We've ALL heard the cutesy nicknames given to these marks that seem to magically appear in the most annoying of places. Some embrace them (Rightfully so, as they are EARNED)...however, some do not. So first, we will define exactly what a stretch mark is, how they come to exist, how to treat and prevent them. I will also include an amazing little concoction that has spared me many a stretch mark. Not claiming miracles but it has definitely helped me in maintaining my skin during my "Yo-Yo" weight stages.
What is a stretch mark? A stretch mark is a scar that forms when your skin either stretches OR shrinks quickly. The collagen and elastin rupture from the sudden change. The skin then needs to heal and VOILA...stretch marks. If stretch marks run in your family, you are more likely to get them. However, stretch marks can result from weight loss, growth spurts, weight gain, pregnancy or muscle gains/losses. Stretch marks can be red, reddish-brown, dark brown,pink, purple, white...it all depends on your skin color. New stretch marks can be itchy and raised but in time, they fade. After awhile, if you run your fingers over an older stretch mark, you'll feel that it has slightly sunk into the skin.
Bad news. They're permanent. Good news. Treatment can minimize their appearance and alleviate the itch. You can also prevent new ones or lessen the effect. Different treatments include lasering, medicated creams, natural oils combined with massage, microdermabrasion and cosmetic surgery.
Here I will add a stretch mark recipe that has helped me prevent them on my own body. I don't claim to have a miracle in a jar but...hey...what can it hurt? I named it Goddess Body Oil. Mainly because I feel like a friggin Goddess after massaging it into my skin after drying off from a nice, hot shower. I've included pictures to help with the measuring as I measure according to my eyes.
Shea Butter (White and Yellow)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil (legit olive oil not the fake stuff)
Vitamin E Oil
Bitter Almond Oil- Optional but definitely a plus!
1 Mason Jar
1) Scoop Shea Butter into the jar. The Shea butter is probably hard as a rock. That's the best kind. Just fill it to 3/4 but don't pack it. It should still have spaces.
2) Next pour in Olive Oil. Fill until 1/4 full
3) Pour in Grapeseed Oil and Bitter Almond Oil (Or just Grapeseed)
4) Add Vitamin E Oil. You probably won't be able to squeeze a bunch of it out at once. I would guesstimate approximately 2-3 tablespoons.
5) Fill the rest with Coconut Oil. The Coconut Oil should be at the very top because it melts so quickly at a low temp
6) Put water in a small pot. You may want to only put about 1/4-1/2 a cup of water so it doesn't overflow when you place the jar of oils in the water.
7) Melt down on medium low heat...DO NOT BOIL IT.
8) Only stir with a wooden spoon. Something about the metal spoons messes up the consistency. I don't know if it's reacting with the molecules or what but...just use wood.
9) Melt it down slowly and CAREFULLY test by dripping on back of hand. It shouldn't be too hot to touch. Once it hits body temperature or a little warmer, take it out. DO NOT BOIL IT!
10) Stir. It's okay if the Shea Butter didn't melt all the way. It should be mostly oil at this point and a some big chunks is okay.
Now, you can use it as a nice little hot oil treatment for your skin or set aside to cool at room temperature. It'll begin to mix and harden together. It won't be hard but it'll be kind of creamy. It will melt immediately in your hand. Rub it onto your skin and massage it in to your problem areas. I personally so this religiously twice a day. So I got really great results even with my scars.
(2 Days of sitting at room temperature)
DO NOT MICROWAVE IT. It'll kill all of the good stuff.
Anyway, that's my Goddess Body Oil recipe. Try it out! It helped me a lot and I hope it helps you too.
Okay Belles and Beaus. Until next time! Au Revoir!