What Are Stretch Marks?
It’s fairly safe to say that no one is a raving fan of stretch marks. For the uninitiated, stretch marks are narrow streaks or stripes that appear on the surface of the skin for several reasons; they are typically formed due to excessive stretching of the skin, such as can happen during pregnancy or as a result of changes in body weight.
New mothers often experience stretch marks in the abdomen, hips and/or thighs as a result of pregnancy weight gain, as well as from the stretching of the skin around the navel area during gestation. The abdomen, buttocks, thighs and breasts are among the areas of the body that are most affected. These stretch marks are often purple or red in color, before slowly fading to a silvery-white color. They are generally thin and long.
Why Do Stretch Marks Appear?
Stretch marks are caused due to the sudden stretching of the skin – as the skin expands and contracts, the connective tissue is stretched beyond its normal limits, and just like a rubber band that’s been stretched too far, it’s difficult for the skin to get back to its normal taut, firm appearance. This results in the upper layers of the skin to break, making the inner layers visible. The skin can become tense due to several reasons including, as mentioned above, pregnancy, growth spurts during adolescence and weight gain.
To be sure, stretch marks are a very common thing, but that doesn’t make them any less unappealing; in fact, most people who have developed stretch marks are looking for any way they can to get rid of them.
Why Do You Get Stretch Marks During Pregnancy?
Stretch marks are common during pregnancy because of the tension put on the skin by the growing child. Stretch marks may appear over the abdominal area, buttocks, thighs, breasts or upper arms; they are pink or purple in color.
Facts About Stretch Marks
The two images below show 15 facts about stretch marks.
What Role Do Essential Oils Play In Getting Rid Of Stretch Marks?
While there are certain surgical procedures that can diminish or eliminate the appearance of stretch marks, many people are hesitant to take on the risks of undergoing an invasive procedure just for cosmetic purposes. Fortunately, there are other ways that don’t involve going “under the knife”.
Essential oils are one of the most effective natural alternatives when it comes to dealing with stretch marks or other skin acne. The essential oils I have used to heal stretch marks that I got after my pregnancy are jasmine, helichrysum, vetiver, geranium, mandarin, patchouli, neroli and lavender. Each of these essential oils have regenerative properties that slow down the aging of the skin, improve flexibility and hydrate the skin to recover the damaged skin cells.
Since essential oils are generally highly concentrated, I recommend that you always mix them with a carrier oil or cream before application. Some of the good carrier oils I can recommend include almond, apricot, jojoba, primrose and carrot essential oils. Having said that, here are some of the best essential oils you can use to get rid of those nasty stretch marks.
How To Use Essential Oils During Pregnancy?
Do not use essential oils in the very first trimester of pregnancy, as this is when a miscarriage is most likely to happen. I would recommend that you make use of carrier oil, such as calendula oil, when applying essential oils during the pregnancy. Blend the essential oil with the carrier oil well and use over the impacted areas two times a day.
Top 7 Essential Oils That Will Eliminate Stretch Marks
1. Helychrysum Oil
Often known as the everlasting oil, helychrysum comes from the silver-green aromatic leaves of an evergreen plant. It has a fruity aroma, which I feel is very similar to that of honey. There are multiple therapeutic properties of this essential oil: It is diuretic, astringent, analgesic, antispasmodic and a potent anti-inflammatory. When it comes to stretch marks removal, this essential oil helps to improve the blood circulation and recover the damaged skin.
2. Sage Oil
Sage oil comes from an evergreen perennial plant. It is drawn out from the dried leaves of this plant by means of steam purification. For pregnant women, Sage is one of the most effective essential oils that I consider safe to use.
While most of the therapeutic effects of this essential oil are similar to that of helychrysum, it is additionally an antibacterial emmenogogue. However, that is just a simple way of stating that the oil stimulates the blood flow. Splash a few drops of this essential oil in a warm bath and massage your stretch marks away, post-pregnancy.
3. Rosehip Oil
Drawn out from the seed of a fruit that comes from a thorny rose, the essential oil of Rosehip is high in fatty acids. It is additionally a great source of anti-oxidants and vitamins. Rosehip includes a form of vitamin A that is almost similar to Retin-A – a vitamin used in almost every anti-aging product. Rosehip is gentle on the skin, so feel free to lube up your body and massage away any visible stretch marks. Sage regenerates the skin and safeguards it from future damage. However, it may intensify acne so use with care.
4. Lavender Oil
The calming aroma of lavender is used for putting children to sleep. This essential oil is also great for those with annoying stretch marks. Just like other essential oils, lavender originates from an evergreen plant and is drawn out by the process of steam distillation. When used on the skin, it rejuvenates and tones the skin, making it a common ingredient in creams and massage oils meant for stretch marks removal.
5. Neroli Oil
Neroli comes from orange blossoms and has a deliciously sweet fragrance. Even when diluted, it still smells excellent! While being revitalizing and regenerative, neroli fixes sagging skin and checks the growth of stretch marks.
