Stretch marks are caused by a number of factors. Pregnancy, weight gain or extreme weight loss and puberty can stretch (or shrink) the outer layer of the skin, thus leaving evident reddish or purplish stripes on the abdomen, thighs, arms and other different body parts. As the skin loses elasticity while forming stretch marks, it triggers a deflated self-image, causing stress in both women and men. Even though expensive popular creams and over-the-counter medications are advertised in the market for removing stretch marks, they offer little relief.
Moreover, the synthetic chemicals used in these products can harm the skin, which worsens the condition in a few cases.
Here are a few common causes of stretch marks:
- Rapid weight gain
- Heredity conditions
- Medical conditions, such as Marfan Syndrome And Cushing’s Syndrome
12 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Stretch Marks
Although it is difficult to remove stretch marks completely, reducing their appearance is possible by trying a few home remedies that work best towards a better skin tone appearance and improved self-image.
Here are 12 natural remedies to take care of stretch marks. It should be noted that notable results are achieved only after persistent application:
1. Lemon Juice
Due to its acidic nature, lemon juice is one of the most valuable remedies for gradually reducing stretch marks and has natural bleaching properties. Slice a lemon in half and squeeze out the fresh juice for rubbing it onto the stretch marks, gently. Rinse off with lukewarm water after ten minutes.
2. Aloe Vera
Aloe Vera is blessed with several of nature’s gifts to help improve the texture of your hair and skin. Aloe Vera gel has the ability to heal the small tears in the skin layers and helps restore its lost elasticity. Cut a leaf from the aloe plant and peel out the outermost skin for squeezing out the gel. Use it daily to massage over the affected area. You will see the stretch marks begin to fade after several applications. Add some Vitamin E oil to it for better results.
3. Vitamin C (Oral and Tropical)
A popular immunity booster, Vitamin C also boasts qualities that support healthy looking skin. Being an antioxidant, it aids in combating environmental toxins that cause harm to the skin, slowing down the healing process. Use topical creams that contain vitamin C as an ingredient as they help to boost the skin renewal process and make the marks fade away. Use it twice a day on the affected areas. Increasing your intake of foods rich in Vitamin C also helps. Strawberries, broccoli and oranges provide good amounts of Vitamin C.
4. Egg White
The white of the egg is packed with protein which can be helpful for dealing with stretch marks. Use the whites from two eggs and whip gently. A thick layer should be applied to the marks. When it dries, rinse it off with water. Use some olive oil to moisturize the area by applying some olive oil.
5. Castor Oil
An oil massage is quite popular following childbirth in many parts of the world. Castor oil or coconut oil is used to massage the entire body followed by a hot shower. A few modern-day spas use this conventional custom for reducing stretch marks. Castor oil serves as a natural remedy for conditions like dry skin, sunburn as well as for stretch marks. It stimulates the production of elastin and collagen.
A thick layer of castor oil mixed with some water can be applied on the stretch marks. Wrap the area using plastic and use a hot water bottle to apply heat for 20 minutes. This is a proven method to reduce stretch marks.
6. Olive Oil
Olive oil can be also used for curing stretch marks. Olive oil moisturizes the skin and smoothens out wrinkles.
7. Potato Juice
Potato juice is a natural remedy to get rid of visible stretch marks. Starch, present in potatoes, has emollient properties for soothing the skin. Antioxidants are compounds that transfer hydrogen or electrons from a substance to an oxidizing agent and prevent or hinder cell damage. The antioxidants in potatoes aids in removing stretch marks. Cut a raw potato and rub the pieces over the affected area. Leave the juice on to dry completely. After 15 minutes, rinse it off using warm water and apply moisturizer. Use it a couple of times a day to see the difference.
Alfalfa sprout is renowned for helping with weight loss and is also a helpful remedy for stretch marks. Alfalfa is jam-packed with Vitamin E, Vitamin K and amino acids. Vitamin E neutralizes the oxidant effect of free radicals that harm collagen and cause skin dryness, wrinkles and fine lines. It reduces the chain reaction of free radicals, whereas Vitamin K regulates the bone mineralization and blood clotting process. Add alfalfa powder (1 teaspoon) to 4 drops of chamomile oil and mix it for 5 minutes. Apply the mixture on the stretch marks. Wash off with water after 15 minutes.
9. Oil Lotion
Olive oil is great for reducing stretch marks when used separately for a massage. However, an effective lotion can be prepared by mixing olive oil with aloe vera gel and wheat germ oil in equal proportions. Gently massage it on the stretch marks 2-3 times a day for retaining skin moisture.
Surprisingly, sugar is one of the best natural remedies for curing stretch marks. It is a natural source of glycolic acid, an alpha hydroxic acid stimulating the skin and resulting in a younger looking skin. The small particles in sugar are also used in a number of popular body scrubs for exfoliating the skin and peeling off dead skin cells. Alpha hydroxic acids are efficient at treating severely dry skin. For using sugar to remove stretch marks, mix sugar, lemon juice and almond oil. Stir for 5 minutes and apply the mixture to the affected skin area. Rub it for 10 minutes and then wash off with water.
11. Home-Made Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is considered one of the best moisturizers due to its anti-aging qualities. It not only helps you reduce stretch marks but also improves circulation. You simply have to take 1 tbsp of cocoa butter and then massage it over the stretch marks two times a day. You should see significant results in two months.
Skin renews itself every 28 or so days, by nature. Can you speed up the stretch mark fading process? It is observed that by using scrubs, the top layer of the skin which is mostly made up of dead skin can be exfoliated. Apply a mixture of sugar, Vitamin E and some drops of lemon juice on your stretch marks. As scrubs should not be used too often, doing this a couple of times per week is good enough to make the marks fade faster. Follow the routine with a moisturizer.
Keep in mind that once stretch marks appear, it can be quite challenging to remove them completely. However, using natural or home remedies for reducing their visibility has been reported to guarantee more permanent results than medications and creams.