I worked at Bath and Body Works for a little bit, but during my time there I picked up a lot of skin tricks that help fade stretch marks and help your skin all over!
The first thing you have to realize is that your skin is an organ and is just as essential to your body as your heart and brain. It's so important to look out for your skin and keep it healthy! Your skin is also on a cycle. You shed a layer of skin about every 7 days.
For overall skin health I have 5 tips:
1) Drink water! Keeping hydrated helps keep your skin feeling soft and smooth. Also being dehydrated can slow a lot of your bodies natural cycles down and your skin is no different. Also drinking water helps your skin become more elastic.
2) Exfoliate! Our skin is on a cycle with the top layer dying every 7 days. However, even though the top layer dies, it may not all come off. Dead skin cells can't absorb moisture, so when you go to apply lotion it is actually blocking the moisture from reaching the skin cells that are alive and kicking which can cause those cells to dry out. You should exfoliate your body once a week to help sluff off those dead cells. I use Bath and Body Works Aromatherepy Sugar Scrub. One $20 dollar tub lasts me about 2 months. If that is too pricey for your pocket book try taking the sugar from your kitchen and your favorite lotion, baby oil or olive oil and scrubbing all over! I found that it isn't as affective but it works really well. This helps your skin maintain it's cycle which helps your skin feel softer, smoother and younger!
3) Moisturize! I actually do not use any lotion from Bath and Body Works simply because none of the lotions seemed to work with my skin type. Each person is different so it is very important to experiment to find a lotion that works for you. Also I notice a lot of women only use one lotion on their whole body. If that works for you, that's great. But for most women they need to be using upwards of 2 or more lotions on different parts of their bodies. While I was prego I was using 3. One for my dry prone areas, a coco butter formula on my stomach and a skin firming one on the areas that could use the help. Also once a month I use baby oil or olive oil on my skin.
4) Exercise! This helps the pores you have all over your body release all the gunk that has been building up and also helps keep the skin cycle going!
5) Eat well! Having a healthy diet can do wonders for your skin tone!
Now for stretch marks!
Prepregnancy: follow steps 1-5 above!
During Pregnancy: The day you find out you are prego you need to head to the store. While following the steps 1-5 your moisturizing is going to become a little more intense! You will want to buy a lotion that has vitamin E and cocco butter. Palmer's is a great choice and is specifically designed with stretch marks in mind. Apply to your stomach atleast 3 times a day and anytime you think about it. Unfortunately this still might not be enough to stop the evil marks fron appearing. If you start to notice stretch marks get a scar fading ointment. I use Preferon. It comes in a chapstick form and has worked great for me. Apply that everytime you go the the bathroom or atleast 3 times a day as well.
Post Pregnancy: Keep it up with steps 1-5. If you made it without stretch marks, I know a lot of women who hate you right now. But if you are like the women doing the hating you might be like me and dreading looking at your stomach. First off you need to make peace with your body. Realize now that it is never going to be quite the same and that getting rid of the stretch marks without surgery is highly unlikely. Fortunately even with no help, they should fade atleast a little. Exfoliating those spots everyday with a loofa will help sluff off the scar cells to make way for normal skin cells. Also using a scar fading treatment as often as you can helps too. Also if ylou are ok with it, tanning helps as well if nothing else but it makes your skin darker so that the stretch marks arent' as obvious.
So those are my semipro tips. Now I am not a dermatologist so please consult your first!