First Trimester
Pregnancy body worries: cankles, stretch marks and more
Stretch marks
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Stretch marks

As the skin stretches during pregnancy, stretch marks can appear, first as red or purple lines, eventually fading to a silvery shade. Some people swear by preventative oils or post-pregnancy products to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. But according to science, whether you’ll avoid stretch marks is determined more by genetics than by how religiously you apply those creams.

Jo Middleton suffered with stretch marks during her first pregnancy.

‘I’m riddled with them. I look like I’m wearing a foot-wide stretch mark belt!’

While she admits to having felt self-conscious about them in new relationships, she wouldn’t consider getting rid of them. ‘No-one has ever mentioned them. If they weren’t there I’m sure I’d find something else to worry about. But I’ve had them so long now they are just part of me and who I am.’

Karl Lintner, a skincare specialist and lanolin expert at Croda, suppliers of ingredients to major beauty brands, remains optimistic that some products can help.

‘Certain cosmetic ingredients with the ability to inhibit proteolytic enzymes and with tissue remodelling peptides may help prevent the appearance of stretch marks, and reduce the visibility of existing stretch marks, especially when those marks are recent.’

Worth persevering with that cream, then!

For stretch marks try these:

 - Stretch marks
Golden Emu Oil. Paula Radcliffe claimed it helped her overcome injuries before her world-breaking run in the 2005 Flora London Marathon. A traditional Aboriginal remedy, it’s said to work on stretch marks: Golden Emu Oil 100ml - £17.95 - www.shopforhealth.co.uk (also available in smaller sizes).
Mama Mio Goodbye Stretch Marks uses radically effective ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce the appearance of stretch marks by over 70%. 100ml - £44 - www.feelunique.com (SALE ALERT - 10% the entire Mama Mio range in Jan - click to buy).

Image: © BRANDX / Jupiterimages

Parenting Editor
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