Just about every woman has them or will get them at some point in pregnancy. During pregnancy they can appear on the abdomen, thighs, breasts, and buttocks. Whether it's genetics or skin health that causes them, no one is quite sure. And although some women take them as their "badge of honor" and have a very positive view of their bodies postpartum, most women would rather not have them. There are about a million and one different supposed remedies for stretch marks available on the market today - from DIY "natural" creams and lotions, to essential oils, to expensive serums and pricey potions.
All claim to work, but do they really get rid of the "tiger stripes"?
Since I'm pregnant myself with my fourth baby and I certainly have a few stripes of my own, I'm going to experiment over the next few weeks until my baby is born. The product I'll be reviewing (this review is NOT paid) is a store-bought product called "Bio-Oil", which can be found for about $15 at most regular stores, including Wal-mart, and online at Amazon.com. It is completely natural and safe for both pregnancy and breastfeeding.
The website claims to reduce the appearance of stretch marks in 80-100% of women by a significant amount after only 2 weeks of use (see some studies here), but they recommend using for up to 3 months for optimal results. They also claim their product prevents stretch marks, which is one reason I'm using it.
How does it work? Apparently the all-natural ingredients support healthy collagen production in your skin, increasing "skin-renewal and elasticity". It also "conditions the skin" while providing "cell regenerative effects". Bio-oil can reduce itching of growing skin (because of improved elasticity), and improves texture and tone. It does seem to work best on newer marks, so we'll see if my 5 year-old stretch marks from my first baby are reduced at all!
I'm starting just into my third trimester, so I'll have about 10-12 weeks until baby comes. My hypothesis (and hope!) is that I'll see a reduction in the appearance of my current stretch marks, and that I won't see any new ones form.
You'll get a weekly picture update from me, starting with the necessary "before" picture:
For the purpose of this experiment, I'll apply the oil twice per day. I'll also take pictures in the same location (my bedroom) with as similar lighting as possible, once per week, I'll post every two weeks about any progress.
At some point I'll be doing a giveaway, IF this product turns out to be what it claims! So keep following me here for updates on Bio-Oil, and find out if it can really make those stretch marks disappear.