Treating Stretch Marks During Pregnancy with Emu Oil

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Emu oil for stretch marks is a traditional remedy in both Australia and the USA. Historically used by the aboriginal peoples of Australia for burns, skin infections, and skin injuries, emu oil is distilled from the fat of the emu bird. The emu is a tall (2 meter/6 foot) flightless bird that can weigh as much as 60 kilos (132 pounds), up to 25 percent of its body weight in fat.

What Is Emu Oil, Exactly?

The oil is made up mostly of the same fatty acid found in olive oil, oleic acid, and also a smaller amount of linolenic acid, which is found in safflower oil, grapeseed oil, poppy seed oil, and hempseed oil. About two percent of emu oil is omega-3’s such as linolenic acid, more abundant in flaxseed.

Scientists have found several interesting things about how well any given brand of emu oil will work for skin conditions:

  • The color of the emu oil has very little to do with its potency.
  • The odor of the emu oil has very little to do with its potency.
  • The linoleic acid content has very little to do with its potency.
  • The freshness of the emu oil has everything to do with its potency for treating skin conditions.

Emu oil that is stored in conditions of low light and low heat is much more likely to retain its antioxidant power. It is the antioxidants, apparently, that make emu oil a useful remedy for skin inflammation. Antioxidant power is greater when the oil is bottled and transported with care to avoid overheating and when the consumer takes care to close the cap tightly between uses.

How Does Emu Oil Work in Skincare?

When applied to the skin, emu oil acts primarily as a moisturizer. It works primarily as an occlusive, meaning that it forms a tight barrier around the skin and thus prevents moisture loss and dehydration. Studies have also found emu oil to be a potent hydrating agent for people struggling with eczema and psoriasis, as it has fewer side effects than other typical moisturizers.

It’s also been proven to boost skin elasticity, when applied consistently, and reduce aging signs. Emu oil might also have a positive effect on hyperpigmentation, dark circles, or melasma (coloring of the skin due to pregnancy).

Lastly, applying emu oil to the skin has been linked with a boost in the skin’s natural wound healing properties. A study conducted on mice found that the emu oil helped speed up recovery and stimulate skin cell regeneration. Together with its occlusive effect, this makes emu oil a fantastic natural ingredient for treating wounded or irritated skin.

What Can Emu Oil Do for Stretch Marks?

There are several ways emu oil helps lighten stretch marks. First, it moisturizes the skin and reduces the tightness that makes stretch marks noticeable. Simply relieving dryness can make an immediate, noticeable difference.

Secondly, the antioxidants in emu oil enter the skin through pores and recharge vitamin C. Skin cells make collagen with the help of vitamin C. You can’t add collagen directly to your skin (except by injection). Still, you can help your skin make its own collagen, helping it keep up with the growth of tissues beneath it that cause stretch marks.

Third, fresh emu oil is a gentle exfoliant. It lifts dead skin cells from the skin’s surface, where they keep it tight, so that stretch marks are more noticeable. Regular use of emu oil is beneficial if you (1) live in a dry climate, (2) take hot showers, or (3) have naturally dry skin.

Besides, emu oil helps treat and lighten stretch marks in the ways we’ve seen earlier – by forming a barrier against the damaged skin and the world around. This prevents free radicals, grime, and pollution from touching the affected area and worsening the condition.

Emu oil’s wound-healing effect also happens to be great news for those of you struggling with fresh, red stretch marks, that are, essentially, a fresh wound. The topical application of emu oil may help speed up the stretch marks’ recovery and reduce itchiness, redness, and other unpleasant symptoms.

Can It Help Old Stretch Marks?

Old stretch marks are generally tiger stripes that have been on the skin for more than a year and whose initial bright red/pink/blue color has faded to a dull white, gray, or silver. Typically, these old stretch marks no longer itch or hurt in any way.

It turns out, emu oil can have as much of an effect on old stretch marks as it does on new. The same benefits, mainly the stimulation of collagen and the improved elasticity, can help old stretch marks’ appearance.

However, bear in mind that there is very little scientific evidence around the use of emu oil in skincare and no relevant studies as of yet. That means that while in popular belief, emu oil may be a wonderfully potent remedy for stretch marks, the scientific evidence is a little thin on the ground.

What do Users Say about Emu Oil?

  • The color of fresh emu oil has little bearing on how well it works, but clear, pale emu oils usually are fresher, and have greater antioxidant content, than dark emu oils.
  • People use emu oil for stretch marks and find that applying the emu oil strengthens their nails.
  • A little bit of emu oil goes a long way. Users report that you can start with an area about the size of a dime (5 mm or so) and spread it out over a much larger area of skin.
  • Unlike prescription treatments for stretch marks, emu oil is not “gloppy” and does not stain clothing.
  • Users who also have hand eczema find that applying emu oil helps with “winter hands.” Some also apply emu oil to their hands and put on gloves before going to bed.

What can go wrong with emu oil? Users who report that it clogs pores typically forget to shake the bottle (with cap tightly secured) before use. Some of the lighter components of the oil can float to the top during storage.

But if you simply remember to close the bottle tight and shake before use, chances are emu oil will work for you. Try it for stretch marks, scars, brittle nails, and split ends. Keep a bottle on hand for first aid in treating cuts, scrapes, and minor burns.

How Should You Use Emu Oil on Your Stretch Marks?

