Stretch marks come during pregnancy and puberty. Growth spurts and stretching of the skin leads to scarring of the skin from underneath. Learning how to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and weight loss can help you avoid the esthetic problem. Here’s how to avoid stretch marks when pregnant, in teenagers and when losing weight.
Though it is hard to agree with that statement completely, there are things that you can do to prevent the happening of stretch marks on your body. For many women, stretch marks are something that they generally accept as given, and as a part of life. Either they have skin that is elastic, or they do not. The following are the top things that you can do to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks.
1. Apply Coconut Oil
Applying coconut oil on the skin surface is perhaps the best home remedy to ensure that your skin remains moisturized at all times. Hydrating your skin when pregnant will improve the elasticity of your skin to make it resist scarring that may result into fresh red stretch marks around the stomach, buttocks, thighs and legs. Here’s how to use coconut oil to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
- Take a generous amount of the oil and generously rub it onto your skin
- Massage the area where you have applied the oil, to hasten absorption to the skin
- You will need to apply it at least two times each day
In the event where you find yourself lacking sufficient coconut oil, you can substitute it with cocoa butter, avocado oil, baby oil, or emu oil.
2. Castor oil packs prevent stretch marks
Pregnant women are often advised to use castor oil for the duration of their pregnancy as a way of preventing stretch marks.
Since time immemorial, women have used the castor oil packs in not only preventing, but also reducing fine lines, blemishes, wrinkles, and all other problems that are age related. Castor oil works as a humectant, which assists your skin retain moisture.
- Take a thick layer of castor oil and apply it to your skin
- Wrap the area where you have applied the castor oil with saran wrap or plastic wrap
- Take a hot water bottle or a heating pad and use it on the area for a minimum of twenty minutes
- The process should be repeated daily for several times a week
If you would like to thin the oil before applying it, make sure to combine one teaspoon of your castor oil with at least three tablespoons of almond oil and then carefully apply this mixture to your skin surface.
3. Stay hydrated
It is recommended that you drink as much water as you can in a day to make sure that you remain hydrated. Drinking large amounts of water helps keep the skin supple, which in turn assists in maintaining the elasticity of the skin.
When the elasticity is maintained, it makes the skin layers less prone to being torn. To guarantee the most positive results, you should make sure that you drink a minimum of two liters of water each day. Hydrating your skin adequately will help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and even postpartum.
4. Eat a well-balanced diet
You need to eat a diet and foods rich in vitamins C and contains minerals such as silica, and zinc, and additional nutrients that can help in nourishing your skin surface.
- For instance, vitamin C is vital when it comes to helping regenerate connective tissues that have been destroyed.
- If you strengthen connective tissue when pregnant, you will prevent stretchmarks on stomach easily since the skin will not get torn easily as a result of stretching as your belly grows.
5. Vitamin E Intake
When it comes to vitamins that have antioxidants, vitamin E is one of the most powerful of them all. The vitamin protects fibers found in your skin known as collagen from getting damaged by the presence of free radicals.
In return, this keeps the collagen fiber strong and helps in promoting the elasticity of the skin. To make sure that you will get the maximum benefits, you will need to consume foods that have high vitamin E content. The following foods will help you prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Foods with high vitamin E content include:
- Sunflower seeds
You should also consider massaging your skin several times a day using creams that have vitamin E to avoid stretch marks during pregnancy. Alternatively, you can consider orally taking vitamin E supplements.
6. Moisturize your skin using blends
It is possible to create very interesting oil blends by making a mixture derived from several bases and essential oils and using the resulting mixture to moisturize the skin surface and avoid pregnancy stretch mark scars.
- Combine one cup of coconut oil and olive oil
- Take at least four tablespoons of Vitamin E, and add them to six tablespoons of Vitamin A
- Ensure the mixture is perfectly blended and then use it to massage the area with stretch marks regularly
Here’s another way to prevent stretch marks with oils
- Mix cocoa butter, Shea butter, and coconut oil
- Take the mixture and place it in a microwave
- Include a small amount of vitamin E oil capsule to this blend
- Apply the final blend to the area with stretch marks
- If you like, you could also choose to add a small amount of orange oil into the vitamin E oil
7. Dry brushing
In many ways, dry brushing is very good for your skin as it helps in exfoliating the skin. Exfoliating generally helps in opening the skin pores and in removing the dead skin cells and dirt that has built up there over time.
Once removed, your skin will be in a great position to start absorbing creams, moisturizing oils and lotions a lot better.
Apart from exfoliating your skin, dry brushing also assists in stimulating circulation of blood within your body, which helps in fat mobilization and the elimination of toxins. This will help reduce cellulite and prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and weight loss.
- Before taking a shower or bathing, take a brush and use it to brush your bare skin
- Use long and sweeping strokes towards your heart
- You need to dry brush the affected skin for at least five minutes
- Ensure you focus on the area around your buttocks, abdomen, arms, and thighs
- Dry brushing should be done daily
- Make sure to avoid dry brushing all the areas that have really sensitive skin
As implied by the name, you will need to perform this on skin that is dry and not wet in any way. As you are shopping for a good brush, ensure you purchase a brush that has a long handle, which will make it easier for you to reach areas that are normally hard to reach when using normal brushes.
