Tanning and stretch marks

Chances are, most women you know have stretch marks. Chrissy Teigen does, and so does Teyana Taylor — it’s incredibly common, and there’s nothing wrong with your body or skin if you have them, too. If you’re less fond of these little lines, you can minimize their appearance (though science has determined you can’t get rid of them for good as of yet). Other options include taking measures to prevent them in the first place, concealing them, or perhaps most forward-thinking of all, learning to love them. What follows is our guide to all of the above.

What are they?

“Stretch marks are caused by rapid stretching of the skin during times of brisk weight gain, pregnancy, or growth,” explains Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. “The skin stretches so quickly that the collagen and elastic tissue are damaged, leading to the characteristic line-like appearance of the skin.”

You may have also heard stretch marks called by their technical name, striae. As Zakiya P. Rice, an assistant professor of dermatology and the director of the Dermatology Clinical Trials Unit at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, Georgia, explains, striae are actually scars — and scars, by definition, “are permanent molecular changes in the skin that cannot be reversed.” Which is why if you have them, you’ve kind of got them for good. (And guess what? We all do — it’s nothing to feel ashamed about.)

Here, five ways to improve the appearance of stretch marks.

1. A prescription retinoid.

This topical vitamin A derivative stimulates new collagen production. A 2014 study published in the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery showed that daily use over 16 weeks can help reduce the appearance of those newer, red marks. Caveat: This one isn’t recommended if you’re pregnant.

2. A rich lotion.

“A petroleum-based moisturizer forms a protective seal over the skin and allows your skin to heal optimally, which could minimize the formation of stretch marks,” says Zeichner. We’re fans of the new Dove DermaSeries Dry Skin Relief Expert Repairing Balm.

3. Fractional lasers.

Many dermatologists use a fractional laser, like the Fraxel Dual, to treat stretch marks. Three to five treatments over the course of three months can make red stretch marks almost invisible and reduce the appearance of older ones by up to 50 percent.

4. Microneedling with radio frequency.

“These treatments poke tiny holes in the skin to promote healing, which will help you shed the abnormal scars,” says Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist in New York City. “At the same time, a radio-frequency laser heats underneath the skin to build up regular collagen and tighten the stretch marks.”

Jeanine Downie, a dermatologist in Montclair, New Jersey, often uses this technology to treat stretch marks in dark-skinned patients because there’s no risk of triggering hyperpigmentation. Intracel and Intensif are two common brand names; you’ll need two to five treatments and can expect an improvement of up to 60 percent.

5. Self-tanner.

If your skin is fair to medium, self-tanner can obscure those white lines. Our top pick right now: St. Tropez’s new One Minute Pre-Shower Tan. Coat your body, wait a minute, shower off. No smell, no wait time.

Related Stories:

  • Plus-Size Model Lucija Lugomer Got Real About Her Stretch Marks on Instagram
  • Curve Model Denise Bidot Proudly Shows Her Cellulite in New Target Swim Campaign
  • Teyana Taylor Gets Real About Stretch Marks

Now, here are five easy ways to treat your body this week:

Want to get rid of stretch marks?

Then you’re in the right place.

Because today, I’m going to reveal 17 simple ways to get rid of your stretch marks, fast.

But let me say this right away:

I’m NOT going to bore you with 3 fat paragraphs explaining what stretch marks are.

Instead, I’m going show you how to actually get rid of your stretch marks.

Right now.

Let’s get started.

  • 1. Spread Aloe Vera Over Your Stretch Marks
  • 2. Apply a Stretch Mark Cream Twice A Day
  • 3. Use Coconut Oil
  • 4. Get Rid of Your Stretch Marks With Retinol
  • 5. Massage Your Skin With Black Tea
  • 6. Rub Your Skin With Natural White Sugar
  • 7. Keep Your Skin Hydrated With Moisturizer
  • 8. Use Lemon Juice
  • 9. Massage Your Skin With Tea Tree Oil
  • 10. Apply Egg White
  • 11. Rub Your Skin With Potato Juice
  • 12. Treat Your Stretch Marks With Olive Oil
  • 13. Intake Gelatin Daily
  • 14. Use Red Light Therapy
  • 15. Put Onions Over Your Stretch Marks
  • 16. Consider Laser Therapy
  • 17. Remove Your Stretch Marks With a Dermaroller


1. Spread Aloe Vera Over Your Stretch Marks

Aloe Vera keeps your skin moist, which is important for treating your skin fast and effectively.

(This is why you find aloe vera in many beauty products)

Here’s how to use aloe vera to treat your stretch marks:

2. Apply Stretch Mark Cream Twice a Day

Applying stretch mark creams is one of the FASTEST way to remove your stretch marks.

(It can reduce the appearance of your stretch marks in as little as 3 weeks)

Here is a before & after picture of a mother who used a stretch mark cream after pregnancy:

Bottom line: if you want to get rid of your stretch marks as fast as possible, I recommend this method. ( to read my stretch mark cream reviews)

However, if you are on a budget, I have other options for you later in this post.

With that, here’s how to apply a stretch mark cream on your skin (for best results):

  1. Take a warm shower to open pores in your skin.
  2. Put a thick amount of stretch mark cream on your stretch marks.
  3. Gently massage in a circular motion for about 2 minutes.
  4. Allow at least 5 minutes to fully penetrate into your skin, before putting on clothes.
  5. Apply twice a day until you see results.

3. Use Coconut Oil

Coconut oil increases blood flow to your skin, and produces collagen fibers, which is important for treating stretch marks.

It also helps your skin retain its elasticity and suppleness.

Here’s how to use coconut oil to remove your stretch marks:

  1. Cut a coconut in half, and use a scraper to extract the flesh.
  2. Chop the flesh into small pieces
  3. Shred them in a blender at medium speed. Add some hot water if necessary.
  4. Pour into a jar over a strainer.
  5. Leave the jar in the fridge overnight. (This allows separation of coconut milk and oil)
  6. Scoop out the curd from the jar. (This is the solidified coconut oil)
  7. Place them in a saucepan, turn on the stove for low-medium heat.
  8. While stirring frequently, cook for 1 hour.
  9. Let it cool down for 15 minutes, and pour over a coffee filter to extract oil.
  10. Apply this oil twice a day on stretch marks until you see improvement.

