Could Aquaphor be the answer to your worst stretch marks-related nightmares? Some people seem to think so since the product has been popping up more and more in recommendations, search feeds, etc. So I thought that in this article, we’d take a quick look at what Aquaphor is and at what it might be able to help you with.
Is Aquaphor Good for Stretch Marks?
Aquaphor is a moisturizing therapeutic ointment, marketed as a great reliever for dry and cracked skin, and an alternative for restoring minor skin irritations. And while there’s no word about stretch marks in their product description, Aquaphor has a lot of potential since it moisturizes and repairs the skin.
Not only that, but it might actually help prevent stretch marks by making your skin more elastic, and thus less prone to stretching.
To find a definite answer, I looked at two things: the ingredient list and the customer reviews. Here’s what I found.
Aquaphor – What’s in It?
The Aquaphor list of ingredients seems to be pretty short and sweet, with only a handful of ingredients, potentially potent ones. What immediately caught my eye about Aquaphor is that it contains no artificial fragrance or parabens, both of which can be toxic, or at the very least, irritating to the skin.
Petrolatum is actually vaseline (which is also great for dry skin!), which is why some people confuse Aquaphor for Vaseline. However, Aquaphor contains many other ingredients besides petrolatum.
Aside from being a powerful moisturizer, petrolatum is also famed as a minor wound healer and is often used in post-surgery treatment to keep skin moist and protected. By locking moisture into your skin, petrolatum essentially keeps your skin elastic and less prone to stretch marks. So petrolatum might be a useful ingredient for preventing stretch marks, and potentially for treating existing ones, also.
I’ve already enumerated the many benefits of panthenol for stretch marks elsewhere, so I’ll keep this brief. Panthenol works to strengthen the skin barrier, protecting fragile skin, and promoting wound healing. It also has moderate anti-inflammatory properties, which might be useful when dealing with new, angry stretch marks (which often appear red and inflamed).
It’s also a potent moisturizer, as it helps the skin retain moisture and can penetrate into the deeper skin levels (e.g., the dermis, which is where stretch marks form).
Lanolin is the oil extracted from the shorn wool of sheep – cool, huh? It’s a powerful emollient and works to bind moisture to your skin and encourage skin cell reparation, which is precisely what stretch-marked skin needs.
By retaining moisture, lanolin also has a plumping effect, which may temporarily improve the appearance of fine lines, as well as stretch marks.
Bisabolol is a little-known chemical compound and skincare ingredient mainly used in products to calm the skin. It’s also said to have some repairing properties, which is why it’s sometimes used to restore scarred skin – which might be good news for your stretch marks!
Other properties include moisture retention and red skin reduction, which might be useful if your stretch marks are fresh and a bright, annoying red.
Aquaphor also contains ceresin (an alternative to beeswax), glycerin (a natural humectant that supports the skin barrier), alcohol, and mineral oil. Now, I’m not crazy about the last ones. Alcohol is generally not suitable for wounds or sensitive skin. It risks aggravating it instead, and mineral oil (aka liquid paraffin) is featured on many lists of dangerous chemicals.
But overall, Aquaphor seems to pass the ingredients test, as it contains many potential helps for your stretch marks and some harmful ingredients (so be mindful of that).
What are people saying?
Next, in my review, I scoured the Internet for the best and worst reviews of Aquaphor, and here’s what I found:
- Highly moisturizing, great for dry skin;
- Skin and nails also seem stronger after use;
- Also good for diaper rashes;
- You only need a little to cover a lot of skin;
- Stays on the skin for a long time;
- “Magic for stretch marks”;
- Fades away stretch marks.
- Sticky and greasy after-feel;
- Quite pricey;
- Might irritate people with allergies or skin issues.
As with anything, there were several negative reviews, but the positive ones seem to outweigh them far. One claim I keep finding is that you should buy Vaseline because it’s the same and a lot cheaper. Aquaphor is not just petrolatum but also contains other moisturizing, healing ingredients.
Aquaphor During Pregnancy: Bye-Bye To Stretch Marks?
Some sources recommend using Aquaphor during pregnancy as a way to both prevent and treat stretch marks. However, I don’t think that is a good idea. Liquid paraffin for stretch marks is contraindicated during pregnancy, as it may lead to various health issues for both mother and child.
Aquaphor Vs. Eucerin – Is It the Same Thing?
Eucerin is another really popular dry skin remedy, and many seem to confuse the two products, often opting for Eucerin as a more budget-friendly alternative. The confusion is easy to understand when you realize the Eucerin company actually makes Aquaphor, but the two are not the same thing.
For one thing, Eucerin is far less greasy, as it doesn’t contain petrolatum. From what I can tell, Aquaphor and Eucerin are both used to deal with minor skin irritations, cuts, etc., as well as to repair dry skin and retain moisture. While Eucerin seems to feel nicer on your skin, as it’s less greasy, Aquaphor caters to a broader range of purposes, making Aquaphor the champion in that department.
I’m not too fond of the Eucerin Advanced Cream because it contains phenoxyethanol, which might lead to nerve damage both in you and the baby if used while pregnant. So I would steer well away from that!
While Eucerin does contain Shea Butter, Sunflower Seed Oil, and other such healthy ingredients, I haven’t seen it recommended for stretch marks, so my advice would be to fork over the extra few bucks and go with Aquaphor.
Aquaphor – A User’s Guide
Below you’ll find some common questions about using Aquaphor for your stretch marks.
- When should I start using Aquaphor?
As soon as possible, if you suffer from dry skin. However, as mentioned above, I’d advise against using this while pregnant.
- How should I apply Aquaphor?
Take a small amount of the product on your fingers and rub it in slow, circular motions on the affected area. Ideally, apply Aquaphor after a warm bath, when the skin is clean and open. The gentle massage stimulates the blood flow, which may also aid wound repair.
- How often should I use Aquaphor?
As often as needed. A good idea would be to keep the area constantly coated in a thin layer of the stuff to ensure moisture retention and protection.
Verdict: Would I Recommend Aquaphor?
Yes, I think Aquaphor sounds like an excellent product for dealing with a wide range of skin troubles, including stretch marks. It seems like a potent moisturizer that might prevent the appearance of stretch marks by making your skin more bouncy, but might also treat existing stretch marks by encouraging skin repair.
I wouldn’t recommend Aquaphor during pregnancy, but otherwise, I would say go for it!