There’s a common misconception that only pregnant women are susceptible to stretch marks, but the fact is, that if you are a living and functioning human being, then you may be at risk for getting stretch marks. Stretch marks most commonly appear on the body in areas where the skin is prone to stretching; such as the upper arms, upper thighs and stomach. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you do have them, because most people do! They are far more common than you think!
While the common and most well-known cause of stretch marks are drastic weight gain or weight loss, there are many other factors that may contribute to their appearance from genetic factors to hormonal changes and even stress! In this article we will share a few of our best tips for not only minimizing their appearance, but also for preventing future ones from popping up too! Keep reading to find out more.
Boost Collagen through a Supplement or Powder
Collagen is a structural protein essential for taut, plump, healthy looking skin, but its concentrations naturally decrease as we age. Stretch marks are essentially caused by broken or weakened collagen bonds. Thus, rebuilding your skin’s collagen supply is a good way to naturally heal stretch marks. While there are certainly ways to naturally boost collagen production, (more on this later) one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get in your daily intake of collagen through a powder or supplement.
Collagen powder can be added to absolutely anything from your morning bowl of oatmeal to that delicious soup or pasta sauce. One of our favorite ways to enjoy it is in a smoothie, because it really takes it to the next level in terms of nutrient content! Increased collagen levels mean increased skin elasticity and hydration and less chance of stretch marks, not to mention you’ll notice a smoother complexion with fewer lines and wrinkles, hallelujah!
Become Familiar with Reading Labels
You’ve probably tried out a drugstore lotion promising to fade and prevent stretch marks, but if you don’t know how to read labels then you won’t truly know if the ingredients are going to work for you. Often the ingredients are listed in descending order with the highest concentrations listed at the top of the list. Also, if an ingredient is hard to pronounce then don’t ever be afraid to ask questions! Ditch the conventional products filled with toxins and fillers that simply dilute the active ingredients and instead, treat your skin to all natural and organic skin care that will infuse your skin with real nutrients and never put your health at risk. Shea butter, Vitamin E and coconut oil are just a few of the silky and luxurious ingredients you’ll enjoy when investing in a natural stretch mark body butter!
Get your blood flowing with exfoliation
A regular exfoliation is key to healthy, glowing skin, because exfoliants work at sloughing off dead skin cells that contribute to dull, dry skin and reveals new, vibrant skin growth just waiting beneath the old layers! However, exfoliation does more than just promote a gorgeous glow! Exfoliation helps to boost blood circulation, which in turn may help to fade the appearance of stretch marks over time. An awesome DIY exfoliation involves adding some raw sugar to your regular shower gel and lathering up in the shower! Or mix up some coconut oil and sugar and massage into your skin in circular motions before rinsing off. You won’t even need lotion after thanks to the lovely veil of hydration the coconut oil leaves behind.
Amp up your Vitamin C
Vitamin C is known as the “beauty vitamin” for good reason! Vitamin C helps to brighten the skin, fight inflammation and free radicals, as well as boost collagen production, which is essential in the fight against preventing and fading stretch marks. Get your dose in through a daily supplement as well as Vitamin C rich foods such as citrus fruits, leafy greens and yellow and orange veggies. You can also try applying an organic vitamin c serum directly onto your stretch marks as topical vitamin c has been shown to increase collagen production.
Take these vitamins too
While Vitamin C is the most well-known for boosting collagen production, there are others that play a major role too in encouraging new cell formation and strengthening the skin, two major points that need to be addressed if you want to not only lighten current stretch marks, but prevent new ones from popping up too. Zinc helps to promote healthy skin (not to mention it’s great for clearing up acne!), while Vitamin A is excellent for strengthening the skin’s lipid barrier and preventing moisture loss through the pores. Increase your zinc intake by munching on nuts and indulging in more oysters, and chicken. Get your Vitamin A in through foods like creamy butternut squash, sweet potato, and carrots.
Stick to a healthy exercise routine
While this one may be at the end of the list, it might just be the most important one of all! Exercise helps in so many ways, in fact, it does practically everything mentioned on this list! A regular exercise practice not only increases endorphins, which will help to lift your spirits and leave you feeling good, it helps to boost circulation too. An increase in blood circulation is essential for encouraging collagen formation, which we now know is key to firm, plump and healthy skin. A regular sweat fest also helps you to maintain a healthy weight, which is important since weight gain or loss can cause stretch marks too. Last, but definitely not least, exercise helps the body better manage stress and lowers the stress hormone, cortisol. Not only will this reduce your risk of getting stretch marks, it will help you to live a happier, healthier life and will ensure you can tackle anything that comes your way! These tips will help to not only fade and prevent stretch marks, they will help you to become healthier overall and will also contribute to your healthiest, most radiant skin yet!