It’s True: You Really Can get rid of Stretch Marks and Here’s How…
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are ruptured tissue of the dermis. This is the skin layer between the epidermis and subcutaneous tissue. Stretch marks can occur during weight gains and pregnancy. They can also be caused by rapid muscle growth. In addition, they often occur during puberty when your body is growing rapidly. Unfortunately, almost all women suffer from stretch marks.
When the skin has a lack of support, it stretches and cracks will occur. This causes stretch marks. They can appear anywhere on the body but usually appear in places where more fat is stored. The most common places where people have them are: breasts, buttocks, hips, thighs and upper arms.
They pose no health risk, but they can look quite disfiguring. They first feel soft and often appear in a red or purple color. With time they will fade into a pearly color.
If you want to dive deeper in what stretch marks are, listen to dr. Neil Schultz's explanation:
Reducing and removing stretch marks
Most store-bought creams are not very efficient in reducing stretch marks because they contain mineral oils. These oils only penetrate the epidermis (the top layer of skin) and leave the two underlying layers of skin unaffected. Unfortunately stretch marks arise in the lower layers of the skin and you need a product that penetrates the deepest layers of skin.
This does not mean however that you have to get an expensive laser treatment or microdermabrasion either. With enough time and persistence you can achieve the same result with an exfoliation and massage regiment, that combines the use of Aloe Vera, Emu oil and essential oils of Cypress and Rosemary.
Why These Ingredients?
Table of Contents
Aloe Vera penetrates the deepest layers of the skin, and is loaded with vitamins, minerals, trace elements and proteins to nourish the skin. Moreover, the cell renewal runs faster with aloe vera gel and stimulates the production of collagen and elastin.
Emu oil also penetrates into the deeper layers of skin. Emu oil is packed with the type of fatty acids Omega 3 and Omega 6 (important for collagen and elastin).
If you do not have pure Emu oil at home, you may also use the rose oil by Weleda (this includes Rosa Mosqueta commonly recommended for removing scars and stretch marks) or a combination of grapeseed and olive oil.
The essential oils of cypress and rosemary penetrate deeply into the skin and improve the circulation (poor local blood flow is often one of the causes of stretch marks).
Exfoliation & Massage Treatment
The massage improves blood flow which ensures that cell division is put in motion and the intensive exfoliation removes a portion of the damaged epidermis. The combination of these effects is a strong formula to repair and replace your damaged skin.
Tools and ingredients
- A loofah glove
- An exfoliation scrub
- Pure aloe vera gel
- A blend of olive and grapeseed oil, or even better: pure emu oil or rose oil
- Essential oil of cypress and rosemary
- Take a bath or shower to soften your skin
- Put a reasonable amount of exfoliate on the area where you have stretch marks and massage for 5 minutes with a loofah glove. In the beginning you will probably sensitive to the use of the loofah, but over time your skin will get used to it.
- Rinse off any remains of the exfoliate and dry well.
- Mix equal amounts of aloe vera juice and emu oil.
- Add a few drops of essential oil of lavender to the mixture.
- Massage the mix thoroughly into the skin in a circular motion until all of it is absorbed.
- Go to sleep immediately after the massage.
The massage removes dead skin cells and impurities and stimulates the growth of new skin cells. The best time for creating new cells is between 11 pm and 5 am. It is therefore important that you actually sleep during these hours.
Rest your skin
It is very important that you let the skin rest between massages. Massage your skin never more than once a day. After all, your skin needs time to recover after the peel. Use the oil mix every day, but exfoliate and massage every other day, for a period of one week. Then switch to oil mix every day and exfoliate and oil every third day.
When will you see result?
After 8 to 10 weeks your stretchmarks will have been reduced in length, depth and width. Reduce the massage then to only 1 to 2 times per week.
After a while you will come to a point where you feel and see your stretch marks barely. Your skin is smooth and soft and your stretch marks resemble small wrinkles or lines.
At that point you should decrease the massages to 1 to 2 times a month. After a while the healing process of the skin will have rendered the last fine lines virtually invisible. Have patience though, it will take more time and effort to get rid of those last lines.
In general it takes you 6 months to reduce your stretch marks to fine lines, and between 1 to 2 years to remove all the lines.
To achieve really good results, it is important that you adjust your diet. There are foods that improve the condition of your skin from the inside out, and there are foods that can cause or increase stretch marks. Here’s what to eat or drink, and what to avoid as much as possible:
Drink water - A well-hydrated skin is less prone to stretch marks.
Don’t drink caffeine or sugar - Avoid caffeinated and sugary beverages like coffee and soda. These drinks will dehydrate your skin.
Eat bone broth - Soup made from slowly simmering bones in water is rich in collagen. Collagen strengthens your blood vessels, cartilage and connective tissue. It adds flexibility to your skin which can “bounce” back easily from any stretches.
More vitamin C - Vitamin C supports the body in producing new cells, and protects the skin. Eat a lot of Bell Peppers, Guavas, Kale, Kiwi, Broccoli, Berries, Citrus Fruits, cooked Tomatoes, Peas and Papaya’s.
More vitamin A - Vitamin A maintains your skin health and stimulates the formation of new skin cells. Some foods rich in Vitamin A are: Carrots, iceberg lettuce, sweet potatoes, cod liver oil, red pepper, liver, paprika and mangoes.
Vitamin E benefits the repair of skin especially. You can up your intake by eating for example almonds, raw sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds, swiss chard, mustard greens, spinach, turnip greens, kale, wheat germ oil, avocado and broccoli.
Ninja tip: Less Effort & Great Result...
If you don't have time for much preparation and like something that is instant and effective, there are some great products available that help eliminate those stretch marks. My two top ones I love having in hands reach are Purcellin Oil by Bio Oil and the Coconut and Cocao Butter Coffee Scrub by First Botany Cosmeceuticals:
Bio Oil for Stretch Marks, Acne Scars and Cellulite
This oil has been developed to smooth out a lot of skin problems, including stretch marks. It contains a unique blend of vitamins, oils and plant extracts, including vitamin A, vitamin E and Purcellin oil. It's also hyperallergenic, and does not clog your pores. You can get it here.
Combine the Bio Oil with this Coffee Scrub...a killer combo!
If you want to make double the effect of any skin treatment, you should remove the dead skin cells. This scrub does not only exfoliate your skin, but infuses it with caffeine. Caffeine stimulates the blood circulation, stimulates the growth of new cells and detoxes your skin. And to top it off, the shea butter and coconut oil rejuvenate and soften your skin. This will all help to fade away those stretch marks, and any cellulite you might have as well.
Find this popular coffee scrub on Amazon right here.
Keep on going
Though it takes time and consistency to get rid of stretch marks, this method is a healthy and affordable remedy that will be beneficial for many more aspects of your health than just the condition of your skin. You are worth the dedication and effort it takes to get a radiant, soft and flexible skin. So don't give up!