Skin Helpers: 22 Ways to Reduce or Remove Old Stretch Marks

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Stretch marks are almost a fact of life for most people. They occur among men and women, but for different reasons. Most commonly, stretch marks appear on your abdomen, breasts, buttocks and thighs, usually when you undergo a significant weight gain or weight loss in a short period of time. According to the National Health Service in the UK, these marks also appear when someone experiences growth spurts during puberty.

Meanwhile, a person can also end up having stretch marks due to stress, genetics and cortisone levels. Cortisone is a hormone produced by your adrenal glands that can weaken elastic fibers in your skin. The higher your cortisone level, the more likely you can develop stretch marks. Meanwhile, pregnant women also tend to suffer from these marks.

At the onset, stretch marks typically appear like long and thing lines on your body that are either red or purple. Over time however, they tend to fade into a silvery white color. There are several ways to remove or reduce the appearance of stretch marks on your body. Some are simple home remedies, while others require a medical or cosmetic procedure. Here are some of your options:

1. A Relaxing Massage

relaxing massageA massage is perhaps the most relaxing and enjoyable way to reduce stretch marks throughout your body. According to the Wound Care Society, a gentle massage using circular movements helps your blood circulation to flow properly into the skin cells.

Improved blood circulation also leads to the reduction of toxins in your body, thereby reducing the appearance of stretch marks. Moreover, massages are particularly effective in making marks on the hips and thighs disappear.

2. Skin-Invigorating Exercise

It may take a lot more effort than a massage, but regular exercise is quite effective in helping you get rid of your stretch marks. After all, exercise helps build muscles and firm muscles help reduce the appearance of these marks throughout the body. And the best part, you feel good while you look good, too.

Exercise routines are especially effective for removing stretch marks in the hips and thighs. For leg exercises, you can try doing some squat jumps. Meanwhile, you can also do some regular runs on the treadmill to help firm up your leg area. What’s more, running can also help firm up your lower abdomen and reduce your marks there.

3. Love Your Skin With a Loofah

A loofah is an abrasive sponge that you can use to help exfoliate your skin in order to remove dead skin cells and other harmful debris, which may be present in your skin. Exfoliating your skin helps the body regenerate collagen, which helps in making stretch marks fade.

To use a loofah, just moisten it, and then pour on a bit of your favorite bath or shower gel. Afterwards, rub the loofah around your stretch marks in the circular motion gently and slowly as the loofah tends to be coarse and might feel too rough on your skin. Rinse off the gel afterwards. Do this regularly.

4. Aloe Vera: Mother Nature’s Cure All

aloe veraThe Aloe Vera is an African plant that is said to be rich in as much as 75 nutrients, 18 amino acids, 20 minerals, 200 active enzymes and 12 vitamins. It is a natural wonder that is known to treat and cure a number of health problems. On your skin, aloe vera also does wonders for scars, cuts, burns and yes, even those stubborn stretch marks.

For starters, aloe vera is rich in antioxidants, which help your body repair damage skin cells while also regenerating new ones. Moreover, this plant is also rich in hormones that help produce collagen in your body. Collagen improves your skin’s elasticity, thereby reducing and removing stretch marks.

There are several ways to use aloe vera to help treat your stretch marks. At home, you can simply squeeze a fresh piece of aloe vera leaf in order to extract its gel. Apply it to the affected area and leave on for a few minutes to dry before washing it off with water. Repeat this routine regularly for more effective results.

Meanwhile, you can also make yourself a refreshing aloe vera drink to help treat your stretch marks. To do this, just mix one to three teaspoons of aloe vera gel with one glass of water and stir well. And if you want something a bit tastier, just mix this aloe vera drink with any of your favorite fruit or vegetable juice. Drink this regularly.

5. Sugar to Scrub Your Stretch Marks Away

Sugar makes for a sweet exfoliant that you can apply throughout your body to help remove dead skin cells. At the same time, it also helps improve blood flow in your body, which aids in making stretch marks disappear.

