Left: Sheetal Rawal, scientist (human genetics) & founder of Apsara Skin Care
By: Sheetal Rawal
Are you wondering why you have stretch marks when so many other women do not? Why is it that weight loss leaves many with stretch marks, while others enjoy a slimmer body without the stretch marks as sore reminders of bigger times? According to clinical studies, genetics has quite a lot to do with susceptibility to stretch marks. This means that if your mother had stretch marks when she was pregnant, chances are you will too! So unfair!
But the terrific news is that you can get rid of stretch marks naturally – and fast! If you are dying to show off your post-pregnancy body this summer, use these natural remedies and say goodbye to those unsightly stretch marks. Or if you are finally able to wear your favorite outfit and don’t want your stretch marks to come in the way, then natural ingredients can come to your rescue.
Here is a look at some of the best ways and home remedies to get rid of stretch marks naturally. But before I get to the list, I will say one thing. If you are serious about makingyour stretch marks appear far less visible and finally just vanish, you must have a body care routine that is both nourishing as well as gentle.
Dry and undernourished skin tends to show issues far more readily. Therefore a body wash that is SLS-free is a must. It would be an added bonus if it has natural ingredients to exfoliate your body (like neroli oil) and provide it the antioxidant power it deserves to repair the damage (like turmeric oil). A massage oil that has natural Vitamin E oil is also a stellar idea to make those stretch marks go away. A massage oil for your stretch marks should be used right after you shower when your skin is still a bit damp. Oils are taken up by damp skin far more readily.
Alright as promised, here are some remedies to make that stretch mark part of our skin history and not the present:
1. Cocoa Butter: Who does not love treating their skin to rich, luxurious cocoa butter? It is an amazing natural nourisher that does wonders for your skin. Cocoa butter pampers your skin from within, helping to fade stretch marks out of sight.
1/2 cup of cocoa butter
2 teaspoons of coconut butter
1 tablespoon of wheat germ oil
Warm the mix in a double boiler until everything melts down. Now, lather this gooey goodness on your stretch marks 2 to 3 times a day daily. It will nourish your skin and make it smoother as well. You can store this mixture in an airtight container and keep it in your fridge for up to 2 weeks.
"I have been using Apsara for about 3 years now and I love it. I love it because my skin used to peel all the time and I think Apsara has calmed my skin down and made it beautiful. I love it!"
2. Alfalfa and Aloe Rub: Did you know that there are amino acids in alfalfa leaves that enhance overall skin health? Considering that our skin is built on a protein framework of collagen and elastin, this news is awesome. Needless to say, it can be a great friend in your fight against stretch marks. These leaves are also rich in vitamins E and K as well as protein, which helps nourish the skin.
Form a smooth paste with a mixture of alfalfa powder and aloe vera gel. Work this paste into the affected area 2 to 3 times daily. Do this diligently for a few weeks and watch the stretch marks respond. In my view, the plant hormones (auxins and gibberellins) in aloe vera help the skin resurface quickly and combined with alfa, the magic is serious!
3. Olive Oil & Vitamin E Blend: You have no doubt heard about the magical effects of olive oil for skin. It is rich in many nutrients and antioxidants that help in addressing a wide range of skin problems including stretch marks.
Warm up some extra virgin olive oil. To one tablespoon, add about 6 drops of high-quality Vitamin E oil. Massage the affected area. Massaging will boost blood circulation and in combination with Vitamin E will help in reducing stretch marks to a great extent. Leave the oil on for 30 minutes or so to allow the vitamins A, D, and E to be absorbed by your skin. Then simply wipe off with a warm towel. Remember how I said that massage oils can be far superior when it comes to fading stretch marks? When looking for a readymade massage oil, be sure that you look at the ingredients very carefully. Look for antioxidants like natural Vitamin E oil, turmeric, and wheat germ oil, and of course no harsh chemicals or synthetic preservatives.
4. Brown Sugar & Sunflower Oil Mix: This is a very effective remedy for stretch marks. It has natural glycolic acid which works wonders on stretch marks. Why? Because it stimulates your skin to shed faster and get into the repair mode. Sunflower oil is a serious source of essential fatty acids and provides deep down nourishment that is vital for your skin to get into a resurfacing mode.
