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. Revathi Avatar

    Can I use the calendula oil instead of the flowers and if so how many drops of it?

  2. Tanisha Avatar

    Thanks for this recipe, excited to try! Question though – what would be best replacement for apricot oil: jojoba, evening primrose, or Rosehill? I have existing s.m. from 1st pregnancy, and now pregnant with 2nd. Hoping to prevent (& get rid of old ones if possible!). Thank you, I hope you reply!!!

  3. Julia Avatar

    Hello everyone! Thanks for the help and the tips. I also used to have lots of stretch marks, especially on the thighs and stomach. I tried lots of treatments to get rid of them and the one that worked the best for me was Dermal MD treatment for stretch marks, I hope this helps some of you!

  4. Rafaela Avatar

    I have very dry skin and usually didn’t use anything to moisture it. During puberty I get stretch marks on my back, boobs and thighs. We used to make fun than when i get pregnat, we will be able to play cris cros on my skin with new stretch marks. So when I got pregnant I did simple mix of shea butter, argan oil and bees wax with carrot seed oil. Sometimes I used it every day, sometimes I forget it for entire week. But I have zero new strech marks anywhere on my body amd my stomach get back to pre pregnancy in 2 weeks. Im exclusive breastfeeding so sometimes boobs go huge with milk amd sometimes go to normal size when my baby finishes me, and they haven’t changed at all.

  5. Jess Avatar

    I just made this & it’s liquid. Initially it wasn’t turning solid at room temp so it put it in the fridge. It was a nice texture. I leftmost out of fridge overnight & it’s liquid again. For those who tried to whip it into body butter, did you add anything first? My coconut butter was partially solid, but when I added it to the other hot oils, it melted completely. I’m excited about this recipe & hope I can get it solid or whipped.

  6. Yvonne Avatar

    Wellness Mama, where did you get the Calendula Flowers? Is it the same as bulk tea flowers?

  7. Becky Spigelmire Avatar
    Becky Spigelmire

    I just made this and love it but was wondering if Argan Oil could be added for additional healing properties. How much and at what point in the recipe? Thanks!

  8. Danielle Avatar

    Body brushing has completely taken mine away… They were pretty small and only a few, but I was amazed at the difference!
    Thanks for this recipe also.

  9. Kendra Avatar

    Hello – Is there a reason you use Apricot Kernel Oil for stretch marks instead of say, olive oil?

  10. Krista Avatar

    My salve turned out very liquidy as well. I got a good consistency after I left it in the fridge for a few hours, but at room temperature it turned back into a thick lotion. SO I melted down 4 tsps of beeswax and incorporated it all together over heat. The consistency turned out really great so I wanted to share! 🙂

  11. Venice Avatar

    As you begin your first term, it is important to start a preventative regimen against unwanted stretch marks before they appear in your later stages of pregnancy.

  12. Lily Kylie Avatar
    Lily Kylie

    I am 35 year old husband and I feel bad about my wife pregnancy stretch marks. I should do something to help her to make beautiful belly lady without stretch marks. I asked her to do lot of exercises to reduce her stretch marks, but it’s not worked. Finally I saw one article about Dermelastic serum and that intend my wife should try with this product. My wife told nothing happen in few days and she is fighting with me but she continued the usage. But after 3 weeks, we both happy with final result she got. You should give it a try!

  13. Lori Avatar

    Katie provides good recipes using safe ingredients. When you start “substituting” with other things it might not be as effective or as safe.

    Also, just because something is “natural” does not mean it is absolutely good for you. Sometimes you have to ask just how “natural” is it? For instance, for all those who were talking about using Vitamin E creams there is something you should be aware of regarding where some forms of Vitamin E cream come from. Often it contains soy. Same goes for glycerine – it is typically made using corn. Most of the corn and soy grown in the U.S. is genetically engineered (GMO) and has unnatural DNA added to it and is saturated with glyphosate which can never be fully removed from the corn or soy after harvest. I don’t consider GE corn and soy “natural” or safe but the non-organic food and supplement industry does.

    The following came from Dr. Mercola’s website:

    Even so-called ‘natural’ forms of supplements may not be all they’re cracked up to be if they contain ingredients like soy–which is typically used in most vitamin E supplements.

    Soybean oil is simply not a healthy oil. The majority of soy grown in the US is genetically engineered (GE). As a result, it contains the potent herbicide glyphosate.

    Whether it is organically grown or not, soy also contains a number of problematic compounds that can potentially wreak havoc with your health, such as…

    Goitrogens – These are found in unfermented soy, whether it’s organic or not. These substances can block the synthesis of thyroid hormones and interfere with iodine metabolism.
    Isoflavones: genistein and daidzein – Isoflavones are a type of phytoestrogen, which is a plant compound resembling human estrogen. Even more worrisome, there’s evidence isoflavones may disturb endocrine function and potentially cause infertility.
    Phytic acid – Phytates (phytic acid) bind to metal ions, preventing the absorption of certain beneficial minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc. This can be particularly problematic for vegetarians, because eating meat reduces the mineral-blocking effects of these phytates.

  14. Nat Avatar

    Hello Wellness Mama,
    I am very interested in making your recipe but I have read that it can be very greasy, so I would like to know how long it takes to be absorbed and if it could stain clothes. Thank you!

    1. Wellness Mama Avatar

      Honestly, it is likely to vary by person (since how fast your skin absorbs product will be particular to you). I have not had issues with this staining clothing. IF you are concerned, you could apply it immediately after exiting the shower and then do any remaining after-shower activities (I usually brush my teeth and do my hair in my robe rather than clothes so as not to splash or drip on my shirt). I bet that would give it enough time to absorb.

  15. Maja Feil Avatar
    Maja Feil

    try to use dermelastic it’s Best serum for helping scars to heal. Particularly good for people who are prone to keloids (raised and often darkened) scarring.

  16. Claire Avatar

    I read that lack of zinc could be a factor contributing to stretch marks…

  17. Kristine Avatar

    Thanks so much for sharing this! Do you by any chance sell this to buy? Thanks!

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