The impossible standards set by the beauty industry have made us all very insecure about even the most natural brands of our skin . The grooves, which are breaks in the various layers of the skin (epidermis and dermis), belong to the same category. They start with a reddish-purple hue and then turn white or silver. In addition, these marks can be serrated, thin (compared to the surrounding areas) or bright. Before continuing with the list of ways you can deal with stretch marks, let’s see how they form.
How Stretch Marks are Formed?
Although almost everyone you know can have stretch marks, the reason behind them may be different. There are some common and known causes of stretch marks, which are:
- Fluctuations in weight:Any type of rapid weight gain can lead to the skin stretching in a short period of time, causing the epidermis to tear and form scars. Meanwhile, rapid weight loss causes the skin to shrink and lose its elasticity, causing tears in the skin.
- Collagen formation abnormalities:Certain medications lead to the loss of collagen fibers in the skin’s dermis, the layer under the epidermis and, in turn, its elasticity. This leads to breaks in the skin every time the body goes through a physical change (such as sudden growth in teenagers).
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome:It is an inherited disorder that affects the skin, joints and blood vessels. It makes the skin susceptible to tears and bruises and, therefore, often causes stretch marks.
- Cushing syndrome:Caused due to high cortisol levels, Cushing syndrome causes thin skin that is easily bruised. Stretch marks are, therefore, common with this condition.
- Excessive use of cortisone skin creams:It is believed that excessive use of cortisone creams, often prescribed for psoriasis, eczema and dermatitis, makes the skin susceptible to stretch marks.
It is important to remember that stretch marks are both normal and common. Also, they cannot be deleted completely.
“However, the use of certain essential oils may improve your appearance over time”.
9 Essential Oils for Stretch Marks:
1. Lavender Oil:
Lavender essential oil is known for its ability to heal wounds. Research indicates that it could increase collagen production and help in the formation of granulation tissue, a tissue that forms on unprocessed skin and rotates during wound healing. This, in turn, is believed to help treat new stretch marks (red and purple) and prevent the formation of new ones.
2. Lemon Oil:
Lemon essential oil is part of the majority of stretch mark remedies due to its ability to combat damage caused by free radicals in the skin and prevent the death of cells that produce collagen and keratin, the building blocks of the skin. It also increases the absorption of everything that is combined with it.
3. Patchouli Oil:
Patchouli oil could have antioxidant properties that fight skin damage caused by free radicals and promote collagen synthesis. This could be the reason why it is recommended for stretch marks. However, since more research is needed to fully validate this benefit, it might be a good idea to combine it with other oils mentioned here to get the best results.
4. Neroli Oil (Bitter Orange):
Made of bitter orange flowers, neroli oil has been used in folk medicine to lighten the skin and improve the appearance of scars and stretch marks. Current research indicates that this oil has antioxidant properties that help the regeneration of skin cells and wound healing, both contribute to improve the appearance of the skin.
5. Rose Oil and Rosehip Oil:
Rose oil is extracted from the petals of the roses while rosehip oil is extracted from the fruit of the rose plant. A study in Pharmacology and Skin Physiology found that rose essential oil stimulates the production of keratinocytes. These cells create keratin, the structural proteins that form the outer layer of the skin. And since stretch marks are breaks in that outer layer, keratin is a necessity. This essential oil also corrects cellulite and stretch marks strengthening weak skin. It can also help areas that are dry and stressed from pregnancy. If you like floral aromas, try mixing rose oil with lavender. Meanwhile, rosehip oil has been shown to improve the severity of stretch marks in pregnant women with old stretch marks. Studies that analyzed this benefit used a humectant that contained rosehip oil.
6. Argan Oil:
Made from argan grains, argan oil is known to improve skin elasticity and, in turn, the appearance of stretch marks. Studies have shown that both the consumption and topical application of argan oil make the skin more elastic in postmenopausal women and reduce the appearance of stretch marks on them. Therefore, you could buy an ointment with argan oil in it or use the essential oil as massage oil. Consult a professional before consuming argan oil to see which dose suits you best.
7. Gotu Kola:
Also known as Brahmi and Centella asiatica, gotu kola is used in Ayurveda to treat skin diseases. Current research indicates that the compounds in this herb help increase collagen production and improve skin tensile strength, helping reduce stretch marks and preventing future ones. In one study, 100 pregnant women were divided into two groups. One group was given a topical cream containing gotu kola while the other was given a placebo cream. Within the first group, only 14 women developed stretch marks, compared to 22 women in the second group.
8. Bitter Almond Oil:
Unlike commercially sold almond oil, bitter almond oil comes from bitter almonds that are toxic when ingested. In fact, they are believed to mimic cyanide poisoning when ingested. There are studies examining the topical application of bitter almond oil in pregnant women, which found that a 15-minute massage each day using this oil led to a lower incidence of stretch marks between the groups.
9. Pomegranate Oil:
Extracted from pomegranate seeds, pomegranate oil contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that when added to Dragon’s blood extract are believed to increase the elasticity, thickness and hydration of the skin. Studies examining the two ingredients have concluded that using a cream with both ingredients could improve the appearance of stretch marks. It is believed that grapeseed oil and emu oil also work well to lighten stretch marks, but there is not enough research to support the same.
How to Use Them?
To treat stretch marks, use essential oils in a homemade mixture. Dilute 5-10 drops of essential oils in 1 tablespoon of a carrier. Remember, essential oils are produced in high concentrations, so it is important to do this. Carrier oils include coconut oil, grapeseed, olive oil, and almonds. Rub the mixture on the stretch marks until completely absorbed. It can also be exfoliated with essential oils. This will remove dead skin cells and lighten dark veins, making the marks less noticeable. To exfoliate with essential oils and remove stretch marks, try this recipe.
- Start with 2 cups of natural scrub such as sugar or sea salt.
- Combine with 1 cup of base oil such as olive oil, avocado or sunflower.
- Add 10-15 drops of essential oils and mix well.
Always do a patch test when using a new essential oil. You could be allergic and don’t even know it. If you have an allergic reaction such as rash, hives, redness and itching, stop using the essential oil. If you are pregnant, it might be tempting to start with these remedies. But essential oils are very strong, so check with your doctor first.For now, it may be safer to hydrate with base oils. After using these oils, avoid the sun. They are phototoxic and can cause irritation when exposed to sunlight. Be safe and use these oils at night before bedtime. By using essential oils for stretch marks, you can get rid of expensive creams. It will also be exposed to less chemicals. The use of oils will also double as pleasant aromatherapy.