6. Patchouli Oil
Patchouli promotes fast recovery of the skin and prevents ugly scarring. It stimulates the tissue regeneration and promotes the development of skin cells. In addition, Patchouli helps to moisturize the skin and is an outstanding treatment for the stretch marks.
7. Castor Oil
Castor oil is considered a very reliable remedy for treating a number of skin conditions like wrinkles, sagging skin, fine lines and acnes. According to Ayurveda and Homeopathy, Castor oil is the best natural remedy for stretch marks removal.
In order to use castor oil, just mix one tablespoon of castor oil with two tablespoons of almond oil in a clean bowl. Massage this blend over the stretch marks and let the skin absorb it for 10 to 15 minutes. Follow this regimen 2-3 times a day for a period of 2 weeks to get rid of the stretch marks.
4 Best Essential Oil Recipes For Quick Removal Of Stretch Marks
Recipe 1 – Using Lavender and Lemon
Put cocoa butter and 15g of beeswax in a heavy bottomed vessel. Add 30ml of evening primrose oil and 50g of coconut oil to the blend and melt over low heat. Sprinkle water over the mix while stirring constantly. When a fluffy texture is obtained, turn off the heat and add 2ml of lemon essential oil and 3ml of lavender essential oil. Whip constantly until the texture gets downy. Store it in an airtight container. Massaging the impacted area with this cream will deliver incredible results.
Recipe 2 – Using Frankincense with Sandalwood and Lavender
This recipe includes essential oils only and the most important amongst them is frankincense essential oil. Frankincense essential oil is admired all over the world for its tissue recovery properties and hence is an essential ingredient of this recipe. Mix three drops each of lavender, frankincense and sandalwood essential oil each. Add 6 teaspoons of sesame seed oil to this oil blend and mix well. If needed, store this blend in a glass container for future use.
In general, we tend to open our wallets to buy costly stretch mark creams expecting great results. These creams do not ensure any outcomes, and homemade concoctions are a much better choice. The natural ingredients of homemade recipes enhance the skin’s natural regenerative powers, which in turns helps the skin to heal the stretch marks on its own.
Recipe 3 – Using Frankincense and Lavender
Frankincense and lavender for stretch marks: I blended these 2 oils in a small amount of fractionated coconut oil and smeared it all over my belly regularly. I ended up with amazing results in just a few weeks of use.
Recipe 4 – Using coconut oil as a base
Initially, collect your products: a mixer, coconut oil and the essential oils of your choice. I use Lavender, Frankincense and Grapefruit essential oils for this recipe. In order to make the base of your cream, put the coconut oil in the mixer and beat for about five minutes. If you don’t have a stand mixer you can make use of a hand mixer or even beat the coconut oil with a fork. I wouldn’t suggest the fork technique for larger quantities, however, I often use this technique to make small samples for people and it doesn’t take long at all. After 5 minutes, your coconut oil will be of a good creamy consistency, which is almost similar to cream or yogurt. Now you have a base to which you can add any essential oils that you wish.
This cream has helped me in fading my stretch marks, especially after pregnancy. Do not forget to keep your cream in a glass jar, not plastic. You can also consider using shea butter or beeswax instead of coconut oil, depending on the consistency you desire.
6 Favorite Essential Oil Recipes Safe For Use Before, During And After Pregnancy
- 30ml of carrier oil
- 15 drops of Lavender essential oil
- 15 drops of Geranium essential oil
Mix all the ingredients well and massage over thighs and breasts after a warm shower. Do this every day.
- Spearmint essential oil
- Angelica essential oil
- Lemongrass essential oil
- Fennel essential oil
Use a combination of these oils mixed in carrier oil in a ratio of 30 drops of essential oil to 30ml of the carrier oil. The best essential oils you can use in this recipe are grapeseed and sweet almond oil.
Massage over each breast and your thighs daily after a warm shower.
- 30ml of sweet almond oil
- 15ml of Wheatgerm oil
- 10 drops of borage seed oil
- 5 drops of carrot oil
Mix all of these ingredients and use over the location you have got stretch marks.
- 100ml Glass Pump Bottle
- 5 drops Frankincense essential oil
- 10 drops Mandarin essential oil
- 8 drops Lavender essential oil
- 20ml Wheatgerm Oil
- 30ml Rosehip Oil
- 50ml Sweet Almond Oil
- Mix all the essential oils in a glass bottle and swirl carefully to blend
- Add the carrier oil and close the lid. Shake the bottle gently for a couple of minutes to blend the oils.
- Leave the blend in the bottle for 24 hours before the first use.
- Massage this oil daily, making sure that you cover your skin from the breasts down to the thighs, rubbing it well into the skin.
- Keep the bottle in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
Get a dark bottle where you can mix and keep your concoction. Fill the bottle with the mix of wheat gram oil and the almond oil. Add to this blend 10 drops of neroli oil and 15 drops of lavender oil. Massage the blend over the impacted areas each day after bath for best outcomes.
Add a few drops of essential oils of chamomile, lavender and almond. Heat the blend over low heat and then massage over impacted areas 2 or 3 times a day.
