While most commonly associated with pregnancy, stretch marks can also occur as a result of rapid growth or weight gain, hormonal changes associated with puberty, muscle building or hormone replacement therapy. Stretch marks are actually considered a form of scarring on the skin, as the markings occur when the dermis—the middle layer of skin—is stretched with such a force that it loses its elasticity. These reddish or purple lines may pose no significant health risk, but they are unsightly and, in most cases, emotionally bothersome. Studies have shown that a daily application of a specially formulated cream or oil can help to hydrate the skin and increase its elasticity, resulting in fewer stretch marks during a time when you know your skin will be stressed and stretched, as with pregnancy. If you’re looking to diminish existing stretch marks, wrinkles or fine lines, there are treatments here for that as well. Skin-firming peptides serve to soothe inflamed areas, resulting in thicker, more uniform skin. Choose from this wide selection of products designed to prevent and reduce stretch marks.