Their name carries with it a million different connotations: too much, imperfect, scarred, experienced, meaningful, natural, unnatural, loved, hated — they are all true to the individual in some sense. But what are stretch marks?
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are a completely natural result of very quick instances of either weight gain or loss, and despite what you may have heard or currently believe, they happen just as easily to men as they do to women, as well as to people of all ages and walks of life.
How do they happen?
Stretch marks appear most often during phases of accelerated growth in the lifecycle, such as in children and adolescents during puberty and mothers during pregnancy. During stretch mark creation, the dermis level of the skin is stretching to accommodate this new size, and so for a short period, the blood vessels beneath may be visible through tiny scar-like projections. These eventually fade to be pale or even have some amount of translucency.
Who gets stretch marks?
As mentioned above, stretch marks are extremely common and thus normal during pregnancy and puberty. Other groups that may also be particularly susceptible are athletes during phases of muscle gain, and those who are genetically predisposed — whereby family members experienced a lot of stretch marks during their own lives, and so many relatives are more likely to as well.
Home Remedies for Stretch Marks
Several home remedies exist for dealing with stretch marks, many of which come with a research backing for being of good use in wound healing, or as having extensive topical benefits to skin health. Keep reading below for 6 Home Remedies for Stretch Marks that have been proven for both their efficacy and their ease of applicability to your own home life!
1: Aloe vera
Aloe vera is known for its healing properties and applications on wounds such as sunburns. Pure aloe vera can also be used on stretch marks as a means of increasing skin softness and thus pliability, as well as distributing its healing properties to the skin. Aloe vera stalks can be purchased by the plant and grown at home – or just by the stalk – and the inner gel can be applied to stretch marks on a daily basis, following showers.
2: Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be applied topically to stretch marks in order to decrease their visibility by upregulating new skin cell growth in that area, as well as by increasing the existing skin cells’ rate of healing.
In addition to assisting in cellular health, vitamin E also increases the production of collagen in the skin, which increases skin elasticity. More elastic skin equates to a greater allowance for stretching, and therefore lessened stretch mark susceptibility!
Another topical recipe that you can use for stretchmarks is one made with:
● Four parts Sugar
● 1 part Coconut Oil
● ¼-½ part Lemon Juice
And then applied in the shower as an exfoliator.
The sugar in the recipe is meant to be a homoeopathic microdermabrasion tool that you can use at home, while the coconut oil provides a wound-healing, moisturizing medium, and the lemon juice a natural, gentle bleaching ingredient meant to reduce stretch mark visibility.
4: Hyaluronic Acid
Hyaluronic Acid is a common ingredient in facial toners, moisturizers, and serums. Its properties include holding moisture within the skin and increasing collagen production, which, as we know, increases the elasticity of the skin.
In two large studies, the application of hyaluronic Acid on young stretch marks was able to reduce their visibility. In addition, hyaluronic-acid-containing products have the potential to decrease the incidence of stretch marks before they appear in the first place. See the article “10 Best Stretch Marks Removal Cream, Oil And Lotion Review” for some hyaluronic acid-containing products tailored towards stretch mark care on OGLF(Our Good Living Formula).
A couple of different oils exist that are used in the management of stretch marks, and they are:
● Argan Oil, which is used for its skin-elasticity-increasing benefits
● Rosehip Oil, which has been used in the past for preventing future stretch marks on women who had already experienced them
● Shea butter, a common ingredient in many stretch mark products that can be massaged in to promote blood circulation as well as provide intense moisture
6: Dietary fixes
Food is, in fact, medicine. There are a couple of different dietary considerations to make if your goal is to fade or prevent stretch marks, and they range from basic advice such as increasing your hydration, to more comprehensive remedies such as prioritizing antioxidants and loading up on healthy proteins and fats. Some specific nutritional recommendations include:
Zinc is a mineral found in many legumes, meats, and nuts, and a critical component of both the wound-healing and collagen-producing processes.
The sunshine vitamin can’t get enough love; low levels of vitamin D have been correlated with more stretch marks. Soak up some sun or consider a fish oil supplement that includes vitamin D3.
If it wasn’t already evident enough, vegetables are the answer to a lot of life’s questions. Vegetables contain vital micronutrients like vitamin A, C, and E, which are all incredibly important for skin health. Load up on orange and blue fruits and veggies, and top your toast with some avocado to get all three of these skin-healthy vitamins into your daily diet!
Stretch marks are an entirely natural occurrence, and never something to be ashamed of. However, there are home remedies that exist in order to either lessen the appearance of them or to reinforce skin health in order to reduce the appearance of new scarring.
Many of these remedies are similar to what you can start in your own life, now, in order to prevent stretch marks in the future. Their advice can be summarized like this:
● Eat a micronutrient dense, minimally processed, variety-full diet
● Take care of your skin; moisturize, exfoliate, and purchase products with proven ingredient labels
● Research the benefits of various homoeopathic remedies such as microdermabrasion; many things can be done at home!
● Hydrate, hydrate, and then hydrate some more.