It’s all about stretch marks and gorgeous skin today! Let’s focus on that eternal question: Can you get rid of stretch marks? Because they can affect anyone and we’re not fond of them. Not at all!
So, grab a cup of coffee, tea, a bottle of wine, whatever makes you tick today. Because we’re taking a dive into stretch mark philosophy and all the problems they bring. And we’ll be here for a while!
Let’s go with basics and talk it all through.
We’ll talk about the what, the why, and the how of stretch marks. Prepare to immerse yourself into the best carrier oils, essential oils, cosmetic ingredients (you can use to make your own products), a few natural remedies and tricks you need to begin the battle of stretch marks. For those of you not feeling too DIYis, I’ve also provided a few product recommendations you can give a try (as some have excellent reviews).
Are you ready to take on the tiger marks and minimize them? Let’s get to it!
WE'LL TALK ABOUT...
- What are stretch marks?
- How to get rid of stretch marks
- Best oil for stretch marks
- 1. Coconut oil for stretch marks
- 2. Almond oil for stretch marks
- 3. Jojoba for stretch marks
- 4. Argan for stretch marks
- 5. Rosehip oil for stretch marks
- 6. Pomegranate oil for stretch marks
- 7. Shea butter for stretch marks
- 8. Olive oil for stretch marks
- 9. Wheat germ oil for stretch marks
- 10. Camellia oil for stretch marks
- 11. Hemp seed oil for stretch marks
- 12. Sesame oil for stretch marks
- 13. Carrot seed oil for stretch marks (carrier oil)
- 14. Castor oil for stretch marks
- Essential oils for stretch marks
- Natural remedies for stretch marks
- Exfoliation for stretch marks
- Cosmetic ingredients for stretch marks
- What is the best stretch mark oils and creams?
- Stretch marks: conclusion
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are lines and stripes that develop on the skin. You can find them anywhere on the body, from the tummy, legs, breasts, thighs, butt, upper arms, and even on your back.
They are also known as striae. Some call them scarring, others call them tiger stripes (rawr!), and they can happen anytime from puberty on. They’re common during pregnancy, but they don’t happen to everyone. You can expect them popping up when you’ve lost or gained a lot of weight or if you’ve been weight-training like a beast.
Stretch marks are actually little dents in the skin, sort of U shaped. Also, there are two different types of stretch marks:
When they first appear, they tend to be red, purplish, pink, dark brown. The exact color depends on your skin color.
With time, their color fades. They turn pale, resembling narrow long scars.
How to get rid of stretch marks
But before we get into all that, let’s talk about a few things first:
- From experience, it’s very difficult (if not impossible) to minimize very old stretch marks. I’ve had a few on my inner thigh since I was a youngish teenager and I really didn’t care about lotions, moisturizing, and all that. I was somewhere between a tomboy and a bookworm who wanted to forget the world. So, I have them there, and they remind me of my carelessness every single day.
- Fresh stretch marks? Yes, the methods below can work. I’ve seen pregnant women applying oils and they had glowing, healthy skin without any sign of stretch marks. My grandma told me once that olive oil is the best natural remedy for stretch marks as your baby bump grows!
- Speaking of pregnancy: cool it with essential oils! You should be careful to use them when pregnant/if use them at all. You can easily use a DIY body butter/oil you make, but skin essential oils unless you’re 100005934% sure of what you’re doing.
- Prevention is your best friend here. Hydrate, look after, moisturize, scrub, brush, and use all the good stuff that can boost the elasticity of the skin, promote cell regeneration, give you healthy skin, and all that goes with it. We’ll cover it all below!
Now, that’s about it in terms of my monologue. Let’s dive into it!
Best oil for stretch marks
If you want to treat freshly forming stretch marks, coconut oil may help eliminate them and boost the healing process of the skin. As long as you’re not allergic to coconuts, you can start using it daily, best combined with other carrier and essential oils.
It won’t work on old stretch marks though.
Hillary Duff loved almond oil in combo with coconut oil to nourish her skin and prevent her pregnancy stretch marks. If it worked for her, it will probably work for you as well! According to Amy Galper,
“Sweet almond oil, the commonly used oil in all skin-care formulations, is excellent for healing and soothing the skin—especially in supporting cell health and potential regeneration.”
Just like with coconut oil, use almond as prevention and while the marks are already forming. It won’t do much good for old striae.