4. Get Rid of Your Stretch Marks with Retinol

Retinol is another fast way to get rid of your stretch marks.

But what is Retinol exactly?

Retinol is a compound found in Vitamin A, which produces collagen that is needed to repair your stretch marks.

Retinol also works great if you got your stretch marks recently.

However, excess Vitamin A may not be safe to use while your pregnant.

So if you’re pregnant, consult your doctor before using Retinol.

So with that out of the way,

Here’s how to apply Retinol to remove stretch marks:

    1. Get a Retinol cream.
    2. Apply a small amount on areas of stretch marks.
    3. Apply once every other day in the first week.
    4. Apply once a day in the second week.
    5. From week 3, apply twice a day, morning and night after a warm shower.
    6. Continue application until you see a result.

5. Massage Your Skin with Black Tea

Black tea massage is a highly effective and fast way of getting rid of stretch marks at home.

Because it is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants which help decrease in cell damages and control skin pigmentation.

Black tea massage directions:

  1. Prepare 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 tablespoons of black tea powder.
  2. Dissolve the black tea powder in warm water.
  3. Add salt and then boil it for about 2 minutes.
  4. Let it cool down for 30 minutes.
  5. Apply on affected areas of your skin 3 times a day.

See results in about 3 to 4 weeks.

6. Rub Your Skin With Natural White Sugar

Natural white sugar is an effective solution that helps to exfoliate skin, get rid of dead skin cells as well as encourage the formation of new skin.

Due to its excellent natural exfoliating properties, sugar can help you fade away stretch marks effectively.

How to use sugar to eliminate stretch marks

  1. Mix two tablespoons of natural white sugar with some almond oil.
  2. Apply it on areas of stretch marks for a few minutes.
  3. Let your skin absorb for 5 minutes.
  4. Rinse it off with warm water or take a warm shower.

Continue this for at least a month to see your stretch marks fade away.

It sounds strange, but it actually works.

7. Keep Your Skin Hydrated With Moisturizer

One of the best ways of removing stretch marks fast is by using an appropriate moisturizer.

A recent study showed that women who applied herbal moisturizers regularly at home witnessed significant improvement in their stretch marks than those who didn’t.

Herbal moisturizers not only help you fade away the appearance of stretch marks on the skin, but also tighten your skin by boosting its elasticity.

Thus, if your skin has lots of stretch marks, all you need to do is hydrate it so as to tighten it and reduce their appearance.

They will also help you to prevent appearance of new ones, especially if you apply the lotion on areas prone to developing stretch marks in the future.

An appropriate herbal moisturizer will remove your stretch marks gradually, meaning you need to be patient.

If you don’t trust the safety and quality of your chemical based moisturizer, consider replacing it with a natural moisturizer made from Aloe Vera, Wheat Germ oil or Olive Oil.

8. Use Lemon Juice

Another simple way of getting rid of stretch marks fast is to apply lemon juice.

Lemon juice is naturally acidic which helps reduce and heal stretch marks, acne, pimples and other skin ailments.

It is considered a natural treatment that helps to lighten the skin efficiently.

The acidic properties of lemon juice helps to make stretch marks less visible and then speeds up the healing process.

In order to use lemon juice as a home remedy for stretch marks, apply lemon juice onto the affected areas of the skin in a circular motion.

How to use lemon for stretch mark removal:

  1. Squeeze out the juice from a lemon.
  2. Apply lemon juice on stretch marks in a circular motion for 3 minutes.
  3. Allow 10-20 minutes to get absorbed in to the skin.
  4. Rinse it off with warm water.

Note that lemon juice is highly acidic.

Thus, you should be careful when using it to treat stretch marks as it can cause irritation and redness, especially if you have a sensitive skin.

To prevent this irritation, dilute your lemon juice with sufficient amount of water before applying it on your stretch marks.

9. Massage Your Skin With Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil comes from a variety of tea tree plants including the Australian tea tree and the New Zealand tea tree.

In fact, tea tree oil has been used for skin treatment purposes by Australian aboriginals for decades.

It is no wonder that tea tree oil is becoming one of the methods of repairing skin from stretch marks.

How to use tea tree oil:

  1. Apply small amount of tea tree oil on stretch marks.
  2. Gently massage in a circular motion for 3 minutes.
  3. Allow 5 minutes to get absorbed, before wearing clothes.

10. Apply Egg White

If you are looking for a less drastic solution to getting rid of stretch marks, applying egg whites is a great procedure.

Egg whites contain amino acids that have the ability to repair skin, transforming your skin into a smooth and glowing texture.

How to apply egg whites:

  1. Prepare 2 eggs.
  2. Separate egg whites from yolks.
  3. Give a quick and light whipping to the egg whites using a fork.
  4. Apply a think layer of egg whites over stretch marks.
  5. Allow it to dry completely, then rinse with cold water.
  6. Repeat this procedure 3 times a day.

It will take around 1 month to see results.

11. Rub Your Skin With Potato Juice

Potato can naturally brighten you skin, which ultimately help stretch marks fade away.

Starch in potato carries emollient properties that soothes the skin, promoting regeneration of skin cells.

to read a stretch mark removal story with potato juice.

How to apply potato juice:

  1. Slice a raw potato into pieces.
  2. Gently rub the pieces on stretch marks.
  3. Let the potato juice dry for about 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with lukewarm water.
  5. Pat dry and apply moisturizer.
  6. Do this twice a day. You can choose to leave the potato slice on overnight as well.

12. Treat Your Stretch Marks With Olive Oil

Olive oil is a magnificent skin-nourishing agent that you can easily grab from your own kitchen.

