Stretch marks can affect a mum’s self-confidence. While we all aspire to wear them with pride, this is not always simple, and many people suffer from negative feelings towards their stretch marks – but there are some things you can do to help reduce yours.
What are Stretch Marks and Why Do They Occur?
Stretch marks are effectively scars that are caused when the skin stretches or shrinks quickly and the collagen and elastin in the skin is unable to keep up and ruptures. This typically happens when people grow quickly, like in growth spurts during puberty, sudden weight gain, or through pregnancy. It can also happen with sudden weight loss too.
It is understood that there are a few factors that make someone more at risk of developing stretch marks than others, including things like fluctuating hormones and family history.
New stretch marks may appear to be red, purple, or dark brown, depending on skin tone, and may feel raised and itchy as they develop. In time, they fade to a silvery tone and they sink under the skin.
Top Tips for Stretch Marks
Although they may sometimes be inevitable, there are some things that you can do to help.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
As most stretch marks occur during quick weight loss or gain, making healthy choices in diet and moving more can help make sure that you don’t change weight too quickly. Even during pregnancy, avoid the urge to eat for two (where possible) and focus on maintaining a healthy weight gain.
- Stay hydrated.
Water is one of the most important things you can put into your body, and the benefits to skin suppleness are well known. Dry skin is more likely to crack, so the more hydrated you are, the less likely you are to suffer from stretch marks.
- Eat well.
There are various vitamin and mineral-rich foods that make up a healthy diet, and certain nutrients are especially good for skin health. These include Vitamin C which helps in the development of collagen, Vitamin D which is understood to help reduce the risk of stretch marks, and Zinc which also helps with skin health. Vitamin E is another important element of nutrition that is known to help the skin.
As with many things, prevention is better than cure – and that is why there are products available to help you maintain moisture and the natural elasticity of the skin where stretch marks are prone to appear. Massaging oils into the areas helps encourage collagen production and is important to begin as early as possible, especially in pregnancy.
The Benefits of a Belly Oil
Our gorgeous GAIA Belly Oil is perfect for use during and after pregnancy to help work against stretch marks. Made from a synergistic blend of organic oils, it is easily absorbed, suitable for all skin types, and safe to use both as the baby is developing and after they are born.