Stars: They’re just like us, even when it comes to skin imperfections. If you have stretch marks on your skin, you’re not alone – in fact, you’re in A-list company, as Hollywood starlets such as Salma Hayek, Halle Berry, Demi Moore, and even Angelina Jolie have copped to having the dreaded lines on their skin.

Stretch marks are not a sign of aging; rather, they can happen to anyone, regardless of age, and are most commonly caused by rapid weight change, pregnancy, a growth spurt, or too much exercise.

“Stretch marks are not actually from stretching,” according to Dr. Eric Bernstein, Clinical Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. “They’re from hormonal changes in our skin, that may accompany times when our weight is fluctuating (such as a large weight gain). Our skin may be stretching, but in addition, we’re changing the hormone characteristics of our body, and of our skin.” Genetics also come into play; essentially, if your mother, father, or grandparents had stretch marks, you’re likely to develop them at some point as well. And as the A-listers previously mentioned prove, even the most beautiful, impeccably-shaped women are not immune to these small but noticeable and unsightly skin imperfections. So the question is, how do you deal?

Fight Stretch Marks Like a Star

Celebrities, with their unlimited access to the best breakthrough remedies and treatments for any beauty problem, have certainly found myriad ways to battle their stretch marks. When stretch marks show up, it’s best to treat them as early as possible, such as when they are still red or purple and will most readily respond to treatment. Remember that stretch marks don’t look the same on everyone; the appearance of the marks depends on the color of your skin. They can start out pink, reddish brown, brown, or dark brown, and fade over time to a more silvery or whitish color. Once stretch marks pass the beginning stages, when they are red or purple, to the later stages, where they become white or silver, often with deep indentations, they can be more challenging to treat.

So just how is the Hollywood crowd reducing their stretch marks and improving their skin? Many consider the first step to be prevention, sometimes in the form of deep moisturizing of the skin with cocoa butter or shea butter .  Pulsed-dye laser treatment of the reddish marks or fractionated laser treatments such as Fraxel® may be recommended as well.

Aim for Flawless Skin

Fraxel laser treatment can be an effective treatment for improving the appearance of stretch marks; it works by creating thousands of tiny microscopic deep columns of damage where the broken collagen from stretch marks is; as the area heals, new collagen and elastic fibers are deposited and the stretch marks start getting narrower and tighter, causing the skin to appear smoother. Multiple sessions are necessary for best results; other than being careful in the sun, you will have less downtime than typical surgery

Finally, topical cream treatments may also help improve the texture of your stretch marks, getting you that much closer to celeb-worthy skin.