August 14, 2016
How to Combat Stretch Marks
Like cellulite, stretch marks are a topic we wish we never had to discuss. But since many of us are genetically predisposed to them (yep, you can thank your mom and her mom for the unwanted gift), I thought I’d share with you the reasons they show up, and the natural ways you can make them less noticeable.
First off, there is no magic cure. Sorry guys! Once you have them, removing them completely is impossible. When your skin is stretched from weight gain, puberty or pregnancy, the skin stretches and the dermis layer rips apart. The dermis is underneath your epidermis, which is the top layer of the skin. It’s the epidermis that causes the zebra stripes that first appear pinkish purple, and later fade to white. The good news is, various creams and at-home remedies (and if you’re so inclined, laser treatments) can help the epidermis, reducing the look of the stretch marks, however, the dermis will always remain ripped. It’s best to start any remedy when they first appear because your body has powerful healing qualities! Quicker healing can mean less obvious marks down the road. The key is preventing the new marks from becoming permanent and highly noticeable by slathering on some of these tried-and-true methods below…
1) If you’re not pregnant, one of the most powerful remedies is a prescription for a retinol-based product like Retin-A. It’s commonly used for acne and scars and causes the skin cells to turn over faster, which can sometimes cause redness and peeling, but ultimately leaves you with new-fresher skin.
2) If you don’t want to get a prescription, you can try an over-the-counter retinol face cream, but use it on the affected areas instead. It won’t have the strength of the prescription, but retinols are Vitamin-A based, and Vitamin A increases collagen, which is what you want to build firmness and texture.
3) Since Vitamin-A is such a YES, you can go straight to the source and rub the oil straight onto your stomach, hips or wherever the lines pop up.
4) Olive oil isn’t just for cooking, it’s great for your skin and has been a remedy passed down from grandmothers all around the world. Not only does olive oil leave the skin super soft, which helps it stretch with ease, but it improves blood circulation and has been shown to reduce stretch marks. Heat it slightly, massage it on and leave it for 30 minutes before washing off so that all the vitamins (A, D and E) are absorbed. Or, apply before bed and wear your less-cute jammies and don’t bother washing it off.
5) Cocoa butter has been used by pregnant moms for decades because it’s incredibly moisturizing. It’s best to apply it twice per day from the very beginning of pregnancy in order to hydrate the skin early and keep it as elastic as possible while the body gradually expands. Think of it like a primer; the less uncomfortable, dry stretching, the better.
6) Lemon juice is highly acidic so it can act like a natural bleaching agent for stretch marks. Just cut a lemon in half and rub the flesh in circular motions on the affected areas. Let it dry for about 10 minutes (hey- that’s the perfect amount of time to do a face-mask, so multi-task there for sure!) and then wash it off.
7) Potato juice. I know this seems weird, and don’t go thinking you’ll buy some extras to make French fries, but the juice of regular baking potatoes contain vitamins, minerals and restorative properties for the skin. Just slice them up and apply using circular motions, let sit for 10 minutes, and wash off.
8) Water is the ultimate miracle cure for so many ailments. Water carries oxygen and nutrients to the body, leaves skin supple and hydrated, and provides detoxification of the skin’s pores. Lots of pregnant mommas swear by hydration as their secret weapon again stretch marks.
So guys, be preemptive! Start lathering while you’re young to help you later in life! And if for some reason religious use of these DIY treatments don’t work for existing stretch marks, look into fraxel laser treatments which can help. Or, OWN them. I know many moms who are proud of their stretch marks because it reminds them they grew tiny humans for 9 months! Don’t ever let a few white lines keep you from wearing a swim suit! It’s time to #loveyourlook exactly the way you are! Most stretch marks are covered by clothing anyway, so promise me you won’t stand in front of the mirror and bad mouth yourself as you get dressed! No one has laser vision, so instead of getting dressed in negativity, get dressed with a healthy mantra instead. Be proud!
Let me know if you’ve tried any of these remedies and if they work for you!