Stretch marks, which are also known as striae, are a normal thing that happens to our body, though they’re not always welcomed as they can cause self-consciousness and worry, especially around bikini season.
What Exactly are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks happen when the skin is pulled by growth or stretching of the skin.
Our skin is made up of three main layers which are:
- Epidermis (outer layer)
- Dermis (middle layer)
- Subcutaneous (deepest layer)
As the skin is stretched, the collagen is weakened and damaged (this happens in the middle layer, the dermis), and it results in fine scars under the top layer of the skin. When they are new scars, they are pink, red, or brown in colour and this is when they are best tackled as there is blood and oxygen present in the area. Old scars are silver in colour and there isn’t a lot you can do for these scars.
How Do You Get Stretch Marks?
They are really common in both men and women, though women tend to be affected more but they are nothing to worry about.
You can get stretch marks during puberty, pregnancy, rapid weight gain or weight loss. Most common places that they occur is on the abdomen, buttocks, thighs, breasts, upper arms and in some cases of body building.
How to Help Treat Stretch Marks
Just to warn you, this isn’t going to completely get rid of them but it can help with the appearance:
Firstly the one I know most about!
Due to the lauric acid in coconut oil (around 48%) this incredible property is antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antiviral and antimicrobial. Due to the fatty acid content, it is incredibly moisturising, hydrating and nourishing on the skin. It also contains antioxidants and vitamin E which help fight free radicals and repair damaged skin.
So, how do you use Lucy Bee Coconut Oil on stretch marks?
Use it two-three times a day, massaging with a medium to light pressure to penetrate the coconut oil into the area. A little goes a long way so you only need a tiny amount.
Coconut oil is also safe to use when pregnant – simply use a very light pressure on the bump.
Try our homemade recipe:
20g Lucy Bee Coconut Oil, melted
20g shea butter, melted
5-20 drops of lavender essential oil (or essential oil of your choice)
1 tsp. honey
Optional, you can also use one capsule of vitamin E for added benefits
- On a medium/low heat, melt the Lucy Bee Coconut Oil and shea butter and mix together.
- Remove from the heat and stir in the lavender and honey until mixed together. Also add the vitamin E, if you are using.
- Put into a glass bowl and refrigerate for an hour.
- Use twice a day.
The Benefits of the other ingredients used above:
Shea butter – moisturises, heals and helps with skin regeneration.
Lavender essential oil – has anti-inflammatory properties, soothing, healing and good for sensitive skin.
Other Ways to Tackle Stretch Marks
Gently exfoliating the area of concern, with a circular motion, can help to regenerate skin cells.
Make your own body scrub using our Himalayan/Epsom or Dead Sea Salts with Lucy Bee Coconut Oil – see the video below:
Very healing, cooling and soothing for the skin.
Apply a thin layer of aloe vera to your skin.
Mix 5-10 drops of essential oil with your melted Lucy Bee Coconut Oil/carrier oil for best results. Note, essential oils cannot be applied on their own.
Essential oils are aromatic, volatile substances that have been extracted from plant minerals by distillation or expression. They are found in leaves, flowers, tree bark, roots, fruit pulp or peel of plants.
Not only are they distinctive in fragrance but each one has powerful properties that can help in many ways from being an antidepressant; detoxifying properties; rehydrating; as a sedative; or a stimulant.
They also work well in beauty as they can help with different skin types and disorders, for example, ylang ylang or tea tree are great for oily, blemished acne prone skin, whereas dry, mature skin is best treated with geranium, rose or sandalwood.
When pregnant it’s important to avoid essential oils in the first three months, some books even say five months. I would advise looking online to check or speaking to a qualified aromatherapist who’s been trained in treating mums-to-be before using essential oils. As I’ve mentioned, they shouldn’t be underestimated with just how powerful they are.
They can also act as a diuretic. The following is a guide to what’s not safe, what’s ok and what’s safest to use during pregnancy:
- juniper berry
- cedar wood
ESSENTIAL OILS WHICH ARE SAFEST TO USE:
- mandarin (helps with nausea)
- tea tree.
You only want to use one/two drops at a time.
Try drinking two litres of water a day. This naturally hydrates your whole body and flushes toxins out. It will make your skin look supple and glowing.
Eat a Balanced Diet of Foods Rich in:
- Vitamin C – essential for regenerating connective tissue and collagen. This promotes healthy glowing skin. Some of the places you can find this is in oranges, kale, strawberries, kiwi and peppers.
- Vitamin E – protects and blocks free radicals from the skin. Some of the places you can find this includes almonds, seeds, spinach, avocado, kale, coconut oil and olives.
- Healthy Fats and Omega 3’s – help produce the skin’s natural oil barrier, keeps skin hydrated, plumper and more youthful. Some of the places you’ll find these are, nuts, seeds, fish (e.g.salmon), avocado, olive oil, coconut oil.
Zinc is also used in the production of collagen and also contains antioxidant properties.
Another concern with skin that many of us experience is cellulite – check out my blog about cellulite by clicking here.
About Lucy Bee Limited
Lucy Bee is concerned with Fair Trade, ethical and sustainable living, recycling and eating close to nature with additive free products for health.
Members of the Lucy Bee team are not medically trained and can only offer their best advice. Any information provided by us is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease.
Please note you should always refer your health queries to a qualified medical practitioner.