Olive oil is rich in healthy fats and vitamin E, which play play a major role in speeding up the healing process within your skin cells.

How to treat stretch marks with Olive Oil

  1. Pour 3-4 ounces of olive oil in a pan.
  2. Lightly warm up in low heat.
  3. Transfer the olive oil to a small bowl.
  4. Apply on your stretch marks and massage in a circular motion for 5 minutes.
  5. Do this daily until you see results.

13. Intake Gelatin Daily

Gelatin significantly helps your body to produce sufficient amount of collagen.

Collagen is a very powerful skin elasticity booster, which will ultimately aid in repairing stretch marks and promoting skin cell regeneration.

However, we generally lack gelatin in our daily diet today.

A healthy and efficient way of supplying gelatin to your body would through taking a vitamin gummy everyday.

By doing this, you are ingesting gelatin, vitamin D, and vitamin E, which all help in getting rid of stretch marks.

14. Use Red Light Therapy

Red light therapy uses infrared light to penetrate your skin to stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, as well as to improve the blood flow to skin tissues.

Not only it gets rid of stretch marks, but it has also been proved to treat acne, wrinkles, and minor burns.

It sounds very surgical, but you don’t need to go to a clinic to start this method as there are many FDA-approved red light therapy devices on the market.

Whats the bottom line?

It is a very effective method, while being 100% chemical-free and pain-free

How to use red light therapy to get rid of stretch marks (based on TrophySkin RejuvaliteMD Red Light Therapy Device)

  1. Wash the area of stretch marks.
  2. Place the panel 4-6 inches away from your treatment area.
  3. Where a pair protective goggles if the treatment area is close to your eyes.
  4. Turn the device on and remain still for 5 minutes.
  5. Apply moisturizer or stretch mark cream after.
  6. Repeat this 5 times a week.

15. Put Onions Over Your Stretch Marks

Onions contain flavonoid and quercetin that are known as strong antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agent.

These two agents are proven to repair damaged skin cells, explaining why onions have been used as a method to remove stretch marks for many years.

As long as you are okay with the smell of onions, it’s a great home remedy to get rid of your stretch marks.

How to use onions to get rid of stretch marks

1. Prepare a fresh red onion
2. Chop in to round strips.
3. Rub the onion strips directly on your stretch marks for 1 minute.
4. Refrigerate the onion strips.

1. Take the onion strips out of the fridge.
2. Grind them in a blender until you get a thick mash.
3. Strain the onion mash and soak a clean cloth into it.
4. Wrap the area of stretch marks with the cloth over night.

Repeat this every other day.

16. Consider Laser Therapy

Laser or light therapy is one of the newest and fastest treatments for stretch mark removal.

It is a non-surgical procedure that uses a beam of light to break down stretch marks and enhance the appearance of the skin.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery recommends laser treatment as the only proven way of removing stretch marks fast.

In just a few simple treatment sessions (between 3 to 10 sessions), you can get rid of ALL types of stretch marks on your skin.

Each session takes about 30 minutes to complete and delivers superior, long lasting results.

What’s even more amazing is that there’s typically no downtime with this treatment.

What happens during a laser stretch mark treatment session?

  1. A doctor will use a laser machine to pass pulses of laser light to break down stretch marks on the affected areas of the skin.
  2. This triggers the production of new tissues and helps to improve the color of your skin.
  3. The new collagen produced will make the stretch marks smoother in texture and diminish their appearance.

Types of Laser Stretch Mark Treatments

There are three major types of laser treatment that can help you get rid of stretch marks quickly.

  • Excimer Laser Treatment
  • Uses UV light to disrupt skin tissue to allow skin to self heal
    Treats red stretch marks
  • $200-$700/session
  • min. 10 sessions
  • Vascular Laser Treatment
  • Light energy targets blood vessels and damages skin tissues, then allow skin cell to regenerate
    Treats red stretch marks
  • $450/session
  • min. 6 sessions
  • Frational Laser Treatment
  • Laser beam targets a fraction of the skin at a time
    Treats both red and white stretch marks
  • $1000/session
  • min. 3 sessions

17. Remove Your Stretch Marks with a Dermaroller

Dermarolling, also known as collagen induction therapy or micro needling, is a highly effective treatment option that are commonly used by dermatologists.

However, it can also be used at home fairly easily.

A Dermaroller consists of a tiny wheel connected to a small supporting handle.

The wheel is covered with minute medically sterilized needles that enter the skin, resulting in multiple minute micro injuries.

The treatment for stretch marks starts when the skin responds by secreting collagen fibers to treat these micro injuries.

This stimulates the blood supply to the skin and makes the skin to plump up again, which consequently diminishes the appearance of stretch marks.

Although the procedure may sound terrifying, there is little to no downtime.

How to use Dermaroller (use 1.5-2.0mm needle for stretch marks)

  1. Disinfect the dermaroller with an alcohol for 5 minutes.
  2. Cleanse your skin.
  3. Apply numbing cream (if needed).
  4. Pull your skin taut with your free hand.
  5. Roll vertically, horizontally, and diagonally 8-10 times each. (do not apply too much pressure)
  6. Wash with warm water, allow air-dry.
  7. Apply small amount of skin serum.
  8. Apply moisturizer the next day.
  9. Repeat this every 2-3 weeks.

You will start seeing results after 4-5 sessions.

Here’s The Next Step…

These are just some of the best ways of how to get rid of stretch marks fast.

Now I’d like to hear from you.

Which of the 17 methods are you going to try first?

Or which ones have worked for you?

Let me know by leaving a comment right below.

Click to rate this post!

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How to Remove Stretch Marks: 7 Effective Natural Remedies

Most women suffer from stretch marks usually after pregnancy, but that’s not the only cause for it. Men too have stretch marks and so do women who are not pregnant. Stretch marks occur due to a sudden weight gain or weight loss. There is no denying the fact that stretch marks can turn out to be quite annoying. Be it teenagers or adults, people of all age groups can anyone can experience stretch marks. People often end up resorting to various beauty treatments to get rid of stretch marks. However, not many realise that chemical-laden beauty treatments also come along with their own sets of side-effects. In order to steer clear of the harmful side-effects, one can bring to use some effective home remedies. There are various natural products that can help reduce stretch marks and lighten them if not make them disappear completely. However, it requires a regular skin care programme and strict discipline.

