If you have stretch marks — red, purple, brown, or white marks that can happen after pregnancy, weight gain, or weight loss — don’t feel ashamed of them, because you certainly aren’t alone. About 80 percent of Americans have stretch marks. Although stretch marks are perfectly natural, if you want to temporarily cover up your stretch marks you can use some makeup.

The best makeup products to use on stretch marks are cream foundations, cream concealers, and body liquid makeup. If your stretch marks are bumpy, a cream product works better; if they are smooth a liquid product work bests. When selecting a shade to use, examine the color of you stretch marks. If they are very dark, use a color one shade lighter than your skin tone. If the stretch marks are very light in color, use a shade of makeup that matches your skin tone.

Tips

According to Allure Magazine, using a self-tanner product can help hide the appearance of stretch marks, but only if the stretch marks are flat. If your stretch marks are raised or bumpy, a self-tanner could crease around the ridges and bring more attention to them.

Ensure that the skin where you are applying the makeup is clean, exfoliated and dry. If your stretch marks are not easily accessible or not easily seen, such as with stretch marks on the backs of your legs, use a full-length mirror or get a friend to help you apply the makeup. Pour a small amount of your product onto a makeup sponge. Apply this over the stretch marks smoothly and evenly. Layer a little bit of makeup on at a time until the stretch marks can no longer be seen.

Always wash off the makeup and moisturize the area before you go to bed. Use a moisturizer designed to have benefits for stretch marks. Moisturizers that contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin A, or vitamin E may help fade stretch marks. There is no product that will completely remove your stretch marks so don’t trust any product that claims to do so.

Tips

Concealer and foundation products typically aren’t waterproof. If you’re going to be swimming and want to hide your stretch marks, it may be preferable to purchase a swimsuit that covers them up.