Stretch marks are common, resulting from everything from growth spurts and weight changes to pregnancy. They may appear on your abdomen, buttocks, thighs, and breasts. They range in color from red and pink to purple and blue.

Stretch marks usually fade on their own over time. Although there isn’t a treatment that will get rid of stretch marks completely, there are things you can do help reduce their appearance and texture.

Keep reading to learn how to use essential oils to make a serum to help relieve stretch marks.
These oils definitely work

Some essential oils have shown a definite effect on stretch marks. More studies with larger study size are needed, but this is what the research has shown so far:
1. Argan oil

Argan oil is made from argan tree kernels. It’s one of the newer skin care oils on the block.

According to a small 2016 study, argan oil helps increase skin’s elasticity. Researchers believe it may help prevent or reduce stretch marks. A 2015 study found both consuming argan oil and applying it topically made skin more elastic in postmenopausal women.

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2. Gotu kola

Gotu kola is used in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda to treat a wide range of skin concerns. According to 2013 research, compounds in gotu kola help increase collagen production and improve skin’s tensile strength.

In an older study from 1991 on 100 women who were pregnant, 50 women were given a topical cream containing gotu kola while the other 50 women were given a placebo cream. Of the 80 women who completed the study, just 14 women of the gotu kola group developed stretch marks compared to the 22 women in the placebo group.

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3. Rosehip oil

Rosehip oil is made from the fruit or “seeds” of roses. According to a 2013 study, a moisturizer containing rosehip oil helped prevent the severity of stretch marks in pregnant women with previous stretch marks. It was also significantly more effective than the placebo in preventing new stretch marks.

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4. Bitter almond oil

Bitter almond oil comes from a different type of almond tree than the sweet almonds we eat. Bitter almonds contain toxic compounds that can mimic cyanide poisoning when ingested. It’s unclear how much bitter almond oil may be absorbed by your skin.

For a 2012 study on the effects of bitter almond oil on stretch marks, women who were pregnant applied bitter almond oil alone, got a 15-minute massage using bitter almond oil, or were in the control group.

Only 20 percent of women in the massage group developed stretch marks. Stretch marks developed in 38.8 percent of women using bitter almond oil alone, and in 41.2 percent of women in the control group. More studies are needed to determine exactly how bitter almond oil and massage works and if it’s safe.

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5. Pomegranate oil and dragon’s blood extract

Pomegranate oil is made from pomegranate seeds. Dragon’s blood extract comes from the resin of dracaena trees, also known as Madagascar dragon trees. Both ingredients are thought to be antioxidants and anti-inflammatories.

According to a 2017 study on 10 women with stretch marks and 10 women without them, a cream made of pomegranate oil and dragon’s blood extract increased skin’s thickness, elasticity, and hydration in all volunteers. Researchers suggest the cream may help prevent or improve the appearance of stretch marks.

Research on some essential oils have had mixed results. More research is needed, but these oils may be worth a try.
6. Neroli

Neroli, a member of the Rutaceae family, is made from bitter orange tree blossoms. It’s used as a folk remedy to lighten skin and improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks.

According to 2008 research, neroli oil has powerful antioxidant abilities which may help skin cell’s regenerate and improve skin’s appearance.

Shop for neroli oil.
7. Shea butter

Shea butter is made from the nuts of the shea tree. It’s not an essential oil, but a carrier oil. It may be used alone or to dilute essential oils. Shea butter is often used to hydrate the skin. Many women claim it helps prevent stretch marks, but most research is anecdotal.

Shea butter contains vitamin A. It’s said to help improve blood circulation to the skin and promote wound healing. Even so, more research is needed to prove it helps stretch marks.
8. Olive oil

Olive oil is another carrier oil used to dilute essential oils. It may also be used on its own. Olive oil gets skin care kudos because of its antioxidant and hydration abilities. But according to a 2011 study on women in their second trimester of pregnancy, applying olive oil to the abdomen twice daily doesn’t prevent stretch marks.

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Supplementary oils to boost your effects

Vitamin E is an antioxidant known for its anti-aging and skin regenerating benefits. It’s often used to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars. Combining vitamin E with these essential oils that have other skin-rejuvenating benefits may give your stretch mark treatment regimen a boost.
9. Lavender to help strengthen the skin

Lavender oil comes from lavender flowers. It’s known for its wound healing abilities. According to 2016 research, lavender oil can increase collagen production, help shrink wounds, and help form granulation tissue that promotes wound healing.

Shop for lavender oil.
10. Patchouli to help strengthen the skin

There’s little research on patchouli oil for stretch marks. However, it showed antioxidant abilities and promoted collagen synthesis in a 2013 animal study. In theory, patchouli oil could help strengthen skin and minimize stretch marks.

Shop for patchouli oil.
11. Bitter orange to help strengthen the skin

Bitter orange oil is made from the peel of bitter oranges. According to 2011 research, it may help tighten and tone the skin. Keep in mind, bitter orange may also irritate the skin due to its methanol content.
12. Rosehip to help stimulate keratinocyte production

In addition to moisturizing the skin, rosehip oil helped stimulate keratinocyte differentiation in a 2011 mouse study. Keratinocytes are tightly packed cells in your skin’s epidermis that produce keratin. Keratin helps strengthen the skin and stimulates collagen production.

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