How To Remove Stretch Marks – 29 Effective Home Remedies

by Ramona Sinha

Stretch marks typically appear as long, narrow stripes or lines. When the skin stretches, the collagen becomes weak and causes the formation of fine lines under the topmost layer. Initially, stretch marks are red or pink. With time, silver, thin lines appear on the surface of the skin, which develops into stretch marks (1).

Stretch marks are permanent, but they can become less apparent with proper care and treatment. You can try a few easy home remedies to fade stretch marks and reduce their appearance. Scroll down to learn more.

Home Remedies For Stretch Marks

Moisturization is key to improve skin elasticity. Studies have found that keeping the skin moisturized using oils and emollients can help prevent stretch marks (2), (3). The remedies discussed below can help keep the skin moisturized, thus preventing and fading stretch marks.

Note: There is no scientific evidence to support the efficacy of any of the remedies for stretch marks. As these remedies are based on anecdotal evidence, not everyone may achieve the same results. Hence, it is best to consult a doctor before opting for any of these methods.

1. Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is traditionally used as a skin moisturizer (4). It may help to keep your skin moisturized and prevent stretch marks.

You Will Need

1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the coconut oil onto the affected area for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Make sure to massage it onto damp skin.
  3. You may leave the oil overnight or wash it off after 1-2 hours.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times every day.

2. Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter has a moisturizing effect on the skin, although one study found that it had no significant impact on reducing stretch marks. Several formulas of ointments for stretch marks containing shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E showed conflicting results. While they proved to be useful in some cases, they did not show any improvement in the others (2).

You Will Need
  • ½ cup of cocoa butter
  • ¼ cup shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
  • 1 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two butters and coconut oil.
  2. Heat them (if needed) for a few seconds to melt them.
  3. Add the vitamin E oil and mix well.
  4. Massage the mixture onto the affected area.
  5. Leave it on overnight or wash it after 1-2 hours.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times every day.

3. Castor Oil

Castor oil contains ricinoleic acid and other ingredients that have a skin-conditioning (emollient) effect (3). This may help improve the appearance of stretch marks.

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of castor oil (cold-pressed)

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the castor oil onto the affected area.
  2. Leave it on overnight and wash off the next day.
How Often You Need To Do This

Every day before going to bed.

4. Shea Butter

Shea butter is a natural emollient (2). Hence, it can keep your skin moisturized. This moisturizing effect may help improve the appearance of stretch marks over time.

You Will Need

½ cup of shea butter

What You Have To Do
  1. Melt the butter (by microwaving it for a few seconds).
  2. Massage it onto the affected area.
  3. Leave it on overnight and wash it off the next day.
How Often You Need To Do This

Every day before going to bed.

5. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera has moisturizing properties and promotes collagen development (4). This property of aloe vera may help to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

You Will Need
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera gel
  • 1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix both the ingredients.
  2. Massage the mixture onto the affected area.
  3. Leave it on for at least an hour.
  4. Wash it off.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times every day.

6. Vick VapoRub

There is no scientific evidence to prove that Vicks VapoRub works for stretch marks. However, beauty bloggers who have tried this remedy claim that it can help fade stretch marks.

You Will Need
  • Vicks VapoRub
  • Cling wrap
What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the area with Vicks VapoRub.
  2. Wrap and cover the area with the cling wrap.
  3. Leave it on overnight and remove the next day.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day until you see results.

7. Apple Cider Vinegar

This remedy has no scientific backing. ACV is a popular home remedy, and anecdotal evidence states that it can help improve a lot of skin issues, including stretch marks.

You Will Need
  • ½ cup diluted apple cider vinegar
  • Spray bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Pour the diluted ACV in a spray bottle.
  2. Spray it on the affected area before going to bed.
  3. Let it dry. Leave it overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Every day before going to bed.

8. Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E and can keep the skin moisturized and soften it. However, studies have found it ineffective in reducing stretch marks (2). But you can use olive oil to keep your skin moisturized and improve skin health.

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Warm the oil in the microwave for a few seconds.
  2. Massage it onto the affected area for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Every day before going to bed.

9. Vitamin E

Vitamin E helps to stabilize the skin barrier and has an anti-inflammatory effect. It also helps to keep the skin soft (2).

You Will Need

4-5 vitamin E capsules

What You Have To Do
  1. Squeeze the liquid from the vitamin E capsules.
  2. Massage it onto the affected area. Do not wash off.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

10. Lemon Juice

There is no scientific proof supporting the efficacy of lemon juice for stretch marks. Anecdotal evidence claims that it may help fade scars as it appears to have a bleaching effect on them. You may try this remedy if you don’t have sensitive skin.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of water (to dilute it)
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the lemon juice.
  2. Apply it to the affected area and leave it to dry.
  3. Wash it off after 15 minutes and apply a moisturizer.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times a day.

11. Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is used as an astringent and is a traditional remedy to soothe the skin. It is also touted to reduce the prominence of post-pregnancy stretch marks. However, there is no research to support this statement.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of witch hazel
  • ½ cup distilled water
  • Spray bottle
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the witch hazel with distilled water.
  2. Pour it into a spray bottle.
  3. Spray it on the affected area and let it dry.
  4. Wash it off after 15 minutes and moisturize the area.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times a day.

12. Vaseline

Petroleum jelly is occlusive. This means that it prevents moisture loss when applied to the skin (5). This can help in maintaining the hydration levels of your skin.

You Will Need

Vaseline petroleum jelly

What You Have To Do
  1. Take a dollop of the petroleum jelly (depending on the area you are applying it to).
  2. Massage it onto the affected area and leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

13. Coffee Scrub

The granular texture of coffee grounds has an exfoliating effect on the skin. It is believed that exfoliation may make the skin smooth and fade scars. However, there is no scientific proof that scrubbing might help treat stretch marks.

You Will Need
  • 1-2 tablespoons of coffee grounds
  • 1-2 teaspoons of shea butter
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the coffee grounds and shea butter well.
  2. Massage the scrub gently on the affected area for 5 minutes.
  3. Wash it off with warm water and apply a moisturizer.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once daily.

14. Baking Soda

It is not recommended to use baking soda on the skin as it is abrasive and can damage the skin. Baking soda is a popular home remedy and is mostly used for its exfoliating effects. It is believed to fade the stretch marks by exfoliating the dead skin cells on the surface.

You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Cling wrap
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the baking soda and lemon juice.
  2. Apply the mixture to the stretch marks.
  3. Wrap the area with the cling wrap and wait for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Remove the wrap and wash it off.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times a week.

Note: If you develop skin irritation, stop using this remedy, and consult a dermatologist.

15. Baby Oil

Baby oil is nothing but mineral oil. A study states that mineral oil helps improve skin softness by reducing water loss (6).

You Will Need

Any baby oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the baby oil on the stretch marks.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Every day before going to bed.

16. Breast Milk

Anecdotal evidence suggests that women who tried applying breast milk on their stretch marks during the postnatal period found it to be effective in fading them.

You Will Need

2-3 tablespoons of breast milk

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage/rub the breast milk on your stretch marks.
  2. Let it dry. Leave it on.
How Often You Need To Do This

1-2 times daily.

17. Almond Oil

Almond oil contains vitamins D and E. It helps to maintain the elasticity of the skin by keeping it moisturized (2).

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of almond oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the almond oil onto the affected area.
  2. Allow it to get absorbed.
  3. Leave it overnight and wash the area the next day.
How Often You Need To Do This

1-2 times every day.

18. Sugar Scrub

There is no proof that scrubbing the stretch marks can help fade your scars. However, since scrubbing is a way of exfoliating and stimulating the skin to shed dead cells and promote the development of new ones, you may try it out.

You Will Need
  • 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar
  • 1-2 teaspoons of almond or coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the two ingredients.
  2. Massage the mixture on the area for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for another 15 minutes and let your skin absorb the oil.
  4. Wash it off with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once daily.

19. Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil is beneficial for wound healing and improving skin infection (7). However, there is no research to determine whether it can reduce stretch marks or not.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 drops of tea tree oil
  • 1-2 tablespoon of any carrier oil (use almond, coconut or olive)
What You Have To Do
  1. Dilute the tea tree oil with the carrier oil
  2. Massage the mixture on your stretch marks.
  3. Leave it overnight

Note: Use tea tree oil only if you are not allergic to it. Do a patch test to determine if it suits your skin.

How Often You Need To Do This

Once daily.

20. Argan Oil

Applying argan oil improves skin elasticity and hydration levels (8). This helps to keep your skin healthy and may fade stretch marks gradually.

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of cold-pressed argan oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the oil onto the stretch marks.
  2. Leave it overnight
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

21. Turmeric

Turmeric has therapeutic effects, whether it is taken orally or applied topically (9). However, there is no scientific evidence that it helps fade stretch marks. You may use it with any emollient for added skin benefits.

You Will Need
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1-2 tablespoon of coconut oil
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix the turmeric powder in coconut oil.
  2. Massage it onto your stretch marks (be careful as it might stain your clothes).
  3. Let it stay for at least half an hour.
  4. Wash off with water.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

22. Jojoba Oil

Jojoba oil is not an oil but a wax ester. It keeps the skin soft by moisturizing it (10). You may try using it to keep your scars moisturized and fade them naturally.

You Will Need

1 tablespoon of jojoba oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the oil onto the affected area for 5-10 minutes.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

23. Rose Hip Seed Oil

Applying rose hip seed oil protects your skin from inflammation and reduces oxidative stress (11). These properties may help keep your skin healthy and fade stretch marks.