Here are a few effective home remedies to reduce stretch marks –

1. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is a plant that helps regenerate skin tissue and as such it has miraculous healing properties. Take the fresh gel from the leaf and massage onto the area with stretch marks and leave on for 20-30 minutes. Do it daily and wash off with tepid water.
(Also Read: 16 Home Remedies for Pimples, Glowing Skin and Dryness)

Aloe vera is a plant that helps regenerate skin tissue

2. Cocoa Butter

The use of cocoa butter helps reduce stretch marks and I have seen that if used during and after pregnancy it makes the stretch marks disappear completely. The best time to use cocoa butter is at night, so massage it well into the skin and over a period of time you will find the stretch marks reducing and fading away.

The best time to use cocoa butter is at night

3. Cucumber and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice’s natural acidity helps heal and reduce scars and cucumber juice provides the cool soothing effect leaving your skin fresh. Mix lime juice and cucumber juice in equal parts, and apply the mixture on the affected areas till it gets soaked up by the skin. Let it be on your skin for approx. 10 minutes after which you can rinse it off using warm water.

Mix lime juice and cucumber juice in equal parts, and apply the mixture on the affected areas​
Photo Credit: facebook/making natural cosmetics

4. Almond and Coconut Oil

Use almond and coconut oil in equal quantities to reduce stretch marks. Massage it on the skin regularly.This home remedy is absolutely natural, which means no harmful side-effects. Follow this remedy religiously and watch out for effective results. Try it.
(Also Read: Coconut Oil for Stretch Marks: 5 Beauty Remedies That Work Wonders)

Use almond and coconut oil in equal quantities to reduce stretch marks​
Photo Credit: iStock

5. Apricot Mask and Oil

Apricots have great exfoliating tendencies, which make them very effective when it comes to healing stretch marks. Take 2-3 apricots, cut them and take out the seeds. Crush the fruit into a paste and apply this mask on the stretch mark affected areas and leave it on for 15 minutes. Using warm water, wash it off and then repeat the process every day for a month to see results. Pure apricot oil has skin rejuvenating properties and therefore helps in reducing stretch marks. Massage onto the skin with some lemon juice for effective results.

Apricots have great exfoliating tendencies

6. Castor Oil

Because of their dried, shrivelled up look, stretch marks need nourishment and moisture. Castor oil when massaged onto the skin will help heal and smoothen the marks slowly. But this is something that you need to constantly feed the skin with.

Castor oil when massaged onto the skin will help heal and smoothen the marks slowly

7. Nourishing Skin Mask

Over my 20 years of experience in beauty, I have seen the incredible effect of the following nourishing mask in reducing stretch marks –

2 egg yolks, beaten

Juice of one lemon

2tsp oatmeal

2tsp almond paste

Enough milk to mix to a smooth paste

Method: Mix all the ingredients well and apply on the marks and let it dry completely. Wash off with cold water while scrubbing gently. This should be done on alternate days.

This face pack has skin benefiting properties

As you may have noticed while reading through my article, treating stretch marks the natural way is not an overnight miracle. It will require your time and patience but the results will be fruitful. So now that you have some easy and useful home remedies to deal with stubborn stretch marks, start right away.
About the Author:

Suparna Trikha is a beauty expert based in New Delhi. She also teaches meditation through aromatherapy and organises corporate workshops for distressing. She has her own range of 40 beauty products and proposes to launch them very soon in the Indian market as well as abroad. With this crusade of moving back to nature, Suparna believes in making people healthier and more beautiful the natural way.


The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

Last modified on Oct 09, 2018 12:40 BST Sophie Hamilton We spoke to a dermatologist for top tips on reducing the appearance of stretch marks

For many of us, stretch marks are those unwelcome scars that we’d like to just magically disappear. They can pop up all over the body, with the most common areas being the tummy, thighs and chest area. While some women are glad to show off their marks as a proud symbol of motherhood, others constantly search for treatments to get rid of them. We spoke to Dr. Justine Hextall, Consultant Dermatologist at the Tarrant Street Clinic, for an explanation of why stretch marks appear and how to treat them.

“Stretch marks are triggered by a rapidity of growth and how that effects collagen,” says Dr. Hextall. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body and it’s found in bones, muscles, tendons and skin. It’s essentially the substance that holds the body together and gives the appearance of bouncy, full, smooth skin. However, collagen production declines as you get older and can be literally over-stretched by rapid growth and weightgain.

“Teenagers can suddenly have a growth spurt which their collagen simply can’t keep up with, or a woman may put on a reasonable amount of weight in a short amount of time during pregnancy, and the skin will stretch”.

“Collagen is a bit like elastic”, she continues. “If you stretch it beyond its limit, you’ll get fractures in the collagen within the connected tissue. It’s important to understand that’s what a stretch mark is. It’s in the deep area of the skin, the dermis”.

Despite the fact the fact that “you can’t really prevent stretch marks with a topical treatment because it’s in the ‘scaffolding of the skin’, you can help them”, Dr. Hextall says. “Keeping the skin hydrated and healthy is always a good thing to do.”

Here, Dr. Hextall outlines exactly what you can do to minimise the appearance of them…

1.Wait for stretch marks to fade

“There are two stages of stretch marks,” says Dr. Hextall. “Stage one is when they are very new and red and the second is when they fade to a white, silvery appearance. Although the underlying problem of the fractured collagen cannot be corrected by a cream, using one when the stretch marks are still red will help to speed up this colour change making them less noticable”.

2. Try Intense Pulse Light

“If you have got residual stretch marks that aren’t improving and the redness remains, you could consider a treatment such as IPL (intense pulse light) that will promote collagen and reduce redness,” suggests Dr. Hextall. “This treatment is available at clinics across the country.”

