So I did a poll on IG sometime back about whether I should do a review on the stretch mark creams/oils that I’ve tried out, and the answer was a resounding ‘YES!’. I hope this sharing will be useful for those of you who requested it ^^ This is just a sharing of my personal opinion on the products, and I’m sure everyone has their own preference as well, but if you’re new to shopping for such products and need some ideas, here’s a good starting point!
**Disclaimer: While I tried out a whole bunch of products as you can see from the picture above, the one product I did not try was the Clarins range. It was highly recommended by many people, but also $$$ and I just couldn’t justify the purchase, so I never tried it.
This was the first stretch marks product that I started with. I was kiasu enough that I bought the biggest bottle that I could find when I was in Australia on holiday about a year back, even before I was pregnant bcos it’s so much cheaper there xD the texture is quite light and easy to apply, but I’m not sure whether it’s because I began using it in my 1st trimester when I was ultra sensitive to smells, but I really couldn’t stand it after awhile! Quite amazed that I even managed to get through so much of the bottle, it was rather torturous. Even till now, the smell is kinda repulsive to me. But the main reason why I stopped using it was because I realised that it contained Retinyl Palmitate, which is actually an ingredient that pregnant women are recommended to avoid! Honestly I was rather shocked when I found out because it’s an entry-level, easily accessible stretch marks product for many mums-to-be?! I guess many people have used it without any side effects, but I didn’t want to take the risk.
Frei Ol Pregnancy Massage Oil
That’s when I started to do a search on other stretch marks products available. I came across Frei Ol, which is much less common than Bio Oil because it’s not widely available in stores. In fact, I got it on Amazon, but it’s pretty affordable too! And for quite awhile, I really enjoyed using it. It didn’t have any scent at all (thank God), and the texture was really nice too. I probably would’ve continued using it if I had not received the Mustela products (below) as a gift. I was told that Frei Ol is actually a rather “normal supermarket range” kind of product and so apparently it’s not very effective? I did not verify that though – but since I didn’t use it for long, I can’t comment on its effectiveness. But it’s still an affordable option that I enjoyed using!
Palmers Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks
I received this as a hand-me-down from a friend and tried it out just a few times. Again, this is quite a commonly used product that can be found easily in stores. While I was surprisingly accepting of the cocoa scent, I found the texture too thick/sticky for my liking. Also, it contains petrolatum which is also one of the ingredients that are recommended to be avoided during pregnancy.
My Top Choice: Mustela Stretch Marks Cream & Oil
These two were my favourite stretch marks products which I started using sometime in my 2nd trimester, and I continued with them all the way till the end. Price-wise, they are mid-range and I felt that it was a reasonable expenditure for the course of the pregnancy.
To be honest, when I first tried the stretch marks oil, I found it a bit too thick. Compared with Bio Oil & Frei Ol, the texture is much more viscous and takes slightly more effect to slather on. But after getting used to it, it really does feel quite luxurious. And though it’s thick, but it still absorbs decently and it works for me because I sleep in an air-conditioned room so the extra moisture barrier is welcomed.
I use the oil nightly, and in the morning, I use the cream. It would probably be more accurate to call it a lotion! I LOVE the texture of the cream. It is super lightweight and easily absorbed, so it’s great for day-use. I do give it a couple of minutes to sink in, but after that I can get dressed pretty quickly without any residual stickiness. they have a scented & scent-free version which I think it’s really great for mummies-to-be who could be sensitive to smells. But guess what, I liked the light floral scent of the scented version so much that I never got around to using the other one! This is defintely my favourite stretch marks product. But I do use it with the oil because I guess the thicker oil makes me feel like it’s more “effective” (it’s probably all in the mind haha).
The best part of these two products were the ingredients list though. Especially the oil – I love products with a super short ingredients list because it’s so much easier to understand and evaluate. The Mustela stretch marks oil is formulated with 100% natural origin ingredients, all of which are safe for pregnancy. The stretch marks cream has a longer ingredients list, but with 97% ingredients from natural origin, I feel that it’s pretty good too! Didn’t spot any unsafe ingredients either.
Nivea Rose & Argan Oil lotion
This is just an additional product which I was (and am still) using. I’ve always been diligent in moisturising my entire body daily. While my stretch marks products application was focused mainly on the belly, boobs and bum/thighs, I used this lotion for the rest of my body. Nivea has been my go-to brand for years, and I picked this variation with Argan oil for the extra moisture. The texture is slightly thicker than some of their other products, but still absorbs pretty quickly and doesn’t leave a sticky feeling.
So yes, this concludes my review of all the stretch marks products that I tried during my pregnancy! I’m thankful that I didn’t get any stretch marks (at least I’ve not spotted any), and though I’m not sure if that’s due to all the care that I took with these creams/oils since 1st tri, I would say no harm trying? I’ve also heard that sometimes the stretch marks only appear when you’re shrinking back after birth! So I’ve been continuing with the regime whenever possible, though I’m definitely less diligent now with much less time on my hands.
Would love to hear your thoughts on these products, or any others that you’ve tried (Clarins, anyone? haha)!