5 Inexpensive Stretch Mark Remedies You Should Consider Trying

While there are a lot of treatments doctors can perform to get rid of stretch marks—microdermabrasion, chemical peels, laser therapy, and microneedling—these treatments take months, aren’t always effective, and are very expensive. For example, laser treatment for stretch marks can cost as much as $10,000. Since most people can’t afford to spend that much on a cosmetic issue, we’ve compiled five cost-effective things to consider trying in order to fade or eliminate stretch marks:

Exfoliating Skin

Exfoliating skin removes dead skin cells on the surface of the skin and encourages skin regrowth and regeneration. While exfoliation will not impact the middle layer of skin where stretch marks form, encouraging skin growth on the surface of the skin may reduce the visibility of your stretch marks. You can use an over-the-counter body exfoliation product to exfoliate the skin over your stretch marks, or you can combine sugar with olive oil to create your own natural exfoliate.

Applying Lemon Juice

The citric acid in lemon juice can help expedite the lightening of dark stretch marks to reduce their visibility. Soak a cotton ball in lemon juice and apply it to stretch marks before bed at night. In the morning, wash it off. After some time, you may notice that the color of your stretch marks has faded. If the lemon juice irritates your skin, mix it with some aloe vera to reduce the concentration of acid you’re applying to your body.

Eating Foods That Promote Collagen Development

Collagen is a protein found naturally in the body that strengthens skin, makes it more elastic, and promotes skin healing and regrowth. Eating the right foods can encourage your body’s natural production of collagen and promote healing of skin around stretch marks, fading their color and reducing their appearance. Some foods that promote collagen development that you should include in your daily diet include lean proteins like fish and tofu, vegetables like red peppers, brussel sprouts, and carrots, and fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and cherries.

Applying Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil can help fade and shrink stretch marks by reducing the inflammation of skin surrounding stretch marks and encouraging healing. Tea tree oil is usually available for purchase at health food stores. Massage the oil into the skin around your stretch marks before bed at night, and then wash the oil off in the morning with soap and water. You may want to try out the product on a patch of your skin first to ensure it doesn’t irritate your skin. If irritation occurs, you can dilute the product with an equal amount of olive oil.

Using a Stretch Mark Removal Cream

Many over the counter products are available that can fade or eliminate stretch marks at costs significantly lower than what you’d pay for a physician-performed treatment. When applied daily, these products may reduce the appearance of stretch marks over time or eliminate their visibility entirely. View our list of popular stretch mark removal products.

Great Halloween Costumes That Will Hide Your Stretch Marks

Women’s Halloween costumes tend to start with the word “sexy”: sexy cat, sexy nurse, sexy stewardess, etc. But if you’ve recently given birth and are suffering from stretch marks, you may be feeling anything but sexy, and you’re probably not looking for a costume that highlights the parts of your body that you’re anxious to keep hidden. However, having stretch marks doesn’t mean you have to dress up as a witch. Check out these creative and covering costumes for ideas for your Halloween costume this year.

beatrix-kiddo-costumeBeatrix Kiddo

Mothers are awesome, and few movie characters have displayed how awesome mothers can be as much as Beatrix Kiddo from the Kill Bill movies. This costume is simple and easily recognizable, and it will cover up all of the areas you want to keep hidden. Best of all, you’ll feel like a ninja and a supermom wearing it. Get it for $49.99 from HalloweenCostumes.com.

The Mockingjayadult-katniss-mockingjay-costume

If you’re looking to dress up as a more current powerful female character, consider wearing this Katniss Everdeen costume. It’s tight, so it may not be the thing if you’re feeling self-conscious about your post-pregnancy weight, but it will cover your entire body and will definitely keep you warn if you’re taking your little one out for trick-or-treating. Get it for between $69.99-$99.99 from HalloweenCostumes.com.

plug-and-socketPlug and Socket

If you’re feeling cheeky and want to surprise your friends, consider talking your partner into dressing up with you as a plug and socket. The socket costume will cover any stretch marks or weight issues you’re trying to hide, and the plug will cleverly remind people that you just had a baby. Get the set for $69.99 from HalloweenExpress.com.


You probably feel like a zombie if your new baby isn’t sleeping through the night, so play the part by dressing up like one. This zombie costume will cover up all of your problem areas, and it’s cute enough that you’ll feel like the most adorable zombie that ever walked the earth in search of brains. Get it for $49.99 from HalloweenExpress.com.

orange-is-the-new-blackOrange Is the New Black

New mothers can sometimes feel like prisoners, but the feeling doesn’t last forever. Soon, your baby will be sleeping through the night and you’ll have time to use the restroom, shower, and take care of yourself again. In the meantime, though, play up the feeling by dressing up as a prisoner of Litchfield Penitentiary. This costume is available for only $29.99 from SpiritHalloween.com.

