What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars caused by the skin stretching or shrinking quickly. Due to the unexpected changes, the collagen and elastin, which usually supports the skin, breaks. As the skin heals from this, stretch marks may appear (source).
Stretch marks can appear anywhere on the body, and is usually caused by:
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Growth spurts
Some stretch marks are more visible than others, as the colour of them can range from different shades of pink, red, purple, and brown.
Sometimes they may even feel slightly indented into the skin or rough in texture. Although they are not harmful to the body or skin, many people don’t like the look of them and feel insecure about them.
Nevertheless, there are many safe, natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Coconut oil contains anti-inflammatory properties which can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. It is good for healing the skin as it is easily absorbed into the skin and can also improve the texture of the stretch marks.
As coconut oil is a great natural moisturiser, it can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks and prevent more from appearing. This is because keeping the skin nourished and moisturised can reduce the risk of collagen and elastin to break.
In some cases, stretch marks can cause itchiness and irritation, which can be reduced with coconut oil. As it is known for its healing properties, the skin will be hydrated and will feel less irritated.
Having used coconut oil to reduce the appearance of stretch marks, it is definitely something to try out as I noticed a difference quickly after use. It is important to use it continuously, at least at three times a week. An easy way to add it into your routine is by applying the coconut oil on the stretch marks, or even all over your body as a moisturiser after showering. This will also keep the skin feeling soft and smooth.
Almond oil is rich in Vitamin E, fatty saturated acids, proteins, Zinc and potassium which are all essential properties for healing the skin. Due to all of its nutrients and properties, almond oil supports collagen and elastin fibre and improves the health of the skin as a whole (source).
Therefore, almond oil is a key ingredient to help reduce stretch marks.
Almond oil also contains anti-inflammatory properties which is beneficial to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Many people use almond oil on their skin to help even the skin tone, especially on blemishes and dark spots. Hence, it can help stretch marks to fade and barely visible.
Similar to coconut oil, it can be used as a body moisturiser, especially as it holds multiple beneficial properties for the skin in general. It is also recommended to use almond oil regularly to see effective results.
Aloe vera is typically used to soothe and heal the skin, hence why it can be a great way to reduce the appearance, and irritation that comes with stretch marks. Aloe vera increases collagen production which is essential to heal the skin. It also contains mucopolysaccharides, which is essential to help heal and remove stretch marks as this adds moisture to the skin.
When suffering from certain skin conditions or sunburn, aloe vera gel can be used to help heal skin irritation and redness. Hence, aloe vera gel is also beneficial to calm down any irritation and redness that may be caused with stretch marks. Using aloe vera can also prevent further stretch marks from forming as it protects the skin from UV damage (source).
You can apply aloe vera gel directly on to the affected areas of the body and rub it into the skin; it is best to do so after showering. Doing this on a regular basis will show best results.
Castor oil contains a monounsaturated fat called ricinoleic acid which helps add moisture to the skin which can prevent stretch marks from becoming dry and looking more visible. Not only will the oil keep your skin moisturised and help the stretch marks slowly fade away, but it will also help soothe irritation, irritation and redness (source).
Due to the thick consistency of castor oil, it is best to only apply it to the affected areas of the body twice a day; once in the morning and once at night. Ensure to rub it in to the skin thoroughly. Doing this regularly will show faster results.
Vitamin E Oil
Vitamin E is known for fading scarring such as acne scars and stretch marks. As vitamin E contains antioxidant properties, it is also known to regenerate the skin and benefit your overall skin health (source).
Vitamin E oil can be used directly on the skin, and can be applied either on the affected areas or can also be used as a body moisturiser as it will improve the texture of your skin as a whole, keeping it soft and nourished.
Additionally, vitamin E oil can be combined with any of the ingredients mentioned above for further benefits and may even reduce the appearance of stretch marks faster. Coconut oil and vitamin E oil is a common combination.
Using natural ingredients to reduce stretch marks is the most beneficial way to do so as there are no side effects, and the oils and ingredients mentioned all have various benefits for the overall health of the skin. Depending on your skin and the extent of the stretch marks, some ingredients may work better than others. If you find that certain oils aren’t working as well, it is safe to mix the oils together for further effectiveness.