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Home Remedies For Stretch Marks That Work Surprisingly Well
Stretch marks or stretch marks can appear on boys and girls, men and women, usually on the abdomen, thighs, hips, breasts, upper arms or lower back, anywhere fat is stored.
Approximately 90% of pregnant Caucasian women develop stretch marks, with women slightly more likely.
Your genetics play a role, so if your mother had bad stretch marks, you probably will too; Your skin type, stress, poor diet and sudden environmental changes.
What causes stretch marks?
They appear during puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, obesity, vigorous physical activity and Cushing’s disease. Overuse of oral steroids and low strength topical steroid creams/ointments applied deep into the skin while covered with plastic wrap can also cause stretch marks.
During this critical period, increased hormones in the bloodstream prevent the skin from producing collagen and elastin fibers.
At times when your skin is overstretched and you need flexibility and firm support, you don’t have it. Not surprisingly, the skin layer tears, it flattens the epidermis and leaves red marks on the surface.
Stretch marks are bands of broken elastin under the skin. When the tear heals, the collagen fibers do not line up properly, resulting in an uneven appearance and white marks.
What it boils down to is that stretch marks are scars created by your own body to repair the damage from the inside caused by over-stretched skin.
Unfortunately stretch marks stay with you forever because the damage is in the skin just below the skin’s surface and no cream on earth can undo it.
How your skin heals normally dictates how your stretch marks will look. All stretch marks become less noticeable over time, and with treatment, even less, but their stretched appearance rarely returns to its original smooth appearance and the texture remains different from normal skin.
Although stretch marks may bother you aesthetically, they are harmless and do not require medical treatment.
How to reduce stretch marks
Instead of trying expensive, painful, invasive procedures that may or may not work, just a little diligent self-care and patience will dramatically lower your score.
The regimen we look at includes repairing your multi-layered skin from the inside out with hydration, good nutrition and exercise; and external exfoliation, massage and oil.
All natural, chemical-free ingredients can be found conveniently in your kitchen or local health store, producing the same results as expensive creams, but saving you a ton of money.
The sooner you start treating red spots, the faster they heal; But don’t give up hope, there’s more you can do for old white spots.
Let’s start by filling in the inside:
Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day naturally hydrates your tissues, keeps your skin soft and supple, and helps keep collagen production at normal levels. Think of it as an internal moisturizer.
Drink an extra glass of water for every mug of coffee, tea or soda you drink.
Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids, zinc, silica and vitamins A, C, D, E, K nourishes the body and replenishes the skin. Include oily fish, eggs, liver and lean meats, citrus fruits, tomatoes, almonds, pumpkin seeds, carrots, spinach, green cabbage, kale, Swiss chard, turnip greens, broccoli, tomatoes, collards and low-fat dairy products.
Stress, oral contraceptives, and hormone therapy can deplete your body of essential nutrients needed for healthy skin. Good nutrition helps improve balance.
Biochemistry / Tissue salts
Calcium fluoride, sodium muriaticum and calcium phosphate restore tone and elasticity to muscles, connective tissue and skin and help maintain body water balance.
Stretch marks look worse on pale skin than on toned, firmer skin.
When working externally, focus on stretch marks, twice a day:
Exfoliate or dry brush the area with stretch marks.
Apply lemon juice to remove scars.
Dry your skin.
Moisturize liberally with one or more of the following oils.
Massage as vigorously as possible to increase circulation.
Moisturize liberally, preferably after a shower when your pores are more receptive to soaking up oil.
When you can, cover your oil-saturated stretch marks with plastic wrap, a hot water bottle, hot towel, or heating pad for 20 to 30 minutes.
Remove the wrap and wipe off any excess oil to remove the stained clothing.
Use whatever oil you like; No one is wrong there. Just stick to the general principles – exfoliate, moisturize and massage.
Let’s look at each element in more detail.
Exfoliating and/or dry brushing removes layers of dead skin to reveal soft, fresh skin. Some points can be difficult to reach and areas like the breasts are more sensitive, but do what you can.
Use a loofah or exfoliator with a wet washcloth, buy one, or make one at home — sea salt, oatmeal, baking soda, ground coffee, or an apricot scrub. Add any of them to olive oil to make a paste and then massage the stretch marks in circular motions for 10 minutes while you are in the shower.
Or use this as your exfoliator:
5 tablespoons of scrub
1 tsp aloe vera gel
1/2 tsp Vitamin E
1 tsp cocoa butter
Then rinse thoroughly.
Apply lemon juice which helps reduce stretch marks. Let it dry, then rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry with a towel.
A derma or skin roller helps the oil penetrate deeper. If using one, use it now before you moisturize.
Moisturize and hydrate
The more moisture you give your skin, the better.