Jojoba is a popular natural oil to use with many pregnant ladies as it helps to restore the elasticity of the skin. There have even been some promises that it can help to prevent as well as minimize new stretch marks.
The nutrients in jojoba oil have soothing properties for the skin, helps to repair the skin barrier and boosts the skin with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, also slowing down the aging process and improves the healing process of the skin.
Argan oil is that luxurious oil we all have to have. I use it for facial serums, lotions, and as hair oil. But argan oil’s uses extend way beyond that. The women in Morocco have used argan to protect their skin from sun damage. What’s more, this study found that argan oil can be an effective way to prevent and treat stretch marks from the early stages of their development!
Okay, it was not pure argan oil, they used a water-in-oil cream with argan oil as one of its main ingredients. The effects were positive: more skin elasticity, nourished skin, and so on. Lovely!
I’ve written about rosehip seed oil for acne scars, but this vivid orange oil can help minimize surgical scars as well. There has been some effective research and you can find many online before and after photos that praise the benefits of this precious oil.
Rosehip oil is rich in essential fatty acids and pro-vitamin A. Its nutrients help to boost the healing process of the skin, promoting new cell growth, and nourishing it as much as it can.
It’s a must ingredient for fancy cruelty-free and certified organic brands when making their stretch mark serums, it must be great for you as well!
Pomegranate is tasty as fruit and its oil takes its benefits to a whole new level. Rich in antioxidants, loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, this oil is perfect for dry, mature skin, age spots, stretch marks, acne scars, and many other skin ailments!
The punic acid in this oil has been shown to regenerate skin layers, improving the tone and elasticity. What’s more, this oil was shown to be effective in combination with dragon’s blood when removing stretch marks after 6 weeks of application:
The study of clinical efficacy on the optimal formulation revealed an increase in the dermis thickness, hydration, and elasticity values, suggesting that it can be helpful in preventing or improving skin changes associated with striae.
Shea butter has been commonly used to moisturize the skin, prevent stretch marks, and boost the healing of the skin. While shea is packed with amazing nutrients and properties, I haven’t been able to find research that would officially confirm its effectiveness in the battle against striae.
However, shea butter helps to improve the elasticity of the skin, healing it and feeding it all the good stuff. It may be useful in the prevention, but not once the damage has been done.
This is an incredibly versatile carrier oil that can be used for your hair, your tan, chapped skin, and now stretch marks! It’s rich in nutrients and you can easily apply it to any area of your skin, gently massaging the oil to the desired/target area.
Wheat germ oil boosts the regeneration of the skin tissue and it’s rich in many nutrients that are beneficial for the skin in terms of anti-aging, scars, and various other skin ailments.
Additionally, the oil helps to boost collagen and elastin production in the skin. it’s most effective for new stretch marks. You can try using it on old marks as well, but it may not be effective.
This carrier oil is a bit thicker in consistency, sticky, with a strong smell. Make sure to blend with one or more other carrier oils for easier application.
If Victoria Beckham used camellia oil during her pregnancy to prevent stretch marks, we can too! Camellia oil is a long well-kept Japanese secret to flawless skin and luscious hair.
While there aren’t enough studies to prove it, I found this one that shows how camellia oil can tickle the cells, responsible for the production of collagen, making them work harder.
Hemp seed oil isn’t just a beautiful carrier that can soothe all sorts of skin ailments; it’s great for stretch marks, dry skin, and also for toning the skin. it can improve skin’s elasticity, texture, minimize the appearance of cellulite, and stretch marks. It’s said that it has these powers because of vitamin E and zinc content.
Hemp oil is, just like rosehip oil, rich in essential fatty acids that our skin requires to be gorgeous.
Another food oil on the list, sesame oil does work very well outside the kitchen pans, pots, and salads. Sesame oil can minimize fresh stretch marks, prevent them, and even lighten scars. It boosts collagen production, which is why it’s excellent to add it to skincare routine. After all, sesame oil also helps to repair skin cells, improving the appearance of the skin.
Feel free to slather it on as long as you’re not allergic to sesame!
13. Carrot seed oil for stretch marks (carrier oil)
Okay, carrot oil is an excellent carrier oil to keep in your pantry. It boosts the health of the skin, making it healthier, toning it out, boosting the elasticity.
But can carrot oil cure stretch marks? Well, it can improve collagen production, which is important for skin regeneration. It’s also rich in antioxidants, and there are many online claims that it can do wonders to the skin, either for scars or stretch marks. It definitely helps to rejuvenate the skin!
