Stretch marks are scars that appear on your skin due to sudden changes in body size. This usually happens during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or loss, and puberty. We all dread them…. and yet we are told there is nothing we can do about it. It’s genetic. You either get them or you don’t. Though I don’t completely disagree with this statement, I do think there are things you can do to prevent stretch marks. Perhaps some people’s skin is miraculously more stretchy than yours but if you are genetically predisposed to stretch marks there are still options for you.
Prevention is the best policy
As stretch marks are so difficult to get rid of, prevention is the best policy – and the earlier, the better. Start taking measures at puberty for maximum protection against these unwanted streaks.
Keep your body well hydrated. During pregnancy your blood volume is increasing and you are building a huge water sack for your baby to stay in. Your body has an increased demand for hydration. Your skin also needs to be hydrated for optimal skin elasticity. It is recommended that you get 8-12 glasses of water each day. Mostly however, pay attention to how you are feeling. Dry lips or throat is a sure sign of dehydration. Being tired, headaches, or a lack of concentration can also be a sign that you are dehydrated.
2. Coconut oil
Using coconut oil is perhaps the best natural way to keep your skin moisturized. Coconut oil can easily be applied topically. It is best to apply right after a shower to keep the moisture in.
- Rub coconut oil generously on your skin.
- Massage the area to aid absorption into the skin.
- Do this two or three times a day.
3. Shea Butter or Cocoa Butter
Shea butter and cocoa butter are two of the best emollients out there. They are exceptional at keeping the skin moist and hydrated. Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from the cocoa bean. Shea butter is made from the nut of the karite tree. The fatty acids are extracted from the nuts shell. These work by stimulating the skins renewal process… Again preventing and also helping reduce stretch marks.
4. Vitamin C
The body uses Vitamin C to form collagen and cartilage. Vitamin C is also highly effective in reducing free radical damage. Free radicals consume collagen and elastin. It is best to get Vitamin C from a natural food source instead of a supplement. Foods high in vitamin C include red and green bell peppers, guava, kale, parsley greens, turnips, and broccoli.
Gelatin is a great way to prevent stretch marks. Collagen formation is essential in improving your skins elasticity. In order to increase your skins collagen formation you can eat gelatin to get more collagen through your diet. Another name for collagen…you guessed it Gelatin. Today our diets are severely lacking in gelatin. So how would one go about getting more gelatin in their diet.
Make bone broth. You can drink it plain every morning. Use it to make gravies, soups, sauces, and casseroles. Use it to boil your rice in. It gives it great flavor. You can also use a gelatin powder. This one you can add to drinks and it doesn’t gel.
6. Moisturize with oil blends
You can create some interesting oil blends by combining different essential and base oils and using them to moisturize your skin.Combine one cup each of olive oil and coconut oil. Add four tablespoons of vitamin E oil and the contents of six vitamin A capsules. Regularly massage your skin with the mixture. Mix some coconut oil, cocoa butter, and shea butter. Melt the mixture in a microwave or a double boiler. Finally, add a little vitamin E oil and apply it on your skin. This is a great homemade “belly butter” for preventing pregnancy stretch marks. You can also add a few drops of orange oil in vitamin E oil and then apply it on your skin.
Zinc deficiency is one reason people are more likely to get stretch marks. Its a natural trace mineral and one of the most abundant in the body. Zinc is also used in the production of collagen and also contains antioxidant properties.
Zinc can be found in abundance in chicken, lamb, beef, eggs, nuts, legumes, and whole grains.
8. Eat for Skin Elasticity
The way we eat overall is extremely important in our skin elasticity. Eating for skin elasticity would include eating a diet rich in collagen (as we talked about) including bone broths and gelatin, vitamin A, C, and E, and keeping a good balance of omega 3:6 ratio. This includes things like eating grass-fed and free range meats and eggs. Drinking raw whole milk from cattle that were grass-fed. Eating organic and locally grown vegetables.Fermented cod liver oil is also very beneficial. Eating in this manner isn’t just for skin elasticity but for fertility and healthy babies.