Almost every woman in her lifetime will be affected by stretch marks and will go through a myriad of emotions like – shock, anxiety and sadness thinking what are these marks and how did I get rid of them?
Well, stretch marks are a very common occurrence and anyone who has had a sudden weight loss or gain will have them. It is when your skin’s elasticity breaks and the collagen that makes your skin stretchy break down forming these lines. There are different life cycles of stretch marks and they start with these red scars that progressively turn into silvery-white lines.
Though stretch marks are not at all harmful, a lot of women do not like the way they look and as a result want to get rid of them fast. In this article we will talk about all the different ways you may get stretch marks and the most effective remedies to get rid of them.
Read on to know more:
As explained before, you get stretch marks when the skin’s collagen breaks down and there is an increase in the level of cortisone. When cortisone increases in your body, the skin loses its elasticity, hence developing stretch marks. So sudden weight gain or loss or even hormonal changes can trigger the occurrence of stretch marks.
Here are some more common causes why you may develop stretch marks:
- Pregnancy: Most women get their first stretch marks due to pregnancy when the skin goes through various changes. It happens mostly in the breasts and the stomach region because these are changing in size and are getting ready for the new baby
- Puberty: When teenagers get their puberty, there are a lot of things that change and their body is one of them. Most teens will get stretch marks during this time
- Certain Pills: Some pills and lotions can also cause stretch marks by increasing the level of cortisone in the body
- Adrenal gland disorders: Some disorders like adrenal gland disorders also lead to an increase in the level of cortisone which leads to a decrease in the skin’s level of elasticity and hence you get more stretch marks
Where do you get stretch marks?
Stretch marks mostly occur in certain places in the body, as there is more chance of these places losing their elasticity. Here are some of them:
- Hips and waist
So let’s talk about stretch marks removal. The best way to get rid of them is to of course look out for way to treat them at home with the home remedies available. You could try the remedies below as they are some of the most effective ones right now.
Stretch Marks Removal
Here are some common ways to get rid of stretch marks. The ingredients and resources needed are very commonly available and regularly using them will actually fade the stretch marks to a large extent. The good news is that you can lighten the appearance, but they can never be removed completely. The only way to remove them permanently is to undergo a laser surgery which is not just painful but also quite an expensive procedure.
1. Castor Oil
Things you need: Some pure castor oil and almond oil (for imparting a pleasant smell)
- Mix the castor oil and almond oil together and massage the mixture on the area where you have the marks.
- Use a thin cotton cloth and cover the area with the cloth to make the absorption of the oil better.
- Continue massaging the area routinely to observe a difference.
How it works: Castor oil is rich in ricinoleic acid that helps fight against stretch marks
Frequency of use: Use is daily for two-three weeks to see a difference
Tips: You could also use a heating pad to the area to help the oil penetrate better
2. Aloe Vera
Things you need: Aloe vera gel (either you can extract it) or buy a gel tub from the market
- Check if you have any allergies and then use the gel in the affected area.
- Rub it in and wash off after 15-20 minutes with lukewarm water.
How it works: Aloe vera has rejuvenating properties and has excellent nutrients that help get rid of the marks
Frequency of use: Use it daily to see a difference
Tips: If possible, use the gel directly from the aloe vera plant instead of buying it. It works better than the store-bought ones
3. Egg Whites
Things you need: Egg white separated and whipped
- Take the whipped egg white and spread it evenly in the areas where you have the stretch marks.
- Let it dry and wash off with cold water.
How it works: Egg whites are very rich in proteins and minerals that help fade the marks
Frequency of use: 2-3 days in a week
Tips: Increase the frequency if you start seeing a difference in the marks.
4. Lemon Juice
Things you need: Lemon juice and aloe vera gel
- Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice with aloe vera gel and rub this mixture on the affected area.
- Let it dry for a while and wash off with warm water.
How it works: The mixture of aloe vera and lemon juice is full of anti-oxidants and helps revitalize the skin. It is also a great way to remove dead skin cells and hence reduce the appearance of fine lines
Frequency of use: Three to four times in a day for best results
Tips: You can also use lemon juice on its own to lighten the skin and the marks. The vitamin C content in lemon juice helps make your skin look younger and brighter
Things you need: Sugar and water
- Mix coarse sugar granules with water until you get a paste-like consistency.
