Tested on animals:No
Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream for Stretch Marks comes with claims that it can reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and for anyone who has them, such promises sound appealing! Unfortunately, it just can't treat or prevent stretch marks (more on that in a moment), though because it does have some great ingredients to soothe dry skin, it earns a good rating on Beautypedia.
Note that this formula is a richer version of the brands' Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks, so much of the same review comments apply.
Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream for Stretch Marks is packaged in an opaque plastic squeeze tube. The cream inside is rich, thanks to the number of emollients this contains. Complementing the cocoa butter that gives this product its name are mineral oil, palm oil, shea butter, sweet almond oil, and argan oil (just to name a few). This will definitely soothe dry, cracked skin, making it appear smoother and feel more comfortable.
So what about the claims that this can reduce the appearance of stretch marks? Simply put, it can't, though it can alleviate the skin tightness that comes with them. Stretch marks are the result of an internal process, not an external one, so there is little if anything that topical products can do to improve their appearance (see More Info for details on how stretch marks form and why skincare doesn't work on them).
Aside from the stretch marks claims, there's another reason this earns a good rating instead of our highest rank: The inclusion of fragrance ingredients. They're present in an "iffy" amount, and could pose a risk of irritation for those with very sensitive skin.
If you aren't relying on this to heal your stretch marks (or prevent them), Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Massage Cream for Stretch Marks is a good dry skin moisturizer, and one we recommend for its rich blend of emollients and low price point(just make sure to keep your expectations realistic)!
- Smoothes and softens dry skin.
- Can reduce the itchy, tight feeling associated with skin stretched due to pregnancy.
- Cannot stop or improve stretch marks.
- Contains fragrance ingredients that pose a slight risk of irritation.
Stretch Marks: Stretch marks occur when skin is abnormally stretched and expanded for a period of time. Typically, this occurs during pregnancy, weight gain, weight loss, or during periods of rapid growth (think puberty). The abnormal stretching causes the skin's support structure of collagen and elastin to break down or rupture. The visible curled ends of stretch marks beneath the skin are actually bands of elastin that have broken—think of elastin as rubber bands beneath the skin that give it spring and its ability to snap back into place.
Essentially, stretch marks are scars that have formed from the inside out, rather than scarring that occurs when skin is externally wounded. Unfortunately, stretch marks are among the toughest skin-care concerns to treat because there are no cosmetic ingredients or products that can make much of a difference in their appearance.
Applying topical products such as plant oils or cocoa butter, or any skin-care product promising to prevent, reduce or eliminate stretch marks doesn't work, and there's no research showing otherwise. Massaging skin with rich emollients and creams may feel nice, but the purported benefits of such products only add up to myths and anecdotal accounts mixed with hope, because stretch marks are not caused by dry skin. The depth of stretch marks —far below the skin's surface—and the extreme strain, stress, and trauma needed to break down the skin's support structure, is damage beyond the reparative or preventative capability of any moisturizer or oil (British Journal of General Practice, 2013). We wish that wasn't the case, but it's what research has shown to be true.