WHAT EXACTLY ARE STRETCH MARKS ?
Probably, the first thing you will think of when you hear the words ‘stretch marks’ is pregnancy. Yes, pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks, also called ‘striae’ in medical term —usually on the belly and breasts. But do you know that stretch marks are common and can appear on anyone, even children? But generally they are more common for women. Stretch marks can appear on men and women of all ages, sizes, colours and skin types, however, they will not cause pain or pose any health problems, but most people are bothered by their appearance. Although stretch marks are perfectly natural, but nobody likes them. Essentially these marks are permanent changes to your skin’s structure and once there they can’t be erased, just their appearance may improve.
Nevertheless, stretch marks aren’t really anything to worry so much about but sometimes they can feel very itchy and tight. They are just a form of scarring leaving the skin with an off-colour hue. Over time they diminish, but will not disappear completely. They are usually red or purple colour to begin with but fade to silvery white lines.
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF STRETCH MARKS ?
The skin consists of three key layers ie.the epidermis (the outer layer), the dermis (middle layer) and the hypodermis, which is the deeper tissue. Stretch marks are formed in the dermis, or middle layer, when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity. This is normally due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin. As the body grows slowly, the connecting fibers in the dermis will also slowly stretch to accommodate growth rate. However, rapid growth or expansion leads to sudden stretching. This causes the dermis to tear, allowing deeper layers of skin to show through. Therefore, this can form stretch marks and contributes to the way they look. However, as time passes, they will eventually fade to a silvery, white, or glossy appearance, due to the pale fat beneath the skin becoming visible instead of the usual blood vessels.
Pregnancy is the most common cause of stretch marks and it occurs towards the end of the second trimester and onwards. Your body expands as your baby grows and rapid weight gain makes you more prone to this stretch marks. But that might not be the only reason for it. Changes in your hormones during pregnancy can affect your skin and make it more likely to “tear.”
Weight gain is another common cause of stretch marks. You can get stretch marks even when you are young and because your body is changing quickly, the more weight you gain in a short period of time, the more likely you are to have stretch marks. Some people especially guys who gain muscles quickly, such as weightlifters, may get stretch marks on their arms, shoulders, and legs.
Any health condition that leads to physical changes such as weight gain, sudden growth, or skin problems may also cause stretch marks. Cushing’s syndrome and Marfan’s syndrome can predispose a person to developing stretch marks. Even prolonged use of corticosteroid creams and lotions can decrease levels of collagen in the skin. As collagen strengthens and supports the skin, a reduced amount can increase the risk of stretch marks.
Stretch marks can also develop over time as you age and your skin loses its elasticity. This tends to happen in areas where gravity affects the tissue, such as breasts, buttocks, thighs, arms and stomachs. Gravity pulling down on the tissue puts pressure on the skin, which tears and forms stretch marks. When the skin stretches, the amount of elasticity and pliability it has determined the amount of damage it takes while stretching. This particular kind of stretch mark is called gravidarum. Certain surgical procedures such as breast augmentation involving tissue expanders or organ transplantation procedures may also causes stretch marks.
WHERE ARE THE MOST COMMON AREAS AFFECTED ?
Stretch marks occur when skin gets overstretched. Fortunately you won’t get stretch marks on your most noticeable site of your body such as your face or hands but they can be almost anywhere else. They are most likely to be where your body stores fat, like your belly, hips, thighs, breasts, and buttocks. Some people say that genetics may play a role in stretch marks. For example, if your mother got them on her abdomen or thighs during pregnancy, you may be more likely to have them there.
WHAT ARE THE TIPS TO HELP PREVENT STRETCH MARKS?
Sad to say stretch marks cannot be prevented, however, they are ways to help reduce the risk :-
Maintain a healthy weight and avoid yo-yo dieting – Losing too much weight in a fast pace can cause the skin to get overstretched. Because of the connective tissue and collagen in these areas, stretching too much causes the purple-reddish scars to form. Eating a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals helps a lot and consuming a suitable amount of vitamins A, C and E , as well as essential minerals and zinc can support the skin. Fruits and vegetables are rich in these and so are other vitamins and minerals. Aim to drink a minimum of eight glasses of water every day.
