Do you want the good news, or bad news first? The bad news is that stretch marks can never be completely removed. There’s not a pill, cream, or surgery that will completely diminish these scars. …I know, I know, that’s not what you wanted to hear!
Stretch marks appear due to sudden changes in body size such as puberty, rapid weight-gain, or pregnancy. Quite literally, if your skin can’t keep up with the accelerated stretching, it creates tears in the dermis. This in turns scars over, leaving the off-color hue we know and loath as stretch marks. As with most things, the best action is to try to prevent them, but sometimes even that doesn’t do the trick.
Now for the good news. There are a few things that can be done to help reduce their appearance, and they’re completely safe and natural.
Cocoa butter is an edible vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It’s extremely hydrating, contains antioxidants, and essential vitamins. Therefore, it’s helpful in smoothing and softening the skin. The treatment is gentle, and must be used on a regular basis, ideally as a preventative measure, such as during pregnancy.
Vitamin E can be taken internally, as well as topically in the forms of oil and creams. It promotes elasticity of the skin, and has performed well in clinical trials, especially when used as a preventative measure. You can break open capsules, use oil, or creams and lotions.
Take this as an excuse to get a massage. But seriously, along with its numerous health benefits, massage aids in speeding up the healing process of stretch marks. By stimulating blood flow, thus speeding up circulation, it helps evenly distribute collagen around the area. Kill two birds with one stone by massaging with cocoa butter or vitamin E cream. (This should be one treatment you can’t complain about needing to do consistently!)
We all know that exfoliating the top layers of your skin helps reveal the fresh, new skin below, so it’s a no-brainer that using some sort of brush, or homemade scrub would be useful in getting rid of stretchmarks. You can buy a natural bristle brush at the store, or make your own scrub with products already in your kitchen. Mix things like honey with salt or sugar, and use this on your stretch marks a few times a week.
The easiest and most natural method is simply time. Your body is designed to repair itself, and stretch marks are no exception. At their inception, they’re at their worst, most obvious state. But after a few months, they’ll begin to fade, and can continue to do so for up to a couple of years. Using topical products will help to speed up the process.
How well these methods work will depend on the individual, and how persistent they are in the treatment. But since these ideas are easy and all natural, there’s literally no harm in trying!
Nicole Walker is a lifestyle and social media content writer at Health Beauty Life in San Diego County. She’s worked in the beauty and wellness industry for over 5 years, and has trial-and-errored her way through the beauty aisles for over a decade. Visit HealthBeautyLife.com to read more.
I spent last weekend surrounded by my 13 closest girlfriends to celebrate the nuptials of one of my nearest and dearest. After some gossipy catch-up and more champagne than we’d like to admit, bedtime slumber party routines made it clear we are all on incredibly different pages when it comes to daily skin care.
We had the girl who washes with a bar of soap at the end of the night and follows up with a drugstore brand moisturizer, to the girl at the other end of the spectrum who spends 20 minutes removing her make-up, exfoliating, toning, moisturizing and finishing up with eye-cream and serum! The teasing carried on for quite some time, and sparked a lot of questions about what really was too little or too much facial care. And the collective conclusion between us was: Do what’s right for you! Hereditary crows-feet? Eye cream is going to be an essential. Dry skin? An ulta-hydrating evening cream might be your go-to. Your beauty regime should be set based on your genetics and personal gripes.
That being said, there were some pretty common conceptions running between the pyjama-clad masses, which I feel broke around a happy medium.
A girl’s daily facial routine should include the following four essentials:
1. Proper makeup remover – your cleanser just isn’t tough enough to gently remove your eye makeup without some serious scrubbing.
2. A face specific cleanser – your enormous bottle of body gel isn’t going to cut it here! Even girls with oily skin should opt for an oil free version in order to balance out your body’s natural oils.
3. Toner – most cleansers don’t get that final layer of poor-rooted grime and pollution. One swipe with a cotton pad and you’ll see the difference.
*Kill two birds with one stone by using this facial cleanser I’ve been hooked on. It cleanses and also tones pores in one go!*
4. Moisturizer – absolutely critical to your face’s rejuvenation, especially while you sleep!