Friday, April 1, 2011

Stretch Marks Minimized, Naturally!

Stretch marks can be a kind of emblem of the birth of your child, but most people who have them are bent on finding ways to eliminate or at least minimize them.  Laser treatments and all sorts of pharmaceutical potions are available everywhere, but these can be expensive and not always foolproof.

Stretch marks are the result of the skin expanding rapidly to the point where connective fibers break, causing collagen production to stop. This often happens when there is quick weight gain and then loss, such as in a pregnancy, a well as with bodybuilders who push their lifting beyond the limit. Stretch marks appear when the level of what is known as glucocorticoids increase throughout the bloodstream.  Glucocorticoids are hormones that are secreted by the adrenal glands during weight loss, pregnancy, weight lifting, and in the case of Cushing’s syndrome.  Stretch marks left are generally red or purple, fading into a sliver or whitish color through time.  This type of scarring in medical terms is called vergetures, line albicane, or straie distensae, but to us mere mortals, ‘stretch mark’ is more than moniker enough.

Natural Fats and Oils
There are many natural products that help to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Tried and true through time is cocoa butter, which comes from the cacao bean.  A vegetable fat, cacao butter fortifies the skin with layers of moisture that helps keep the skin supple.  Using cacao butter on a daily basis will also help discourage the potential appearance of stretch marks, so if you are pregnant, generously rub the cream on your stomach, breasts, hips, and buttocks throughout the months.

Specific oils will also help to keep the skin moist and pliable. Applying the following to your skin, targeting the stretch marks that you may already have, can help to soften their appearance:

  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin A
  • Rose oil
  • Wheat germ oil
  • Cod liver oil
  • Olive oil
  • Flaxseed oil
  • Lavender oil

Massage any one or a combination of these oils into the skin and you will see improvement over time.

Aloe Vera and Lemon
A combination of aloe vera and fresh lemon juice is another way to reduce the offence of stretch marks. Aloe vera is exceptionally healthful for skin ( and lemon is a natural skin lightener. Applying this little formula to your stretch marks will help to make them less noticeable.

Apricot Scrub
A good apricot seed scrub is another way to soften the area.  Just as you would apply the scrub to clean the pores of your face, apply to your stretch marks to soften and diminish their harsh lines.

Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient for enhancing collagen production.  Daily doses of C can help improve all skin conditions.  Applying a formula of vitamin C combined with glycolic acid as well as retinoids will help to smooth out the area and prevent further marks from forming.

Diet and Exercise
Eating balanced meals filled with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables is key to keeping the skin healthy and mark-free.  Even if  you don’t  have stretch marks, you must drink a lot of water every single day to help with the elimination of toxins and to keep the skin plump and youthful.  Avoid foods that are high in fat as this fat will be stored in the body, causing stretch marks to swell and expand. 

Exercise, as we all know helps to tone the body and reduce fat deposits.  Concentrate on the areas where you have stretch marks in order to tighten the zone by doing isometric exercises, yoga, or other similar practices.

Love Thyself!
The most important thing you can do for your stretch marks in the end is to embrace them, as they may never totally be eliminated.  By loving your body and appreciating who you are, your stretch marks will then diminish in your own eyes, as well as in the eyes of those who love you.  Your confidence is contagious and will cause others to see you the way you wish to be seen… as beautiful as you are, no matter what changes your body may go though.

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