To make your very own sugar scrub, just combine one tablespoon of sugar with a few drops of almond oil and lemon juice. Stir the mixture well and then apply onto the stretch marks. Rub it on your body for 10 to 15 minutes, then rinse it with water. It is recommended to apply this sugar scrub at least once a month.

6. Save the Grounds: Making a Coffee Scrub

coffee scrubHere’s another reason to love coffee. It does wonders for our skin. In fact, recent studies have shown that coffee is effecting in preventing skin cancer. Researchers have found that caffeine, when applied topically, can inhibit the existence of a certain protein enzyme in the skin that causes cancer.

At the same time, there is also a certain acid in coffee that promotes chemical exfoliation in the skin, which helps reduce stretch marks. Moreover, exfoliating with coffee has other important skin benefits.

According to a report from Prevention, dermatologist Julia Hunter from Wholistic Dermatology in Beverly Hills says a coffee scrub, “keeps you healthy when bacteria, viruses, and fungi are landing on your skin 24/7.” And the best part is, you can easily make your own coffee scrub at home.

To make an effective coffee scrub for stretch marks, just mix some coffee grounds with some aloe vera gel until it forms a paste. Apply this mixture on your stretch marks and spread evenly, massaging the area for three to five minutes. Leave it on for 15 to 20 before wiping it off with warm tower or cloth. Rinse with water. Use the scrub daily.

7. Egg Whites Are Not Just for Cake

Eggs certainly make for a nutritious breakfast, but did you know that egg whites have benefits for the skin as well? According to Live Strong, egg whites actually help tighten the skin’s pores and remove skin cells. In fact, a face mask made with egg whites reportedly reduces lines while making your skin glow.

eggsAt the same time, egg whites are also rich in amino acids that help strengthen your skin and heal scars, thereby reducing stretch marks. In order to treat your marks with egg whites, just whip them up until you start to see soft peaks. Then, apply this to your stretch marks and let dry completely before washing off.

You can do this treatment as often as three times a day.

Tip: It is advisable to only use egg whites from organic eggs for this treatment, as other eggs may have hormones and antibiotics that can do the skin more harm than good.

8. Lemon Juice for Your Natural Glowing Skin

Lemon juice is a natural ingredient that is a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients for the body. But did you know that lemon juice can also help your body bring out its natural glow? On the face, Women’s Health reports that its anti-bacterial properties can actually do wonders for common skin problems like acne and blackheads.

Meanwhile for the rest of your body, the acidic property of lemon juice can also help make scars and stretch marks a lot less visible. To make your lemon juice treatment, just slice a fresh lemon and squeeze the juice out. Massage this all over the affected areas and leave on for 10 to 15 minutes. Afterwards, rinse it warm water.

You can keep doing this easy lemon juice routine every day until your stretch marks start to fade. If your skin becomes dry, discontinue use and try another option.

9. Cocoa Butter Was Made for Your Stretch Marks

Sure, cocoa butter is high in calories, which is probably why you shouldn’t be consuming too much white chocolate. On the skin though, cocoa butter is great at keeping your skin from aging. That’s because it’s rich in antioxidants that fight off free radicals. At the same time, it also protects and heals your body from skin diseases like eczema. And yes, it’s good at treating stretch marks, too.

To make your very own cocoa butter cream for your skin, just mix together some cocoa butter, aloe vera gel and vitamin E oil from a capsule until it forms a nice paste. Just apply this on all your stretch marks and leave to dry naturally. This mixture also doubles as a moisturizer, leaving your skin smooth and glowing.

10. How Zinc Adds Zip to Your Skin

Zinc happens to be one of the most essential nutrients for healthy skin. According to ancestral health expert Chris Kresser, zinc is a mineral that plays a critical role in wound healing, DNA synthesis, cell division, protein synthesis and immune function. On your skin, it also helps ensure proper synthesis of proteins and cell membranes.

