DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve

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stretch mark salve recipe
Wellness Mama » Blog » Beauty » DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve

Oh, stretch marks… I got stretch marks with my first pregnancy and have since gotten rid of them, even through five more pregnancies. Better yet, I haven’t gotten any new ones! I think it’s largely due to a healthy diet and lifestyle, but today I’m also sharing my stretch mark salve moisturizer I make.

Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade a second of motherhood for better abs, but just because I earned my mama stripes doesn’t mean I want to keep them!

Aside from pregnancy, this salve is great for nourishing skin during weight gain or weight loss for any reason.

Stretch Mark Salve: Why Do We Need It?

While it’s often blamed on genetics (and there’s some truth to this), other things contribute to stretch marks. When skin grows and stretches rapidly, like during puberty, severe weight gain, or pregnancy, stretch marks are often the result.

According to Mayo Clinic, higher levels of cortisol also have a negative impact on our skin tone and weakens elastin fibers in the skin. (Here’s how I got my cortisol back under control.)

Can You Actually Remove Stretch Marks?

While there isn’t a DIY stretch mark cream that will magically erase them, it can help fade stretch marks. Over the years I’ve found several key things that worked for me to fade my “tiger stripes”.

  • Consume lots of grass-fed collagen and gelatin to help skin repair, rebuild, and maintain elasticity. Homemade bone broth, gelatin and collagen powder are all good sources
  • I’ve noticed a big difference in skin firmness since using red light therapy! Even my C-section scar is fading the more I use it.
  • Get your daily dose, of vitamins that is. Healthy fats for fat-soluble vitamins, along with vitamin C and sun exposure for vitamin D help skin repair from stretch marks. Read more about my approach to a skin-healthy diet for pregnancy here.

Ingredients for the Best Stretch Mark Cream

There are a few key ingredients that have a proven track record when it comes to fading scars and stretch marks. A good stretch mark salve also helps keep skin supple as it stretches during pregnancy to accommodate baby. Here’s a breakdown of why I chose each ingredient and what it does to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks.

Coconut Oil

Oh let me count the ways… Coconut oil gets a lot of use around our house, from toothpaste to hair treatments, to skincare. It’s also helpful in this stretch mark removal cream. Coconut oil can also help prevent stretch marks by helping skin grow without tearing.

Don’t have any virgin coconut oil on hand? You can substitute equal parts shea butter and liquid carrier oil (like sweet almond or olive oil).

Apricot Kernel Oil

This isn’t an oil I use as often as coconut oil, but I really like it in this DIY stretch mark salve recipe. Apricot kernel oil is high in the antioxidant vitamin E and supports the skin’s protective barrier. It’s really high in linoleic acid to nourish skin and is a light, faster absorbing oil.

If you don’t have any apricot kernel oil on hand, then sweet almond oil or grapeseed can also be used.

Shea and Cocoa Butter

Long term use of shea butter helps soften and strengthen skin. It’s been used for many years medicinally, including in wound care. My favorite part about shea is how it provides skin with what it needs to produce collagen for supple, strong skin.

Cocoa butter is harder than shea butter but has a lot of the same benefits. This butter helps prevent moisture loss from skin and is traditionally used to both prevent and get rid of stretch marks. It’s very moisturizing and nourishing for dry skin.

Both shea butter and cocoa butter have unique properties and can’t totally replace each other. That said if you only have one or the other you can still make this recipe. If replacing the cocoa butter with shea butter though use a little less since it’s harder.

If you’re using just shea butter, then a little beeswax will help firm up the homemade stretch mark cream.

Rosehip Seed Oil

While some may say it’s better than botox for wrinkles, rosehip seed oil is also great for stretch marks. Rosehip seed oil is really high in vitamin A, C, and E to promote healthy collagen and skin cell formation. Because it’s slightly drying, it helps balance out the heavier feel of the butters and coconut oil in this stretch mark salve.

Calendula and Ginger

Yes, it’s totally possible to just use oil and butters, but why not infuse them with the benefits of herbs? Calendula is great for all things skin-related and helps stimulate collagen production.