READ: Stubborn stretch marks: Golden rules for successful prevention

3. Photo Fractional treatment

“You could also try Photo Fractional Treatment, which is a combination of IPL and laser. The IPL will help any pigmentation change and the Fractional will help promote new collagen and tightening of the skin. By combining the two, it increases the effect of the fractional laser.”

4. Microneedling

Another treatment that Dr. Hextall recommends is Microneedling. She explains: “Microneedling is a treatment where you needle the skin. Rather than putting heat holes into the skin, you use a mechanical approach where you damage the collagen in certain areas. It realises it’s under attack and starts to produce new collagen. That starts to soften those lines. With any treatment, the end result depends on the severity of the stretch marks and how the patient responds.”

5. Natural treatments

If treatments at a clinic aren’t for you, how about some more natural-based remedies? “Chamomile is a nice anti-inflammatory treatment that you can use at home,” says Dr. Hextall. “Anything that reduces inflammation and soothes the skin is a good idea. Products containing Aloe Vera or Glycerine are very hydrating and soothing.”

6. Boost anti-oxidants through exercise

Dr Hextall says: “If you don’t exercise for nine months in pregnancy, you lose muscle tone and the skin looks looser.” She advises continuing to do gentle exercise such as yoga, swimming and walking to prevent stretch marks. Exercise also helps reduce the marks. “Exercise promotes anti-oxidants and give us good blood flow, which are really important for stimulating new collagen. Any repair is much better when we’re exercising.”

LOOK: Stretch marks: is weight gain the only cause?

7. Look at your lifestyle

Poor lifestyle choices could be having a big impact on your stretch marks. “Stress, poor diet, UV exposure and smoking breaks our collagen down,” Dr. Hextall reveals. “The best way to counter this is a healthy diet full of ‘rainbow foods’ such as yellow peppers, berries, carrots – foods full of antioxidants.”

8. Super supplements

While Dr. Hextall advises caution when taking supplements, she is a fan of supplements containing Anthocyanins. She explains: “Anthocyanins are an interesting antioxidant for protecting your collagen. Green tea is also good antioxidant and vitamins D and C are great for the skin too.”

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9. Be careful of UV exposure

“Lying in the sun on holiday can pigment the stretch mark, which you don’t want,” advises Dr. Hextall. “It’s very important when you have new stretch marks to wear a high sun cream like factor 50 sunblock with both UVA and UVB protection, and reapply as often as a low factor sun cream. I’d recommend wearing a UV top if you’re swimming in the sea because reflection from the water means higher sun exposure.”

10. Makeup is a great quick fix

“The best product for covering stretch marks is Dermablend by Vichy,” she reveals. “It comes in a stick so it’s fantastic for whizzing over thread veins or stretch marks. It’s great because it tends to stay on in the sea.”

How To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

We firmly believe that nothing makes you feel more like a woman than being pregnant. You’re growing a new life inside you. Your body is changing to make that possible. You’re preparing yourself mentally and physically to love and nurture your new little one into a happy and healthy baby… What could be better?
Some of the changes that come with pregnancy can be less than appealing. Stretch marks are one such change that we’re sure you could do without. But what exactly are stretch marks? How do they form? And is there any way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy? We’ll answer all those questions in this article.

What Are Stretch Marks And How Do They Form?

Stretch marks are basically small scars located in the middle layer of your skin (dermis) that are visible in the top layer of skin (epidermis). They form when rapid weight gain or hormonal changes stretch the skin beyond its ability to repair itself. That’s why they’re called stretch marks.
Your skin has an amazing ability to stretch and adapt thanks to its collagen and elastin fibers. But when your skin stretches too fast or too far, it can tear slightly. When this happens, your body will immediately start working to heal the new scars. Despite our body’s natural defense mechanisms, small scars can still show up once everything is healed.
Stretch marks are most often associated with pregnancy because pregnancy hormones, like cortisol and estrogen, reduce the activity and effectiveness of the fibroblasts in your skin. This, in turn, reduces the collagen and elastin that give your skin its stretchiness. Couple that with your growing belly, thighs, and chest, and conditions are just right for stretch marks to form.
But enough of the technical stuff! Let’s get to the best ways to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy.

Ben Franklin once said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” And while Ben probably didn’t have stretch marks in mind when he said it, we couldn’t agree more. The most powerful way to prevent stretch marks is to treat them early, before they even appear, and often.
This is important because once stretch marks have formed, they are more difficult to get rid of. It’s better to prevent them from forming than to deal with them after your baby is born. So, as soon as you know you are pregnant, start putting the tips we’ve provided below into practice.

1. Eat A Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is a great first step towards preventing stretch marks during pregnancy. Remember, stretch marks form because of rapid weight gain. That weight gain can’t be prevented—you are carrying a baby after all—but you can work to keep it within healthy limits.
We recommend a balanced diet that includes:

  • Plenty of fruits and vegetables (at least 4 servings a day)
  • Whole grains like oatmeal and wheat bread (6-11 ounces a day)
  • Lean protein like chicken, fish, and beans (3 servings a day)
  • Dairy products for calcium (1000 mg a day)
  • A prenatal vitamin to fill nutritional gaps

Try to keep sweets and sugars to a minimum to minimize nausea. And because every woman—and every pregnancy—is different, be sure to talk to your doctor about a diet that’s right for you and your baby.

2. Hydrate Your Skin Twice Daily

A great way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to keep your skin hydrated. You’re likely used to doing that with your face and neck, but you may have to start hydrating other parts of your body as well.
We find that the best solution is to apply an all-natural Soothing Moisturizing Balm to your stomach, hips, thighs, and chest at least twice a day. Hydrating balms and creams work by increasing your skin’s elasticity. This allows your skin to expand and grow without tearing and forming stretch marks.
Make sure you choose a balm that is safe for pregnant women and has been proven safe for both mom and baby. For the best results, apply the moisturizing balm after your shower to maximize your skin’s ability to defend against stretch marks.

