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How To Prevent Stretch Marks

Prevent (and reduce) stretch marks
Whether they’re caused by pregnancy or weight gain, one thing’s for sure: No woman wants them. Who’d have thought that the tiny lines in not-so-frequently seen areas like your stomach, hips, and thighs would be such a frustrating nuisance? We can help. Here’s how to banish the unwanted marks once and for all.

Use creams with vitamin E
Unfortunately, research doesn’t support the age-old cocoa butter myth. But a study in The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that pregnant women who used a cream with vitamin E had fewer marks than those who didn’t.

Give yourself a massage
Massage stretch marks with tamanu oil, which renews skin and restores skin-smoothing collagen.

Opt for retinol
Dab a retinoid cream like Renova on the area. It will help generate new collagen and blend existing stretch marks with the rest of your skin. An over-the-counter retinol—though weaker than its prescription counterpart—can help minimize newer stretch marks and prevent them from becoming worse.

Consider a supplement
Try a 150-milligram daily dose of OPC—the antioxidant has anti-scarring effects.

Try a laser treatment
Already have severe stretch marks? Try Fraxel, a new laser treatment that heats the lower layer of the skin to create collagen and reduce scars.

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