A rich source of ricinoleic acid, castor oil can help minimize scars, regenerate the skin, and boosts the skin with its antioxidant properties.
Make no mistake, castor oil probably won’t help minimize old stretch marks, but this article points out that castor oil is effective when it comes to various skin problems, striae included. Just like other oils on the list, this one isn’t the all-time solution for the tiger stripes (as I like to call them), but it can help minimize them and boost healthy skin!
Essential oils for stretch marks
Geranium oil not only comes with a lovely floral scent, but it’s quite beneficial in treating various skin ailments. For one, geranium oil helps to boost collagen production. It’s also an astringent, which means it helps to tighten skin, minimize scars, and regenerate the skin.
It boosts skin regeneration and effectively removes dead skin cells. It also boosts the skin healing process, and, according to New Directions Aromatics,
On scars, unwanted spots, blemishes, stretch marks, and cuts, Geranium Oil’s cicatrizant property is known to accelerate healing and fading. While boosting skin’s regenerative ability, it also evens out skin tone and the appearance of cellulite.
Another floral oil on the list, neroli is excellent for skin care as it helps to regenerate skin cells. What’s more, it has powerful antioxidant properties, which improve the overall appearance and health of the skin. Also, it can be applied to most skin types, as it’s generally safe and doesn’t cause any irritation. It can prevent stretch marks from developing and it can also help minimize them.
This essential oil helps to regenerate the skin, preventing the formation of scars and boosting the healing process of the skin. It makes the skin appear healthier; it helps to minimize wrinkles and fine lines, as well as scars, cuts, and bruises.
When adding it to DIY skincare, use small amounts, as it’s said to cause skin irritation in high concentrations. Also, avoid the sun when you apply it topically.
What’s lavender oil not useful for, right? This versatile oil can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. What’s more, research has shown that lavender oil can also boost collagen production and helps to boost skin regeneration. While it won’t work on old striae, it can help minimize newly formed ones (red-colored) and prevent new from developing.
Frankincense can be used to treat a number of skin ailments; scars are just one of them. This oil helps to boost skin regeneration and rejuvenation. It has healing properties and while not everyone likes the scent, it’s still very beneficial when it comes to repairing damaged tissue. Use it regularly to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and prevent new ones from developing.
Immortelle or helichrysum oil is a common ingredient in anti-aging skincare products due to its many beneficial properties, but it’s also a great oil to use when you want to get rid of stretch marks.
Helichrysum helps to boost skin regeneration, it can repair damaged skin, and improve its appearance. It helps to boost the elasticity of the skin and you should be able to see results with regular application.
Natural remedies for stretch marks
You can try treating stretch marks with a few natural remedies, namely ingredients you keep in your kitchen. I haven’t tried any of these and I can’t tell you for sure that they work, but I wanted to include them on the list just in case.
Cut the leaf from aloe vera, remove the outer green layer. Mix the gel in a blender and apply it to stretch marks. For the best effect, you can also add a drop or two of essential oils from the list above. You can also use an aloe vera jelly if you don’t have a fresh plant at home.
Leave it on for a few hours, then wash it off.
But the real magic happens if you actually eat aloe vera instead. This 2015 study showed that eating the powder increased collagen and hyaluronic acid production by 1.5x! You can snack on 100% pure aloe vera juice or aloe vera powder!
Apply potato juice to the damaged skin; it can help lighten the skin, reducing the appearance of stretch marks with regular application.
Similar to potato, lemons are known to bleach the skin and reduce the visibility of stretch marks. Does it really work? I can’t tell, but I do know it works great for hair if you want to bleach it naturally. To use, rub a sliced lemon wedge on the damaged skin for best results.
Apparently, you can do the same with turmeric; mix a paste of turmeric powder (either with water, aloe vera, or yogurt, if you’re not vegan), apply it to stretch marks and let it dry. After 15 minutes, rinse with water and moisturize!
For best effects, try this twice a day. Turmeric has powerful properties, such as anti-inflammatory and skin-lightening. It can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks with regular application.
Exfoliation for stretch marks
It might not have occurred to you (and that’s alright because this is new for me as well), but exfoliation could help with stretch marks. Now, there are a few different approaches to scrubbing the skin and we’ll have a look at all three of them.
When and if this method becomes a part of your regular routine, don’t overdo it. All three methods can irritate the skin when done too often and in some cases, they could even make the stretch marks look worse.
