Stretch mark remedies can be an unsightly reminder of pregnancy or weight gain. They are caused when the skin is stretched beyond its own elasticity, causing the collagen to breaks and unsightly red or purple scars to appear. While stretch marks are fairly common, they can also be avoided and treated with some simple home remedies. Consider the following six suggestions.
1. Cocoa butter
Cocoa butter is often recommended for stretch marks. While its effectiveness may be limited after these scars appear, it can help you to avoid getting them in the first place. This is because cocoa butter is very thick and rich, penetrating many of the skin’s layers to keep it supple. When the skin is stretched from weight gain, this suppleness will keep it more elastic so you’re less likely to get stretch marks.
If you’re pregnant or are gaining weight, start using cocoa butter as soon as possible. Massage it into areas where stretchmarks commonly appear, such as the lower belly, inside the upper arms, and inside the knees. This will keep skin soft and stop those stretch marks from forming.
2. Mineral oil
More commonly called baby oil, mineral oil is also thick and takes time to penetrate skin’s layers, ensuring you stay hydrated long after you first apply it. Consequently, mineral oil can keep skin soft and more able to stretch during pregnancy and weight gain. It’s also thought that this remedy may help to eliminate stretch marks by reaching the layers of cells under the marks, causing the skin to plump up so that the scars are less visible.
To get the full benefits of mineral oil, apply it right after a shower while your skin is still wet. This locks in moisture from the shower and the water allows the oil to be more easily absorbed into your skin. If you shower at night, put on an old pair of sweatpants and a sweatshirt so you don’t get the oil on your bedsheets.
3. Vitamin E oil
Vitamin E contains many healing nutrients that are good for the skin and encourages healing. As the skin heals, many scars fade and are less visible, including stretch marks. Vitamin E oil can also calm the appearance of stretch marks so that they’re not as red and noticeable. In addition, it plumps up the skin so that the healthier layer underneath those marks will push through, revealing skin that is smoother and more radiant overall.
4. Sugar and oil
Exfoliating your skin can help to remove the top layers where stretch marks appear, making healthier, unscarred layers of skin more noticeable. You don’t need to invest in expensive exfoliating products to treat your stretch marks at home, as a simple sugar and oil mixture works as well as anything you find on store shelves.
To use this remedy, mix white sugar with baby oil or vitamin E oil until you have a runny paste. You want to gently rub this into damp skin, but don’t use it while actually in the shower, as the oil can create a dangerously slippery surface in the tub. Instead, try applying it when you just step out of the shower.
Massage the paste into stretch marks for several minutes, and then rub off with a damp cloth. The sugar will exfoliate the top layers of skin while the oil will hydrate it, keeping it soft and supple. Be sure to repeat this treatment at least once a week for the best results.
5. Lemon juice
The acidic properties of lemon juice can also help to exfoliate the skin where stretch marks are found. Use pure lemon juice on a cotton ball and rub it in a circular motion around the stretch marks. Let it penetrate for a good ten minutes before rinsing the area with a damp cloth. Do this every week and you’ll see healthier skin and fewer stretch marks over time.
6. Potato juice
Potatoes contain a wealth of vitamins and minerals that encourage healthy skin growth. To use potato juice, cut a potato in half and rub the exposed part of the potato onto the area of skin scarred by stretch marks. Use the potato to gently massage the area and allow the juice to seep in for several minutes before washing it away with a damp cloth.