What Causes Stretch Marks?

Skin is the largest organ in the body and about 85% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy.

What Causes Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks are tears or scarring that happens when the skin is pulled or stretched quickly due to rapid growth. Although the skin is fairly elastic, this sudden change can cause the collagen and elastin—the proteins that primarily build up the skin—to rupture. As the skin starts to heal, scars are developed, forming marks that are referred to as Striae (stretch marks).

Normal vs. Damage Skin

As the skin begins to heal, a scar is formed, these marks are referred to as Striae (or Stretch Marks).


The stretching or shrinking of skin can be  can be caused by changes in hormonal levels or genetic heritage.

Fluctuating hormonal changes may occur in

  • Pregnancy
  • Puberty
  • Rapid increase or decrease in weight
  • Diseases – such as Cushing Disease

The most common affected parts are the thighs, upper arms, buttocks and breasts.

What Causes of Stretch Marks

How Stretch Mark Creams Work

While there’s no way to guarantee that you will not develop stretch marks, there are ways to prevent or reduce their appearance—the most promising of which is the use of stretch mark creams and lotions that contain ingredients that support fragile skin during these hormonal changes.

The best creams for stretch marks, however, are those safe and effective, with additional benefits like being all-natural and having components that moisturise the skin and promote collagen production. These play a role in strengthening the skin and helping slow the ageing of your skin by minimising the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and risks of dryness. 

Our Mother’s Skin Cream at Shealove London is a shea butter cream, specially formulated for pregnant women. Made with organic ingredients, it’s safe and easy to use throughout your pregnancy and for your baby, too! 

Shop Mother’s Skin Cream for your stretch marks on our website today!


Hague A and Bayat A. “Therapeutic targets in the management of striae distensae: A systematic review.” J Am Acad Dermatol. 2017;77(3):559-68.

Stevanovic DV. Corticosteroid induced atrophy of the skin with telegiectasia: a clinical and experimental study. Br J Dermatol 1972;87:548–56.

Ud‐Din S, McGeorge D, et al. “Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016; 30(2): 211–22.