t have a C-section, you probably won’t end up scar-free.
About 50 to 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks. Although this is normal and isn’t anything to be ashamed of, many women wish to prevent them or minimize their appearance.
As we become more conscious of what we put into our bodies and how it affects our babies, we’re trending toward natural remedies. In this search, we may wonder if there are essential oils for stretch marks. And if so, do they actually work?
In this post, we’re listing 6 essential oils for stretch marks. We’ll also detail what the science says about their effectiveness and how you can try it yourself.
Do Essential Oils Work for Stretch Marks?
There’s evidence that some essential oils may work for stretch marks. We’ve included these findings in the section below (specific to each oil).
When evaluating the evidence, you should keep in mind a few things. For a treatment to be considered effective, studies on it should:
- Be considered high-quality (including controlling factors and transparency)
- Hold up to professional scrutiny
- Have large sample sizes (many of these studies are small)
- Be proven effective across several high-quality studies
Although there’s additional criteria that should be met, this short list gives you a general idea of what to consider. Since many of the studies linked to in this post don’t match the above criteria, we can’t say any of their results are conclusive. To put it simply, the effectiveness of essential oils for stretch marks is not yet scientifically-backed.
With that being said, there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence about how women have used essential oils to reduce stretch marks.
6 Essential Oils for Stretch Marks
As we discussed in the section above, there’s no definitive evidence to suggest that essential oils can help stretch marks. If you want to get rid of stretch marks, you should consider using a cream or oil. With that being said, it’s unlikely that essential oils will make stretch marks worse, so it could be worth a try!
#1 Argan Oil
You’ve probably seen brands of argan oil marketed for hair and skin. The oil is produced from kernels of Moroccan argan trees.
A preliminary 2016 study suggested that it can help improve skin elasticity. The research involved creating a water-in-oil cream containing argan oil. Ultrasound measurements showed an improvement of skin elasticity after applying the cream. Because of that, the authors concluded that it could be helpful in the prevention or early treatment of stretch marks.
A 2015 study also found that consuming dietary argan oil also improved elasticity.
How to use: You can purchase a dietary argan oil to consume orally. You may also apply it topically, either directly or by diluting it in a cream.
#2 Bitter Almond Oil
It should be noted that this is different from sweet almond oil and comes from a different tree. It also hasn’t been proven safe. An interesting study divided pregnant women up into three groups. Here were the results:
- The group that applied the oil— 39% developed stretch marks
- The group that applied the oil and received a 15-minute massage— 20% developed stretch marks
- The control group (receiving nothing)— 41% developed stretch marks.
The results suggest bitter almond oil may be effective for preventing stretch marks but massage seemed to have a bigger impact.
How to use: You can apply it directly to the skin. For possible maximum effect, massage it in.
#3 Rosehip Oil
Rosehip oil is made from the seeds of roses.
A 2013 study looked at a cream containing rosehip oil. Researchers divided women up into three groups:
- Those who applied cream containing rosehip oil
- Those who applied vitamin E
- Those who applied a placebo cream (with no therapeutic value)
They found that the rosehip cream was most effective in preventing stretch marks. Authors suggested it can reduce the severity of marks during pregnancy, prevent them from getting worse and prevent new ones from forming.
How to use: Dilute with a carrier oil or lotion before applying to the skin.
#4 Neroli Oil
There’s no specific studies on neroli oil and stretch marks. Most of the evidence is anecdotal. However, research shows that it has antioxidant effects, which can help cells regenerate, making skin heal.
How to use: Dilute neroli oil with a carrier oil or in a cream before applying.
#5 Lavender Oil
Another popular essential oil, lavender has not been shown to directly improve stretch marks, but it may have some benefits. A 2016 study showed that it can increase collagen production and helps form new connective tissues. Although the study was done on rats, it suggests that the oil may play a role in helping to heal scars.
How to use: Dilute lavender oil in a carrier oil or cream before applying.
#6 Pomegranate Oil & Dragon’s Blood Combo
Pomegranate oil is derived from the fruit’s seeds. Dragon’s blood is considered an extract and is derived from Madagascar dragon trees. Both the oil and the extract are thought to have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which may play a role in stretch mark healing.
A 2017 study looked at the effect of a cream made with both ingredients. They found that the combination increased skin thickness, hydration and elasticity—all of which can be helpful in the prevention or appearance of stretch marks. However, the study was small, only involving 20 volunteers—only half of which received the treatment.
How to use: If you happen to have both ingredients on hand, you can try combining them into a cream for topical application. Since they both are thought to have other beneficial properties, you may try the ingredients alone (but remember to dilute pomegranate oil).
Note: Not all essential oils are safe during pregnancy. Natural does not always mean safe. Talk to your doctor before introducing new products.
Get Rid of Stretch Marks Using Essential Oil Stretch Mark Cream
If you’re looking for a product that’s more likely to get rid of stretch marks, consider a cream, lotion or oil made for that purpose.
While you can make your own cream, store-bought brands often contain additional ingredients that may amp up the healing powers of essential oils.
It may also be a safer choice since the essential oil dilutions are already done for you. Undiluted, many essential oils can result in skin issues or injuries. Instead of working out the math to form an effective but safe cream, store-bought products have the correct concentrations.
We recommend the MamaDerma Stretch Mark Prevention Oil for a few reasons.
- Gotu Kola.We didn’t mention it on our list because gotu kola is technically an extract. However, compared to other options, it has more research to back its effectiveness. There’s evidence that gotu kola can increase collagen production, promoting healing. It can also improve the skin’s resistance to pulling, making you less likely to get stretch marks in the first place. A 1991 study looked at the effects of the extract on pregnant women. While 22 women in the placebo group developed stretch marks, only 14 women in the gotu kola group did.
- Lavender Oil. As discussed above, lavender oil may increase collagen production, helping you heal from the pulling and tension caused by weight gain.
- A form of natural vitamin E, this antioxidant can help prevent tissue damage.
- Natural. Contains a combination of natural ingredients that have been clinically proven to reduce the chances of getting stretch marks and reducing severity compared to other oils.
- All ingredients are considered safe for pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Multiple areas. Whether you have stretch marks on your stomach, breasts, butt or hips, this formula absorbs quickly. That means grease-free clothing and skin.
Get the MamaDerma Stretch Mark Prevention Oil for $19.95 Today!
Summary on Essential Oils for Stretch Marks
If you’re looking for a natural way to get rid of stretch marks, you may be considering essential oils. There’s some anecdotal and scientific evidence to suggest that some essential oils may be effective in preventing and treating these scars. However, there’s not enough research to conclude that any essential oil is an effective treatment. If you want to try essential oils for stretch marks yourself, you can use the tips above to create a DIY oil/cream. Remember that any essential oil should be diluted before applying topically and they should not be taken internally.
For a more effective stretch mark solution, you can purchase a natural brand with safe concentrations. MamaDerma Stretch Mark Prevention Oil contains a blend of natural oils and gotu kola, a powerful collagen-producing extract.
P.S. The MamaDerma line also features two more products made specifically for pregnant and new moms. Our Silicone Stretch Mark Spray locks in scars to prevent further stretching and provides the hydration important for healing. If you want to try a stretch mark derma roller, our MamaDerma Stretchmark Set comes with a repair cream and roller to prevent oily hands.
Check Out Our MamaDerma Stretch Mark Line Starting at $19.95