Stretch marks are a form of scaring and form during weight fluctuation or pregnancy, where you may be affected by changes in hormone levels. The skin of your breasts, stomach, hips, and thighs can stretch or relax as your body size changes – and this is totally normal.
Wearing a supportive bra and undergarments may help minimise stretch marks and scars but skin also becomes more pliable and better able to stretch when it's well hydrated.
While at first, stretch marks may show up as reddish or purplish lines that may appear indented and have a different texture from the surrounding skin, they often turn lighter and almost disappear over time with daily massaging with a hydrating cream or body oil.
There is an assortment of products which claim to reduce your stretch marks. While some claims are more legitimate than others, you can easily prevent and reduce your stretch marks with time, persistence and great natural moisturisers.
Many natural and organic vegetable oils are powerful stretch mark reducers as they contain highly moisturising essential fatty acids, skin healing and collagen regenerating minerals and enzymes, and natural antioxidants to repair damaged skin. If you consistently apply these oils to your skin, over time your stretch marks will fade or disappear naturally.
Look out for products containing the following oils, organic if possible:
Rosehip Oil - very hydrating and high in linoleic and linolenic fatty acids, which encourage regeneration and repair of skin tissue, even out skin tone and reduce the redness and appearance of scars.
Jojoba Oil - similar properties to skin's natural sebum, it’s easily absorbed with a nice texture and feel. Regenerative and firming, it is useful for improving the tone and condition of skin. It provides important nutrients, ie. Vitamin E and B group, minerals and essential fatty acids.
Wheat Germ Oil - a very nourishing oil that contains very high amounts of vitamins E and A, as well as being high in essential fatty acids. Useful in healing damaged or scarred skin, reducing the appearance of scars and improving suppleness and elasticity.
Cocoa Butter - softening and protecting and is especially good for dry skin. Helps maintain suppleness and elasticity of skin and minimises stretch marks.
Aloe Vera - a skin nutrient renowned for its soothing and hydrating action, it is used to soothe minor cuts and burns, moisturise dry damaged skin, reduce redness, and provide long-lasting moisturisation.
Vitamin E provides nourishment, hydration, helps reduce redness and smooths scars.
And the Pure Essential Oils of:
Lavender - known for its calming and soothing properties, encouraging relaxation. Used to provide relief for mild skin disorders, it contributes to the healing process by stimulating the cells of a wound to regenerate. Particularly soothing for inflamed skin conditions including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis and is beneficial in relieving itchiness. It is considered suitable for use during pregnancy.
Frankincense - recommended for use on scars and dry skin. It’s regenerative and promotes the healing of wounds and the formation of scar tissue. It is considered suitable for use in pregnancy.
Mandarin and Tangerine - recommended in massage blends to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. It is often blended with Lavender or Neroli and considered suitable for use in pregnancy.
Neroli - reputed to have a rejuvenating effect on the skin as it has an ability to stimulate the growth of healthy new cells. It is considered suitable for use in pregnancy.
Patchouli - recommended for treating conditions such as sores, fissures and scars due to the regenerating, moistening and cooling action is has on skin tissues. It is considered suitable for use in pregnancy.
Remember a stretch mark, like a scar, it will take time to fade, just be consistent and the rewards will come.
About the Author:
Michelle Vogrinec is a mother of three and creator of GAIA Natural Baby. An avid researcher with an interest in preventative health and sustainable living, she is passionate about the environment, complementary medicine and growing fresh, organic fruit and veggies to support her family in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Michelle aspires to empower others to follow their dreams, achieve their goals and live the life they desire.