- Rub this mixture on the stretch marks in soft and circular motion.
How it works: The sugar granules act like a scrub and help to remove the dead skin cells to reveal a brighter and younger looking skin
Frequency of use: 2-3 times in a week
Tips: Refined white sugar is a little harsh on your skin, so you should use brown sugar instead
6. Potato Juice
Things you need: A few slices of potato or juice from the potatoes
- If you are not okay with extracting the juice from the potatoes, you can use potato slices for the same effect.
- Cut a few potatoes and cover the marks with these.
- Once they are covered in the slices, you can let the juice seep in for some time and then wash it off.
How it works: Potato juice has skin lightening properties that can help fad away the stretch marks
Frequency of use: Use it thrice in a day for at least two weeks
Tips: You can also store the potato juice in the fridge if you decide to extract it and use it later
Things you need: Alfalfa leaves that are grind to a paste
- Rub the paste of the leaves on the affected area and let it be there for about 15-20 minutes.
- Wash off with lukewarm water
How it works: Alfalfa leaves are very rich in Vitamin E and K and also amino acids that help diminish the marks. They also detoxify the skin and make it look younger
Frequency of use: Use it for at least a week and see if your skin responds to it
Tips: You can also rub the alfalfa leaves on the marks instead of grinding it to a paste
8. Cocoa Butter
Things you need: Palmer’s Cocoa butter formula stretch mark cream
- This cream is available in most pharmacies and beauty stores.
- Rub it regularly on your stretch marks before going to bed.
- Rub it gently so that it penetrates into the skin
How it works: The cream helps diminish the stretch marks because it is made of a powerful combination of pure cocoa butter, vitamin E, shea butter and bio c-elaste. All these help to moisturize the skin and fade the marks.
Frequency of use: Palmer’s Cocoa butter is gentle enough to be used every day. A regular application for about a month can help reduce the appearance of the marks
Tips: Buy the bigger sizes of the cream as they come much cheaper than the small-sized bottles
9. Olive Oil
Things you need: Pure and extra virgin olive oil
Directions: Rub the olive oil religiously on all the affected area till the oil soaks in
How it works: Olive oil is a great emollient that helps to fade the marks
Frequency of use: Olive oil is great for the skin but the stretch marks take a long time to fade. You have to continuously use it for a long period of time to see some difference
Tips: Buy the extra virgin versions for best results
10. Shea Butter
Things you need: Pure shea butter (if available) or shea butter based creams
Directions: Rub the shea butter on the skin and let it completely soak in. Use regularly
How it works: Shea butter has very good properties that not only keep the skin moisturized but also increase the level of collagen in the skin
Frequency of use: Use it daily for best results
Tips: Buy pure versions of shea butter to see an actual difference in the skin and the marks
11. Vicks Vaporub
Things you need: Vicks vaporub (an easily available over the counter ointment/cream)
- On the areas where there is a tendency to get stretch marks or in the areas you already have the marks, carefully rub the cream till the skin absorbs it.
- Wash off an hour later.
How it works: Vicks Vapor Rub is made from a combination of a number of oils- cedar oil, eucalyptus oil, camphor etc. These all work to make the stretched skin softer and also reduce the appearance of the marks
Frequency of use: Vicks is quite strong so you could use it once a week
Tips: Always wash your hands properly after using Vicks. It is quite strong and might sting if it goes to your eyes or mouth
12. Vitamin E Oil
Things you need: Vitamin E oil (easily purchasable from the market) or Vitamin E capsules that you can break and directly apply on your skin
- Rub the oil on the affected areas and massage till your skin soaks it in
How it works: Vitamin E oil is a miraculous product for the skin and can make the skin look beautiful and young. Regular usage will also help lighten these marks
Frequency of use: You can use it every day because it helps to keep your skin looking bright
Tips: Buy pure vitamin E oil for best results
13. Baby Oil
Things you need: Johnson’s baby oil
- Rub the oil on the affected areas and massage till your skin soaks it in.
