Beauty and Lifestyle Expert
Stretchmarks are an unwelcome sign of motherhood. But how can they be prevented and can you get rid of them?
When the appearance of stretchmarks don’t disappear along with the engorged breasts and broken sleep patterns, they can become a lingering reminder of the downside of motherhood.
Stretchmarks are caused by a natural stretching of the skin. Common anywhere that dramatic weight increase occurs during pregnancy, they begin their life as purple or red slivers, and lighten over time to a white, silvery colour. That just won’t budge.
“This is because in pregnancy the body can expand faster than the skin, causing the skin fibres to tear and result in scars known as stretch marks,” explains Bio-Oil Brand Manager, Felicity Darcy. Once the blood flow to the area abates, the pinkish colour turns into a ghostly reminder of what once was.
Topical oils and skin moisturisers may offer some salve to affected areas, but these must be massaged into the skin daily for best results. With time, this routine can help to break down scar tissue and promote cell renewal and collagen production, helping to even skin tone and reduce the visibility of stretch marks.
Bio-Oil is one of the more popular options, and a product that got many of my friends – and myself – through the rough and tumble of an ever-expanding tummy! It contains essential oils of calendula – which is beneficial as it helps stimulate the growth of new skin cells = along with rosemary oil that eases congestion sand puffiness. It also contains Vitamin A and E to help boost skin’s elasticity, texture and tone and increase the skin’s moisture content.
Other ingredients that can help – although internally moreso than topically – include citrus fruits, capsicum, green beans, strawberries and papaya. In salon, there are some laser therapy options available also so your treatment of stretch marks really depends on the extent of them – and your budget.
The best idea is to be prepared. If you gain weight fast during pregnancy, massage in appropriate oils daily – and continue afterwards whilst the area is still flushed with colour – for you never know when a stretch mark with strike, says Felicity.
“There’s the misconception that thin people don’t get stretch marks,” she notes, “but they are determined by hormones and genetics, which apply to people of all sizes!”
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