Stretch marks — most of us have them, especially women. Between 50 – 90 percent of women during their lifetime will get stretch marks, found in a study conducted by the University of Michigan Health System. Stretch marks can occur naturally during pregnancy or when your breasts grow. Other ways one can get these marks are by rapid weight gain/weight loss or a major growth spurt. You have to remember that stretch marks are harmless and you should not be ashamed of them. Having said that, a lot of the time people are self-conscious about the appearance of these marks. By societal pressures we are told to hide them and inflect self-hate if we have them. That is why I am so happy about the ‘embrace the skin your in’ movement where models and other celebrities are literally showing off their stretch marks to prove their commonality – Thanks, Chrissy Teigen.
Before I move on to ways to reduce and minimize the appearance of stretch marks lets take a step back and understand exactly what they are. Your skin has three layers: top layer – epidermis, middle layer – dermis and the deepest layer – hypodermis (subcutaneous tissue). These marks appear when there is a period of rapid growth and skin suddenly stretches. The middle layer (dermis), which contains collagen, rips away from your top layer (epidermis). When the sudden growth stops and skin returns to its normal state the top layer will get line like marks and look wrinkly. Basically if you collagen bundles are stretched in the dermis there is a likely chance you will develop stretch marks.
One thing to note is that it’s impossible to totally rid yourself of stretch marks. With that said, you can significantly reduce their appearance. Check it out:
Bio Oil – For only 1,000 PKR you have to give this a shot. In order to prevent or considerably reduce marks apply the oil in a circular motion into affected skin, two times a day for at least three months. If you want more info on Bio Oil read this informative blog.
Aloe Vera – Is a natural way to help reduce the site of marks. The plant contains mostly water, but a slew of other nutrients such as, enzymes, and fatty acids. The collagen found in the plant will also help improve the skin’s elasticity. If you can’t find the plant at your local nursery you can substitute with Saeed Ghani Aloevera Gel (PKR 250).
Retinol – Using retinol infused products are beneficial because they are a vitamin A derived product. Usually prescribed for people with fine lines and wrinkles, dermatologists will also suggest for stretch marks. Retinol helps build collagen make the collagen bundles in the middle-layer thicker and healthier. Side note retinol products only work once the stretch marks have occurred. It is not a preventative solution. I use Cosmedica Skincare Retinol serum (PKR 1,800).
Cocoa Butter – May mildly reduce the appearance of stretch marks. What it really helps with is soothing the skin if you stretch marks are dry and itchy. I use Palmer’s products and Dermisa Stretch Mark Cream . Both of these are primarily made with cocoa butter.
All of these products can be found on Just4Girls.pk, your premium online cosmetics shop in Pakistan.