Stretch marks are normal. You should never feel the pressure to hide them or get rid of them. However, if you wish to improve their appearance, you can try using topical creams. Mederma is a brand known for its anti-stretch marks products.
The Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy cream is touted to be an effective anti-stretch mark cream. Though research is lacking to prove the efficacy of this cream, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can work. In this article, we will discuss how Mederma works to improve your stretch marks. Scroll down.
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Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy: Does This Cream Work?
Yes, as per anecdotal evidence, Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy cream works. However, no studies support the claims made by the brand about the efficacy of its product.
However, moisturization and occlusion therapy can help improve the appearance of your stretch marks (by reducing TEWL or Transepidermal Water Loss) (1). The Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy cream claims to lock in moisture, keep the skin hydrated, and improve the appearance of your stretch marks.
Though there is no evidence supporting the potency of Mederma, it may work because of the ingredients.
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy ingredients include:
Cepalin is a bioflavonoid extracted from onions. A study claims that commercially available onion extracts can improve the appearance of surgical scars as they contain several bioflavonoids, including cepalin (2).
Stretch marks are anatomically similar to scars (1). Hence, cepalin may also work for stretch marks.
2. Hyaluronic Acid
There are limited studies supporting the role of hyaluronic acid (HA) in improving stretch marks. However, this key ingredient may help improve early stretch marks by keeping your skin hydrated. HA helps the skin retain water or moisture (3). As we are aware, hydrating and moisturization are key to improving stretch marks. Hence, HA may help in this regard (4).
3. Centella Asiatica
Centella Asiatica (or Gotu Kola) is widely used in K-beauty skin care products for its immense skin benefits. It helps improve collagen and elastin production, which may help improve the appearance of stretch marks.
A study states that Centella Asiatica shows promising results in improving stretch marks (4). However, the study is not conclusive, and more research is needed in this regard.
The cream also contains dimethicone, which has both occlusive and emollient properties (5).
These ingredients make Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy an effective way to reduce the stretch marks. However, you have other popular options to choose from, like Bio-Oil.
Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy Vs. Bio-Oil
Bio-Oil is yet another product meant for dry skin, scars, and stretch marks. The company claims that 100% of the participants in their user trials experienced an improvement in just eight weeks. There is no study supporting the claims made by the brand. However, the ingredients of the oil may work in its favor.
The key ingredients of Bio-Oil are:
- Botanical oils (Calendula, lavender, rosemary, and chamomile oils)
- Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin A)
- Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E)
Retinyl palmitate is an ester of retinol and a type of vitamin A that naturally occurs in our epidermis. It mainly protects the skin from UV and sun damage (6) (which is crucial for fading stretch marks).
Topical vitamin E is an excellent antioxidant that keeps your skin healthy. It is also a free radical scavenger (7).
Apart from these key ingredients, Bio-Oil contains an oil-base, and together, all these ingredients might contribute to its stretch mark reducing effects.
Here are the key differences between the two products:
|Purpose||A cream specifically designed for stretch marks.||Multipurpose oil for dry skin and stretch marks.|
|Effectiveness||Contains ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce stretch marks (like onion extracts).||Contains a blend of plant oils and vitamins that focus more on improving skin health.|
|Other Ingredients||Contains dimethicone.||Contains mineral oil, synthetic fragrance, and dye.|
Bio-Oil is lightweight and gets absorbed in the skin quickly without any greasy feeling. On the other hand, Mederma Stretch Marks Therapy is a cream that may take time to get absorbed.
Both are extremely popular products, and a lot of users swear by them. It all depends on your personal preferences and, of course, the needs of your skin. But before picking any of these, make sure that your skin can tolerate the ingredients and is not allergic to any of them.
How Long Does It Take For Mederma To Work On Stretch Marks?
Results take time, be it Mederma on any other topical ointment you are using.
You have to be extremely patient and use the cream for at least a couple of months before you see any results. However, the company promises results within 12 weeks, and they even refund the money in case you see no result after a particular period.
Are There Any Side Effects of Using Mederma For Stretch Marks?
It depends on what your skin can tolerate and if it is allergic to any ingredient. During pregnancy, your skin (along with your body) undergoes changes, and it may become intolerant to specific ingredients.
The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction are:
- Stinging sensation
- Burning sensation
If you experience any of the above reactions, stop using the product and consult a doctor immediately.
In the end, it’s all about how you are taking care of your skin and helping it recover. Recovery also depends on your skin type and how old the scars are. If the stretch marks are fresh, you may see faster recovery. However, if the stretch marks are old, recovery may take a long time, and you cannot expect the cream to smooth them completely.
Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions
Q: Does Mederma Stretch Mark Cream work on old stretch marks?
A: You may expect some results, but it may take longer than expected (maybe 2-3 months).
Q: Is Mederma good for stretch marks during pregnancy?
A: Yes, it can be used during pregnancy.
Q: Are stretch marks and scars the same?
A: Stretch marks are a type of scar that your skin develops when it is overstretched.
Q: When should I start using Mederma?
A: During pregnancy, stretch marks often develop during the second trimester when the baby starts growing. Hence, it is better to start applying the cream after the first trimester. Do this when your scars are fresh and red/purple/pink.
Q: Can I use Mederma twice a day?
A: No, the company suggests to use it once daily.
- Rawlings, A V et al. “A review of the effects of moisturizers on the appearance of scars and striae.” International journal of cosmetic science vol. 34,6 (2012): 519-24. doi:10.1111/j.1468-2494.2012.00751.x
- Draelos, Zoe D et al. “A new proprietary onion extract gel improves the appearance of new scars: a randomized, controlled, blinded-investigator study.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 5,6 (2012): 18-24.
- Hyaluronic acid: A key molecule in skin aging. Dermato-endocrinology, US National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health,
- Farahnik, B., et al. “Striae Gravidarum: Risk Factors, Prevention, and Management.” International Journal of Women’s Dermatology, Elsevier, 6 Dec. 2016.
- Chularojanamontri, Leena et al. “Moisturizers for Acne: What are their Constituents?.” The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology vol. 7,5 (2014): 36-44.
- Oliveira, Marcela B et al. “Topical application of retinyl palmitate-loaded nanotechnology-based drug delivery systems for the treatment of skin aging.” BioMed research international vol. 2014 (2014): 632570. doi:10.1155/2014/632570.
- VKeen, Mohammad Abid, and Iffat Hassan. “Vitamin E in dermatology.” Indian dermatology online journal vol. 7,4 (2016): 311-5. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494.