Even though there's nothing unusual or abnormal about stretch marks, the fact is that most people want to get rid of them.
After all, they're unpleasant to look at, and they can affect the confidence of someone who has them. As a result, numerous skincare brands have come out with creams and lotions that can remove stretch marks.
While the claims made by the brands producing these creams and lotions are quite bold, there's something you should know - you can't get rid of stretch marks.
However, that doesn't mean that you can't manage them. Hundreds and thousands of people want to know what the best lotion for stretch marks is, and if you're one of them, read on.
This article will give you all the information you need to buy the right product that can help you with stretch mark management. So, without any more delays, let's get this article started.
Table of content:
- What are stretch marks and what are their causes?
- How can you prevent stretch marks?
- What are some of the ways to manage stretch marks?
- Medical treatments
- Home remedies
- Stretch mark lotions/creams
- Do stretch mark creams and lotions work?
- What should you look for in a stretch mark lotion?
- What's the best lotion for stretch marks and how should you use it?
What are stretch marks and what are their causes?
Stretch marks are visible streaks on the skin that appear on the thighs, stomach, butts, hips, and breasts.
They appear due to a lack of a protein called collagen, which the body produces naturally. The protein enhances the elasticity of the skin.
However, when the body grows quickly because of some reason (rapid weight gain, pregnancy, etc.) and collagen production isn't sufficient to support the growth, stretch marks appear.
Stretch marks may have one or more of the following causes:
Pregnancy: During pregnancy, a woman's abdominal region grows in size rapidly. Pregnancy also involves a hormonal surge in women, and this leads to the weakening of skin fibers. Typically, stretch marks that appear during pregnancy fade away to an extent after the birth of the baby.
Rapid weight gain: If your body puts on the pounds quickly due to lifestyle factors such as lack of exercise and excessive consumption of food and/or alcohol, it's likely that stretch marks will appear. Both men and women may be affected by stretch marks owing to the body gaining weight rapidly.
Puberty growth spurts: The puberty phase involves children experiencing growth spurts, and stretch marks are common consequences. However, as children grow into adults and the growth spurts slow down, the marks fade.
Marfan syndrome: Marfan syndrome is a genetic disease that causes abnormal growth and also makes the skin fibers weak. The combination of the condition's symptoms is likely to result in the appearance of stretch marks.
Bodybuilding: Bodybuilders who aim for quick muscle growth may develop stretch marks in the bulges of their muscles. However, this depends on factors like the bodybuilders' individual natural collagen production and how quickly their muscles bulge.
Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS): Collagen may undergo genetic changes, and this may result in a group of conditions that are collectively known as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome (EDS). People experiencing this syndrome may get stretch marks.
Breast augmentation or implant surgery: During breast augmentation or implant surgery, an implant is placed under the skin. Following surgery, the skin has to stretch to cover the implant, and this can cause stretch marks.
High steroid content in the body: Consumption of prescription steroids for conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, and lupus can cause an illness known as Cushing's syndrome. This illness can affect the body's collagen production and cause the appearance of stretch marks.
How can you prevent stretch marks?
Once you get stretch marks, it can be difficult to get rid of them. However, if you still haven't got them, there are certain things you can put into practice to prevent them from appearing, such as:
Live an active life and eat well: Regular exercise will keep your body in shape and prevent excessive weight gain, which, in turn, will prevent stretch marks from appearing. You can also keep your weight in check by eating healthy food and steering clear of calorie-rich foods and beverages.
Consume nutrient-rich foods: Foods rich in nutrients like protein, zinc, vitamin E, vitamin D, and vitamin C enhance skin health, promote collagen production and prevent the development of stretch marks. Vitamin C, found in high quantities in citrus fruits, is especially important for ensuring high collagen development.
Drink lots of water: Dry skin increases the risks of developing stretch marks, which is why it's essential to increase your daily water intake. If you're a man, it's recommended to have 104 ounces of water every day. For women, the daily recommended water intake is 72 ounces. If you're a coffee drinker, you should drink even more water as caffeine will dehydrate your skin.
What are some of the ways to manage stretch marks?
For managing stretch marks, people have three options - medical treatments, home remedies, and stretch mark creams/lotions.
In recent years, the following medical treatments have been quite effective for treating stretch marks. Even though these treatments are much more expensive than home remedies and creams/lotions, they don't guarantee the complete removal of stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion: The microdermabrasion process involves the application of an abrasive substance. A professional applies the substance with a handheld wand, and the substance scrubs away skin cells that are dead in a gentle manner. Microdermabrasion is yet to become popular as there's very limited proof of its effectiveness. However, a research review in 2017 suggested that the process may be effective at reducing the severity of stretch marks.
Laser therapy: Laser therapy involves the delivery of focused light to stretch marks. A research from 2017 suggested that laser therapy can stimulate the production of collagen, and it can also make stretch marks fade in such a way that it blends in with the skin tone in the areas surrounding the affected region. However, laser therapy won't make much of a difference unless patients undergo multiple treatment sessions. Laser therapy can also lessen redness and skin texture of conditions such as rosacea and scars.
Chemical peel: While home-use chemical peels are available at medical stores, professional-grade chemical peels are much more effective in terms of managing stretch marks. Peels promote the production of collagen and also exfoliate the skin. It's an option you can consider for reducing the size of your stretch marks.
Radiofrequency therapy: Radiofrequency therapy involves sending waves of energy into the skin with the intention of improving collagen production. This treatment is not only effective at improving the appearance of stretch marks but also good for making skin firmer.