3. Apply A Stretch Mark Prevention Cream Or Oil

The best way to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy is to use a specially-formulated Stretch Marks Prevention Cream or Stretch Marks Prevention Oil. These products feel great when applied and they go a long way toward keeping your skin soft, supple, and stretch mark-free during pregnancy.
We suggest a product with natural ingredients like avocado peptides, beeswax, shea butter, pomegranate, and baobab. Bao-what? Yes, some of these ingredients sound sort of strange. But though you may have never heard of them before, they are outstanding at helping your skin withstand stretching, improving its elasticity, and keeping it feeling soft, smooth, and silky.

4. Exfoliate Stretch Mark-Prone Areas Once A Week

To get the most from your moisturizer and your stretch mark prevention cream or oil, be sure to exfoliate your stomach, hips, thighs, and chest once per week. Exfoliating removes the dry and dead skin cells that may prevent your moisturizers and creams from penetrating to the lower layers of skin. Exfoliation also promotes the growth of new skin cells which can help keep your stomach, hips, thighs, and chest soft, supple, and stretch mark-free.
There are a number of natural herbs and ingredients that can be used as exfoliants. Our favorite natural exfoliants are baking soda and witch hazel. These ingredients can be applied directly to your skin and are gentle enough that they won’t damage sensitive skin. For an added exfoliating boost, rub stretch mark-prone areas with baking soda during your shower or apply witch hazel immediately after.

5. Massage Your Skin To Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy

Moisturizers and stretch mark prevention creams only take a few minutes to apply. But if you take just 10 more minutes to massage these products into your skin, you can supercharge your body’s stretch mark prevention potential.
Gently massaging stretch mark-prone areas offers four benefits:

  • It keeps skin supple and elastic
  • It pushes the cream deep into your skin where it can do the most good
  • It breaks up any stretch marks that may have started to form
  • It directs blood to the skin to keep everything healthy

To get the most from your stretch mark massage, we recommend first applying a healthy dollop of cream to your fingertips. Then, massage this cream into your skin using gentle pressure and small circular movements. Do this everyday for amazing results.

How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks After Pregnancy

If you’re already suffering from stretch marks, don’t worry. Getting rid of stretch marks after pregnancy is not impossible. Here are our two favorite treatment options.

1. Apply An Ultra-Targeted Treatment

An ultra-targeted treatment is your best option for healing stretch marks after pregnancy. It is cost-effective, easy to apply, and doesn’t require time consuming doctor visits. And trust us, you’re going to be busy enough once your baby arrives.
We recommend an all-natural, specially-designed Stretch Marks Recovery Serum. This unique serum includes Elastoregulator® that helps to revive the skin’s elasticity that was damaged during pregnancy. A good stretch mark recovery serum also contains micronutrients that will help your body break up scar tissue.

2. Use Invasive Treatments Only As A Last Resort

For stubborn stretch marks, you might want to consider invasive treatments like microdermabrasion and laser therapy. But try everything else first and use these treatments only as a last resort.
Microdermabrasion is essentially a super powerful exfoliant. It uses a spray of microcrystals to remove the outermost layer of dry, dead skin cells. Laser treatments also use small bursts of light directed into the middle layers of skin. Both treatments, while uncomfortable, will reduce the appearance of stretch marks by revealing younger, healthier skin.

How To Get Rid of Stretch Marks with Natural Home Remedies

1. Causes of stretch marks
2. Types of stretch marks
3. Home remedies to treat stretch marks
4. Dietary Remedies
5. FAQs on Stretch Marks

A common problem for both men and women, stretch marks are stubborn and tend to have an effect on people’s confidence. Whether it’s due to pregnancy or sudden weight gain, this is one beauty woe that can be commonly seen on the waist, thighs, lower backs, hips, breasts, arms, and buttocks. Typically, stretch marks appear as bands of parallel lines on your skin. These lines are a different color and texture than your normal skin, and they range from purple to bright pink to light gray. They occur when the dermal layer of the skin is suddenly stretched, as in the case of pregnancy. The dermis has strong, inter-connected fibers that let your skin stretch as your body grows. Sudden weight gain results in the skin overstretching and the fibers breaking which ultimately causes stretch marks. When the dermis tears, the blood vessels under the skin show, making the stretch marks appear red or purple initially. Later, when the blood vessels get smaller, the pale-coloured fat under your skin becomes visible; and the marks turn silvery-white in colour. While they aren’t an indication of ill health, there are a number of natural remedies that can help lighten and get rid of stretch marks.

Causes of stretch marks

1. Pregnancy

Most women develop stretch marks during pregnancy as the fibers in the skin become soft and stretch, making room for the developing baby. As the baby grows, stretch marks appear on the tummy, thighs and breasts due to the continual tugging and stretching.

2. Puberty

During puberty, youngsters experience a sudden growth spurt and might rapidly gain or lose weight. This sudden stretching and contracting of the skin lead to stretch marks on hips, thighs and breasts.

3. Weight gain

Stretch marks occur due to weight gain in a short period of time as the skin stretches suddenly. Similarly, they also appear if you are on a diet, due to the fluctuating weight. It is therefore advisable to lose weight gradually so that the skin is not strained.

4. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroid creams, lotions and pills used to treat certain skin diseases can also cause stretch marks as they bring down the collagen levels in your skin. This decreases the skin’s ability to stretch and makes you prone to developing stretch marks.

5. Genetics

If your parents have had stretch marks, then you are most likely to have them too.

6. Health conditions

Rare health conditions such as Cushing’s syndrome, Marfan’s syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos and other adrenal gland disorders cause stretch marks due to various reasons. In Cushing’s syndrome, the body tends to overproduce the hormone cortisol, which causes these marks. Meanwhile, Marfan syndrome is the result of a faulty gene that makes the body’s skin and connective tissues weak, reducing their elasticity, thus increasing the chances of developing stretch marks.