Ginger is known to increase circulation and decrease inflammation to help improve skin tone. It also helps prevent collagen breakdown to keep skin firm. A 2013 article in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Industry reports that ginger helps with skin repair.

Essential Oils for Stretch Marks

Essential oils during pregnancy are controversial, to put it nicely. Thankfully we do have some safe options when it comes to skincare. According to experts, essential oils should be limited during the first trimester and certain ones should be avoided altogether.

We can use up to a 4% dilution for smaller areas of the body during pregnancy. For balance, this stretch mark salve uses a 2% dilution, though you could go a little stronger if preferred. The following essential oils can safely be used in the second and third trimesters to help reduce and fade stretch marks:

Homemade Stretch Mark Cream

This salve is designed to keep skin supple to accommodate a growing belly and soothe any pregnancy-related skin irritation. It’s super simple to make so I can even manage to remember the recipe when I have placenta brain. It can be whipped to make a lotion consistency that’s basically a body butter.

stretch mark salve recipe
4.28 from 11 votes

Homemade Stretch Mark Salve Recipe

Rich and luxurious, yet not too heavy, this stretch mark cream helps fade and prevent marks.
Prep Time5 minutes
Active Time10 minutes
herb infusion30 minutes
Total Time45 minutes
Yield: 7.5 ounces
Author: Katie Wells



  • Add the coconut oil, calendula, and ginger to the top of a double boiler. Heat water underneath to a boil, then simmer for 30 minutes. Strain the herbs. Skip this step if you aren’t using the herbs.
  • Add the cocoa butter and shea butter to the top of the double boiler. Heat just until melted, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove from heat and add the rest of the ingredients.
  • Pour into a metal tin or glass jar and put in the fridge to cool. This fast cool time helps prevent the shea butter from going grainy and beading up.


For a whipped version pour the mixture into a mixing bowl and put in the freezer for about 20 minutes or until firm, but not frozen. Whip with the whisk attachment on your mixer and store in a glass jar.

Shelf life and storage: This should be stored in a cool, dark place away from direct heat and light. The salve should last about a year if stored properly, if not longer.

Ever tried a salve for stretch marks? What have you done that’s helped get rid of them? Share below!

This natural salve uses shea butter and coconut oil with added herbs and carrier oils to create a soothing and moisturizing lotion to remove stretch marks.

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


157 responses to “DIY Pregnancy Stretch Mark Salve”

  1. angela Avatar

    very nice this cream just a little note when you make an oily macerate it would be better not to put it back on the fire loses its oil calendula I do it with fresh flowers and olive oil by putting it in the sun for 40 days is your method hot and that’s okay .. but then my advice is not to heat it more.

  2. Sabrina Avatar

    Hey thank you so much for this recipe i just wanted to say you might want to try out honey for stretch marks and for highlighting your hair honey has a natural bleaching quality

  3. Toni Avatar

    I am in the medical field and have always been told that stretch marks are hereditary. My mother and sister both have stretch marks, but I wasn’t going down without a fight, so the doctor I work for recommended the Lady Soma Stretch Mark Cream, I ordered it online. I used it throughout my entire pregnancy…EVERY morning and EVERY night. I started using it at about 8 weeks pregnant. I am so happy that I did not get 1 stretch mark!!!!

    I was so surprised considering that my mother and sister both have them. For those who are wondering, I carried my baby for 37 4/7 weeks with not one stretchie!

    1. Annie Avatar

      Please Toni. What’s the cream that your doctor recommended for you and how can I buy it am in Nigeria. Thanks

  4. Bart Avatar

    I really want to try this so I biought Shae butter and coconut oil.
    In these comments everybody is saying that their mixture remains solid, but both the butter as the oil I bought are in solid state at room temperature. It twill be very difficult to smear this on the body.
    Have I bought the wrong supplies?

  5. Bart Avatar

    Thank you for the great recipe. My wife will love this after just giving birth.
    Can you please tell me how much 1/4 cup butter and cream is in grams or ml?
    I tried a converter on the interrnet, but don’t know wether to use loquids, or butter etc.
    And how important is the calendula? It’s the only product I dont have in my home, and since it is optional…

    Thank you!

