There are numerous stretch mark creams available on the market today. These creams are designed to prevent or treat stretch marks, and all of them claim to be the best at meeting this goal. How does the average consumer know which cream to buy and which ingredients should be included in the cream they purchase? The answer to this question lies in the fact that many of these creams share ingredients in common.
By knowing what these ingredients are and what function they serve in reducing stretch marks, the savvy consumer can ensure that whatever cream is purchased, the essential ingredients needed to reduce stretch marks will be included.
First, it is important to understand how stretch marks form in order to understand how stretch mark creams can help. The skin is composed of three layers, the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis. The dermis, or middle layer, is responsible for providing elasticity and structure to the skin. When this layer is damaged due to rapid expansion of the skin, such as that which occurs in pregnancy, the collagen fibers that compose this layer become stretched and damaged.
This damage results in the characteristic appearance of stretch marks, which appear reddened initially, then gradually fade to a white or a silvery appearance over time. Most research has found that stretch marks are more easily treated in the initial stages, when stretch marks are reddish or purplish in color.
Creams that are designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks target stretch marks in several ways. Some stimulate the growth of collagen and elastin, two components of the dermis which are damaged by stretching. Some add moisture to the skin, allowing it to grow and expand more easily without being damaged. Some ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, support the health of skin at the cellular level.
What ingredients are essential in a good stretch mark cream? The following can be considered the “who’s who” of stretch mark cream ingredients:
Aloe vera- aloe vera has long been known for its healing properties. Often used in healing mild skin conditions such as sun burns, aloe is also a wonderful moisturizer. Use daily to prevent stretch marks.
Cocoa butter- cocoa butter has natural healing properties and is an effective moisturizer. Cocoa also has antioxidant properties. Cocoa butter has been used extensively in the treatment of many skin conditions, including stretch marks.
Glycolic acid- glycolic acid is a fruit acid which comes from sugar cane. In high concentrations, glycolic acid can be harmful, so concentrations of less than 10% are often used in skin creams. Glycolic acid may be less than effective at these levels. Higher concentrations of glycolic acid are used by dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons.
Retinyl- retinyl palmitate can readily be converted to retinoic acid, which stimulates new cell growth. Topical retinoic acid can cause photosensitivity and skin irritation, therefore this form of retinoic acid is safer to use.
Shea butter- a solid fatty oil, shea butter contains stearic and oleic and is one of the best emollients around. It is incorporated into many skin care creams for this reason. It may be helpful in preventing stretch marks from forming by allowing the skin to stretch more easily.
Vitamins- vitamins C, D and E all play an important role in skin health, stimulating collagen and elastin to grow. Most stretch mark creams will contain at least one of these.
It can be confusing choosing a stretch mark cream. As long as the cream you choose contains some of these ingredients, it will likely be helpful. Just remember, no cream is guaranteed to rid you of stretch marks completely, but the use of creams designed to reduce the appearance of stretch marks may do just that.
Out of all the stretch mark creams tested, the highest rated stretch mark creams is: Revitol.
1. Revitol Discount Revitol at www.revitol.com
2. Trilastin www.Trilastin.com