You Will Need

Rose hip seed oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage rose hip seed oil onto the affected area for 5 minutes.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once daily.

24. Cucumber and Lemon Juice

Cucumber juice has a cooling effect when applied to the skin. Lemon is said to have a bleaching effect, which is why it is used in traditional remedies to brighten the skin.

You Will Need
  • Juice of half a cucumber
  • A tablespoon of diluted lemon juice
What You Have To Do
  1. Mix both the juices.
  2. Apply it on the affected area.
  3. Leave it to dry or for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Wash it off.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

25. Apricot Oil

Apricot oil is rich in vitamin E and fatty acids (12). It helps to keep the skin moisturized and soft. This may eventually help in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.

You Will Need

1-2 tablespoons of apricot oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the oil onto the stretch marks for 5 minutes.
  2. Leave it on overnight.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

26. Emu Oil

Emu oil has moisturizing properties (13). It can also penetrate the stratum corneum (topmost layer of the skin) easily. Rat studies show that emu oil can reduce inflammation and promote collagen synthesis (14). Hence, it may help moisturize your skin and minimize the appearance of stretch marks. As it may cause skin irritation, do a patch test.

You Will Need

½ teaspoon of refined emu oil

What You Have To Do
  1. Massage the oil onto the stretch marks.
  2. Leave it on overnight or wash it off after keeping it on for at least half an hour.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once every day.

27. Aspirin

This is another popular remedy that has no scientific proof. Anecdotal evidence claims that aspirin can fade stubborn stretch marks.

You Will Need
  • 2-3 aspirin tablets (no softgels)
  • 1 tablespoon of warm water
What You Have To Do
  1. Crush the aspirin tablets.
  2. Make a paste of powdered aspirin and water.
  3. Apply it to the affected area.
  4. Leave it to dry and wash off.
  5. Follow up with a moisturizer.
How Often You Need To Do This

Once daily.

28. Egg White

Egg white is another popular home remedy that lacks scientific backing. It is thought to make the stretch marks less noticeable with time.

You Will Need

The whites of two eggs

What You Have To Do
  1. Whip the egg white to give it a foam-like consistency.
  2. Massage it onto the affected area.
  3. Let it dry completely and then wash it off.
  4. Follow up with a moisturizer.
How Often You Need To Do This

2 times a day.

29. Potato Juice

Potato juice is widely used in home remedies and DIY masks to lighten the skin tone. Hence, it may help lighten the stretch marks and reduce their appearance.

You Will Need

1 potato

What You Have To Do
  1. Grate the potato and extract the juice.
  2. Apply the juice on the stretch marks. Let it dry.
  3. Wash it off and pat dry with a towel.
  4. Apply a moisturizer.
How Often You Need To Do This

1-2 times every day.

If you want to try other treatment options, you can consult a dermatologist. The dermatologist may suggest options, such as:

  • Microdermabrasion (15)
  • Microneedling (16)
  • Laser Therapy (17)
  • Tretinoin and other topical creams (18)
  • Chemical peeling

You get stretch marks when your skin is overstretched. Several risk factors may overstretch your skin.

Who Are At Risk Of Developing Stretch Marks?

Factors that make you vulnerable to stretch marks are:

  • Pregnancy: When you are pregnant, and as the fetus develops, the skin stretches to make space for the baby.
  • Rapid weight loss or gain: When you lose or gain weight quickly, you may develop stretch marks.
  • Bodybuilding: When you are trying to build your muscles, they expand, which may stretch the skin and cause stretch marks.
  • Corticosteroids: Using corticosteroids can affect the elasticity of the skin and cause stretch marks.
  • Breast Augmentation: This type of surgery expands your breasts and stretches the skin.
  • Adrenal Gland Disorders: If you have adrenal gland disorders, such as Cushing’s Syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, and Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, you may develop stretch marks.

The best way to deal with stretch marks is to start treating them at the earliest. Also, keeping your skin moisturized is a critical factor in reducing the appearance of these marks. Do not shy away from consulting a doctor in case your stretch marks are severe.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it possible to get rid of stretch marks completely?

No. While their appearance may improve with the right treatment, they will not go away completely.

18 sources

Stylecraze has strict sourcing guidelines and relies on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references. You can learn more about how we ensure our content is accurate and current by reading our editorial policy.

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona is a journalist-turned-content writer. She holds a Master’s degree in English Literature and has been writing for the digital world for over five years. She specializes in writing for Skin Care. She has done a certificate course titled ‘Dermatology: Trip To The Skin’, offered by Novosibirsk State University. She believes that beauty begins with a good skin care regimen and is on a mission to eliminate all toxins from her routine. She helps and guides readers in selecting products and ingredients specific to their skin type/issue. When Ramona is not working, her books and passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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