Stretch marks are caused when skin changes shape too quickly (think weight gain, weight loss, or pregnancy). This sudden change causes a tear in the middle layer of your skin, the dermis. The collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis rupture, and you end up with "underground" scars that look like stripes on the affected area. The sooner you treat them, the better your chances of removing them, but that doesn't mean you're out of options if you've had your stretch marks for years.
Causes of Stretch Marks
Common reasons why stretch marks form are due to:
losing weight too quickly,
gaining weight rapidly,
The areas of the body that are most affected by stretch marks include the thighs, abdomen, arms, hips, breasts, back, buttocks and the area around belly button.
There are topical creams, ointments, and oils that claim to remove stretch marks or reduce their appearance; however, these products can cost quite a bit, and hardly deliver on the promises. There are also laser treatments available, but this too is very expensive.
Homemade stretch mark creams can be used to treat scars, and are also great for other areas of your body that need special attention. You can use these recipes to make extra hydrating lotions that can be applied to stretch marks, dry elbows, knees, hands and/or feet. Below are some homemade remedies to treat stretch marks.
Cocoa Butter and Oil Cream
One of the most effective ingredients in improving the appearance of skin is cocoa butter. This is the main ingredient in the following skin cream for treating stretch marks. Using this homemade cocoa butter and oil skin cream will make your skin moist, soft and supple. Here is what you’ll need to make the cocoa butter and oil stretch mark cream:
1/2 cup cocoa butter
1 Tablespoon wheat germ oil
1 Teaspoon apricot kernel oil
1 Teaspoon Vitamin E oil
2 Teaspoons grated beeswax
Combine all of the ingredients in a medium sauce pan, and use medium heat to melt the beeswax. Once the beeswax has melted, remove it from the heat, and pour it into an airtight container. Store the cream in the refrigerator, and use after showering, and throughout the day until you have the desired results.
Olive Oil and Aloe Vera
Olive oil shows up in almost every beauty remedy recipe because it’s loaded with moisturizing nutrients perfect for conditioning skin and hair. To use olive oil as a stretch mark treatment, simply pour the oil onto a cotton pad, and pat the oil onto your stretch marks. To make this treatment even more nourishing, follow these instructions:
1/2 cup virgin olive oil
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
6 vitamin E capsules
4 vitamin A capsules
Take the six capsules of vitamin E, and the four capsules of vitamin A, and remove the liquid from the capsules into a bowl; then combine the other ingredients with the liquid from the capsules. Blend the mixture well with a whisk, or by using a blender. This treatment can be applied to any area on your body where you have stretch marks such as the stomach, legs, arms, thighs or breasts. Use olive oil in combination with aloe vera gel to treat your stretch marks. Aloe vera has been used widely to treat burns, but also provides positive results when used to treat stretch marks. Combine a small amount of aloe vera gel with an equal amount of olive oil, and continue to massage the mixture onto stretch marks. To get even more use out of aloe vera gel, use this recipe to prevent more stretch marks from occurring, and treat the ones that have already formed.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup aloe vera gel
4 vitamin E capsules
2 vitamin A capsules
In a mixing bowl, combine the liquid from the vitamin E capsules, and the liquid from the vitamin A capsules. Mix the remaining ingredients with the vitamin liquids. Massage into your skin to improve the appearance of stretch marks.
Vitamin C and Sugar
Use natural white sugar to exfoliate the problem areas of your skin for 3-5 minutes daily. This will remove the dead skin cells, and encourage more skin cells to develop.
This works best if you exfoliate while in the shower. When you’ve finished your shower, take two vitamin C tablets and crush them as finely as you can. Use a small mixing bowl to combine your daily moisturizing lotion and the vitamin C tablets together. Apply the lotion and vitamin C mixture as usual, focusing mostly on your stretch marks. Now saturate a cotton pad or ball with olive oil, and dab onto your stretch marks.
By using this treatment and the previously mentioned ones, you’ll go a long way towards reducing the appearance of stretch marks.