Does Bio Oil Really Work on Stretch Marks?

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Up to 90 per cent of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. And a retired German chemist now living in South Africa believes that the best way of treating those stretch marks is with a skin oil, not with a skin cream.

Dr. Dieter Beier began his career with Union-Swiss, a leader in manufacturing skin care oils. He observed that vitamins and antioxidants last longer when they are not exposed to oxygen, and that oils are oxygen-free, while creams and lotions are full of air bubbles. The problem with skin care oils, of course, is that they tend to run off the skin as quickly as they are applied. Dr. Beier’s discovery was a way making skin oils non-greasy and easy to apply without adding air and thickening agents.

Beier’s skin oil additive PureCellin Oil was a chemical imitation of the “preening oil” ducks make to keep their feathers from getting soaked with water. Released when they peck at a gland at the back of their necks, the duck’s preening motion distributes the oil all over the duck, allowing it to float over water rather than quickly sinking to the bottom of the pond. Requiring no actual ducks to make the oil, PureCellin Oil is a synthetic additive that took Dr. Beier nearly 12 years to perfect.

The active ingredients in Bio Oil are simple and natural: vitamin A, vitamin E, calendula oil, chamomile oil, lavender oil, and rosemary oil. There are also, despite what the advertising says, some chemical preservatives and several citrus-derived antioxidants in a base of mineral oil, sunflower oil, and soybean oil. PureCellin helps the whole mixture stick to the skin.

These ingredients are designed to be hypoallergenic and free of any chemicals that might pose a hazard during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Bio Oil is the number one selling scar and stretch mark treatment in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Netherlands, Malaysia, Kenya, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, and Japan, and not without good reason.

Women who use the product to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy often report complete success. The product is also useful for treating small scars and fine lines, although it’s not as helpful in treating large, old scars. Bio-Oil is more useful for treating pigmentation on fair skin than on dark skin.

And if you have naturally dark skin, you should use Bio-Oil or any other skin care product with caution. Irritation causes pigmentation in skin with “black,” dark brown, or yellow tones. Very few people, no matter what their skin tone, will experience irritation or inflammation after using this product, but if this happens to you, discontinue the product immediately and ask for a full refund.

Bio-Oil is available at drug stores in the USA and cosmetics counters all over the world, but some of the best values are found here.