This massage oil can also be made by blending carrier oils with melted beeswax. Mix the carrier oil of your choice with melted beeswax and stir well. Let the mix cool off a bit prior to adding essential oils to ensure that the oils won’t lose their potency.
Recommended Natural Product for Stretch Marks
However, before I dwell into that plus all the essential oil recipes, there is one natural product that works wonders and will significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks. As you are aware, there is no cure for stretch marks, but using chemical-laden creams is not the way to go as this will lead to other side effects. When I previously used H-Stretch Marks Formula from AMOILS, my stretch marks became less visible and within just two weeks, they were all gone. And I didn’t have to compromise my skin with harmful chemicals and creams. Click here to read my detailed review on H-Stretch Marks.
Home Remedies For Stretch Marks
Below are 8 home remedies you can use to get rid of those unsightly stretch marks.
1. Potato Juice
Strange as it sounds, potato juice is actually a very potent remedy for stretch marks, because it is rich in vitamins and minerals, and its chemical composition promotes the growth and regeneration of new skin cells. Simply cut a medium sized potato into several thick slices, and then gently rub one of the slices on the affected area for about 30 to 45 seconds. Allow the juice from the potato to dry on the surface of the skin, and then gently wash the area using a damp cloth and lukewarm water.
2. Sugar Scrub
There are all kinds of sugar scrubs on the market, most of which are typically used to exfoliate the skin. You can create a homemade sugar scrub by combining one tablespoon of sugar with about 5 or 6 drops each of almond oil and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well until it has a paste-like consistency, and then spread the scrub directly onto the stretch marks. Let it sit on the affected area for about 8 to 10 minutes, and then rinse it off in the shower. Make this a part of your daily routine for at least a month, and you should see the stretch marks begin to fade away.
3. Olive Oil
This powerful natural substance is rich in all kinds of beneficial nutrients that can work wonders on beleaguered skin. All you need to do is heat a small amount of extra virgin olive oil ever so slightly, and then spread it on the affected area, massaging it into the skin in a circular motion. Allow the oil to sit for about one hour so that it can be fully absorbed into the skin. Not only will this encourage greater circulation to the affected area, but it will also help to promote skin cell production in order to repair those stretch marks.
4. Pure Emu Oil
Emu oil can deliver excellent results when it comes to getting rid of scars and stretch marks. The reason why Emu oil is best for healing stretch marks is that it has a high concentration of linolenic acid and oleic acid. Moreover, Emu oil can easily penetrate the skin and replenish it with scar/stretch mark healing minerals.
5. Cocoa Butter
An entire industry has been created around various cocoa butter products, because it is one of the most popular natural substances in the world for nourishing and repairing the skin. One of the biggest benefits of using cocoa butter is that it stimulates circulation to the affected area, which can really help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Simply massage a generous amount of cocoa butter into the affected area at least twice a day, and maintain this routine for at least one to two months. After that time, you should definitely begin to notice the stretch marks begin to diminish.
6. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which can work wonders in terms of cleansing and revitalizing the skin. Try juicing about 3 or 4 lemons (not in an actual juicer, but just squeezing them by hand), and then gently massage this juice into the affected area for about 5 to 10 minutes. After letting the juice sit on the skin, clean the affected area with lukewarm water. Repeat this routine daily for at least 2 to 3 weeks. You can also try mixing cucumber juice in with the lemon juice to create a cooling and refreshing stretch-mark-removing concoction.
No, we’re not talking about the character from the classic “Little Rascals” movies – we’re talking about the actual alfalfa plant. This powerful natural botanical contains potent antioxidants that help defend the skin against free radical damage and premature aging. Try mixing some alfalfa powder with a few drops of roman chamomile oil to create a natural paste that you can spread on the affected area. Gently rub this paste into the skin 3 times a day, allowing it to sit for about five minutes per session.
8. Grape Seed Oil
Grape seed oil is one of the best oils for stretch marks. Because of its regenerative properties, and its ability to help the skin retain its balance of epithelium cells and nerve cells, it can reduce the appearance of stretch marks. In order to use grape seed oil for your stretch marks, apply it two times daily over areas that have or are vulnerable to develop stretch marks.
This is perhaps the simplest remedy for stretch marks, yet it can also be the most powerful. Staying hydrated is absolutely critical to maintaining healthy skin, as water will flush out unwanted toxins and cleanse the skin at the cellular level. Drink at least 8-10 eight-ounce glasses of water a day to stave off those stretch marks.
The Bottom Line
As mentioned earlier, stretch marks are far from an uncommon condition, but that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it. In order to avoid getting stretch marks, do not stay in the sun for long, consume lots of protein and fatty acids, drink enough water, keep the skin moisturized and tone your muscles with frequent workouts.
Whilst home remedies will generally offer a short term fix against stretch marks, using essential oils will offer a long-lasting and permanent cure to zap those stretch marks right out of your life. And, if you, like many other mothers, have been suffering from unsightly stretch marks, you’ll be glad to know how to use essential oils to get rid of stretch marks once and for all!