Mix 1 tablespoon of brown sugar and a few drops of sunflower oil and lemon juice. Apply on to the stretch marks and massage for 10 to 15 minutes. Rinse off with water. Do this twice a week or until you notice the stretch marks fading away.
Here is another sugar body scrub you can use to promote glowing, youthful skin. Enjoy and please subscribe to my YouTube channel!
5. Potato & Pineapple Magic Mix: Yes, potatoes! This veggie contains essential vitamins and minerals that stimulate the growth of skin cells while promoting cellrenewal. That is perhaps why it is celebrated in Ayurveda for its discoloration fading properties. This also makes it highly effective in lightening those unsightly stretch marks. Worried about a potato-ey smell from using the juice? Do not fret- no one is asking you to leave it on all day! Pineapple juice is a source of bromelain; an enzyme with serious scar fighting ability. Stretch marks, after all, can be considered as scars. Sure you didn't injure yourself to get stretch marks, but your skin suffered a great deal while stretching. That is why stretch marks associated with pregnancy first start off as red & inflamed lines.
Slice up a medium-sized potato and then cut into small pieces. Pound these slices and squeeze out the juice. To 2 tablespoons of potato juice, add 1 tablespoon of fresh pineapple juice. Fresh juice has enzymes that are live and effective. That is why store bought juice won't do at all.
Apply on the stretch marks. Leave on for about 10 minutes or until the mix dries and then rinse off with warm water. Do this every day until you see your stretch marks disappearing. Be sure you follow with your massage oil right away to avoid dryness.
6. Castor Oil & Vitamin E: As you may know, castor oil is a great natural ingredient for all sorts of skin disorders, from dark spots and age spots to fine lines to pimples and blackheads. It can also be used to get rid of those stretch marks you hate so much.
Apply a few drops of castor oil onto the affected area and gently massage for 5 to 10 minutes using circular motions. Next, wrap the area with a clean, thin cotton cloth. Take a heating pad or hot water bottle and apply heat for at least 30 minutes. Repeat this every day until your stretch marks look faded. It could well be the astoundingly rich fatty acid profile of castor oil that makes it help skin rejuvenate, firm up and resurface naturally. 6 drops of Vitamin E oil added to 2 tsp. of castor oil only enhances its magic. Try this combination.
7. Almonds: Almonds are rich in Vitamin E which has tremendous benefits for the skin. It enhances the skin’s elasticity and also improves its texture. They make a healthy snack too, so stock up on almonds to benefit your body inside and out.
Soak some raw almonds in soy-milk until they are soft. Crush them to make a smooth paste and add a little bit of soy-milk to the paste. Mix well and gently apply on the affected area. Leave on until it dries completely and rinses off with water. Apply almond oil on your stretch marks before you go to bed. Massage in well to ensure that your skin absorbs it.
Or if using a readymade oil make sure it has almond oil as one of its ingredients.
Do this every day and you will notice your stretch marks fading to a great extent.
8. Black Tea and Cacao Dab On: What if we were to tell you that your refreshing brew of black tea can come in handy in fading stretch marks? Yes, it is true. Black tea is chockfull of vitamins and minerals such as B, C, E, potassium, zinc, and magnesium.When combined with raw cacao powder, the pairing is serious. Cacao is a rich source of antioxidants and that is the secret behind making your stretch marks fade.
Not only does this heavenly mix boost immunity, prevent cancer, eliminate free radicals, and increase your energy levels, but it can also do wonders in diminishing stretch marks naturally. Vitamin B12 present in black tea regulates pigmentation and thus eliminates age spots as well while fading the stretch marks away.
Throw in two tablespoons of black tea, one tablespoon of cacao powder, and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar in a cup of water. Let the mixture boil for a few minutes. Allow it to cool and apply the liquid on your stretch marks. Repeat daily. Wash in 15 minutes and apply your body oil right away.
If you want to get rid of stretch marks, forget about harsh chemical-filled products. They can do more harm than any good to your skin. Instead, use safe, natural remedies and products, and get your skin back to its beautiful, smooth self once more.
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Go natural. It is good karma!