- You do not need to wash it off.
How it works: Baby oil is a highly moisturizing cream and helps combat dry skin and also reduce the appearance of the marks
Frequency of use: Safe to be used every day
Tips: Johnson’s baby oil is one of the safest and the most effective baby oils available in the market right now. So we prefer you buy this one instead of any other baby oil
14. Baking Soda
Things you need: One teaspoon of baking soda and your favourite body wash and a clean cotton cloth
- Take one teaspoon of the baking soda and some body wash on the cloth and mix them well.
- Now rub this cloth on your stretch marks gently and in a circular motion.
- Rinse it off after scrubbing for some time.
How it works: Baking soda has immense exfoliation properties and helps remove the dead skin. It is also a great skin lightener and bleaches away the stretch marks from the skin
Frequency of use: Use it daily after your shower for at least three weeks to see a difference
Tips: Baking soda can also be mixed with sea salt and rubbed with a cotton cloth for the same effect. It is in fact a better exfoliator than a body wash. So if you have sea salt available, use that instead of the body wash
15. Argan Oil
Things you need: a few drops of pure argan oil
- Use two to three drops of argan oil and rub this on your skin till it is absorbed.
- The argan oil should be used sparingly.
How it works: Argan oil has a ton of micro nutrients that work to heal the stretch marks and hence reduce their appearance
Frequency of use: You can use a little bit every day for at least a month to see a difference in your skin
Tips: Use pure and virgin argan oil (it may come a little expensive) for best results.
16. Glycolic Acid
Things you need: Glycolic acid that is available at any pharmacy
- Rub the glycolic acid on the affected areas and let it soak in.
- You can use it before sleeping every night.
How it works: Glycolic acid has ingredients that are sugar can derivative and from the alpha-hydroxy family. The AHA are proven to work on stretch marks and reduce their appearance. They work because they increase the collagen formation in the skin
Frequency of use: Glycolic acid should be used under prescription and make sure you visit a doctor before using it
Tips: Even though it is easily available in the market, it is important that you consult a dermatologist before using the cream. Sometimes your skin may react to the cream and you may get hives
17. Tea Tree Oil
Things you need: Tea tree oil (available at any medical store or beauty store)
- Take a very small quantity of the tree tea oil and rub it in your skin.
- Make sure that you massage the oil so that the skin soaks it.
How it works: Tea tree oil has excellent antiseptic and bleaching properties that keep the skin fresh and reduce the scarring
Frequency of use: Use once daily for about a month (before going to bed)
Tips: Australian tea tree oil is the most potent and effective tea tree oil when it comes to healing stretch marks
Things you need: Turmeric chunks
- Cut turmeric into small chunks or grind it into a paste and rub the juice on the affected area.
- Turmeric will stain the area but the marks can be removed by washing.
- So once the juice dries up, you should wash it off.
How it works: Turmeric has a very important ingredient called curcumin that alters the physical properties of the cell membrane and boosts its function. Hence helping to create more collagen and elasticity of the skin
Frequency of use: You can use it every day two times (morning and night) till the marks fade
Tips: Use natural and raw turmeric instead of using the powder for best results
19. Jojoba Oil
Things you need: Jojoba oil that is bought from the beauty store (you can use any good brand)
- Take a few drops of the oil and massage it in circular motions on your skin.
- For best results, use it daily.
How it works: Jojoba oil has properties that restores the elasticity of the skin and also increases the collagen levels.
Frequency of use: It is safe enough to be used every day
Tips: Use a good brand and quality jojoba oil to see a huge difference in your stretch marks
20. Rosehip Oil
Things you need: store-bought rosehip oil
- Rub some rosehip oil in your fingertips and warm it up.
- Now rub this warm oil on the affected areas and let the skin soak it in.
How it works: Rosehip oil is easily absorbed by the skin and contains omegas that help to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Frequency of use: Two to three weeks every day for a significant difference
Tips: Use rosehip oil available in the form of a derma roller for best
21. Coffee Scrub
Things you need: Ground coffee powder and olive oil
- Mix the ground coffee powder and the olive oil until it has a paste like consistency.