The ideal brush for use in dry brushing can normally be located in the bath section of a department store, or at your local drug store.
8. Do not gain or lose weight rapidly
If you have been exercising hard trying to make sure that you shed the excess weight, it is best for you if you limit the weight loss to at least one pound each week.
- Losing too much weight rapidly will lead your skin with very ugly stretch marks.
- On the other hand, gaining too much weight within a short duration will also leave you with the same problem.
Ensure that you watch your weight gain during pregnancy to prevent stretch marks easily.
Regular, but moderated exercises help in promoting the circulation of blood. Improved circulation is vital as it helps in nourishing the cells found on your skin.
Additionally, it also assists in toning body muscles and increasing the elasticity of your skin. What’s more, exercising regularly will help in regulating hormones. The exercises will also induce sweating which helps in eliminating toxins found in your body.
Expectant mothers are encouraged to include light exercises in their daily activities, or workouts designed for pregnant women once they have consulted a doctor. This will help manage weight gain and prevent stretch marks easily.
10. Avoid using corticosteroids for long
Prolonged and frequent use of corticosteroids such as topical creams and ointments often leads to a greater risk of growing stretch marks.
- Frequent use will often cause skin atrophy, also known as skin thinning.
- You should, therefore, make sure that you use this medication irregularly.
This is another exfoliation method that can help get rid of stretch marks fast. In this technique, you will need to scrub your body while you have a shower. It is recommended that you:
First soak in warm bathing water, as this will help in opening your pores, and loosening the dead skin around it.
- Once loosened, proceed to use a scrub (loofah) to remove all the dead skin gently.
- After completing your shower, you must remember to moisturize the skin properly, to help the skin adapt to the strain that comes with stretching of the skin.
You should only perform this method twice a week. Any additional sessions and you could be overdoing it, which may lead to skin irritation.
12. Use gelatin to prevent stretch marks
Using gelatin is a great way to prevent the occurrence of stretch marks. For your skins elasticity to improve, collagen formation must take place.
To enhance the formation of collagen, it is possible to acquire more collagen through proper dieting. Today, most diets are highly lacking in gelatin. To get more gelatin in your diet, you can do the following:
13. Make bone broth
The bone broth can be taken plain each morning. You could also use it to make sauces, gravies, and soups, or use it in boiling your rice, as it helps in adding some flavor.
Alternatively, you could also use gelatin powder. The powder can be added in drinks or used to make fruit gummies.
Gelatin not only helps with the elasticity of your skin, but it also comes with numerous other benefits that include:
- Improved sleep
- Fight damage caused by free radicals
- Improve sensitivity to insulin
- Reduced joint pain
- Improved wound healing
Zinc, a natural trace mineral, also happens to be one of the most abundant in the human body. When deficient, it can lead to the occurrence of stretch marks.
Additionally, zinc also contains antioxidant properties and is used in the formation of collagen. To increase your zinc supply, you should consume lots of lambs, whole grains, legumes, eggs, and beef. This will go a long way in preventing stretch marks when pregnant.
15. Treat stretch marks when they appear
When you take all the precautions listed above, and stretch marks still appear on your skin, you will have to take care of them when they are still red, and still painful.
Application of coconut oil on the site helps in taking care of this problem. If coconut oil is not for you, you can always try the various prescription medications available, such as creams that have retinol, or glycolic acid.
However, before you opt for the prescription medication, do hold a consult with your doctor as retinol or glycolic ingestion during pregnancy may be dangerous for the unborn baby.
Best Cream to Avoid Stretch Marks When Pregnant
You can also prevent stretch marks during pregnancy using commercial creams. When you are expecting, it is all about making sure that you moisturize your skin. Given that there is no guaranteed way of knowing whether you will get stretch marks or not, it is hard not to worry as you watch your tummy grow.
Although many methods can be used to keep the stretch marks at bay, the one method that all skin care experts agree on is keeping the skin moisturized. Some of the products in the market that can help in moisturizing your tummy include the following:
1. SheaTerra Mama’s Gold Stretch Mark Prevention Oil
The bodied oil is jam-packed with nutritive oils, which seep into your skin and ease it as it stretches during pregnancy.
A mother, who has given birth to twelve children, and happens to be an expert in African oils and herbs, formulates the oil.
2. Bepanthen Stretch Mark Cream
The cream comes with the perfect consistency—it is not too thick, and neither is it too light. It is easy to rub into the skin, and unlike other stretch mark prevention creams, it does not take ages for it to dry.
The cream is sold together with an air-powered pump that is installed at the top making it easy to use and store at home. The pump also guarantees less wastage of the cream as it regulates the amount of cream being released.
3. Mustela Stretch Marks Double Prevention
As a mother, just because you suffer from sensitive skin or eczema does not mean that you should not reap the numerous benefits that come with using this stretch mark prevention cream.