  6. santa conradie Avatar
    santa conradie

    Hi I am an old lady from South Africa.. Had four children and no stretch marks.. Grandma`s recipe.. Heat Olive oil in Jug boiling water until it is really warm rub it into
    your skin from your back hips all over your stomach and boobes. from the first day of pregnancy.

  7. chels Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama. I am 24 never had a kid but the last 3 years I have gained 70 pounds and have millions of stretch marks that have kept me hiding my body. I would love to go to the beach and not try to hide or even wear a dress again. I want to try your recipe but I am just a little confused about what you had said. in your first sentence you said you got stretch marks with your first and since gotten rid of them. but then you say later that … I’m proud of my stretch marks and wouldn’t trade a second of motherhood for perfect abs…. did they really go away… I’ve tried everything hoping for a miracle

    1. Kristine Charbonneau Avatar
      Kristine Charbonneau

      I noticed the same thing….you said the stretch marks went away and then you said you’re proud of them. Very confused. Can you reply to this, please? Also have you heard about derma rolling and the great success people are reporting?

      1. Wellness Mama Avatar

        I still have very feint lines for a couple marks, but they are mostly gone. I’m definitely much more self conscious about my c-section scar than my tiny traces of two stretch marks though… (thankfully, no one really sees either one)

  8. april Avatar

    No I think I may have used too much almond oil …? It said to be sure there was at least a tbsp after infusing n I got most of the 3 tbsp back and put it in. Would that have done it?

  9. april Avatar

    I tried this and it’s REALLY greasy! I don’t like how greasy it’s leaving me. Did anyone else have this problem? I do not like being big, pregnant, uncomfortable, and greasy all at the same time! 🙁

  10. april Avatar

    I made this and it WILL NOT solidify at all. I left it overnight and it’s still 100% liquidy. Did anyone else have this problem?

  11. Asha Avatar

    Hi Wellness Mama- you mention in the comments here that you typically avoid EO’s during pregnancy. I was wondering how you handle things like deodorant, homemade room spray/freshener (if you use that), homemade natural cleaning sprays etc. while pregnant. Do you omit them from these products while pregnant or do you just them in small amounts and avoid direct applications? There’s so much mixed information out there and it’s hard not to over-obsess while pregnant. I hope you’re able to answer. Thanks!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      usually I just leave the oils out when I’m pregnant…

  12. Brandi Cline Avatar
    Brandi Cline

    I made this today and put it in the fridge to thicken up. It did thicken but when I took it out it went right back to liquid. It’s only 73 in our house. Did I miss something? Is it supposed to be liquid consistency?

  13. Krista Avatar

    I just made this but I whipped it following the instructions for your whipped body butter. Turned out perfect, even though I had to substitute 1 of the tablespoons for sesame oil since I didn’t have enough olive oil. Thanks for the recipe, love your blog! 🙂

  14. Brandi Cline Avatar
    Brandi Cline

    I’m sure this is a really stupid question, but if the calendula is a marigold, can you use marigolds from your flower garden?

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar
      Wellness Mama

      They are in the same family, but I don’t think regular marigolds have the same benefit…

      1. LC Avatar

        So do you buy the whole flowers or the powder for ginger root and calendula? I wasn’t sure of the powder would become clumpy when trying to infuse it. I am 9 weeks pregnant so I wanted to go ahead and start to try to prevent stretch marks!

  15. Asija-Rae Shackle Avatar
    Asija-Rae Shackle

    Can this work even AFTER pregnancy?? to get RID of my tiger marks? I have had FOUR babies and all c sections…ready to at least soften these marks….

  16. Chrissy Rameika-Ortiz Avatar
    Chrissy Rameika-Ortiz

    sounds good but its a far cry from REAL tiger balm :

  17. Lydia Poblano Avatar
    Lydia Poblano

    I’m pregnant with baby #4 right now. I got plenty of stretch marks the first time around (using just lotion) but did not get any with #2,#3, and so far none with #4 (I’m 6 mos). WIth #2 & 3 I just used the Eastern variety of shea butter and with this baby I put on a vitamin C serum and coconut oil in the morning and Western variety shea butter at night.

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