Aim for slow and gradual weight gain during pregnancy. Always keep your weight in check and aim to gain a healthy amount of pregnancy weight. This will prevent your skin from overstretching and will help keep stretch marks to a minimum. There are no creams or oils proven to treat or prevent stretch marks. However, keeping the skin supple may be helpful for reducing the risk in getting them in the first place. Moisturizers can often help reduce itching that happens as the skin stretches. Creams and oils may also help prevent stretch marks, but more research is necessary to confirm this.
Getting regular exercise is important to help a person lose weight and avoid weight gain. Exercise also increases blood flow to the skin, which can help the skin rebuild itself. Remaining at a healthy weight can reduce the risk of excessive skin stretching. Try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible as UV rays from the sun will damage the skin’s collagen and elastin, which can make stretch marks more likely to form. It is therefore important to apply sunscreen daily on our body especially our face before sun exposure. It is essential to reapply at least every 2 hours while spending time in the sun.
HOW TO REDUCE STRETCH MARKS ?
Experts have tried for years to find an effective treatment for stretch marks but unfortunately, no treatment has been shown to erase them completely. There are treatments available through skin doctors and plastic surgeons offering some hope for reducing the appearance of stretch marks but not everyone can afford the charges and furthermore, these solutions has not been shown to work for everyone. Thankfully, nowadays many people do find success with home remedies, not completely in treating these marks, but at least reducing the appearance to a certain extent.
WHAT ARE HOME REMEDIES FOR REDUCE STRETCH MARKS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?
Vitamin A – Stretch marks are classified as rubra (pink, red or purple) or alba (silvery white). Over time, they will turn from rubra to alba and this is the time it is harder to treat. Stretch marks that are new and less than a few months old are easier to respond to treatment. Vitamin A and retinoids can help exfoliate the skin, promoting collagen and elastin production. When massaged onto stretch marks consistently, the appearance and texture of the skin can improve and stretch marks are lighten. Dead skin is removed to reveal the healthier skin underneath the top layer. Skin pigmentation is redistributed to even out skin tone. Some research shows a typical improvement of about 20% can be seen from using prescription retinoids but the dilemma for expectant mothers is that this cannot be used during pregnancy.
Vitamin C is more than just an oral supplement you were forced to take for prevention of cold and flu. In fact, it is a huge factor in collagen and cell production, which is the main ingredient of new skin cells. Vitamin C for skincare is highly recommended for the growth and repairment of tissues such as stretch marks, being a skin tissue rupture. It is also an antioxidant to fight off free radicals including treating conditions like hyper-pigmentation and it plays a vital role in the regeneration of the skin.
Now how does Vitamin C work for stretch marks? Vitamin C can be applied topically or taken orally and naturally from fruits and vegetables. Supplements containing vitamin C can also be taken as a substitute, but whole foods are considered the best source. It is quite clear that Vitamin C boosts collagen production and helps in increasing flexibility of the skin resulting in the prevention of stretch marks. It also helps in the reduction of existing stretch marks, which may have surfaced due to weight loss or pregnancy. You can start mixing your Vitamin C powder with your existing skin serums and lotions to help reduce your stretch marks now.
Sugar – It may sound uncommon, but sugar is a wonderful ingredient and a great natural remedy for stretch marks. The fine grains of sugar when used on skin, works as a natural exfoliant. It helps to eliminate the dead skin cells that deepen the appearance of stretch marks and scrubbing away dead skin cells can reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and also promotes healthy blood circulation. Exfoliation also results in better blood circulation which boost new cell growth and repair the damaged skin.
Sugar is a good source of glycolic acid and a natural humectant. It can penetrate the skin easily and boosts new and healthy cell production together with making the skin soft and supple which helps to lighten the appearance of stretch marks. A simple recipe for a sugar scrub is just mixing one cup of sugar with the right amount of carrier oil so that it forms into a paste, such as almond oil or coconut oil. Add some lemon juice to it and scrub the mixture on your stretch marks and gently massage in circular motion. Repeat this process twice or thrice every week before taking a shower.