Making your own scrub doesn’t have to be complicated. Scrubs can be gorgeously made with special ingredients (think emulsifiers) or they can be quite simple. For an idea on how to make your own scrub, follow the link (it’s a detailed guide with recipes). You’ll need a few ingredients that are probably already in your pantry. For more effects, you can also make a body scrub with carrier and essential oils from the list up there!
Why a body scrub? A similar reason to the next method: because they remove dead skin cells, boost circulation, and skin regeneration. I’m not saying this method will help remove white marks that are old, but it could be beneficial for fresh striae.
Use your favorite moisturizer afterward and your skin will thank you in any case.
I’ve already talked about dry brushing extensively. I love it because it tones my skin and it’s a great way to even out all the irregularities before summer (or during summer, whatever you prefer). It can also help with minimizing cellulite, but we’ll talk about that some other time.
Anyway, dry brushing removes dead skin cells, improves the texture and appearance of the skin and, consequently stretch marks.
With a soft bristle brush, you’ll need a couple of minutes every day before you shower in the morning. Have a look at a full guide on how to dry brush. In any case, it boosts circulation, lymph flow, and it’s also quite relaxing! The best part? You only need a brush! This is by far one of the cheapest methods around!
Oh, and don’t forget to moisturize your skin afterward. See below for more ideas on what to use.
At first, micro needling was a solution for various skin conditions, but then they realized that it’s useful for other skin treatments as well. What do I mean by that? Well, they started punctuating the skin in several spots with tiny needles to boost collagen production. They started microneedling. Now you can do it at home and this method has taken over the Internet; you can find it anywhere from Amazon to Reddit.
So in short, your third option is getting yourself a derma-roller, but don’t fall for the 1.5mm recommendations online for stretch marks. Yes, they may be effective, but the process is painful and this type of needles shouldn’t be meant for home use. They can cause bleeding, pain, and irritation.
Stick to .25mm to 0.5 mm rollers, especially if you’ve never used one before. You’ll need to use it only twice a week. Online reviews recommend using it in combination with hyaluronic acid for best effects.
But what is derma roller? Well, it’s a small tool with tiny needles. You roll it against your skin, creating tiny injuries. These injuries sort of boost collagen and elastin production in the area, healing the skin, making it tighter.
According to SepiSpa, here’s what the derma-roller does:
Cosmetic ingredients for stretch marks
Now for those of you, willing to spend some time DIY-ing your stretch mark remedies, here’s the list of ingredients that you can use to improve those tiger stripes. Some of these are already sold as supplements or simple serums (such as hyaluronic acid), but I’ve gathered a long list of all effective cosmetic ingredients you may want to incorporate into your recipes.
If you’re not a DIYer (and have no intention of becoming one), you can skip this section; there are some products for you below that you can have a look into. If you are a DIYer, let’s begin! In the future, I’ll also provide recipes, showing how to use these ingredients!
There has been some research that shows that retinoid creams could positively affect stretch marks. The problem is that retinol can hurt the baby if you’re pregnant so you can’t use it during pregnancy. Also, retinol creams are only available by prescription and it may cause an allergy. According to Livestrong,
Preliminary studies on the use of retinol on stretch marks are very positive. When applied daily for six months, tretinoin cream was found to reduce the width, length, and severity of stretch marks, according to a 1996 study performed by Dr. Sewon Kang of the Department of Dermatology at the University of Michigan Medical Center. Eight of the 10 women who applied the cream had a significant decrease in the length and width of their stretch marks. Women who used a placebo cream saw an increase in the length and width of the marks. The cream was found to be most effective when used on striae that were less than six weeks old.
But, it can cause burning and blistering as some of its side effects, along with peeling and swelling.
Also known as nature’s botox, this is one of the most unique ingredients on the list. I’ve only familiarised myself with this one this year while ordering it from the supplier because I thought the name sounded funky. No, it’s not really dragon’s blood in case you were wondering (I sure did!)
Dragon’s blood is an extract (powder or liquid) from the heart of Amazon rainforest. It comes from the Croton Uechleri trees of South America.
I found this study that tested dragon’s blood, in combination with pomegranate oil and found that this combo has helped to minimize and prevent stretch marks after 6 weeks of regular use:
The experimental design was successfully used to set the best ranges for the technological and formulation factors to obtain a cosmetic formulation with optimal characteristics. The study of clinical efficacy on the optimal formulation revealed an increase in the dermis thickness, hydration and elasticity values, suggesting that it can be helpful in preventing or improving skin changes associated with striae.
