The Cruelty-Free Review

A review of compassionate products, foods, and recipes

Stretch It Out

on September 28, 2012

Stretch marks are one of the many, many disadvantages of weight gain. Whether they are the dark purple trenches of newly formed marks or the ones turned white with age, nothing can deflate the budding confidence of someone on a weight-loss journey more than these unsightly streaks. The hips, thighs, and breasts are the most common areas that stretch marks occur though they can technically occur anywhere on the body. I’ve never been bothered by the ones I’ve seemingly always had on my hips.  But when I was going through a significant weight gain months ago I began to really take notice of newer ones that developed on my thighs, calves, and breasts. I tried using just cocoa butter on them, but that was ineffective and frustrating. Have you ever bought a jar of pure cocoa butter? It’s solid as a rock and takes forever to scrape enough out to use on one area, though I must admit I love the smell. It reminds me of sugar cookies. Also, cocoa butter has been disproven as an effective prevention  for stretch marks.  Anywho…

At one point I shelled out $40 for Mederma, a cream that has been proven to reduce marks but it is not cruelty free (or very cost-effective) so I looked elsewhere for treatment. I tried Palmer’s stretch mark oils and lotions but I really wanted something that contained fewer ingredients. I stumbled across Nubian Heritage Raw Shea Butter at (where else?) Whole Foods.  Among its many claims (hydration, cell renewal, UV protection) is a reduction in stretch marks. One of the ingredients,  Vitamin E (listed as tocopherol on many labels), has been shown as an effective treatment for scars and stretch marks.  Shea butter provides hydration and frankincense and myrrh lend a subtle yet comforting, woodsy scent.

This lotion is very thick, almost tacky, and it requires a bit of rubbing between the hands to make it pliable but a little goes a long way. It absorbs quickly and doesn’t leave much greasiness behind. After using it every day for a month I actually noticed a reduction in the severity of the new marks I had obtained. It probably wouldn’t be obvious to anyone but me but I’m happy with the results and it makes me less self-conscious about my legs, so who cares? I know the marks will never completely disappear but anything that makes them visible is a plus in my book. Of course genetics and hormones play a part in how severe one’s stretch marks can be, so results will vary from person to person.  I would also recommend this for anyone with severe dry skin; I use it on my elbows which tend to get very dry and flaky and it works wonders. For the price, it’s a good value-$11.99 for a 4oz jar. Nubian Heritage is currently working on upgrading their website but you can find their products at WF and Vitamin Shoppe and can also order online from Vitamin Shoppe if you aren’t near a physical store. Not all of their products are vegan; some contain goat’s milk or honey, but they are all cruelty free.


6 responses to “Stretch It Out

  1. Barb says:

    Ugh, I hate stupid stretch marks!! I also hate how expensive most of the creams are… Sounds like this one is totally affordable though- and if it works, it’s worth the $$!

  2. aaahhh, WholeFoods to the rescue! I love it.

  3. It’s so reassuring to know that there are some simple, natural solutions out there that really work! There are so many crazy, chemical-filled products that it’s easy to get lost and discouraged.

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