If you're a new mom, congratulations! You've made it through nine months of cravings, swollen ankles, and baby kicks. But as much as we love our little bundles of joy, pregnancy can also leave us with some not-so-pleasant reminders: stretch marks.
Fear not! With these tips and tricks, you'll be saying bye-bye to those pesky lines in no time.
The Science Behind Stretch Marks
First thing's first - let's talk about what causes stretch marks. When your body undergoes rapid weight gain or growth (like during pregnancy), the skin is stretched beyond its natural limits. This stretching causes the middle layer of skin (the dermis) to tear slightly. These tears are what we see on the surface as stretch marks.
While there are many lotions and potions out there that claim to prevent stretch marks from happening in the first place (spoiler alert: they don't really work), there are things you can do to minimize their appearance after they've already formed.
Moisturize Like Your Life Depends On It
Okay, so maybe that's a bit dramatic. But keeping your skin well-hydrated is one of the best things you can do for minimizing the appearance of stretch marks.
When choosing a moisturizer, look for products that contain ingredients like cocoa butter or shea butter (fun fact: both are derived from tree nuts). These ingredients help create a barrier over your skin that keeps moisture in and helps improve elasticity over time (just like Spanx but without all the suffocation).
Pro tip: Apply lotion right after getting out of either shower or bath when your pores open up more which will make it easier for lotion/nourishing oils/creams absorb into the deeper layers faster (you now have an excuse to take longer showers!)
Go Vitamin E Crazy
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect the skin from damage by free radicals (the molecules responsible for causing signs of aging). Not only can it help prevent stretch marks in the first place, but it can also improve their appearance after they've already formed.
You can find vitamin E in both supplement form and topical creams. Look for creams that contain tocopherol, which is a fancy word for vitamin E (you now officially speak fluent skincare!).
Start Dry Brushing
Dry brushing is exactly what it sounds like - using a brush to exfoliate dry skin. But why does this matter when it comes to stretch marks?
By removing dead skin cells and improving circulation, you're helping encourage cell regeneration on areas where stretch marks have occurred. Plus, regular dry brushing can improve lymphatic drainage (fancy term alert) and overall skin texture.
Next time somebody gives you funny looks because you were caught brushing your butt with what suspiciously looks like spider legs attached to some long handle- just tell them beauty hurts! In all seriousness though,you'll need softer bristle kind soo scrub gently 2-3 times per week
Invest in an At-Home Laser Device
While lasers may sound intimidating, there are at-home devices available that use less-intense light therapy to reduce the appearance of stretch mark pigmentation/super subtle scar texture or cellulite (cue LMFAO's "I'm sexy and I know It" music video playing inside your head as you exclusively walk around without pants).
Laser therapy aims to break up the excess melanin/pigment/collagen deposits underneath the surface so they become more blendable with natural coloration over time(hello Neutrogena body device)
Turn Up The Heat With Microdermabrasion
Microdermabrasion involves vacuuming off outermost layer of dead/damaged cells filled with uneven textures,increase blood flow and initiated repair process which can reduce visibility.
You can indulge in a spa treatment or do it yourself with microdermabrasion gloves/cloth (hey, anything's possible when you're desperate). But be mindful of how often you're doing this - over-exfoliating your skin may make matters worse. We are not trying to turn into actual snakes who shed layers at will!
Try "Crystal Massage"
Nope, we're not suggesting a visit from Madame Zelda. Crystal massage uses gemstones like rose quartz or jade to help increase blood stimulation during facial massaging (why should that relaxation time be limited for just our faces alone?)
But here comes the catch-you need some special skills such as deep concentration,respectful placement of stones and commitment otherwise Lord knows where those slippery pieces end up! So grab those crystals (heels!)and start rubbing them on areas affected nights before bed-nothing beats showing off smooth legs on beach day next week after consistent practice .
Indulge in Varieties of Oils
Oils have always known to benefit our skin well. The healing properties present in oils provide nourishment,minimize inflammation,improve texture.
Coconut oil has become increasingly more popular because its molecular weight is smaller than other oils so penetrates better.But It doesn't stop at coconut oil.Incorporate variety including Vitamin E,Olive Oil,Castor Oil,Sweet Almond Oil,jojoba,Rosehip,Eucalyptus/Oatmeal/Calendula infused oils-or even blend few together and create perfectly concocted serum(can i hear DIY queen somewhere?)
Time is Money-Consider Peeling
In composition,Glycolic-AHA(Believe me,no swearing involved) exfoliates deeper yet less aggressively compared to your everyday scrub.Peeled dead cells helps reveal healthy layer,boost collagen production,give glow effect/remove pigmentation or unevenness caused by marks/contribute to making your skin texture smoother.
While you can get Glycolic peels done in a dermatologists office,there are products that utilize smaller percentages which makes them safe and effective for at-home use (no one has time&energy to visit the clinic every now and then!)
Stretch Marks Pose No Match For Botox
Yes.You heard it right! Doctors have started using botox on stretch marks. It works because of its ability to paralyze motor nerves around gashes/knicks/injuries/no matter how old they may be.This relaxing effect both reduces appearance of lines as well expanding blood vessels surrounding those areas which is beneficial.Give your doctor's office a call today!
## Invest In Dermal Roller-Purchase Time Machine
Derma rollers uses small needles over rolling surface that gently helps stimulating collagen production,minimize (repeat minimize) appearances existing scars/stretch marks.Several studies found significant reduction in visibility after 3-6 months.
Not only does this method improves overall condition also increases absorption rateof any product applied afterwards(good things come in small packages,right?).Few tips:avoid thick layering on area before rolling,cleanse roller/jewelry-alcohol solution after each sessions(bonus points for being eco-friendly)
## Pregnancy Clothing- One Size Does Not Fit All
Yep-you read correctly.One must size down during pregnancy/several weeks postpartum rather than up because most maternity wear are designed with ample amount of fabric/stretch given expecting bodies understandably become fuller.But larger sized clothing tends not only look unflattering but give more opportunity for fabric pulling against skin causing irritation/large indentations.Popular styles include empire cut tops/baby-dolls materials flowing beneath bust line (Cue the boho-chic vibes)
Nobody wants uncomfortable clothing ,so please do yourself a favor make sure you're wearing size best suited onesie or dress. Basically anything that gives you a reason to treat yourself for new outfits should be encouraged!
## Stop Comparing Yourself-Embrace Your Battle Scars
This is probably sounds cliche but it holds truth-each scar/stretch mark tells its own unique story of the life you've lived/been living.Every mother knows struggle of growing/raising human being with all accompanying changes.Celebrate these marks as symbols courage,power and strength.Don't let anyone make your feel differently.
Stretch marks are apart of us,so why not embrace them with open arms? (Cue applause)