Have a look at one of the figures from the study:
Overall, dragon’s blood helps to boost the healing process of the skin, has powerful antibacterial properties, reduces infections, and minimizes scars.
You may know gotu kola as Centella or Asiatic pennyworth. The plant is native to Asia and it has been a part of folk medicine or centuries. It’s rich in nutrients that have impressive benefits for the skin.
It works anti-inflammatory and boosts collagen production, and it can be used to treat stretch marks, cellulite and aging skin.
There are a few options on how you can add this acid to fight stretch marks. While many eat bone broth powder, there are vegan and vegetarian supplements available.
The other way is adding this acid to your DIY skincare or buying products that contain it. There are different types of hyaluronic acid that penetrate different layers of the skin with different effects. Some say supplements are the best way to replenish it and influence your collagen production.
This is basically AHA, alpha-hydroxy acid that’s used in chemical peels. You can use glycolic acid neat or you can also add it to DIY skincare.
Glycolic acid can help minimize the appearance of stretch marks. It’s antioxidant and it boosts collagen production and it has great properties that improve the overall health of your skin. it’s considered safe to use, but don’t expose your skin to direct sunlight after applying it as it can cause sunburn.
Another ingredient that you can start adding into your DIY formulations is tripeptide-5, which penetrates the skin and activates tissue growth. You can find more information and specification sheet here, it’s from MakingCosmetics.
Why do you want it? because it boosts collagen production of the skin; it’s also a moisturizer and it helps to firm the skin. According to Creative Peptides,
Animal studies have indicated that palmitoyl tripeptide-5 may increase collagen synthesis. In vitro studies have shown that palmitoyl tripeptide-5 can prevent collagen breakdown by interfering with MMP1 and MMP3 collagen degradation. Furthermore, in a controlled trial, 60 healthy volunteers received 2.5% palmitoyl tripeptide-5 versus 10% palmitoyl pentapeptide-3 cream versus placebo cream twice daily for 84 days. Palmitoyl tripeptide-5 significantly decreased the average relief and maximum relief parameters by 12 per cent.
While there is an option to add collagen into your DIY skincare, your best option to increase collagen supply in our bodies is collagen supplements in the form of either concentrates or capsules. The user reviews for these vegan options are overall positive, which is great news! If you have any extra information, please, share it with us below!
What is the best stretch mark oils and creams?
If you’re not feeling particularly DIYish, there are many natural oils and stretch mark cream products on the market that help minimize and battle the tiger look. While not all are effective (we’ve seen that it’s not that easy), here are some of the best rated online that I’ve found.
This body oil actually targets all you pregnant ladies out there. It has a pleasant scent and it’s very smoothing. For best effects, apply it on damp skin and massage it gently. It absorbs easily and you can freely use it twice a day.
It’s warming, toning and free of any nasties, such as synthetic fragrances, colorants, synthetic ingredients or any materials derived from mineral oils.
While this body oil isn’t meant to actually remove stretch marks, it’s very efficient in preventing them, according to many online reviews. It’ll make your skin ridiculously soft and you can also use it in the chest area. One bottle will last you about a month and a half with regular use.
To fight stretch marks, scars, and cellulite, this oil promises to deliver. It’s made with 6 pure carrier oils and zero fillers or nasties. It helps to improve elasticity and minimize the appearance of striae at the same time.
This oil is great for all skin types and while it won’t make your stretch marks magically disappear, it can make them less noticeable. You can use it on your bum, arms, thighs, anywhere you’d like. For best effects, use it regularly for a few months and more to see results.
Stretch marks: conclusion
Congrats, you’ve made it to the end of the article! As you can see, there are dozens of different ways to treat your stretch marks, but the most important thing in the process is collagen production. That’s crucial if you want to minimize the damage and help your skin heal.
So,You can’t expect to see the results right away; damaged skin takes time to heal. Also, there isn’t one single method that will work, but combining several can help improve the situation a lot!
As you learned in the post, you can eat collagen (there’s also vegan options available!), eat foods that boost it (aloe vera!), slather it on your body, and use ingredients/appliances that help you boost it (scrubs and derma-rollers).
Give this post a thumbs up and spread the word if you think it could help your girlfriends, your moms, colleagues, sisters, and your arch enemies! Don’t forget to share!