Whether you're a size 2 or 22, in your teens or over 40, stretch marks—unfortunately—don't discriminate.
"They're caused by rapid growth or change in body weight, which stretches the skin," says dermatologist Francisco Flores, M.D. Those most prone to stretch marks include pregnant women, body builders and adolescents undergoing sudden growth spurts.
"Unfortunately, there's no way to really prevent them, but you can help improve the quality of your skin within the stretch-mark area," Flores says. Some in-office procedures like chemical peels and Fraxel lasers can be effective in terms of improving thickness and skin texture, while vascular lasers can fade the red color in some newly formed stretch marks, says Flores. In the meantime, look for products containing vitamins A and E, calendula, lavender, rosemary oil and chamomile extract, which help the area become less noticeable.
If you're overwhelmed by your options, start with one of these four options that can help you fade any number of pesky lines.
StriVectin-SD Intensive Concentrate for Stretch Marks & Wrinkles
Collagen-boosting peptides and high-tech ingredients accelerate the rebuilding of skin layers to fade discoloration and improve the texture and tone of the skin. With continued use, the results will keep getting better and better.
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy
Now you see them, now you don't. Four weeks is what it takes for this cream to minimize stretch marks. In 12 weeks, you'll see optimal results. The blend of botanical ingredients and hydrators works to diminish the look of stretch marks.
Bio-Oil Specialist Skin Care
Infused with PurCellin oil, this cult favorite hydrates and nourishes the stretch-mark area, improving the appearance and increasing the elasticity of the skin to prevent new marks from forming.
Mustela Stretch Marks Double Action
Pop open this tube to stop stretch marks in their tracks and keep new ones from making their mark. It works by strengthening skin's elasticity in areas most prone, like breasts, abdomen, hips and upper thighs. The cream is particularly good for women to use as a preventive measure during pregnancy.