At the same time, zinc prevents and heals stretch marks by promoting regular collagen production in the body. Hence, it is important to have zinc in your daily diet by eating foods such as beef, lamb, oysters, scallops and other kinds of shellfish.

11. Why Vitamins A, C and E Are Essential for Your Skin

Vitamins A, C and E are essential to the body, inside and out. Vitamin A promotes cell turnover in the skin, thereby helping prevent skin\ problems such as acne. On the other hand, vitamin C is necessary in regulating structural protein collagen in the body while vitamin E helps repair damaged skin areas.

Making these three essential vitamins a part of your daily diet is a great and tasty way to work on removing your unwanted stretch marks. Natural food sources of vitamin A include cream and butter from pastured cows as well as egg yolks from pastured chicken. Meanwhile, you can also take cod liver oil to get your daily dose of vitamin A.

On the other hand, some of the best sources of vitamin E include avocado, sunflower seeds, dark leafy greens, various kinds of nuts, rainbow trout, shrimp, olive oil, cooked broccoli, cooked butternut squash and kiwi.

As for getting your daily rich dose of vitamin C, you can always indulge in foods like bell peppers, Brussel sprouts, strawberries, guava and various kinds of citrus fruits. Meanwhile, you can also get from various fresh herbs, including basil, parsley, thyme, chives and cilantro. Just chop of some of these and sprinkle on your meal.

12. Protein for Your Healthy Skin Cells

Having enough protein in the body daily is critical in supplying the body with essential amino acids that help produce antibodies, hormones, blood cells, enzymes and new body tissue. At the same time, it also aids in replacing worn-out cells in your body.

Protein is also necessary nutrient in maintaining your skin’s overall health and thereby, preventing any stretch marks from developing or getting worse. To help reduce your marks, make sure to add some good lean protein rich foods into your diet. Healthy sources of protein include soy beans, tofu, eggs, chicken breast, turkey and tuna.

13. Water, Water and More Water

waterKeeping hydrated is not only necessary for your overall health, but for your skin’s benefit as well. According to Women’s Health, a study done by the University of Missouri-Columbia found that drinking 500 milliliters of water or two cups can actually help increase blood flow to the skin.

Moreover, staying well hydrated helps keep the skin plump and elastic, thereby preventing and reducing the appearance of stretch marks as well as other skin blemishes. This is why you should make sure you drink eight to10 servings of water a day. What’s more, each serving should have around eight ounces of water.

14. Omega 3 Fatty Acids and Your Skin

Omega 3 fatty acids are also known as the good fats and Ann Yelmokas McDermott, PhD, a nutritionist at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University in Boston, tells WebMD that it ensures the health of the cell membrane, affects the cell’s ability to hold water that keep the skin hydrated and healthy.

To ensure that you get enough omega 3 fatty acids in your daily diet, make sure you enjoy foods like tuna, salmon, herring, walnut and flaxseed every day.

15. Eat Gelatin to Get Your Collagen

Gelatin is one of the most excellent sources of collagen that you can readily enjoy every day. Consuming this regularly helps firm up the skin, promote the growth of new cells and yes, reduce your stretch marks.

To fix yourself a healthy gelatin snack, just use a plain gelatin powder and flavor it with your favorite natural fruit juice. For an added treat, you can also put in slices of various fruits in the gelatin before it sets. Top it off with just a dollop of whipped cream and enjoy.

16. Rosehip Seed Oil: Your Skin’s Mulitvitamin

Rosehip seed oil has known as a natural multivitamin for the skin. In fact, Huffington Post reports that actress Rose Byrne even credits this miraculous oil for being keep her sensitive skin under control.

Rosehip seed oil is typically harvested from seeds of rose bushes that are grown in Chile. They are rich in vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants, which help keep the skin healthy and glowing.