Aloe Vera extract is a popular natural treatment remedy used in a wide range of products promoting wound healing. The plant itself has several medicinal benefits and above all, its gel has skin regeneration properties and is used as a natural moisturizing, soothing and cooling agent. Aloe Vera is also enriched with Vitamin A, C and E compounds for added healing and anti-inflammatory effects. The polysaccharide content (polymeric carbohydrate molecules) in aloe Vera helps to stimulate healing and skin growth and improve the secretion and production of collagen in the skin. By improving the collagen structure, these compounds actively accelerate wound healing.
A 2018 study showed that Aloe Vera, together with sweet almond oil, reduced the itching of stretch marks. You may want to try it by applying Green Herbology Aloe Vera Gel mixed Sweet Almond Oil generously on the stretch mark area and let it stay for about half an hour before washing with lukewarm water. This can be used on a daily basis to achieve effective results.
Hyaluronic acid – Stretch marks will slowly lose their color over time, but you can help expedite this process. You can start applying skincare with hyaluronic acid as soon as you notice stretch marks forming as this might reduce their appearance. Because hyaluronic acid is also hydrating and plumping, it can temporarily make older stretch marks less noticeable. Hyaluronic acid works from the inside to boost its hyaluronic acid content and it is one of the best skin-hydrating ingredients because it can hold up to 1000 times its own weight in water. As it hydrates your skin, it fills out the free spaces between the protein fibers so you can maintain and replenish your skin to combat moisture loss, aging skin, and stretch marks to keep your skin plump, moist, and radiant. You can mix this with your body cream before applying on your stretch marks.
Coffee scrubs with lots of benefits, have been growing in popularity for years now. A coffee scrub is generally a mixture of a carrier, such as sweet almond oil or coconut oil, with coffee grounds. Other ingredients maybe included, like lemon juice or brown sugar, few drops of essential oils and vitamin oils.The resulting mixture ends up forming a thick paste with sugar crystals and coffee grounds together with other ingredients. The mixture smells great and the oils help it stick to the skin as you rub it on, whether it is your face, breasts, stomach, thighs, or anywhere else you have stretch marks.
Coffee scrubs can exfoliate the skin with mechanical action by removing dead skin and clearing pores. The caffeine content, provides a bit of vaso-constrictive action that perks up and tightens the skin and at the same time reduces inflammation. Other ingredients infused in the coffee scrub can also penetrate the skin, providing their benefits. The exact benefits of a coffee scrub will depend on what ingredients you put into it, how often and how long you use it, and how well your skin tolerates it. What a coffee scrub may be able to do is slightly reduce the redness or whiteness of stretch marks in comparison to your natural skin tone. It does this by freshening up the surrounding skin, so the stretch marks will not be so noticeable. You would need to use a coffee scrub on a daily basis for months before seeing any tangible results.
WHICH ESSENTIAL OILS CAN HELP TO REDUCE STRETCH MARKS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND HOW TO USE THEM ?
It is always better and wiser to prevent stretch marks before they pop up. Begin rubbing yourself with your essential oil mixture as early as you possibly can because by doing so will allow your skin to be supple and secure enough elasticity to stretch without tearing. Essential oils help in improving blood circulation in the body and ensuring that the skin gets energy and oxygen. These are important aspects in keeping the skin healthy and at the same time lightening existing stretch marks. Also, essential oils have great moisturizing and healing benefits. The following essential oils have properties that are known to help reduce scars and stretch marks. To use these oils, simply dilute with carrier oils and apply to scars and stretch marks on a daily basis.
Lavender essential oil is a must-have in every household. It is the one essential oil that has the cure-all for almost any beauty ailment and a common ingredient you can find in every cream and oil made for the removal of stretch marks. It has regenerative and healing properties that slow down the aging of skin, improve elasticity and moisturize to heal damaged skin and capable of toning and rejuvenating skin. It is also known for treating skin rashes, cellulite and dark spots and will help prevent as well as fade stretch marks. This is indeed an excellent pick for just about every beauty need. Lavender oil has been successfully used as an astringent and as an antiseptic skin aid. Everyone enjoys its calming essences and refreshing aroma.
