The NY Times recently published an article claiming that cocoa butter is largely ineffective on improving the appearance of stretch marks. The article is based on a study published in 2008 following 175 women in their first pregnancies.
In the study, some of the women were given cocoa butter, and others were given a placebo. After several months the results were examined and the researchers reported that there was no difference in the severity and development of the stretch marks with either lotion.
So if cocoa butter doesn't work, what does?The NY Times then goes on to claim that Vitamin E is a far more effective cream to use on stretch marks. A similar study was carried out on 100 pregnant women in 2000. The study discovered that those using the cream alpha tocopherol, a form of Vitamin E, led to fewer stretch marks developing than on the placebo.
Stretch marks occur when the skin is stretched to beyond it's limit of elasticity. Taking vitamin A, C, and E supplements has long been hailed as a great way of adding more elasticity to your skin, along with keeping yourself hydrated.
Vitamin E cream is a great option as it's usually fairly cheap and can be picked up easily in the high street. It's also a lot cheaper than the various surgical and beauty treatments that grace the back pages of glossy magazines. However, if you already have stretch marks and want to completely remove them, surgery may be your only option as there is little evidence that Vitamin E will fully remove them.
Have you used cocoa butter or vitamin E cream through pregnancy? What results did you get?