Life changes with pregnancy and babies, and while stretch marks are a natural consequence of being pregnant, we’d all love to avoid them if we could.
Up to 70% of women report getting stretch marks during pregnancy. And for many, stretch marks showed up in the last few weeks before giving birth, just when they thought they were home free! The good news – these women did not use any products to help boost skin elasticity. This means that with the right care, you can definitely avoid getting stretch marks!
Tip 1: Stay hydrated, internally and externally!
Dry skin is something you want to avoid AT ALL COSTS when trying to prevent stretch marks. Dry skin has more fragile collagen fibres than skin that is well hydrated. This causes it to be less elastic and more prone to dermal tearing than skin that is supple, nourished and moisturized.
- Drink plenty of water. Keep a bottle with you at all times. It really helps getting those recommended number of glasses
- Always bathe with lukewarm (never hot) water. Use a gentle, hydrating body wash that contains emollients, and follow up with a lotion to strengthen the moisture barrier. Twice a day use a stretch mark oil on stretch – mark prone areas such as the belly, breasts and hips.
TIP 2: Look for this amazing ingredient when selecting a stretch mark or belly oil
Stretch mark creams, and especially belly butters, are more difficult for the skin to absorb. Oils tend to penetrate the deeper layers of skin more efficiently, absorb quicker, and in effect, help your skin better retain active ingredients.
During the development of our Intensive Stretch Mark Oil (renamed Stretch Serum), we discovered an amazing plant-based ingredient that closely mimics the properties of skin’s natural sebum, which allows it to penetrate deeper and absorb better than other ingredients. This awesome ingredient is Macadamia Nut Oil. Not only does it help other ingredients do their job more effectively when used as part of a formula, it is also very high in Squalene, a lipid that your skin produces naturally to keep it healthy and hydrated. Unfortunately production of squalene slows in our 20s and 30s, and our skin becomes rougher, drier, and you guessed it, more prone to stretch mark!
- As a no-brainer, when selecting a stretch mark oil or belly oil, look for Macadamia Nut Oil in the ingredient list.
- Pick an oil that contains non-toxic ingredients. There are some amazing plant-extracts out there that are proven to prevent and fade stretch marks such as Gotu Kola, Helicrysum, Tamanu & Seabuckthorn. You definitely do NOT need to depend on harmful chemicals for effective prevention!
Tip 3: Beware of the itch
Itchy skin on the belly during pregnancy, is one of the first signs that you WILL eventually develop stretch marks. It is typically caused by the breakdown of the hydrolipidic barrier (that holds moisture), creating tiny holes that prevent skin from holding much-needed hydration. And hormonal changes during pregnancy are the number one cause of the hydrolipidic barrier breaking down.
To prevent itchy skin, follow the advice in tip 1 religiously. If you still end up with itchy, dry skin, the following works wonders:
- Warm up some stretch mark or body oil in a water bath. Once warm (test to make sure it’s not too hot) take a little bit in the palm of your hand, and spend AT LEAST 5 minutes really massaging the oil into itchy areas.
- Once the oil is well absorbed, follow with a nutrient-dense lotion that targets damage and dryness to seal in all that goodness.
- Do this twice a day for maximum results.
So here you go: The key to preventing stretch marks is using high-quality ingredients, and above all, being consistent with your skincare routine. Really caring for your belly twice a day will ensure that you come out on the other side with skin that is smooth, toned and free from stretch marks.