Shea Butter + Stretch Marks

• 16 April 2010

When pregnant with my first child, my husband and I wandered into a L'Occitane (pronounced "lox-ee-tahn") store in San Francisco. Noticing my obvious condition, the salesperson told me how their 100% shea butter kept her stretch-mark free during her pregnancy. I was a total sucker and believed her...we bought a $40 tin right then and there. Since stretch marks run in my family (I believe the general consensus is they are genetic?), I was desperate to give anything a try. And she was so convincing...

Well, surprisingly she was absolutely right! I've used it with each of my 3 pregnancies and can now vouch for it's effectiveness (and am hoping the track record continues...). At one point during my second pregnancy I noticed stretch marks forming in an area where shea butter hadn't been applied. I freaked out and started covering it with the shea butter and after a short period of time the marks faded away completely. At this point I was thinking this greasy goodness was pretty much da-bomb.

Added bonus: having my husband apply the shea butter not only cured me, but it cured his eczema on his hands as well. Apparently shea butter is useful for all sorts of hard-to-treat skin maladies and conditions including minor burns (you can read more about it's uses here and here). Also, if you experience extremely dry hands during the winter, try applying shea butter to your hands and then cover them with thin, white cotton gloves while you sleep.

A few additional notes:

1. I realize there is a possibility this won't work for everyone. After all, our bodies and our skin are all different (not to mention all the other factors). BUT, if it helps only one person, the post will have been worthwhile to write :)

2. L'Occitane does sell a balm that is supposedly made for stretch marks, but it doesn't work sadly. Although it does contain shea butter, it isn't enough to keep the stretch marks away. Going 100% with the shea butter is apparently the only way to go.

3. Today the L'Occitane website shows it is currently sold out of this product, so I'm linking to Amazon instead (however, I'm sure their stores keep it in stock regularly). Sephora also carries it online here.

4. I average about 2.5 tins per pregnancy and begin using it as soon as my belly starts growing (around 4 months for me).


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