Stretch marks are defined as the lines, marks or streaks normally seen on body surface especially areas such as belly, thighs, chest, hips and upper arms.
Stretch marks generally inhibit the bodies of females especially during the last trimesters, people undergoing rapid and sudden weight loss, people undergoing hormonal therapy and teenagers undergoing puberty.
These stretch marks initially are red, pink or purple in color and when mature they turn to white or gray color with a silver lining.
Stretch marks are medically known as striae, which are not similar to everyone.
Those people with fair complexion would have red, pink or purple stretch marks, whereas those with dark complexion would have darker stretch marks.
The development of stretch marks takes place by the progression through the following stages-
- The skin is stretched beyond its capacity.
- The underlying tissue tears off.
- The body responds it by forming scar tissue.
- The stretch mark now looks red or purplish, but later fades.
- the stretch mark looks slightly intended with white lines.
- The mark is now permanent.
20 Easy Ways to Prevent Stretch Marks
However, there are ways to prevent stretch marks naturally by following these quick and simple steps-
1. Take the right diet
Eat the right, balanced and nourishing diet is probably the most effective way of preventing your stretch marks.
This not only prevents stretch marks but also gives additional benefits by making skin soft, glowing and supple.
Consuming a diet rich in Vitamin A, C and E can improve skin’s elasticity.
- Consuming carrots, mangoes, sweet potatoes and red bell peppers rich in vitamin A helps by repairing skin tissues.
- Eating nuts, seeds, avocado and broccoli rich in vitamin E helps protects skin cell membranes.
- Taking fish, walnuts, oyster and eggs, which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids can help by improving skin’s elasticity.
- Food rich in anti-oxidants like strawberries, blueberries, fruits and vegetables also help prevent stretch marks by protecting the skin.
Keep yourself hydrated
Keeping yourself hydrated helps to detoxify the body, which can be done by drinking 8-10 glasses of water daily, taking watery and juicy fruits and vegetables and herbal tea and avoiding having caffeine.
Taking fruits like watermelon, oranges and strawberries can help keep your body hydrated.
Practicing regular exercises or yoga daily, surely can help you prevent stretch marks.
Doing light stretching exercises or other low-impact exercises not only helps prevent stretch marks but also helps increase circulation.
This is essentially important during the time of pregnancy.
Gaining weight gradually
Stretch marks are caused by sudden and excess weight gain.
This is commonly caused during teens and pregnancy.
Try having healthy food and control not to binge upon the food.
Read: Stretch Marks and Weight
Avoid using harsh chemicals on skin
Many commercial products available in the market now contain a dozen of ingredients which could be harsh to your skin.
These products might also reduce the suppleness and the elasticity of the skin.
Rather, it is better to use a healthy cleaner and moisturizer like coconut oil or aloe vera, which are natural too and have minimal or no side effects on the skin.
Moisturize your skin
It is important to moisturize your skin both internally and externally.
Externally this could be done by moisturizing your skin with moisturizers, or with coconut oil, Shea butter or cocoa butter.
Moisturizing the skin should be practiced twice a day, that is once in the morning and then later at night after sleeping.
Using sunscreen regularly
It is important to keep your skin protected from the sun in order to prevent the stretch marks and get protected from the harsh rays of the sun.
Thus, it becomes necessary to regularly apply sunscreen on the areas where chances of occurrence of stretch marks are more.
Exfoliate your skin with dry brushing
Exfoliating your skin becomes important when one has to prevent stretch marks, this could be done by dry brushing.
This is a useful technique of using a bristled body brush, which is soft and moving it on body to get rid of the dead skin.
This should be concentrated more on the areas which are prone to stretch marks.
However, it is also important to have a warm water bath after this and moisturize the skin with a good moisturizer.
But remember not to dry brush the areas around the breast as it is sensitive than rest of the skin.
Olive oil contains a lot of anti-oxidants and nutrients, which is known to help a lot by preventing stretch marks.
Massaging lukewarm virgin olive oil on the skin, not only improves the circulation of the skin but also is known to prevent stretch marks.
Leave the olive oil for half an hour, which makes vitamin A, D, and E absorbed by the skin. Using a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and water at night could help exfoliate the skin.
Castor oil not only helps in the treatment of stretch marks but also helps in the treatment of wrinkles, age spots, pimples, and fine lines.
Applying castor oil for 15-20 min and massaging it in circular motion could help prevent stretch marks.
This should then be followed by covering the massaged area with a thin cotton cloth and keeping it warm with a hot water bottle for half an hour.
Alfalfa leaves are rich in proteins, vitamins E and K and also contain all the eight essential amino acids.
The anti-fungal agent in the alfalfa helps detoxifying the skin and prevent stretch marks.
This can be done by mixing some alfalfa powder with chamomile oil, and massaging this paste on the stretch marks prone area for 2-3 times a day and practicing it for at least one week could be a great help.
Stress is known to increase stress many fold times.
Thus, the basic mantra for avoiding stress marks is to be stress-free.
This could be either achieved by having a healthy lifestyle or practicing yoga. This could also be done by aromatherapy or swimming.
Take adequate sleep
Not having a complete sleep could not only lead to stress but is also known to be an invite for the stretch marks. Having an adequate sleep of 6-8 hours a day helps to be healthy.
One of the best and the natural ways is to bath with lukewarm water, which helps in opening the skin pores and helps treat other skin problems.
Oatmeal solution could also be used to a bath to avoid stretch marks.
Aloe vera herb contains plant collagen which helps to heal the skin, which is becoming a popular natural remedy nowadays.
Apply the aloe vera gel from the freshly extracted aloe vera leaves on the area prone to have stretch marks for 2 hours.
Wash it with water after some time, with no side effects.
Massage with natural essential oils
Massaging the fat absorbing or stretch mark prone areas with essential or natural oils like lavender, germanium, myrrh or chamomile oil, about 3-4 times a day for half an hour daily.
These all oils have been proven to work well for stretch marks.
This could also be applied mixing with avocado oil and jojoba oil, which makes a good which makes a good carrier.
Vitamin E supplements or gels
If you are interested in preventing stretch marks, consuming vitamin E supplements available in markets, or Vitamin E capsules which contain gel in it and can be applied to the areas prone to stretch marks.
Both of them are easily available in the market and can be used easily.
Eggs are known to be a rich source of protein and amino acids.
Hence, the egg white can help prevent stretch marks, by applying them with a brush on the areas needed and let the paste dry for some time and remove it with water.
Massage with almond oil
Almond oil is quite effective in treating stretch marks due to its high vitamin E content, it also serves to moisturize the affected areas.
However, it is a safe option which can even be exercised during pregnancy.
Vitamin E in almond oil helps to maintain elastin and collagen fibers of the skin.
Potato is rich in vitamins and minerals, and its juice helps in restoring the skin cells.
This could be simply done, by taking a thin slice of potato and rubbing it on stretch mark prone areas.
Hence, it is advisable to not to opt for chemically prepared solutions, creams or techniques in order to prevent or treat stretch marks.
They could not only be harsh to your skin but might also make the stretch marks even more worst.
Stretch marks are those red, or pink marks or lines on the body which are often seen on the belly, thighs, upper arms, hips, and sides.
There a variety of natural remedies for preventing stretch marks easily. The best-known ways are by taking in the right diet, staying hydrated both internally and externally by regularly drinking water and externally by applying a healthy moisturizer and exercising regularly.
Also, of the effective ways is to gain weight gradually, using vitamin E supplements and gels.