A simple way to treat stretch marks using rosehip seed oil is to massage the oil on the affected areas in circular motion. Do this regularly after taking a shower and don’t worry about feeling greasy. This oil gets absorbs quickly by the skin.

17. Calm Your Stretch Marks With Lavender Oil

Calming lavender oil is said to be one of the most effective oils in treating stretch marks and even preventing it. To use this oil to remove stretch marks in your abdomen, just mix with a carrier oil such as calendula and apply on the area twice a day.

Pregnant women, however, are cautioned against applying lavender oil very early in their pregnancy. In fact, using this is discouraged during the first trimester when miscarriage can likely occur. However, it is safe to use beginning the second trimester.

18. Coconut Oil for Your Skin Cell Growth

Coconut oil has long been known to help effectively improve one’s skin elasticity while also increasing cell regeneration. What’s more, Dr. Josh Axe says it’s safe to use as a deodorant, face wash, diaper rash guard, cold sore treatment, cuticle oil and detox bath.

To use coconut oil to treat your stretch marks, you can mix equal parts of coconut oil and aloe vera gel together in a pot. Add in any essential oil of your choice and heat the mixture over low heat for 10 to 12 minutes. Allow the mixture to cool down before storing in an airtight container.

You can then apply this to affected areas regularly after you take a shower. Refrigerate this mixture so that it keeps longer.

19. Olive Oil for Serious Skin Antioxidants

Admit it. You have to agree that olive oil is one of the most delicious things you can dip bread into today. But did you know that this oil can also help make your skin more radiant than ever?

According to Allure, olive is rich in antioxidants that prevent the skin from aging. At the same time, it is also rich in squalene that keeps the skin, hair and nails regularly hydrated. Today, you can use olive oil as a natural eye makeup remover, diaper rash treatment, shaving cream and even, makeup brush cleaner.

As an effective treatment for stretch marks though, all you have to do is mix together one quarter of a cup of aloe vera gel with one quarter of a cup of olive oil. Once you’ve mixed it well, just apply it on the stretch marks and massage gently. You can choose to leave this on your skin for just a few minutes or even overnight.

Wash the mixture off your skin and pat it dry. If you are using this on your breasts, it is recommended to leave it on overnight and wipe it off with a wet wash cloth the next morning. For best results, apply this on your stretch marks daily.

20. Why Honey is Sweet for Your Skin

honeyNatural raw honey is one of the sweetest ways to keep skin moisturized and blemish free. In fact, it has also been known to help the body heal from various injuries, such as cuts, rashes and burns.

A great way to use honey for treating stretch marks is to combine two teaspoons of this natural sweetener with two teaspoons of almond oil and a cup of aloe vera pulp. Blend this together well in order to create a mask.

Apply this organic mask on your stretch marks and leave it on for 30 to 45 minutes. Wash it off with warm water. You can apply this mask two to three times a week for best results.

21. Some Cautions on Retinoid Cream

Retinoids, such as tretinoin, are derived from Vitamin A. According to the Mayo Clinic, applying retinoid cream can effectively improve the appearance of stretch marks that are just less than a few months old.

This cream, however, is not advisable to be used during pregnancy as it has possible side effects that might affect the baby.

22. Laser or Light Therapy: A Modern Approach

According to the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, light or laser therapy is an effective method in treating stretch marks. They help improve blood circulation, reduce inflammation, increase cell energy in the treatment area and promote collagen for new skin production.

The treatment works by beaming infrared and visible red lights onto the stretch marks. Patients typically undergo 20 sessions over a course of several weeks. This usually leads to a 20 to 60 percent improvement on the appearance of the stretch marks.

Meanwhile, possible risks of the therapy include swelling, bleeding and scarring. Each session costs between $200 and $400. Consult with your doctor before undergoing the treatment.

You don’t have to live with stretch marks. There are lots of ways to treat them in the comfort of your own home. Just pick one or two of these treatments to try today. Be consistent and watch your stretch marks fade away.

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