Stretch marks are unavoidable for some. We grow (upwards or outwards) too fast sometimes; puberty, pregnancy and emotional upset can do that to you.

Stretch marks are a form of scarring where the dermis layer of the skin tears leaving reddish or purple lines. They do diminish over time but it's unlikely completely. It's estimated that at least 75% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy, usually in the 3rd trimester.

Besides controlling diet to prevent excessive weight gain, some oils and creams been clinically tested to prevent the development of stetch marks. Centella asiatica extract, vitamin E, shea butter, collagen-elastin hydrolysates, panthenol, hyaluronic acid, elastin and menthol have been shown to provide the best results.

Bump Butter by Essential Care is vitamin and mineral rich balm that is ideal for preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. It contains shea butter, coconut and sea buckthorn oil.

Another good one is Mum's Miracle Balm by Natalia is a fragrance-free moisturising balm containing coconut oil, apricot kernel oil, almond oil, macadamia seed oil. Rich in essential fatty acids it helps maintain the skin's elasticity and soothe expanding skin.

Firming Oil by Madara contains calendula, barley sprouts, hawthorn and natural vitamin E. These help to maintain the skin's elasticity during and after weight loss or pregnancy.