Prepare for Halloween 2017

Though you can cover your stretch marks with creative and clever costumes this year, if you start taking measures now, you may be able to wear what you want next Halloween without having to worry about stretch marks. There are many treatment options available for reducing the appearance of stretch marks or getting rid of them altogether. If you start using a stretch mark removal cream this fall, you may even be able to fade your stretch marks enough to feel good in a bikini before the weather gets warm again.

Untested Ingredients to Avoid in Your Stretch Mark Cream

There are many different products available for stretch mark prevention and removal, but how do you know which is best? One easy way to take certain products out of consideration is to check the list of ingredients for chemicals that are unsafe, untested, or ineffective. The following three common stretch mark cream ingredients have been shown in scientific studies to be harmful—particularly to pregnant mothers. If you find that a cream you’re considering has one of these ingredients listed, it’s best to avoid that product altogether.

Grapefruit Seed Extract

Grapefruit seed extract has been touted as a fix for many skin issues, such as stretch marks, eczema, and acne. While it is said that grapefruit seed extract tones the skin and heals skin issues, there have not been many studies proving its effectiveness for these uses. In fact, one study performed by the American Botanical Council in Austin, Texas, found that what was being called grapefruit seed extract in several products was actually a chemically-altered derivative that could no longer be considered a natural supplement. The other chemicals found in the products tested were not called out in their ingredients.

Because there is no evidence that grapefruit seed extract works for treating stretch marks and because products containing it may contain other potentially unsafe and untested chemicals, it’s best to avoid stretch mark creams containing grapefruit seed extract.

Dimethylethanolamine (DMAE)

DMAE is a chemical sometimes used in anti-aging creams because of its ability to increase skin firmness and reduce the visibility of age spots. Due to the same properties, it can be effective in reducing the visibility of or removing stretch marks. However, some studies have shown that DMAE has adverse effects on embryo development, so it is best for pregnant women and women trying to conceive to play it safe and avoid this chemical in their stretch mark prevention or removal creams.

Almond Oil

We tend to trust supplements touted as “natural,” but oftentimes these natural supplements are untested and can cause unintended side effects. Almond oil is one example of this. While almond oil is naturally occurring and can soften the skin and prevent stretch marks, a study performed in Italy found that women who had applied almond oil to their stomachs during pregnancy were twice as likely to go into labor prematurely than women who did not. For this reason, it is best for pregnant women to avoid stretch mark prevention creams that contain almond oil.

Find a Stretch Mark Cream

Make sure to talk to your doctor before using any stretch mark cream to determine whether or not the product is safe, especially if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive. Many stretch mark creams and lotions contain natural ingredients—such as aloe vera, cocoa butter, and Vitamin E—that may help promote cell development, increase skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks. Check out our catalog of stretch mark prevention products.

Will Microneedling Get Rid of Your Stretch Marks?

If you’re determined to get rid of your stretch marks for good and considering treatment options, you may be considering microneedling. Microneedling, also referred to as skin needling or collagen induction therapy, is a process where a doctor runs a tool covered in several fine needles over stretch marks. By creating minor injuries where skin has been damaged, microneedling encourages your body to repair damaged skin through increased production of collagen and elastin.

Is Microneedling Effective?

Stretch marks are scars that form in the middle layer of skin, and like scars from injuries, they do not go away on their own. While they may fade over time, getting rid of stretch marks requires undergoing a treatment that can penetrate the top layer of skin and affect the middle layer of skin where stretch mark scars form.

The process of microneedling allows a doctor to use long enough needle to impact middle layer of your skin. When skin is damaged through the microneedling process, it triggers the development of collagen and elastin in your body, which will promote skin regeneration in the damaged areas. The skin regeneration process can encourage new skin growth in areas with stretch marks, improving the tone and texture of skin and reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

In addition to treating stretch marks, microneedling is also commonly used to treat wrinkles and acne scars. The treatment can be performed in a doctor’s office, requires only a topical anesthetic, and is generally considered a safe and low-risk treatment option.

Microneedling Treatment

More than one microneedling treatment is generally required for stretch marks. Your doctor will develop an individual treatment plan that considers the severity of your stretch mark scarring, but you can probably expect to need five or more treatments with intervals between treatments of 4-6 weeks. On average, a single microneedling treatment costs around $700, so if five treatments are needed, the entire process will take 4-6 months and cost around $3,500. Determine your likely costs for microneedling treatment.

Alternative Stretch Mark Treatments

If microneedling isn’t right for you, it doesn’t mean you’ll have to suffer with stretch marks forever. There are several other options available for getting rid of stretch mark scarring:

  • Laser treatment, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion treatments can also be performed by dermatologists and may be effective in treating stretch marks. These treatments use varying methods to damage skin and promote regrowth, though like microneedling, multiple treatments will likely be needed.
  • Many stretch mark removal products are available for purchase over the counter. These products, when applied regularly, may reduce the appearance of stretch marks and are much more cost-friendly than treatments performed in a doctor’s office. If you’re interested in getting rid of your stretch marks but unable to afford the high costs of microneedling or laser treatment, using a stretch mark removal product is a great starting point on your journey to rid your body of stretch marks. Find a stretch mark removal product.