Massage your stretch marks with any natural oil. Less important than which oil you use is that you massage these areas regularly and vigorously, which improves circulation and promotes rejuvenation.
If you’re pregnant and the skin on your growing belly is tickling, keep your nails short; Scratching dermis tears. Apply the oil and gently rub the area with a cloth to relieve itching.
A word of caution if you’re eager to try one of the packaged remedies for stretch marks: Many contain dangerous chemicals that you shouldn’t use when you’re pregnant, and especially on your stomach.
Fragrances in baby oil dry out the skin and petroleum jelly moisturizes when applied, but skin dries out when you avoid it, so stick to natural organic oils:
Rose hip oil
Extra virgin olive oil
Vitamin E oil
Vitamin K Cream
Natural shea butter
Let us take a detailed look at some of these oils. Perfect on its own, or combine like these recipes.
Vitamin E oil
Alpha tocopherol in vitamin E is an antioxidant essential for skin regeneration by stimulating cell growth.
Squalene, a natural antioxidant that promotes skin regeneration, enhances the effects of vitamin E.
To get your vitamin E oil, open the capsule, discard the wrapper, and rub the oil into the affected area.
Mix together almond oil, castor oil, avocado oil and vitamin E oil.
Combine vitamin E oil and cocoa butter.
Make a paste of vitamin E rich oil like olive oil or castor oil with aromatic herbs like mint, lemon grass, lavender, thyme and massage for 20 minutes before going to bed.
Bio oil is best.
Add seven drops of lavender and a few drops of chamomile to one ounce of a carrier oil (avocado, sweet almond, jojoba, grape seed) and apply to the affected area.
Lavender essential oil, applied directly to scars, will help them fade, especially new scars.
Vitamin K Cream
Apply vitamin K cream topically to stretch marks and you should see results in 8 to 14 days, depending on how severe they are, your skin type and activity level.
Cocoa butter is probably the most famous stretch mark home remedy and keeps the skin soft and supple.
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil
1 tsp apricot kernel oil
1 teaspoon of vitamin E oil
2 tablespoons of grated beeswax
Heat the mixture until the wax melts. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and apply on your stretch marks.
Some people prefer a 100% cocoa butter stick to the lotion. It’s very drying when first applied, it gets more oily as you rub it in.
Massage on stretch marks.
Heat olive oil slightly in the microwave, spread on the scars and leave for 20 minutes.
Mix equal amounts of olive and coconut oil.
Rub a mixture of olive oil and lemon on the areas of your body with stretch marks, then immediately apply cocoa butter.
Some people find that cocoa butter has no effect on them, but olive oil works well. Experiment to find what suits your skin best.
1/2 teaspoon each of cod liver oil, olive oil, and aloe vera gel doubles as an anti-aging skin treatment.
Flaxseed / Linseed Oil
Good for any scar tissue, mix equal amounts of olive oil and flaxseed oil. You can add this to your favorite body cream if you wish.
Flaxseed oil is also excellent for internal use. Add to yogurt, shakes or salad dressings.
Apply castor oil on any scar including warts, moles, dark spots and wrinkles for 30 minutes a day. Combine this with rose hip seed oil, tea tree oil, and vitamin E oil. Even if you apply it externally, it acts as a laxative and detoxifies your lymphatic system.
Then apply some of the following creams:
200 ml unscented aqueous cream
20 ml collagen cream
10 ml of olive oil
5 ml coconut oil
5 ml of tea tree oil
Mix and leave in the sun for a day before using (natural rather than microwaving). Apply at least twice a day and see improvement after three days. Also good for eczema sufferers.
Aloe vera gel
Known for its healing and soothing properties.
1/2 cup olive oil as your base
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
10 oil of vitamin E capsules
Oil from 5 vitamin A capsules
Mix and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Rub into skin until completely absorbed.
Vicks steam rub
Apply Vicks on stretch marks.
Or combine lemon juice, aloe vera gel and Vicks, microwave for 5 seconds. Leave on your scars for 10 minutes. Rinse it off and apply a cocoa butter stick, rubbing it into the stretch marks.
Until they fade sufficiently, consider hiding your stretch marks with clothing, a swimsuit that provides more coverage, self-tanning cream, or body makeup. Tanning itself won’t help – stretch marks are less likely to tan than the surrounding skin and can actually accentuate their appearance.
Be wary of the promises made by stretch mark creams that cure lashes. No cream can truly prevent or remove stretch marks.
If you’re feeling self-conscious about your stretch marks, take comfort in the fact that most people have them, and with the above, they’ll become less noticeable over time.
Learn to live with them in the meantime. Being proud of your body, stretch marks and all, is a very attractive trait.
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