Of course, this will vary from person to person, depending on your own personal care ritual. If you want to use emu oil on your stretch marks, I’d recommend doing so 2-3 times a day, ideally after hot showers that have softened the skin and opened the pores.

Only take a very little amount on your fingers, because as we’ve seen, a little goes a long way, and afterward, you’ll be left with extra.

Simply take a scoop of emu oil on your fingers and apply it over the stretch marks in small, gentle circular motions. Remember, you don’t just want to dump it on the skin and leave it as such, but instead take the time to massage it into the pores. This allows the emu oil to be better absorbed and increases its potency. It also stimulates the blood flow around the affected area, which, in turn, speeds up the skin cell turnover.

How Long Does It Take to See Results?

On average, you should see some results within 2 months of applying the oil. You need to allow some time for the skin to regenerate and go through its natural cycle, which typically takes about one month to complete. Around 2 months should be a long enough period to see if the emu oil has any effects.

That being said, your skin will probably feel and look smoother and softer during the first two weeks of use!

Best Emu Oil for Stretch Marks

So what emu oil products should you be using?

We’ve seen that people have been using emu oil on their stretch marks with varying degrees of success. So in this next section, we’ll be looking at what products you should focus your attention on!

1. InstaNatural Emu Facial & Body Oil

What I love about InstaNatural’s Emu Oil is that it’s made from 100% pure emu oil and nothing else, so there’s no risk of allergy or bad reactions from any third-party ingredients.


  • Free of parabens, SLS, mineral oil, and all other harmful chemicals;
  • Sped up healing;
  • Multiple reviews note a huge improvement in stretch marks;
  • May also work to prevent stretch marks (e.g., moisturize the skin so that the stretch marks that do appear are much fainter);
  • High-quality product.


  • May take a while to absorb into the skin;
  • Can’t be returned;
  • Strong smell.

All in all, I’d say the InstaNatural Emu Oil might be a great idea for treating your skin.

2. Naturals New Zealand Pure Emu Oil

As before, this Emu Oil is 100% pure, which I love, and comes with some pretty excellent reviews, although it is a tad pricier than the InstaNatural one.


  • Super moisturizing;
  • Big difference in stretch marks’ appearance;
  • Also great for eczema;
  • Rich, luscious feel;
  • Pleasant on skin.


  • Some people had unpleasant reactions to it;
  • Pretty pricey.

Overall, the Naturals Emu Oil comes with a lot of rave reviews that, I think, make up for any negative ones, so another recommendation from me!

3. Pro Emu Oil

What immediately caught my eye with this one is that, while it’s a no-frills bottle, you do get twice the amount of emu oil for only a few extra dollars. So that should be worth something.


  • Highly soothing and moisturizing;
  • Also good for eczema;
  • Great for hydrating skin during pregnancy, and thus lessening the chance for stretch marks;


  • Some users note it is runnier than it should be;
  • Bad customer service;
  • Bit of a foul odor.

While opinions seem a bit mixed, I’d say this Pure Emu Oil (with added Vitamin E) should be worth a shot, if anything, for the unbeatable price!

4. Montana 100% Pure Emu Oil

While the Montana Emu Oil is pricier, it comes with its fair share of positive reviews.


  • Great healing properties;
  • Easy and pleasant to apply on wounds;
  • Leaves skin soft and may reduce the risk of scarring;
  • Feels luxurious on the skin.


  • Watery and leaky;
  • Some received a bad or already opened order.

One thing that disappointed me was there were no reviews relating specifically to stretch marks. That and the higher price makes me think you’d be better off with one of the previous emu oil options! However, have a look around, and if you like what you see, do go for it!

5. Y-Not Natural Pure Emu Oil

One thing I don’t like about the Y-Not Natural Emu Oil is that it is infused with Eucalyptus Oil, which means it’s not technically pure. This is also a bad choice since Eucalyptus can prove irritating for some sensitive skin types.


  • Adds a healthy glow to skin;
  • Very moisturizing;
  • Great customer service;


  • Bit of an icky smell;
  • Takes a long time to absorb;
  • Pricey.

All in all, the reviews for this one seem good, though not great. Once again, for the money, I’d say you’d be better off trying one of the options above.

6. Thunder Ridge Emu Oil

The pure emu oil from Thunder Ridge may not be much to look at when it comes to packaging, but judging from its reviews, it seems to be a pretty potent addition to your skincare routine.


  • Improves the appearance of stretch marks;
  • Super softening;
  • Also great for rashes and healing;
  • Great price.


  • Thick and a bit difficult to spread;
  • Some got faulty products.

All in all, I have to say I’m rather impressed with this one and would highly recommend that you give it a try! It comes at a great price and seems to be the real deal.

Emu Oil Vs. Bio Oil – Which Is Better for Stretch Marks?

Bio Oil is one of the most famous skin softening oils used by mamas-to-be everywhere in the world. But how does it hold up against Emu Oil? Given that they both come from natural sources and both have pretty rave reviews, I would say the two oils are pretty much on par when it comes to stretch marks skincare.

Bottom Line – Is Emu Oil for You?

Personally, I’m rather swayed by this natural, hydrating oil, and would recommend it if you’re looking for a pleasant, rich moisturizer. It seems to moisturize the skin well, thus reducing the appearance of your future stretch marks, and may also aid wound healing, which is great for existing ones!