How Do Stretch Marks Occur?
OK we’ll just jump right into it. Stretch marks. They’re a common challenge that many women (and men) experience. We wanted to talk about it here – to help you understand how and why they happen. Don’t worry – there’s hope. You CAN reduce the signs of them, heal them and in some cases eliminate them completely. Let’s explore:
To better understand how stretch marks happen, we’ve first got to understand the structure of the skin. OK, for science babes, like we’ve said in previous articles, you can just jump ahead here. We’re gonna go basic.
The skin has three major layers, the outer part (epidermis), the middle part (dermis) and the deepest part (hypodermic). Stretch marks usually form in the middle layer (dermis) of the skin. This happens when the connective tissues are stretched beyond its normal flexibility. Think babies, rapid weight lose or other changes in your bod. The rapid expansion, without giving your body the time to properly accommodate – is what causes the stretch marks.
When this happens, the collagen in the skin gets weakened – affecting the healthy production cycle. As a result, fine stretch marks start forming in the top skin layer. Initially, these marks might look light red or pink – but without giving them some love and attention, they can turn into stretch marks (which is just a bit more of a prolonged damage).
Now keep in mind that each layer of the skin does regenerate, and it does heal. But, in order to strengthen that collagen, and to start reducing the signs of the rapid change – you’ll have to take care of your bod, and feed it the right nutrients, vitamins and minerals.
Who can get stretch marks?
OK, the science explanation is over. While anybody can develop them (again, Women and Men alike) there are some factors that can increase the probability of developing them. You’re probably already familiar with these:
- Being obese or overweight
- Rapidly losing or gaining weight
- Undergoing breast augmentation
- Having a family or personal history of stretch marks
Regardless of how stretch marks might have crept up, what’s important is that step-by-step there are ways to minimize these little guys. Here’
When we remember the science behind stretch marks it becomes a bit easier to understand how to start to heal them. Remember, your skin is constantly regenerating. It’s an organ after all. So feeding it the right foods, both internally and externally are going to be critical to healing.
In general we recommend anything with positive healing benefits – think vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, nutrients etc. It would be best to include those in your diet, as well as on your skin.
Here are a couple key ingredients you should look out for:
Aloe Vera for Stretch Marks
Aloe vera has been proven to be very effective in treating numerous skin conditions. It’s one of those ancient healing miracles that has been used for thousands of years. At last estimate, there were over 200 vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and other good-for-you components in aloe vera. Its soothing and healing properties (along with all of that good stuff) are strong enough to help feed your skin and repair some of the damage of stretch marks. Here is one of the various ways you can apply aloe vera:
- Directly rub the aloe vera gel on the affected area and leave it for about 15 minutes.
- Once the time elapses, you can then rinse it off with some lukewarm water and then moisturize the area. Repeat the process every day for more effectiveness.
Natural Brown Sugar Scrub for Stretch Marks
Natural brown sugar scrub is another great remedy for stretch marks – although be sure to look at the other ingredients that might be in your scrub. You’ll want to have more good than bad. Why is this a great option? The scrub helps to efficiently exfoliate the skin – and, depending on the other ingredients, it’ll help nourish your bod into healing. Here is how to do it:
- Mix sugar with lemon juice and almond oil
- Use the scrub to apply onto the affected area
- Rub the mixture gently on your skin daily before taking a bath
100% Cocoa Butter - or Cocoa Based Products for Hydration
Cocoa butter is another one of those ultra dense, nutrient rich super ingredients. It too is packed with healthy vitamins, minerals, enzymes, nutrients and more. We’d recommend going with 100% cocoa butter (no additives other than Vitamin E) or with another natural based cocoa product. Again, you’ll just want to make sure that the product you choose is brimming with great ingredients.
While we don’t use these too often (we love our brown sugar scrub or walnut scrub) we have to admit, we have used coffee scrubs in the past. Aside from wanting to eat the bag – I mean, who doesn’t love the coffee smell? – it can also be a great way to help improve stretch marks. Coffee is also packed with antioxidants and nutrients that help your skin regenerate. We’d recommend giving it a shot too. Just be sure to combine it with hydration after you’ve exfoliated all of that dead skin away.
No matter what direction you choose to venture, know that you can reduce and/or eliminate stretch marks with proper nutrients and a bit o love and care. Here’s to the journey!