Stretch marks are a result of rapid stretching of the skin, typically created during pregnancy or rapid weight gain. The skin is able to stretch as the body grows, but when it reaches its limit, the skin starts to break instead, thereby causing stretch marks. Skin that is less elastic will break more easily as it stretches or shrinks. Stretch marks can be embarrassing, but by following a number of tips, and a change in diet, stretch marks can be healed, and prevented in the future.
Cocoa butter is one of the most well-known remedies for reducing and eliminating stretch marks after weight loss or pregnancy. Cocoa butter is known to control skin tension, which creates stretch marks on the skin. Cocoa butter is available in cream, lotion and stick forms. If using lotion, apply twice a day to the areas where stretch marks appear. If using a cocoa butter stick, rub the stick over the stretch marks, and rub any excess residue into the skin.
Vitamin E may help improve the appearance of stretch marks. Try an over-the-counter vitamin E cream or vitamin E capsules. Apply the lotion directly to the stretch marks, two to three times per day. If using vitamin E capsules, break open a capsule, and apply the liquid directly to the stretch marks, two or three times per day.
Baby oil is also an important moisturizing ingredient in the healing and prevention of stretch marks. After showering, rub baby oil into the skin affected by the stretch marks, as well as other parts of the body that stretch marks commonly occur (hips, thighs, buttocks, stomach).
Exfoliation is key in diminishing the appearance of stretch marks. Use a loofah or rough wash cloth, along with an exfoliating body wash or scrub. Scrub the entire body, especially areas containing the stretch marks, twice per day. This will remove the dead skin cells that most prominently display stretch mark discoloration.
Proper diet is key in keeping stretch marks at bay. Eat foods high in vitamins A, C, E, and Zinc. Incorporate leafy green vegetables, lean beef and chicken, fish, eggs, and dairy products into your daily diet as much as possible. Also remember to keep the body fully hydrated by drinking at least two liters of water per day. This will keep the skin hydrated, preventing stretch marks from occurring in the future.