Stretch marks look like off-colour thin lines running almost parallel on the skin – almost like rows and rows of scars. Thighs, tummy, breasts, upper arms, waist, lower back – these are stretch marks’ favourite body zones and as you can imagine, these can look pretty awful.
The only good thing about stretch marks is that these are harmless to your physical health. The bad thing is that these scar-like bunches are so ugly to look at that most sufferers lose body confidence and want to be rid of them any which way.
First, let’s see why stretch marks occur
Stretch marks raise their ugly heads when the skin is stretched so much that the dermis layer (underneath epidermis – the uppermost skin layer) sustains damage. As you know already, the skin is the largest organ in our body and it has a great capacity to expand or contract. But if it is afflicted with sudden expansions or contractions (mostly due to rapid weight gain, weight loss, growth spurts), it suffers damage that shows up as stretch marks. Puberty, pregnancy, hormonal changes/hormone replacement therapy and bodybuilding are some common reasons.
Now that we know what makes stretch marks come up, let’s look at ways to treat them.
The thing about stretch marks is that these are a pesky nuisance. Once on your skin, they are in no hurry to disappear. It is better to stop them from appearing – a classic case of ‘prevention being better than cure’.
So how can we prevent stretch marks from appearing, let’s see
Lose/gain weight slowly
The biggest reason stretch marks come up is sudden weight gain or weight loss that puts a strain on the skin. So lose or gain, whatever your mission body weight, do it slowly, giving your skin the time to adjust.
Surprised at the connection between stress and stretch marks? When you are under stress, your adrenal glands produce a hormone called cortisol that body converts into cortisone. By the way, corticosteroid creams prescribed for skin disorders are also loaded with cortisone. Cortisone has a nasty side effect – it weakens skin’s elastic fibres and makes stretch marks crop up. To keep cortisone levels down, we advise healthy eating, sufficient sleeping and stress-reduction hobbies.
How to tackle existing stretch marks
As we mentioned earlier, the really bad thing about stretch marks is that these are stubborn. Making stretch marks fade away takes time, patience and the right skincare regimen.
Here are some pointers on getting your skin smooth and clear once again
Keep your skin moisturized
Moisture is your skin’s mainstay in staying elastic and looking smooth. So after bathing/showering, apply moisturizer generously all over including over stretch marks. Sometimes stretch mark formation is unavoidable (like during pregnancy), so it is a good idea to apply moisturizer wherever stretch marks are cropping up as it also helps soothe itchiness that tags along.
Drink your 8 glasses of water a day
Same reason as above. Your body needs inner moisture to help make your skin stay supple. So drink water at regular intervals.
Use sun protection
Sun rays can worsen stretch marks by drying up skin’s moisture and weakening its elasticity. Carry an umbrella and apply sunscreen before you step out.
We recommend WOW Skin Science AM2PM Sunscreen Lotion and WOW Anti Pollution Sunscreen for both men and women.
Massage with essential oil blends
Blend 3 drops of lavender essential oil in 10 ml almond oil (or any other quality cold-pressed seed oil) and massage stretch mark affected area daily. Essential oils are rich in healing compounds and cold-pressed seed oils are rich in vitamins and essential fats – both excellent at fading stretch marks.
Exfoliate with a good body scrub
Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and boosts blood circulation to lighten stretch marks. Do it twice a week for sustained results.
Use a specialized stretch mark lightening cream enriched with proven bioactive
A great way of minimizing stretch marks is to use a specialist product created to fade these pesky buggers. Plant stem cells, Gotu Kola herb, Green Tea Extract and premium seed oils are great at fading stretch marks.
If you are looking for a really good stretch mark remedy, look no further than WOW Stretch Marks & Scar Lightening Cream. It is powered with Globularia Cordifolia Callus Culture Extract (plant stem cells) that works wonders at eliminating stretch marks. It also has Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Safflower Seed Oil, Cocoa Butter, Castor Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Raspberry Seed Oil, Avocado Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Hempseed Oil, Jojoba Oil, Shea Butter, Horsetail, Gotu Kola, Algae Extract, Japanese Green Tea Leaf Extract, Grapefruit Seed Extract, Honeysuckle Flower Extract, and Vitamin B3, B5, C & E for additional skin repair. Apply it 2-3 times a day over afflicted areas and you should see a gradual positive difference in a few weeks.