A Guide to Reducing Stretch Marks Naturally
Stretch marks can be a cause of great distress for many people, whether a result of pregnancy, weight gain or growth spurts. Vivid purple or red marks that eventually fade to a silvery-white, stretch marks affect both men and women and most commonly appear around the waist, and on the thighs, buttocks, arms and back.
The mechanism behind the appearance of stretch marks is still debated, however, they seem to be caused by tears in the skin’s dermis. These tears are exacerbated by the production of the hormone cortisone, which weakens the collagen and elastin fibres that keep your skin taut and firm. While stretch marks are totally harmless and normally fade with time, people can find them an unsightly cosmetic nuisance. If your stretch marks are getting you down, why not give these quick and easy homemade remedies a try?
Exercise and Hydration You can make a start on banishing your stretch marks without reaching for creams, ointments or unguents simply by staying well hydrated. Drinking lots of water ensures your cells stay turgid, keeping your skin taut and toned and reducing the appearance of stretch marks. A similar effect can be achieved with exercises that target areas of the body – sit-ups, thigh crunches and so on. As muscle tone increases, stretch marks become less obvious.
Aloe Vera Good old Aloe vera. Regenerative and soothing, it can be used to treat the entire firmament of dermatological conditions, from eczema to sunburn. It is also, predictably, top-notch at fading vivid purple-red stretch marks thanks to its aforementioned qualities. Try rubbing a small amount of Atlantia Moisturising Aloe Vera Gel onto the affected area twice a day until the marks start to fade. Alternatively, you can boost the healing properties of aloe gel by combining it with 5-10 drops of Baldwins Vitamin E Base Oil. Vitamin E is celebrated for its scar-busting properties; apply the aloe / vitamin mixture once a day, ensuring that it is completely absorbed by your skin.
Castor Oil Castor oil is used to treat a whole range of conditions, including yeast infections, acne, and migraines – it also shines as an anti-stretch mark remedy. Baldwins Castor Base Oil can be added to soaps or massage oils for a luxurious and relaxing way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks; alternatively, apply a small amount of the oil directly on affected areas. Gently massage to allow maximum absorption, then, using a clean tea towel to avoid direct skin contact, gently press a heat source such as a hot water bottle onto the stretch marks. Hold for half an hour, and repeat daily for best effects.
Potato Juice Yes, really. Potato juice packs a load of vitamins and minerals which are great for nourishing and repairing skin cells. Thickly slice a potato, then gently rub a slice over your stretch marks, coating them in the starchy juice. Allow to dry, and then wash off with warm water. Repeat daily.
Sugar Even humble sugar can be a worthy ally in the fight against stretch marks and blemishes, acting as an effective defoliant to help fade unsightly marks. There’s no need to resort to expensive dermatological creams and ointments – simply mix a tablespoon of Traidcraft Unrefined Demerara Sugar with a teaspoon of Baldwins Sweet Almond Base Oil and a few drops of lemon juice. Stir thoroughly, then apply to affected areas of the skin. Massage the mixture into the skin for a few minutes, then wash off in the shower. There you have it – five great remedies for treating stretch marks that you can make at home in seconds, so you won’t have to worry about covering up this summer.
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