The cream is hypoallergenic, which means that it is non-irritating, and guarantees non-greasy application, which means that your clothes will not be stained in the application process.
You are therefore at liberty to also rub it into your expanding abdomen, chest, and breasts as well.
4. Palmers Cocoa Butter Massage Lotion for Stretch Marks Prevention
Cocoa butter massage lotion comes with a very thick consistency that allows you to feel as though you are applying something that will work on your skin, and keep the stretch marks at bay.
The cream is a bit thick, and hence the need to give it some time for it to get absorbed into your skin. It is recommended that you permit at least five minutes after application for absorption to occur.
Palmer’s keeps your skin hydrated at all times, and makes sure that your skin is nourished as well.
5. Shea Moisture Mummy Stretch Mark Butter
Shea moisture products are globally known for their natural and top-notch formulas, and this stretch mark prevention cream is no exception.
Cupuaru is one of the top ingredients used in its production, and in addition to being a great alternative to lanolin; it comes with a delicious scent, which is very similar to that of butter.
6. Bio Oil
Bio oil is very easy to apply on the skin to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and when losing weight. Unlike other creams, it absorbs at a very fast rate, though you still need to wait between three and five minutes before you can put your clothes on, as a precaution to ensure that they will not be stained.
The bio-oil fragrance is quite pleasant, but at the same time also happens to be neutral which is an ideal thing when expecting, as, in many cases, your sense of smell can be quite sensitive when pregnant.
When you use it consistently, you can expect it to get rid of all stretch marks, leaving your skin feeling soft and supple. The existing lines will also be greatly reduced.
7. The Honest Company Organic Belly Balm
When you are expecting, your skin will start stretching in a bid to accommodate the growing bump, and the chances are that the stretching of the skin will lead to itching.
You can find relief in this thick belly balm that has been infused with numerous organic butter, antioxidants, and botanicals that deeply penetrate your skin and help in soothing the itch, hydrate the skin as well as improve elasticity.
After weeks of continued use, you can expect to leave the skin feeling soft and supple.
8. Palmers Cocoa Tummy Butter
The cocoa butter is easy to rub into your skin, although it is absorbed at a very slow pace. It is recommended you use it as an evening cream to ensure that your clothes will not get strained after you have applied it.
Even though it does not work on existing stretch marks, it does help make sure that new stretch marks will not occur. Also, it does not hurt that it smells nice and leaves the skin feeling nice and soft. Palmers cocoa butter is a very popular cream for avoiding stretch marks during pregnancy and when gaining weight or losing weight.
8. Kimbery Parry Belly Butter
The belly butter is one hundred percent certified organic skin product that is ideal for use by the entire family.
The belly butter only contains five ingredients—jojoba oil, coconut oil, olive oil, Shea butter, and beeswax—and these are all products that you are familiar with at home, and they are all that you need to have great and healthy skin.
9. Aveeno Moisturizing Oil
Aveeno moisturizing oil is very thin and rubs onto your skin very nicely. However, its effects do not seem to last for a long time and hence the need to keep reapplying it.
The Aveeno moisturusig oil is easily absorbed into your skin providing your belly with the moisturizing attributes it needs to remain soft and supple. It plays an important role in ensuring that new stretch marks do not appear on your skin as the belly continues to expand.
10. Clarins Stretch Mark Minimizer
When you get stretch marks, you start preparing yourself for another reality in the form of loose and saggy skin.
One of the major ingredients in this minimizer is crow belly juice. The juice contains flavonoids, which inhibit the enzymes that cause the development of fat tissue and breaks down collagen and the elating fiber.
As it reduces the redness causes by your stretch marks, it also helps in firming your skin, smoothening out the bumps and ripples, and improving the overall tone of your skin, along with its texture. If you are looking to avoid stretch marks, use this cream during pregnancy.
11. Boppy Bloom Stretch Mark Cream
The Boppy Bloom cream comes in a small tube, which packs a lot of punch. It is rich in Shea butter, coconut oil, as well as vitamin E.
Thanks to its rich list of ingredients, you will definitely not mind rubbing a little of the thick cream onto your belly to prevent stretch marks when pregnant.
The cream does not feel sticky and comes with a light citrus scent that will not trigger your morning sickness in any way.
12. Pregnancy Stretch Mark Prevention Cream: How to Use It
Regular use of stretch mark creams and lotions help in improving the elasticity of the skin—and this can mean that as your baby bump grows, your skin will be able to stretch easily, and this will mean the development of fewer stretch marks. Apply a good cream to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.
Experts recommend that you get into a routine of applying the stretch marks cream twice each day: before going to bed, and before you get dressed in the morning.
However, the best time to apply this type of cream or lotion will be after you have taken a bath, as your skin surface will still be damp.
After you have taken your shower, your moisturizer will be able to penetrate at a faster pace as you have already shed the top layers of the skin surface. It is, therefore, able to easily reach the innermost layer of the skin, also known as the dermis.
When applying, you need to pour some cream into your hand, and then use your free hand to rub the cream into the skin. Focus on areas that are prone to stretch marks such as hips, back, as well as your legs.