Patchouli essential oil helps to moisturize aging skin and promote the growth of healthy new skin cells and regeneration of tissues. It is known for its rich pleasant herby scent and thick consistency and a little patchouli oil goes a long way so you do not need much of it. Patchouli oil also encourages the speedy recovery of the skin and boosts healthy cell turnover, which allows the skin to heal quickly and prevents scarring, wrinkles and cellulite. It has great chemical components namely alpha patchoulene and beta patchoulene, which are great for revitalizing and hydrating skin to prevent scratching that causes skin to break into stretch marks. All these excellent properties are effective in keeping away and fading stretch marks.
Frankincense Essential Oil is extracted from frankincense resin, is the best essential oil for scars because of its powerful anti scarring and wound healing properties. It will therefore work wonders in healing stretch marks and also helps prevent and heal tissue damage thereby gradually fading and erasing ugly scars and stretch marks. Scientific studies have revealed that Frankincense oil helps scars heal faster because it lowers levels of collagen III in scar tissue. This can help wounds heal quickly and minimize the appearance of scars. On top of this, it also promotes skin healing for the perineum and c-section incision site as well as stretch marks.
Grapefruit Oil is a natural cleanser that can support a healthy metabolism and is often used for skincare because it may help in reducing scars, stretch marks and cellulite. Just by diluting this oil and massage into cellulite or stretch marks will help detox and improve circulation to eliminate waste from cells. Its astringent properties is effective to remove cellulite from the body and treating dermatological conditions, such as stretch marks and skin toning. Grapefruit oil has regenerative properties and can brings the skin back to its normal structure and reduces stretch marks. It improves your skin’s ability to regenerate new skin cells and is also high in antioxidants, particularly Vitamin C which is not only important for healthy collagen production but helps fight signs of aging and tissue damage. By improving the overall texture of your skin, this essential oil may work wonders on your stubborn stretch marks and can even lighten your skin to make these marks less prominent.
Jasmine Essential (or Absolute) Oil is actually an absolute or essence, rather than an essential oil. It is really very expensive to extract pure Jasmine essential oil as it takes about millions of carefully plucked flowers to make just 1 Litre of the essential oil. Originated from India and China, it has a rich exotic and flowery scent where it was valued for its scent, medicinal properties and even used as an aphrodisiac. Jasmine promotes healthy cell turnover and improves elasticity in the skin and helps reducing and preventing stretch marks from forming. It has skin healing and revitalizing properties that can help fade away stretch marks. This fresh-smelling flower is known for its ability to fade scars and stretch mark with ease, and also is known for restoring elasticity to aging skin.
WHICH CARRIER OILS CAN HELP TO REDUCE STRETCH MARKS? WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS AND HOW TO USE THEM ?
Carrier oils are fatty base oils to use with the topical application of essential oils and combining essential oils with carrier oils is ideal to give skin the best care and prevent adverse reactions on your skin. A most basic and safe recipe with essential oils for stretch marks is to use 1 teaspoon of carrier oil in the palm of your hand, add 3 drops of essential oils of choice, and apply immediately.
Argan oil helps increase skin’s elasticity and researchers have found that it helps prevent or reduce stretch marks. It holds some powerful antioxidants and fatty acids that can help to maintain and repair the skin’s elasticity, making it an excellent choice for a stretch marks. On top of this, Argan Oil is one of the best oils that is used widely to clear stretch marks and the safest and most effective natural oils for treating these marks during pregnancy.
Argan oil contains Vitamin E, which is known to improve elasticity in skin and helps clear stretch marks. All the antioxidant and essential fatty acids present in this oil will help renewal and healing process of the skin, making it perfect for healthy, stretch free skin. The best results can be obtained by using this oil overnight as it helps moisturize the skin and strengthens it and clears the stretch marks from deep within. Use regularly use over a long time the treatment may help reduce stretch mark scars.