- Now rub this scrub on your body, concentrating more on the areas where you have the stretch marks.
How it works: Coffee granules contain caffeine that helps to stimulate the skin, increase the blood flow and also help in the regeneration of the skin cells. This in turn helps to reduce the appearance of stretch marks
Frequency of use: Use it for at least a month and every day while taking a bath to observe a marked difference
Tips: use pure ground coffee for best results
22. Almond Oil
Things you need: Store-bought almond oil
- You can use almond oil all over your body, but you should concentrate more on the areas that have stretch marks.
- Rub the oil and let it soak in.
- You do not need to wash it off.
How it works: Almond oil is an excellent moisturizer that repairs the skin and helps to get rid of the stretch marks
Frequency of use: You can use it every day for at least two months for best results
Tips: Use almond oil in combination with castor oil or any other oil and leave it on overnight. This will help the oil to soak in better
Things you need: Apricot seeds are to be crushed and used
- Crush the apricot seeds and apply the paste on your skin, especially in the areas where you have stretch marks.
- Wash off with lukewarm water.
How it works: Apricot seeds are a great way to increase the elasticity of the skin and help to reduce the appearance of the stretch marks to a large extent
Frequency of use: Once a week for at least two months can change the way your stretch marks look.
Tips: You can also use an apricot scrub for the same effect
24. Glycerin and Lemon
Things you need: One teaspoon of lemon juice and a few drops of glycerin
Directions: Rub the mixture of lemon juice and glycerin together and use it every night before sleeping
How it works: Glycerin is an excellent moisturizer and lemon juice acts as a brightening agent. Both of them together work to remove and fade stretch marks
Frequency of use: You should use it for a minimum of two to three weeks for best results
Tips: Use glycerin in its purest form for more effectiveness
So here are our top home remedies that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. But is there any way you could prevent being affected by these marks at all? Well, read below to know how to prevent getting those stripes.
Prevention and Precautions
Most of the times, stretch marks will occur when your skin loses its elasticity and it is stretched beyond its capacity. Hence it is not able to come back to its original form and stretches in the form of silvery white marks.
Stretch marks are also hereditary and if your mother and grandmother had them, you have increased chances of getting them too.
Having said that, you can still prevent stretch marks by following these:
- Staying hydrated: Your skin gets these marks when it is dehydrated. Drinking sufficient amount of water keeps your skin soft and supple and there is a lesser tendency towards stretch marks. Always have water or to mix it up, infuse lemon, ginger and cucumber. Flavored water or herbal teas work great too. Steer clear of caffeine and alcohol to prevent stretch marks
- Control your weight: Rapid weight gain or weight loss can also result in your skin breaking down and developing stretch marks. Maintain and optimal weight and have a balanced diet to ensure that your weight remains constant
- Eat foods that are rich in zinc: A good and balanced diet as well as a food regimen that is rich in zinc can prevent stretch marks to a large extent. It plays an important part in the wound healing process and helps in the wear and tear of the body. Nuts, fish, especially salmon and zinc supplements can help your body combat the effects of stretch marks
- Eat a balanced and healthy diet: Having a diet that is balanced and gives you all the right nutrients will ensure that your skin is healthy and that your weight does not fluctuate. Never skip breakfast and concentrate on having food that helps your body on the long run
- Vitamin C rich food: Vitamin C helps in increasing collagen in the body that increases elasticity and keeps your skin smooth and supple. Citrus fruits like lime, oranges and lemons should be included in your diet because they are very rich sources of Vitamin C
- Keep your body moisturized: A dry skin is prone to stretch marks hence it is important to use good creams and lotions and keep your skin moisturized.
So here is a comprehensive article about stretch marks, how you might get them and how you could get rid of them. Like we mentioned before in the article, it is not possible to remove them completely, unless you go for a surgical procedure or cosmetic procedure to laser it off. The above remedies will only help you to fade or lighten the marks. To prevent them, make sure you follow the above steps.
Having said this, it is also important to note that almost 90% of the women in the world will have stretch marks of one kind or the other. Wear your marks with pride, there is nothing to be ashamed of them! Love your body, after all it’s the only one you have!