Stretch marks are one of the most dreaded skin concerns during the most beautiful journey of one’s life i.e. pregnancy to motherhood. What’s ironic is that 9 out of 10 women may develop stretch marks during or after pregnancy. Stretch marks are largely influenced by genetics too apart from the sudden weight gain and loss during pregnancy, there are many stretch mark creams available commercially but let us first understand what formulation or ingredient you should look for in a Stretch Marks Cream to help prevent or treat it effectively and efficiently.
Stretch Marks Could Be Influenced By Multiple Factors
But first, let’s understand the factors that induce stretch marks/striae.
Growth spurts while transitioning from childhood to puberty result in stretch marks in several areas like the bottom, thighs, abdomen, and arms.
Sudden Weight Gain/Loss
Fluctuation in weight can cause the skin fibers to tear apart which may cause stretch marks.
Developing stretch marks during or post pregnancy is fairly common among women all around the world, It is highly influenced by genetics and the intense stretching skin has to go through to accommodate the developing baby.
Weight training that leads to rapid or sudden muscle growth also may lead to stretch marks, usually on arms and thighs.
Medications that involve steroids/corticosteroids may also cause stretch marks.
Diseases and disorders
like Cushing’s Syndrome or Marfan Syndrome also are known to cause stretch marks as one of their symptoms.
How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks Effectively?
The bottom line of why stretch marks happen is the rupturing of collagen as a result of abrupt skin stretching or shrinking which upon healing forms the deep, indented streaks on skin known as striae or stretch marks as we commonly call them. Thus, applying ingredients that help support collagen production may help with preventing and managing them. Let’s have a crisp yet elaborate understanding of the ingredients that help with healing and preventing stretch marks.
Allium Cepa is readily found in our pantry and is nothing but common onions. Onions or Allium Cepa are loaded with bioactive phytochemicals such as bioflavonoids that are potent antioxidants. Bioflavonoids assist in fibroblast formation and thus help in skin regeneration and fading stretch marks.
Palmitoyl Pentapeptide is a concoction of two necessary ingredients, amino acid and fatty acid. The peptide chain is composed of 5 essential amino acids, namely, lysine-threonine-lysine-serine (KTTKS), and is associated with the palmitic acid to help with better skin penetration. The pentapeptide chain KTTKS is also known as collagen pentapeptide given its subfragment of skin-structure-giving type I collagen. This complex helps with collagen synthesis and restores the skin elasticity, thereby smoothening the skin surface.
Retinyl Palmitate is a derivative of Vitamin A that increases cell turnover and helps boost collagen to maintain the firmness of the skin barrier. Topical application of Retinyl Palmitate during pregnancy is considered safe given it cannot cross the placental barrier and is gentle and safe on the skin.
Vitamin C has been garnering a decent amount of attention in the skincareverse and its skin benefits justify it quite well. Vitamin C is one of the most potent water-soluble antioxidants that helps with collagen boosting and ensures the strength and elasticity of the skin barrier. It also helps fades the discoloration of the skin thus providing a smoother, plumeper skin.
The fat-soluble beauty vitamin helps smoothen the skin given its anti-oxidant effects and assists in improving the overall skin texture and strengthening the skin barrier.
Quick Tips To Help Prevent and Manage Stretch Marks
- Aim for a gradual and slow progressing weight gain while expecting in your initial trimesters.
- Prevention is better than cure, therefore it's considered best to apply stretch marks cream at the beginning of the first trimester, especially in women with a family history of stretch marks.
- Ample hydration also plays a vital role in preventing pregnancy-related stretch marks.
- Consuming a zinc-rich diet may help with skin healing as it is an anti-inflammatory nutrient that supports skin health.
- Taking a multivitamin diet that’s loaded with Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D helps in the internal strengthening of the skin.
- Massaging regularly with natural moisturizing oils like coconut oil, bitter almond oil, and gotu kola helps prevent and may help heal stretch marks.
- Shea Butter is also a great addition to stretch marks care as it provides intense hydration and nourishment, applying it on the growing abdomen regularly may help with preventing and minimizing the occurrence of stretch marks.
- Treating the fresh stretch marks when they appear is the key to help get rid of them permanently, once healed, the stretch marks are difficult to treat without in-clinical treatments, it is thus advised to invest in a stretch mark cream from the first trimester itself to help the prevention and treatment of it while they are still fresh.
Chillax! Being a parent comes with its own set of ups and downs but let’s focus on the ups. Shall we? It's perfectly normal and natural to develop stretch marks, they are the mark of the strength your body puts in while developing an entire human body within itself. They represent courage and the extent of affection a mother’s body goes through the entire pregnancy period. So don’t let it distress you when you have all the information, tips, and tricks to help prevent and manage them with simple products and stretch marks creams.