Virgin coconut oil had been highlighted as potential anti-inflammatory agent which is helpful in the home treatment of stretch marks mainly because of its high polyphenol content and fatty acid components together with its richness in Vitamin E. This element is primarily an antioxidant, which not only affects the body beneficially but also helps in quick absorption within the skin. All of it works together in allowing the skin to be firm and helps in removing the stretch marks. Apart from tightening the skin as well as decreasing the sagginess after pregnancy or drastic weight loss, the health-boosting properties of coconut oil allow the skin to repair itself and this oil is totally natural therefore no complications that would arise as a result of using it. Make sure you rub coconut oil liberally on all the parts of your body wherever stretch marks might be present. Do repeat this at least twice or thrice in a day for good results. When using virgin coconut oil for stretch marks, the reduction in the marks will not take place overnight. Regular application in the right manner is crucial to get the desired result.
Sweet almond oil is a wonderful skincare ingredient and can help you rid of every skin woe such as dry skin, dark circles and stretch marks. Almond oil is rich in anti oxidant and has high concentrations of vitamin E, magnesium phosphorus and copper and is regarded as a natural ingredient with reparative effect which will deeply moisturizes the affected areas, supports cell health, reduces redness of marks and eliminates stretch marks with time. This oil is often used in products promoting the improvement of skin tone and complexion, Study has shown that Almond oil can soothe skin irritation and can be used to prevent stretch marks from forming and has even been looked at for the treatment of post-operative hypertrophic scarring. It has incredible softening properties, so when it is applied to areas where stretch marks typically occur on your body, it works to soften that skin and allow for it to stretch without worsening the marks. Applying almond oil to your skin is a great way to lock in moisture and keep your skin hydrated and moisturized. Start by massaging your skin with it in a circular motion and let it be absorbed by the skin. Repeat this twice every day and follow up with a moisturiser.
Rosehip oil is high in antioxidants like Vitamins C and A which is necessary for collagen production and strengthening of new skin cells. This increases the rate at which your skin cells are regenerated which fades the stretch marks. Studies have found that Rosehip Oil can help to diminish the severity of existing stretch marks and also decreases the likelihood of developing new marks. Rosehip Oil is so effective because of its high fatty acid content and small molecules, which can penetrate deeper into the skin and once absorbed into the skin, this miraculous oil improves its moisture levels and boosts collagen production which makes skin more elastic. Apply the oil directly onto the affected area twice a day and let the oil absorb into the skin naturally for optimum results.
GREEN HERBOLOGY MASSAGE OIL
Many of us will have to deal with stretch marks at some point in our lives. Though these marks are usually genetic, there are ways to prevent and lighten or minimize their appearance especially during pregnancy. Some women’s pregnancy stretch marks take longer to disappear so it is best to start massaging your body as soon as you start gaining pregnancy weight. It is believed that by starting your massage therapy early in the pregnancy will help to develop fewer stretch marks and are able to get rid of them easily. One of the best way is by moisturizing and massaging and of course we only encourage massaging your stretch marks gently during pregnancy if they are formed around your tummy area.
The key to results is nothing but consistency. Remaining consistent in your massage oil regimen will yield better results than doing it when you remember. Couple your daily massages will prevents stretch marks leaving your skin smooth and elastic. If you are those who are facing stretch marks issue, do not fret – Green Herbology have some great products for reducing their appearance. We have a complete set of ready-to-use massage oil specially formulated to cater to all your needs. Do start early and get your hands on the best essential or carrier oils and even nourishing massage oils from Green Herbology which are all rich in essential fatty acids to improve the elasticity of the skin. 👉👉 https://greenherbology.com/?s=massage+oil&post_type=product
At Green Herbology, we blend the best of contemporary aromatherapeutic practice to formulate the right massage oil that meet your wellness needs which consists of all natural ingredients. Whether you are hoping to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, get quality sleep, or pain reduction, we have the perfect blend for you 🥰💥💞