Is Olive Oil Good For Stretch Marks? How To Use It

by Ramona Sinha

Olive oil is a superfood and works great for your health when consumed. But is it equally beneficial for topical use, especially for stretch marks?

A majority of the studies are not in favour of olive oil for stretch marks. However, it does not mean that it has no positive effects on your skin. It is among the most popular ingredients used in DIY remedies.

In this article, we have discussed the positive and not-so-positive aspects of olive oil for stretch marks and the skin. We have also shared some DIY olive oil remedies for stretch marks. Read on.

Can Olive Oil Help Treat Stretch Marks?

No. As per studies, olive oil does not have any impact on stretch marks.

  • A study found that applying olive oil could not prevent the development of stretch marks in primigravidae (women who were pregnant for the first time) (1).
  • In another study performed on subjects in their second trimester of pregnancy, the intervention group massaged olive oil on abdominal skin twice a day, while the control group did not use any oil.

Around 40% of the subjects in the intervention group and 50% of the subjects in the control group developed stretch marks. The researchers concluded that olive oil was not effective in reducing the occurrence of stretch marks by the end of the second trimester (2).

  • Another study evaluating the effect of olive oil came to a similar conclusion. The randomized controlled clinical trial involved 100 nulliparous pregnant women (women who gave birth to a stillborn baby or didn’t give birth yet). Fifty women in the treatment group applied 1 cc olive oil twice a day on the abdominal skin until delivery. The control group did not apply anything at all.

The study found that the frequency of severe stretch marks was lower in the group that used olive oil, but there was no statistical difference in the results of both the treatment and control groups. Olive oil increased the development of mild stretch marks. The study concluded that olive oil could not prevent stretch marks (3).

However, one non-experimental study found a link between olive oil and lower incidence of stretch marks (4).

Most studies found olive oil not suitable for the skin for the following reasons:

  • It affects the skin barrier and causes erythema (redness due to inflammation) (6).
  • It affects increases the rate of transepidermal water loss (TEWL), which means that your skin loses moisture fast. This affects the natural skin barrier (7).

On the other hand, olive oil was also found to have wound healing, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant effects when applied topically. However, the study was done on mice, and olive oil may not have the same effect on human skin (8).

If you want to go ahead and use olive oil for stretch marks, use it along with other skin-protecting and nourishing ingredients. Here are a few DIY remedies that you may try.

How To Use Olive Oil For Stretch Marks

Note: When using olive oil, make sure you are using cold-pressed or extra virgin olive oil.

1. Olive Oil And Shea Butter

Shea butter is widely used in skin care and cosmetics products, especially moisturizers. Any cream containing shea butter has the same effect on the skin as ceramide-containing products (9).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of raw shea butter
  • 1 teaspoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Mix shea butter and olive oil.
  2. Massage the stretch marks with the mixture.
  3. Leave it on overnight.
  4. Repeat every day.

2. Olive Oil And Coffee Grounds

There is no proof that scrubbing can reduce stretch marks. However, using coffee grounds for scrubbing may help get rid of dead skin cells and keep the area soft.

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of coffee grounds
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Mix the coffee grounds and olive oil.
  2. Scrub the stretch marks with the mixture for 5 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for another 5 minutes.
  4. Wash off and apply a moisturizer.
  5. You can use this as a body scrub.
  6. Repeat thrice a week.

3. Olive Oil And Coconut Oil

Coconut oil prevents TEWL or transepidermal water loss to keep your skin moisturized. It also protects the skin from sun damage or UV damage (10).

You Will Need

  • 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Microwave the coconut oil for a few seconds (optional).
  2. Mix the two oils.
  3. Massage the oil blend onto the stretch marks.
  4. Leave it on overnight.
  5. Repeat every day.

4. Olive Oil And Turmeric

Turmeric may not have any direct effect on stretch marks, but it has a therapeutic impact on your skin and can keep it healthy (11).

You Will Need

  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Mix the turmeric and olive oil.
  2. Massage it onto your stretch marks.
  3. Leave it on for at least half an hour.
  4. Wash it off and apply a moisturizer.
  5. Repeat every day.

5. Olive Oil And Aloe Vera

Aloe vera contains mucopolysaccharides that help bind moisture to your skin. It also promotes the development of collagen and elastin fibres (12). This may help improve your stretch marks.

You Will Need

  • 1-2 tablespoons of fresh aloe vera pulp
  • ½ teaspoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Whisk the aloe vera pulp and olive oil in a bowl.
  2. Massage the mixture onto your stretch marks.
  3. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes.
  4. Wash it off and apply a moisturizer.
  5. Repeat every day.

6. Olive Oil And Brown Sugar

The coarse sugar scrub is a natural way of sloughing off the dead skin cells and dirt from the skin. This helps to keep your skin soft and smooth.

You Will Need

  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Mix the sugar and oil.
  2. Scrub your stretch marks with the mixture for 5 minutes.
  3. Wash it off and apply a moisturizer.
  4. Repeat once every two days.

