Stretch marks, those indented streaks on the skin that can be pink, red, or other colors, often occur while a woman is pregnant. Between 43% and 88% of women develop stretch marks during their pregnancy. While they are particularly common during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss can cause stretch marks to form as well.
While stretch marks may fade over time, they never fully go away. But one skincare product — Bio-Oil®, a combination of plant extracts and vitamins is formulated to help improve the appearance of stretch marks. It may help reduce the possibility of stretch marks forming during pregnancy and help improve the appearance of existing stretch marks.
“Prevention is the best way to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy,” said Dr. Tiffany J. Libby, M.D., director of Mohs micrographic and dermatologic surgery for Brown Dermatology. “Bio-Oil is a fantastic emollient and moisturizer – it is safe to use before, during and after pregnancy. I enjoyed using Bio-Oil Skincare Oil during, in between, and throughout my pregnancies. While much of what determines whether one will get stretch marks or not is due to genetics, prevention and keeping skin hydrated and supple is key to minimizing one’s risk of developing them. Bio-Oil will hydrate and soften skin and can be used on Day 1 of your pregnancy. You can use the oils to massage your pregnant belly and the non-greasy formula makes it convenient and easy to use.”
The multi-use skincare product, which is formulated to be light and non-greasy, contains the proprietary ingredient PurCellin Oil™. “The breakthrough ingredient changes the consistency of the product, making the oil lighter and non-greasy,” Dr. Libby said. “This helps Bio-Oil absorb into the skin, promoting its elasticity, texture, and tone.”
The key ingredient acts as an emollient, helping soften aging and dehydrated skin. The product, which also contains vitamin A, vitamin E, lavender oil, calendula oil, rosemary oil, and chamomile oil, contains no preservatives and is suitable for all skin types.
Bio-Oil® has been deemed safe for use, including in pregnancy. It’s also clinically proven to help improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks, and uneven skin tone. In an 8-week clinical trial conducted by proDERM Institute for Applied Dermatological Research, 100% of subjects who applied Bio-Oil® twice daily for eight weeks showed an improvement in the appearance of existing stretch marks.
“Bio-Oil skincare oils are safe for use by pregnant and lactating women, and it can be used from the start of the first trial semester until after birth, and on an ongoing basis, and is 100% safe for use on the body while breastfeeding,” Dr. Libby said.
Recommended use for Bio-Oil® during pregnancy is to apply to areas that are prone to stretch marks, such as breasts, abdomen, hips, thighs, buttocks, and lower back. Following pregnancy, apply Bio-Oil® to the affected area two times a day for at least three months.
Hydration and improved appearance
According to Dr. Libby, in addition to stretch marks, pregnant and postpartum women often experience melasma, linea nigra, acne, spider veins, varicose veins, and dryness.
When it comes to stretch marks and dryness “women have traditionally managed these issues by keeping skin well moisturized to try and prevent stretch marks and overall skin dryness during pregnancy,” Dr. Libby said.
She recommends Bio-Oil® Original Skincare Oil and Bio-Oil® Natural Skincare Oil. The main difference between the natural formula and the original oil lies in the ingredients: Bio-Oil® Original uses a mix of mineral oil and PurCellin Oil ™ as its base, whereas Natural is fragrance-free and has a 100% natural base of plant oils, including soybean, sunflower seed, and safflower. It also contains specialist and essential oils such as jojoba, chia, pomegranate, inca seed, lavender, and rosemary. Both keep skin hydrated and improve the appearance of stretch marks.
You can find Bio-Oil® products on Amazon.com.