When parts of our body grow so quickly the elastic fibers under our skin can’t keep up, the fibers break. Stretch marks are the result -red or purple lines across the skin that fade over time to a gray or silver color. Stretch marks most commonly occur on the abdomen, breasts, lower back, thighs, and upper arms.
Stretch marks are very common during pregnancy, puberty, or any time when weight is gained quickly. How quickly you gain weight may be more of a factor than the amount of weight you gain. Research has suggested genetics may play a major role in whether you get stretch marks. You may also be more prone to stretch marks if you are a younger mum, which is a surprise to many, or if you’re carrying a big baby, twins, or you have excess amniotic fluid.
So What Can We Do To Try And Avoid Stretch Marks?
Drinking lots of water is really important as it can help keep your skin hydrated and full of elasticity. A healthy diet with good fats and lots of vegetables will aid in skin health. You can also try a range of oils or creams, but stick to organic, healthy products. Remember, your skin absorbs anything you put on it. You should always choose pure products, especially when pregnant.
What Can I Do If I Already Have Stretch Marks?
Well, the good news is that most stretch marks fade over time. However, the best time to treat stretch marks is when they are new and darker red in color. When stretch marks fade a silvery color they are easier to hide, but they are also harder to completely remove.
Everyone’s skin is different, so what works for someone, may not work for you. But here are some natural solutions that you can use to see if they reduce the appearance of your stretch marks. Try applying one of these at a time, two or three times a day.
• Castor Oil – Apply directly to your stretch marks. It can also be used to treat other skin problems.
• Aloe Vera – Lots of soothing and healing properties, but make sure you use an all natural Aloe Vera product without alcohol in it.
• Egg Whites – Yep, this rich source of protein can be used to help treat stretch marks by applying them directly.
• Lemon Juice – Its natural acidity helps heal and reduce stretch marks.
• Potato Juice – Good for so many things, potato juice helps restore skin cells.
• Cocoa Butter – An awesome natural moisturizer.
• Sugar – Don’t eat it! Use it to exfoliate your skin. Add a few drops of almond oil and lemon juice and mix together. Use to scrub the skin.
• Lavender Oil, Almond Oil, and Chamomile Oil – Mix together 4 parts lavender oil, 1 part almond oil and 1 part chamomile oil and apply directly to your stretch marks.
• Alfalfa – Rich in vitamin E & K. Mix alfalfa powder with a little chamomile oil to form a paste, which is a great natural remedy.
What you eat on a daily basis could be helping or worsening your stretch marks. Eat whole, real foods and avoid processed foods and refined sugars. Also, eat a good amount of healthy protein. Try eating some foods high in vitamin C and vitamin E such as dark, leafy green vegetables, oranges, papaya, kiwi, and broccoli. Nuts and seeds rich in minerals will also help tone up your skin.
How To Be Ok With Your Stretch Marks
Stretch marks are really common, and although we can try different techniques to lessen their visibility, sometimes they may be almost impossible to entirely remove. Know that you are not alone and that your body is beautiful, even with stretch marks.
I love the Instagram account, @LoveYourLines, which is beautifully celebrating women’s stretch marks. If you haven’t checked it out, make sure you do. It was started by two moms who were inspired to feature beautiful photos of stretch marks on women’s bodies after a discussion about how their own bodies had changed after bearing children. They get hundreds of submissions from people all over the world who want to share beautiful photos of their stretch marks. It’s inspiring.
What are your experiences with stretch marks? Were you able to minimize the appearance of them? We would love to hear from you.