Stretch marks and scars

Scars and stretchmarks are annoying, but luckily you don't have to put up with them. Left on their own, they will eventually fade to a silvery white colour. You can try speeding up this process with a wide range of easily purchasable products, or if you're really desperate you could have laser removal. Do be aware that any method will not have instant results, so you will have to stick with it for a while.

Vitamin E

Many products contain Vitamin E. You probably already have some at home, so why not try that? You could also buy Vitamin E capsules, cut them open, and rub the contents on your scar/stretch marks. This can be a bit messy as the capsules are normally intended for swallowing.

You could also try eating a lot of eggs or leafy green vegetables, as they are both rich in vitamin E. The government advice is that you eat 4mg a day for men, or 3mg a day for women.

Palmers Cocoa Butter

Palmers Cocoa Butter is one of the best creams that is meant to help with stretch marks and scars as well as just dry skin. Personally, it is a nice cream, and I find it does help a bit with smaller scars etc, but I don't know as it would help much with bigger scars. I often use it on my legs just as a normal moisturiser as it helps reduce some of the little scars I have from cuts/nicks when shaving as well.

Aloe Vera

As long as it has Aloe Vera in, it doesn't really matter what type or brand you get since it will do the job. My parents have got an aloe vera plant, so we break open the leaves and use the gel from the middle of them - there is a surprising amount of gel in them! It’s probably easier to just buy a tube of the gel unless you want to have a plant to look after. Again, this is quite good for little scars, I know a lot of people who use it on small burns from the kitchen etc. I also quite like it for sun burn - the gel is quite cooling, but it might not help much with bigger scars.

Bio Oil

Bio-Oil is a specialist skincare product that helps improve the appearance of scars, stretch marks and uneven skin tone. Bio-Oil keeps the skin as elastic as possible, thereby helping to prevent stretch marks from developing during periods of rapid change in body size such as pregnancy, adolescence and weight loss.

This is widely available from chemists, and may even be stocked by some supermarkets. It normally costs £8.95 per bottle (60ml), but larger bottles can be found and usually cost around £20. However, websites and pharmacy staff usually advise that you use bio oil for a minimum of 3 - 6 months before you'll see any changes, so you may be required to buy several bottles over a 3 month period.

User experiences

I bought some bio-oil, and I can't tell you how amazing it is.

I actually noticed results after 2 weeks. I've been using it for about a month now, and some of my stretch marks have faded amazingly. Others are still quite prominent, though.

Most people say they expect results in about 2 months or so, so if you buy it and don't find that it's working straight away, don't worry about it.

Also, buy it on ebay - much cheaper. I bought the small one for £6, and hardly any of it has gone and I've been using it everyday.

I found that the cocoa butter really didn't work for me.

I have also used bio oil, for some fairly prominent raised scars around my torso, from shingles. I found it was really helpful, and whilst the scars did not fade completely, they are much less obvious. They are still raised, but have returned to an almost normal skin colour. When I bought it, several years ago, I paid about £20 per small bottle, and used two full bottles, although this was probably more than was necessary to see results. The results were noticeable on the most obvious scars within a couple of weeks, but took several months on the more faded scars. I'd really recommend it for shingles scars. . . . . . I've heard how good Bio-Oil is from loads of people, my sister's been through bottles and bottles of the stuff...and although I haven't got any scars or stretch marks I have really dry skin on my face, now my skin is so smooth and looks completely flawless! Anyway, I managed to get hold of the bigger bottle for £10, which is pretty cheap chemist direct.

Elastoplast Scar Reduction Plasters

I have tried these, and really work! They're transparent plasters that promise "visible results in 8 weeks". You need to wear them for at least 12 hours a day, but the longer you wear them the faster the results. They are usually sold in a box including 21 patches

Silicon gel sheets

These work on a similar principle to the Scar Reduction Plasters.

Cica care

Cica Care is one of the best in the market. It can be very expensive if you buy it privately, and costs around £30-40 per strip, but is available on prescription so talk to your doctor. This will work on scars up to 20 years old, and you'll get results in 2-4 months.


Dermatix is another brand. You can buy it online, from Boots, or again it is available on prescription. It costs about £30 for a 15g tube, and you need to use it twice a day.