7. Body Building

Bodybuilders very commonly face this problem of stretch marks. Rapid growth in muscle mass and sometimes misuse of anabolic steroids to accelerate the growth of muscle lead to the appearance of stretch marks.

Types of stretch marks

1. Red stretch marks

Also known as striae rubra, these stretch marks are fresh and appear reddish or purplish at the initial stage. They are formed when the dermal layer of the skin is stretched, letting the blood vessels show. At this stage, you may experience a lot of itching around these stretch marks. It is easier to get rid of red stretch marks faster because they are new.

2. White stretch marks

Also known as striae alba, these are the most stubborn and appear white or silverish in colour. The tiny tears on the skin occur when the blood vessels reduce in size, thus making the fat under the skin visible. Since the white stretch marks are mature, it might take longer treat it.

Home remedies to treat stretch marks

1. Argan oil

Vitamin E enriched Argan oil increases the elasticity of the skin and rubbing it on the stretch marks might heal the broken tissues gradually making the marks fade.

2. Lemon juice

Lemon juice is known for its natural bleaching properties, so it helps reduce the visibility effectively. Use fresh lemon juice daily or simply rub a sliced lemon wedge on your marks to see results.

3. Egg white

High in proteins and amino acids, egg white is a superfood for the skin. When applied on stretch marks, the egg white will help lighten the marks while also tightening the skin.

4. Potato juice

Potatoes contain starch and other skin lighting enzymes which is why they are often used to lighten dark circles, spots and blemishes from the skin. It bleaches the skin and effectively reduces the visibility of stretch marks when applied regularly.

5. Olive oil

Rich in moisturising properties, olive oil is full of antioxidants and other nutrients that are exceptionally good for repairing skin damage. Application of cold-pressed olive oil on stretch marks will help them fade over time.

6. Sugar

Mix sugar, olive oil, and lemon juice and mix to form a scrub. Apply it to the stretch marks and rub it in for 10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

7. Castor oil

Apply castor oil directly on the stretch marks and massage it in a circular motion for 15-20 minutes. After massaging, cover the area with a thin cotton cloth and apply some heat using a heating pad. For best results, do this as often as you can for a month.

8. Aloe vera gel

Remove the outer layer of the aloe vera leaf and take out the sticky gel from the inside of the leaf. Use this aloe vera gel on stretch marks and wash off with water after 2-3 hours.

9. Apricots

Grind 2-3 apricots after removing their seeds to form a smooth paste. Apply the paste directly on the stretch marks. Leave it for 20 minutes. Then, rinse it with lukewarm water.

10. Black tea

Black tea contains lots of vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin B12, which helps to control skin pigmentation. To use black tea for stretch marks, boil a couple of tablespoons of black tea and add some salt to it. After cooling, apply the mixture to the marks and repeat the process until they disappear.

Dietary Remedies

1. Water

Drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily is very good for the skin. It helps to restore its elasticity, keeping it supple and soft. This helps to reduce the stretch marks.

2. Vitamin C

Foods like berries, raw cabbage, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, melons, peas, peppers, broccoli, pineapple, spinach, tomatoes and turnips provide the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C. It is antioxidant that helps our bodies to fight the toxins or free radicals. With adequate Vitamin C intake, the skin scars heal faster.

3. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that fights free radicals while deeply nourishing the skin. Foods like almonds, raw seeds like pumpkin and sesame, Swiss chards, hazelnuts, pine nuts, spinach, avocado, broccoli, parsley, papaya and olives are rich sources of Vitamin E. Daily consumption of these foods will help to get rid of stretch marks.

4. Gelatin

Gelatin contains collagen which is also present in your skin and is responsible for providing elasticity to your skin. Bone broth (chicken, lamb or beef) is an excellent natural source of gelatine in your diet.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids also help increase elasticity in the skin. Foods like flaxseed, chia seeds, salmon, sardines, cod liver, walnuts, soybean, beef, tofu, shrimps and cauliflower can go a long way in keeping the stretch marks at bay.

FAQs on Stretch Marks

Q. What causes stretch marks on hips?

A. Stretch marks on the hips usually occur when the dermal layer of the skin gets stretched, maybe due to puberty, sudden weight gain or loss, muscle building or during pregnancy. Additionally, genes too, play a major role in the development of stretch marks, meaning if someone in your family has a history of stretch marks, then you are most likely to develop it too. The dermis has strong, inter-connected fibers that let your skin stretch as your body grows. When the dermis tears, the blood vessels under the skin start to show, making the stretch marks appear red or purple initially. Later, when the blood vessels get smaller, the pale-coloured fat under your skin becomes visible; and the marks turn silvery white in colour.

Q. How can I avoid getting stretch marks?

A. Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water daily helps restore the skin’s elasticity, keeping it supple and soft, thereby helping prevent stretch marks. Apart from drinking water, make sure you to moisturise and exfoliate your skin from time to time. You can also include vitamin c- rich foods such as berries, raw cabbage, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit, melons, peas, peppers, broccoli, pineapple, spinach, tomatoes and turnips in your daily diet to fight off toxins and free radicals. Additionally, flax seeds, chia seeds, salmon, sardines, cod liver, walnuts, soybean, beef, tofu, shrimps and cauliflower, all rich in omega-3 fatty acids, too can help keep stretch marks at bay.

Q. How long does it take to remove stretch marks?

A. While you can’t permanently get rid of stretch marks, the good news is that they usually fade with time. Within 6 to 12 months, these marks tend to become less visible if you’ve been taking good care of your skin and health. Massaging the affected areas with vitamin E enriched argan oil helps increases the elasticity of the skin, helping heal the broken tissues gradually making the marks fade. Lemon juice is known for its natural bleaching properties, so it too can help reduce the visibility effectively. Potato juice contains starch and other skin lighting enzymes which too help bleach the skin and can thus help reduce the visibility of stretch marks when applied regularly. Besides, aloe vera gel, apricots, black tea and castor oil too can help quicken the process.

