If you've emerged from winter with an extra stretch mark or two on those thighs, are pregnant or would like to reduce the appearance of scars and stretch marks, you are in the right place! To help fade any existing stretch marks and prevent new ones forming, we’ve shared a range of oils that can help reduce stretch marks, plus some anti-stretch mark recipes that actually work.
Stretch marks form when the skin stretches very rapidly, whether it be from pregnancy, growth spurts in teens or weight gain. Our skin is made up of three layers, the epidermis (outer part), dermis (middle) and subcutaneous or hypodermis (the deepest layer). Stretch marks form in the dermis when the connective tissues stretch and rip. Collagen is damaged and collagen production slows. The stretching causes fine scars under the skin which first appear red or pink, but over time turn silvery on the surface. It is possible to prevent stretch marks appearing by keeping your skin very well moisturised and supple. It is also possible to reduce their appearance. Here are the top oils which can fade scars, rebuild collagen, increase elasticity, nourish and moisturise your skin:
Studies have shown that applying vitamin E oil and rosehip oil topically can reduce the appearance of stretch marks over time.
Vitamin E oil is highly nourishing and moisturising - it is important to feed your skin!
Rosehip seed oil helps regenerate cells and repair damaged tissues.
Neroli oil has anti-scarring properties and helps reduce their appearance. It also improves circulation in the skin, encouraging cell regeneration.
Helichrysum essential oil regenerates damaged skin. It can fade and heal scars, stretch marks and even surgical wounds. It contains properties which help reduce scar tissue and stimulate the growth of new skin tissue. It is considered one of the best oils for stretch marks.
Lavender essential oil is healing.
Lemon essential oil can lighten the appearance of dark stretch marks and scarring.
Sweet almond oil contains vitamin A and E and plenty of antioxidants which can help skin look younger.
Coconut oil contains vitamin E and is moisturising.
Cocoa butter is richly nourishing and famous for protecting the skin. It can penetrate the skin deeply too.
Shea butter can help rebuild collagen.
Baobab oil is packed with Omegas 3, 6 & 9 and vitamins A, D, E, and F and is a deeply restorative oil.
Macadamia oil is deeply healing and soothing on scars and stretch marks and is wonderfully regenerating.
Aloe vera is proven to improve the skin’s hydration and speed up the healing process by increasing cell regeneration. Apply directly to your skin or blend into creams or oils.
Please remember these recipes won’t make your stretch marks disappear overnight but it will help heal your skin over longer periods. Your skin is a living organ that needs time to repair itself. Expect to only see results after a few months of continuous use.
Pregnant ladies should apply their stretch mark remedy once or twice daily during pregnancy, and for at least two months after giving birth to help prevent ‘mama marks’. Even so, hereditary traits play a role in stretch marks; if your mother had them, you are more likely to get them.
Skin brushing can also help stimulate circulation and cell regeneration. Or you could make an easy sugar scrub using your favourite oils from the list:
½ c brown sugar
10 drops essential oil such as helichrysum, neroli, lemon, lavender or naartjie.
Mix together in a jar and scrub in circular motions while showering. It will rinse off and make your skin feel ultra soft and exfoliated.
This recipe uses a whole combination of anti- stretch mark oils! It also is a fabulously nourishing butter for dry or damaged skin.
2 T sweet almond oil
2 T coconut oil
2 T shea butter
2 T cocoa butter
½ T beeswax
3 tsp Vitamin E oil
20 drops neroli essential oil
15 drops helichrysum essential oil
15 drops lavender essential oil
10 drops lemon essential oil
Melt the almond oil, butters and wax in a hot water bath or double boiler. Once all ingredients are melted, pour them into a jar and let cool completely. You can even put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once cooled and slightly solidified, whip your butter into a creamy texture, then add essential oils and Vitamin E oil. This butter is a little greasy, so let it soak into your skin for 10 minutes before putting on clothes. Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon of arrowroot powder to it to make it less greasy. Apply daily.
If you prefer a convenient oil spray rather than a body butter, then this is for you.
2 T jojoba oil
2 T rosehip oil
2 T Vitamin E oil
10 drops of neroli essential oil
7 drops of lavender essential oil
7 drops of myrrh essential oil (optional and please use with caution if pregnant)
5 drops of lemon essential oil
Add all ingredients to a spray bottle, shake to combine and use daily!
¼ c aloe vera gel
2-3 T Vitamin E oil (you can add any oil such as olive, sweet almond, baobab or jojoba but we like vitamin E here).
Blend together and store in a bottle. Apply every night before bed. To add skin lightening properties, blend in 5 drops lemon essential oil.
Banish those stretch marks and keep your skin soft and elastic the natural way.
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