Reviewed by Gina

It’s an unfortunate fact that most women will get stretch marks at some point in their lives. I first noticed stretch marks appearing on my calves when I was in high school, 12 years ago. The lines, like cracks on smooth sediment, were visible but not overly bothersome. I attributed them to a growth spurt and the hours spent on the rowing crew. Over the years, I attempted to diminish the stretch marks with a few known remedies like applying shea and cocoa butter, almond oil, and retinoid creams, but none really made a significant difference. The best solution it seemed was to just ignore them.

However, over the last year I noticed that the stretch marks had deepened and were expanding vertically down the back of my legs. Ignoring them was no longer an option unless I wanted keep my legs covered for the rest of my life. It was around this time that I was offered by TIA the chance to review the Apothederm Skin Care Science Stretch Mark Cream ($89.95), and I immediately said yes. Knowing that stretch marks are one of the hardest skin issues to treat, I was not expecting a miracle in a bottle and was more than a little skeptical.

The information provided on the Apothederm website states that the cream reinforces the skin’s support structures and helps to visibly repair existing stretch marks. In addition to reducing the appearance of stretch marks, the cream is also supposed to improve discoloration, even skin tone and texture, and prevent future stretch marks.

The cream isn’t overly thick but has a nice, rich consistency and spreads easily. Every morning and evening, I took about a dime-sized amount and massaged it into the back of my legs until the cream was fully absorbed. There is a slightly tacky feel immediately after applying the cream but I was able to get dressed after waiting two to three minutes. Although the website says that results can be seen in as little as two weeks, I didn’t notice any visible changes at that point. The stretch marks were still there, the same size, shape and color. One of the key ingredients in the cream is Heptapeptide-7, which is described as a patented “bioactive SmartPeptide that boosts collagen and helps support tissue.” I figured it was cream’s star ingredient but found it way down on the ingredients list – the 21st out of approximately 30 ingredients. The more prominent ingredients in the cream are glycerin, shea butter and meadowfoam seed oil. I was pretty disappointed to see these ingredients listed at the top and didn’t see how Apothederm’s stretch mark cream was any different from a standard drugstore moisturizer.

Final verdict? After using the cream diligently day and night for four weeks, my stretch marks have not visibly faded or been reduced. However, I have noticed that the texture of the skin is much smoother; thereby, the stretch marks seem to have softened out a bit as well. It is recommended that the cream be used for a full 12 weeks to see the best results, and I will continue to use the product until the cream is finished and will hopefully see further improvement. But based on the results after the four-week trial, I personally would not purchase this product.

Ingredients: Water, Glycerin, Butyrospermum Parkii (shea Butter) Limnanthes Alba (meadowfoam) Seed Oil, Cetyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Cyclopentasiloxane, PPG-3 Benzyl Ether Myristate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Theobroma Cacao (cocoa) Seed Butter, Sodium Hyaluronate, Sodium Stearoyl Glutamate, Panthenol, Pichia/resveratrol Germent Extract, Glycyrrhiza Glatra (licorice) Root Extract, Olea Europaea (olive) Fruit Oil, Bisabolol, Glucosamine HCL, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract, Heptapeptide-7, Glycine, Alanine, Isleucine, Leucine, Urea, Butylene Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Capylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Xanthan Gum