Microneedling: Microneedling enhances the production of elastin and collagen, which work together to enhance the skin's firmness. Apart from treating skin texture created by stretch marks, microneedling can also make your skin tone even. Nowadays, microneedling is sometimes combined with radiofrequency therapy for more effective results.
If you want to manage your stretch marks without spending a fortune, you can try the following home remedies. Be warned, though, the results you'll get from these home remedies will probably not be as dramatic compared to what you would get from medical treatments for stretch marks.
Aloe vera: Aloe vera is one of the best plants in the world for treating skin conditions. While there are a lot of over-the-counter aloe vera products you can buy, we recommend using pure jelly from an aloe vera plant. Its healing and softening properties may reduce your stretch marks' severity.
Sugar: Sugar has excellent exfoliating properties, and you can very easily make a sugar scrub at home. All you need is a softening agent (coconut oil or almond oil) and, of course, sugar. You can find a lot of information online on how to make and apply a sugar scrub.
Virgin coconut oil: Virgil coconut oil is effective in terms of maintaining the natural protective barrier of the skin. While its effects on stretch marks are widely-debated, it wouldn't do you much damage to try it, i.e., of course, if you're not allergic to coconut.
Stretch mark lotions/creams
Stretch mark lotions/creams are the most popular treatment and management options, and that isn't surprising.
These products are widely available, and they offer results without draining the pockets dry. One or more of the following ingredients are typically used to create stretch mark lotions.
Sea buckthorn oil: Sea buckthorn oil is one of the best oils to fade and prevent existing and new stretch marks, respectively. It is rich in vitamin E and vitamin A. Vitamin E is a tried-and-tested skin healer, while Vitamin A promotes healthy skin cell growth.
Rosehip oil: Rosehip oil is one of the best sources of Vitamin C, and it's packed with even more Vitamin C than citrus fruits like lemons and oranges. It's also rich in Vitamin A, oleic acid (a type of fatty acid), and antioxidants. Apart from stimulating collagen production, rosehip oil also improves the skin's firmness and elasticity.
Calendula oil: Extracted from marigold flowers, calendula oil increases hydration, stimulates skin healing, and reduces inflammation as well. Apart from being effective at reducing the appearance of stretch marks, the oil is also great at treating conditions such as acne, eczema, and redness.
Lavender oil: Lavender oil is an essential oil that's best for healing wounds. However, its collagen-increasing abilities make it a good option for those who want to prevent the appearance of stretch marks.
Do stretch mark creams and lotions work?
The debate is still raging in the skincare fraternity as to whether stretch mark creams and lotions are as effective as they are made out to be.
Well, the honest answer to this question is yes - stretch mark creams and lotions do work.
However, for them to deliver the desired results, you have to use them for several months. You may also need to apply them 2 - 3 times every day.
So, as long as you're consistent and committed with the application of a stretch mark lotion or cream, you may start noticing results after a few months.
However, it's important not to stop using stretch mark lotions or creams when you notice an improvement.
Ideally, you should continue to use it to reduce the chances of stretch marks appearing in the future. Also, many brands claim that their products leave no trace of stretch marks - it's essential that you don't fall for these claims.
Remember, if you've got stretch marks, there's no way to do away with them completely. The only solution is to manage and treat them using the available options.
We recommend you not to be obsessed with the appearance of your stretch marks. Sure, they may not look pretty, but at the end of the day, they're only natural.
What should you look for in a stretch mark lotion?
If you want to own the best lotion for stretch marks, you should look for the following qualities:
It shouldn't trigger any skin irritation: Some stretch mark lotions have formulas that make them excessively thick and/or sticky. It's not as if applying them won't deliver results, but their formulas may be such that they trigger skin irritation. Ideally, you should look for lotions that have light formulas, so they don't make you feel uncomfortable.
It should have natural ingredients: Synthetic ingredients may be effective in the short term, but you never really know how they might affect your skin in the long run. Additionally, colorants and preservatives may cause allergies. So, it's best to go for a stretch mark lotion that only has natural ingredients, as they won't cause any side effects.
Safety: Safety should be one of your major concerns when purchasing a stretch mark lotion, especially if you're pregnant. After all, you don't want to compromise your health and your baby's health, do you? Before you buy a lotion or a cream, go through reviews to know what users have to say about it.
Value for money: We already told you that stretch mark lotions, irrespective of their ingredients, can't get rid of stretch marks altogether. So, if a lotion is priced exorbitantly, we recommend steering clear of it.
What's the best lotion for stretch marks and how should you use it?
Finally, we've come to the part you'd been waiting for - the one where you'll get to know what the best lotion for stretch marks is.
Well, if you want a lotion that combines affordability, safety, and quality of ingredients, there's nothing better than Wow Skin Science's Body Butter Stretch Care.
The lotion consists of 4 of the most effective essential oils for stretch mark management - rosehip, sea buckthorn, lavender, and calendula.
Apart from helping your stretch marks to fade, the lotion will also strengthen the structure of your skin for fading deep striations and scars.
So, if you want your overall skin health to improve through the application of an all-natural lotion, Body Butter Stretch Care is your best bet.
Using it is incredibly simple too. First, dampen your skin and apply a dollop of the product. Next, massage the product thoroughly on the areas of your body that are affected by stretch marks. If some areas are dry, feel free to add a second layer of Body Butter Stretch Care. Now, let the skin absorb all that buttery goodness.
The best way to manage stretchmarks is not to be obsessed with them but to manage them the right way consistently. Now that you know all about stretch marks and the right lotion to choose, you can be confident about your body and follow a lifestyle of your choosing.
Explore the WOW website for more natural skin care products.