Advice on what to look for when buying anti-stretch mark cream for pregnancy stretch marks plus the opportunity to purchase a range of stretch mark removal creams.
The development of stretch marks during the third trimester of pregnancy is extremely common, with 75 - 90% of women suffering to some extent (NHS Direct). They develop when the skin is stretched greatly over a short period of time, causing depletion of collagen and elastin levels in the skin and resulting in a loss of elasticity. During pregnancy, stretch marks not only develop around the abdominal area as a result of its rapid expansion, but also appear on the thighs, buttocks and upper arms due to natural weight gain in these areas.
Many women find that the appearance of stretch marks can be minimised by the use of anti-stretch mark creams and moisturisers. The majority of these specially formulated creams are designed to re-hydrate the skin whilst helping to maintain its natural elasticity as it is stretched during pregnancy. Daily moisturisation of the skin both during and after pregnancy not only helps to keep the skin supple by reducing the dryness and itchiness often associated with stretch marks, but additionally, stimulates the skin on a deeper level, encouraging better circulation to the affected areas which in turn helps to further minimise the appearance of stretch marks.
As the development and severity of stretch marks varies so greatly from one individual to another there is no one 'miracle' anti-stretch mark cream that is going to work for everyone. There are however several ingredients which are often included in anti-stretch mark creams that may help to reduce their appearance. Moisturisers which include concentrated amounts of vitamins E and A are popular, as are those which include some form of cocoa as this has also been found to help. Anti-stretch mark creams which contain elastin and/or collagen are designed to penetrate the skin and increase elasticity at a deeper level and again many women find that creams containing these ingredients significantly help to reduce stretch marks.
As a general rule, look for anti-stretch mark creams which are not too greasy and are easily absorbed into the skin, contain natural ingredients, including those listed above and always follow the manufacturers' directions for application of the cream. By massaging anti-stretch mark cream into the skin daily throughout pregnancy and supplementing this with a balanced diet, lots of water and regular exercise, the appearance of stretch marks should be minimised.
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