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. Arunima Gopan Avatar
    Arunima Gopan

    I have heard about bio oil stretch mark removal cream. Is that a good stretch mark removal cream?

  2. Nirupama Alan Avatar
    Nirupama Alan

    I have used bio oil during my pregnancy. Now I don’t have pregnancy marks in my tummy.

  3. rebi Avatar

    can i make it as a body butter?Looks very greasy in your picture.Is it greasy?Thank you so much

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      It has more of a salve consistency, so yes, it will be a bit more greasy than your average body butter. You could add more shea butter, or add 1/4 cup of mango or cocoa butter to it, although I found this consistency to be optimal for preventing the stretch marks.

      1. Melissa T Avatar
        Melissa T

        Have you ever added arrowroot powder to any of your salves to see if it cuts down on the greasiness? Also – any thoughts on adding ginger essential oils to the salve instead of infusing dried ginger. Love your site! Love your ideas! Thanks for much for sharing!

      2. rebi Avatar

        Thank you..Phew.. it looks greasy… but if helps with stretch marks I will do it:):)Thank you for your answer.

  4. Melissa T Avatar
    Melissa T

    This salve sounds fantastic. I was wondering…. I have some infused Calendula oil already, can I put a drop or two or three of ginger essential oil into the salve instead of infusing the ginger root? If so, how many drops would you recommend? Thank you for all your wonderful advice!

    1. Kelsey Avatar

      I was wondering the same thing! I have read up on ginger and its ability to fade the hyper pigmented skin back to regular skin color but was wondering if ginger essential oil would be more or less effective than regular ginger or powdered ginger. I have a whole bottle that hasn’t been opened! Thanks so much for your amazing blog. It is becoming an amazing resource for me for so many areas!

  5. Charleigh Avatar

    The eyelid comment may have been sarcastic but due to an autoimmune disorder my face swells and I have tiny stretch marks above my jawline…

    I am using grapefruit oil, coconut oil, glycerine and shea butter. The glycerine keeps the mixture from being “grainy”.

  6. Jesse Avatar

    I recently ordered a ton of ingredients to make quite a few things on your website & got must if them in the mail, so I’m going to make this!

  7. Jaime Caniglia Avatar
    Jaime Caniglia

    one of best way to remove stretchmarks during the pregnancy try to use dermelastic Serum. really it’s work awesome my wife also using that product she got amazing result now she have no any stretch mark on her tummy.

  8. Rachel Avatar

    Is dried ginger root the same as the ginger powder I bought in the spice aisle at my grocery store?

  9. Anne Avatar

    May I ask why you use Shea butter vs Cocoa butter for this recipe? Sorry if I have missed this question in the previous comments, I tried to find an answer before posting.

  10. Ella Avatar

    Ok so I have been reading all the comments and I have come to the conclusion that Katie has an abundance of patience. For the umpteen people who repost their concern about the consistency of their balm, you just need to make sure there is a higher ratio of solid butters/oils to liquid oils. Stretch marks on your tummy, bum, legs, breasts, eyelids (excuse the sarcasm) it doesn’t matter, Lastly, I would recommend some light reading on how our cells are renewed. This will help you to see why Wellness M has recommended a healthy diet in conjunction with the balm. It’s a change in lifestyle darlings, which is continuous and progressive.

  11. Ariel Avatar

    Almond oil: 2 tbs
    Wheatgerm oil: 1 tbs
    Borage seed oil: 10 drops
    Carrot oil: 5 drops

    18 drops of chosen EO

    Shake the oils together and use when needed

    I found this in a book on essential oils and I plan on using it to prevent stretch marks. I’m not too sure if it will get rid of stretch marks, but it’s worth a try! 🙂

  12. John Avatar

    I love the guide of all the different oils to use. It is important to make sure the skin is moisturizing during drastic weight changes because the skin needs to be elastic to bend with the body instead of tear and create stretch marks. What do you prefer? use this during pregnancy or after giving birth? Looking forward to your response. Thanks

  13. John Avatar

    I love the guide of all the different oils to use. It is important to make sure the skin is moisturizing during drastic weight changes because the skin needs to be elastic to bend with the body instead of tear and create stretch marks. What do you prefer? use this during pregnancy or after giving birth? Looking forward to your response. Thanks

  14. Ramsey Avatar

    Does this lotion work for stretch marks on thighs also?
    I have a very clean diet and I juice once a day as well and yet I still struggle with stretch marks. I have never been over weight in my life, never been pregnant, and I exercise. And yet I still struggle with these ugly scars. Will this get rid of the stretch marks or just prevent more from appearing? Also, do you sell this lotion?

  15. Sunny Avatar

    Hey Wellness Mama, I made this salve the other day and the day after I made it and ever since it has been melty and sort of grainy. Is there any way I can fix this?

  16. Chelsea Avatar

    I was wondering what you thought about the use of vitamin e oil for prevention of stretch marks. I had read that large amounts of it by supplementation can cause dangerous heart defects to the fetus. I was wondering what you thought about the use of Virgin Palm oil which contains high concentrations of a powerful form of Vitamin E called “tocotrienols”. Surely, it isn’t harmful because it is natural and not supplemented. What are your thoughts?

  17. Elizabeth Avatar

    I’ve been using your homemade lotion (coconut oil, olive oil, cocoa butter, vitamin E oil, and a little bit of beeswax) as well as 100% aloe vera gel and am not seeing any improvement in my stretch marks. The recipe in this article has all the same products. What am I doing wrong?
    I’ve also seen articles that recommend exfoliating with a sugar scrub, lemon juice or potato juice. If I add these products to what I’m already doing what order do I do them all in? Is there any harm in trying all of it?

    1. Katie - Wellness Mama Avatar

      What are you doing internally? If those aren’t changing anything, I’d look at making sure there are enough fat soluble vitamins in your diet and enough Omega-3s.

      1. Elizabeth Avatar

        I like to think I have a widely varied and balanced diet (mostly because I get bored with a food easily). I eat many different kinds of nuts, including walnuts. All my cooking is done with coconut oil or olive oil. I eat plenty of greens and to supplement my greens make a green smoothie most days. What else can I add?

  18. Lisa Avatar

    I was wondering if you could use magnesium oil instead of almond oil?

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