7. Olive Oil And Bitter Almond Oil

A study found that massaging the stretch marks for 15 minutes with bitter almond oil during pregnancy reduced the development of stretch marks (13).

You Will Need

  • 2-3 drops of bitter almond oil
  • A tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil

Method

  1. Mix the two oils.
  2. Massage your stretch marks with the oil mixture for 15 minutes.
  3. Leave it on for some time and wash it off.
  4. Repeat every day.

These are a few ways to use olive oil for treating stretch marks. However, you need to be careful while using it.

Precautions While Using Olive Oil For Stretch Marks

Olive oil may not be the right choice for topical application as it may:

  • Cause skin dryness
  • Aggravate atopic dermatitis
  • Affect the skin’s natural barrier
  • Cause redness

If you have any skin condition, such as atopic dermatitis or eczema, it is better to avoid olive oil. Also, if you have sensitive skin, avoid olive oil. There is a possibility that you might be allergic to olive oil. Hence, do a patch test before using it.

If you are keen on using olive oil, always opt for good quality, cold-pressed olive oil. Also, make sure that you are storing it in a glass bottle, away from direct sunlight and moisture. Otherwise, it may turn rancid. In case of any adverse effects, contact your doctor immediately.

Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions

Q: What kind of olive oil is best for stretch marks?

A: Olive oil may not fade stretch marks. However, if you want to try it out, use cold-pressed or extra virgin olive oil.

Q: Does olive oil fade stretch marks?

A: No. Studies state that it may not be suitable for your skin and can cause dryness and moisture loss.

13 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.
  • Brennan, Miriam, Mike Clarke, and Declan Devane. “The use of anti stretch marks’ products by women in pregnancy: a descriptive, cross-sectional survey.” BMC pregnancy and childbirth 16.1 (2016): 276.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5031338/
  • Taavoni, Simin, et al. “Effects of olive oil on striae gravidarum in the second trimester of pregnancy.” Complementary therapies in clinical practice 17.3 (2011): 167-169.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21742284
  • Soltanipoor F, Delaram M, Taavoni S, Haghani H. The effect of olive oil on prevention of striae gravidarum: a randomized controlled clinical trial. Complement Ther Med. 2012;20(5):263–266.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22863639
  • Davey, C. M. H. “Factors associated with the occurrence of striae gravidarum.” BJOG: An International Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology 79.12 (1972): 1113-1114.
    https://obgyn.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1471-0528.1972.tb11896.x
  • Karagounis, Theodora K., et al. “Use of “natural” oils for moisturization: Review of olive, coconut, and sunflower seed oil.” Pediatric dermatology 36.1 (2019): 9-15.
    https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/pde.13621
  • Danby, Simon G., et al. “Effect of olive and sunflower seed oil on the adult skin barrier: implications for neonatal skin care.” Pediatric dermatology 30.1 (2013): 42-50.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22995032
  • Darmstadt, Gary L., et al. “Impact of topical oils on the skin barrier: possible implications for neonatal health in developing countries.” Acta Paediatrica 91.5 (2002): 546-554.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12113324
  • Donato-Trancoso, Aline, Andréa Monte-Alto-Costa, and Bruna Romana-Souza. “Olive oil-induced reduction of oxidative damage and inflammation promotes wound healing of pressure ulcers in mice.” Journal of dermatological science 83.1 (2016): 60-69.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27091748
  • Hon, K. L., et al. “Patient acceptability, efficacy, and skin biophysiology of a cream and cleanser containing lipid complex with shea butter extract versus a ceramide product for eczema.” Hong Kong Med J 21.5 (2015): 417-25.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26314567
  • Evangelista, Mara Therese Padilla, Flordeliz Abad‐Casintahan, and Lillian Lopez‐Villafuerte. “The effect of topical virgin coconut oil on SCORAD index, transepidermal water loss, and skin capacitance in mild to moderate pediatric atopic dermatitis: a randomized, double‐blind, clinical trial.” International journal of dermatology 53.1 (2014): 100-108.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24320105
  • Vaughn, Alexandra R., Amy Branum, and Raja K. Sivamani. “Effects of turmeric (Curcuma longa) on skin health: a systematic review of the clinical evidence.” Phytotherapy Research 30.8 (2016): 1243-1264.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27213821
  • Surjushe, Amar, Resham Vasani, and D. G. Saple. “Aloe vera: a short review.” Indian journal of dermatology 53.4 (2008): 163.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2763764/
  • Timur Taşhan, Sermin, and Ayşe Kafkasli. “The effect of bitter almond oil and massaging on striae gravidarum in primiparaous women.” Journal of clinical nursing 21.11‐12 (2012): 1570-1576.
    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22594386

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Ramona Sinha

Ramona has a Master's degree in English Literature. 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 readers select products and ingredients specific to their skin type and gives out tips to keep their skin healthy in a natural way. When Ramona is not working or experimenting with a new skin care product or ingredient, her books and a passion for music, good food, and traveling keep her busy.
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