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Can I Use Cocoa Butter for Stretch Marks?

By Alex Newth
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Using cocoa butter for stretch marks has long been thought of as a cure for the unsightly marks that occur during weight gain or pregnancy. While many people espouse the use of pure cocoa butter — and using it hasn't been shown to worsen these marks — testing has shown less than satisfactory results regarding its benefits. For those who do not want to use a cream made from potentially harmful chemicals or undergo microdermabrasion treatments, cocoa butter mixed with vitamin E may help erase stretch marks. While cocoa butter alone is not necessarily effective, it moisturizes the skin, increases elasticity, and can help guard against future stretch marks.

Cocoa butter, a stable vegetable fat, is the fat portion of the cocoa bean. Unlike many fats, it is a solid at room temperature but melts at body temperature. Its stability has led it to be used in moisturizing products, because it can penetrate skin and deliver moisture immediately. Its highly moisturizing nature leads many people to believe that it can treat stretch marks effectively and that it is safer than other treatments.

In a double-blind research study — a study where neither the patient or researchers knew who used cocoa butter and who used a placebo — 175 women were asked to use a cream to reduce stretch marks. The study went on for several months and the women were examined periodically. After the study, cocoa butter was found to be as effective as the placebo, making little to no change in the stretch marks.

Researchers have found that, instead of using just cocoa butter, using vitamin E may be an effective and natural way to reduce stretch marks. This vitamin was able to reduce both existing stretch marks and the number of oncoming stretch marks resulting from pregnancy. Vitamin E is a collection of fat-soluble compounds that act as antioxidants and is found naturally in many seeds and nuts.

Cocoa butter is still a viable solution to reduce stretch marks, because it is typically sold with additives, like vitamin E or, more specifically, alpha tocopherol. This means the vitamin E will affect the stretch marks while the cocoa butter will moisturize the skin.

Even when vitamin E oil and cocoa butter are combined, the two will not work immediately. It will typically take several months, about three or four, before stretch marks will begin to disappear. If an immediate solution is needed, surgery will work quickest.

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Discussion Comments

By anon974548 — On Oct 18, 2014

Cocoa butter is the base of most stretch mark creams. I had success with Excel Skin Care cream. Be consistent and patient and you will see results.

By sunshined — On Jul 14, 2011

I was also wondering how to reduce stretch marks after my pregnancy. Using cocoa butter was one thing I kept hearing about, so decided to give it a try. My stretch marks were bothersome to me, but weren't really as bad as many women get.

I faithfully applied some cocoa butter cream, and felt like my stretch marks did appear less noticeable. I think it would be even more beneficial if you used the cocoa butter cream all throughout your pregnancy, and not wait until it is too late before you start using it.

By myharley — On Jul 14, 2011

When I was pregnant I bought some Palmers cocoa butter because I read many good things about it helping with stretch marks. I liked the feel and the texture of the cream, but I still got stretch marks, and still have them today.

I know this cream also contains Vitamin E and Shea Butter, which are also known to be very nourishing for the skin. I wonder if there is any kind of cream that would prevent this from happening or clear them up once you get them.

I think the best thing is to just concentrate on keeping your skin moisturized and hydrated with a good cream that contains ingredients such as cocoa butter.

By bagley79 — On Jul 13, 2011

I tried using cocoa butter to get rid of stretch marks, but never saw a difference in them after using for a few months. What I did notice was my skin was softer and smoother though.

Before I started using the cocoa butter, I had dry, itchy patches on my skin and these cleared up and stayed smooth after just a week of applying the cocoa butter every day.

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