Q. How safe is laser stretch mark removal treatment?

A. While natural remedies could help get rid of stretch marks, you can even consider medical or surgical options for them. The Pulsed Dye Laser, also known as vascular laser, is considered to be the most effective against fresh and early stretch marks that are still red or purple in colour. However, this treatment is less effective if you have darker skin. On the other hand, Fractional Laser Treatment is effective in case of old stretch marks. Microdermabrasion, often used as a treatment for acne, can help in reducing the appearance of stretch marks. However, this option may cause irritation to the skin. Besides, Abdominoplasty can help get rid of stretch marks permanently, it is quite expensive and comes with risks. It’s best to consult a doctor before giving any of these treatments a go.

Q. Is petroleum jelly good for stretch marks?

A. Petroleum jelly helps moisturise the skin helping maintain its elasticity. In addition, to be gentle on the skin, it also helps lock in moisture which in turn can help keep the skin soft and supple. Daily massaging the affected areas with creams or lotions containing petroleum jelly helps promote new tissue growth and break down the bands of collagen that are responsible for stretch marks. Subscribe to our YouTube channel

Many creams promise to remove stretch marks, but only a few approaches actually work.

Stretch marks are a type of scar that develops in response to rapid growth. The marks appear when your skin can’t keep pace with your body size.

Common during puberty, pregnancy, or rapid muscle development, stretch marks usually start out as red or purplish streaks, eventually fading to white. They may be flat, slightly raised, or even indented.

Though a number of people swear by various home remedies—cocoa butter, vitamin E, and petroleum jelly, to name a few—the research on these remedies’ effectiveness is decidedly mixed. Nothing can completely eliminate the risk of stretch marks during times of rapid weight gain, and specialty creams will only minimise—not eliminate—the appearance of marks.

What works for one person’s skin may not work for another’s, so it’s worth spending a little time trying a few different approaches. And, of course, there’s no overestimating the value of a healthy lifestyle.

Lifestyle Measures to Prevent Stretch Marks

A number of lifestyle remedies can reduce your risk of stretch marks:

Controlling weight gain. During pregnancy, it’s better to gain at a slow, steady rate when possible. Likewise, if you’re trying to build muscle, focus on slowly accumulating bulk, not laying down as much muscle as you can in a short period of time.

Exercising regularly. Exercise increases blood flow, improving overall skin health. It can also help control rapid weight gain, even if you’re taking medications that cause you to pack on the pounds.

Eating a healthy, balanced diet. Though no single nutrient can prevent stretch marks, a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can support skin health, potentially helping your skin expand without scarring.

Keeping your skin moisturised. Moisturisers won’t completely eliminate the risk of stretch marks, but they can help your skin grow and stretch more evenly. Egyptian Magic All-Purpose Skin Cream is an ideal balm for all skin types.

Minimising the Appearance of Stretch Marks

After stretch marks appear, they tend to fade over time. Expedite the fading process by using a microdermabrasion treatment. At-home treatments offer exfoliation and smoother skin, but professional treatments are your best option for effectively combating stretch marks.

Some research suggests that stretch-mark creams made from hyaluronic acid, retinol, and onion extract may help fade stretch marks. If you prefer a more natural approach, Clarins Stretch Mark Minimiser Control moisturises skin with natural extracts and oils while helping to steadily fade marks.

Different types lines appear on our bodies as we age throughout the years, from wrinkles to stretch marks. Stretch marks are the long, narrow lines that, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, develop when our skin stretches (or shrinks!) quickly, causing the collagen and elastin support network to rupture.

Depending on your skin color, stretch marks can range from red, to purple, to dark brown, and commonly crop up on the abdomen, hips, thighs, and/or breasts, usually around puberty and during pregnancy: In fact, a 2015 study in the Journal of American Academy of Dermatology found that more than half of all pregnant women will develop stretch marks during pregnancy.

Though millions of people develop stretch marks at some point in their lives, many strive to get rid of them as quickly as they show up. If you’re looking to disguise or get rid of your stretch marks, here’s everything you need to know:

Can you permanently remove stretch marks?

Unfortunately, most stretch marks can’t be fully removed, confirms Manish Shah, MD, a plastic surgeon based in Colorado. This is because stretch marks are technically breaks in the skin, which are difficult to repair. However, he says that there are ways to soften the appearance of stretch marks by improving the collagen content of the skin and getting the color to fade with time.

“In my opinion, the single best treatment for stretch mark reduction is microneedling,” says Shah. “Microneedling improves the color and appearance of stretch marks by creating tiny pinhole injuries in the stretch mark itself. The skin responds by making new collagen, filling in the broken dermal layer. As the dermal layer expands, the color fades because the skin thickens and the tiny blood vessels that give early stretch marks their pink/purple color retreat,” says Dr. Shah.

If you opt for an in-office procedure to nix stretch marks, a plastic surgeon or cosmetic dermatologist will look at each case individually and determine what combination methods such as radiofrequency and a pulse dye laser might provide a remedy.

What is the best treatment for stretch marks?

First off, the best way to treat stretch marks is with prevention: make sure that your skin is healthy and strong. “Dietary fish oil supplements can help keep the skin hydrated and elastic, vitamin C supplements ensure that you make good quality collagen, and the use of moisturizers and sunscreen protects the skin from continuing damage,” says Dr. Shah.

Birnur Aral, Ph.D, director of the Beauty Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute, suggests “products that can increase elasticity of skin before the stretching injury happens.” She suggests looking for “cohort topicals with hyaluronic acid (a powerhouse humectant), and tretinoin, a prescription retinol cream.” However, pregnant women should consult their doctors for recommendations: certain collagen- and elastin-producing ingredients can be iffy for use during pregnancy.

For at-home stretch mark treatment, Shah says the best thing to do for a new stretch mark “is to vertically massage the stretch mark and cover it with sunblock to soften and fade it.” Below, a list of the best products to prevent stretch marks, help heal them once they’ve formed, and even help to temporarily disguise them.

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