Body Care Tips: How To Prevent
And Lighten Stretch Marks?
Stripes are more than welcome on a tiger but not so on our skin. Stretch marks, otherwise known as tiger stripes or its medical term, striae are one of the most commonly occurring skin issues. While not harmful, stretch marks can be rather unsightly, hence the multitude of homemade remedies, medical treatments and stretch mark prevention tips available online. Products for stretch marks range from body oils to stretch mark removal lotions and creams, but skincare products alone may not suffice. What should you do to avoid gaining these unwanted tiger stripes? Read on to find out more.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are due to tears in the dermis—the middle layer of your skin—and are a form of scarring usually due to the rapid growth of the body. Stretch marks appear when the dermis is stretched to the point where its elasticity breaks down, causing microscopic bleeding and minor tissue inflammation which results in the reddish look of newly formed stretch marks. Genetics, puberty, pregnancy, sudden weight loss or weight gain can all result in the formation of new stretch marks. Some stretch marks may diminish over time but never fully disappear. They can be classified into two categories, rubra or alba. Rubra is the early stage where the marks are still pink, red, purplish or inflamed. However, once they turn silvery-white, an indication that they are mature and no longer inflamed, they are classified as alba.
How to lighten stretch marks
Treatment of stretch marks should begin as early as possible during the rubra stage as stretch marks in the alba stage are fully mature and may not respond to treatment as well as hoped.
There are several ways to handle stretch marks such as changing your diet and lifestyle habits, frequent massages with anti-stretch mark creams or lotions, sticking to a proper body care routine, and medical treatments like lasers.
Maintaining a healthy weight and staying hydrated will help to control body changes from occurring too quickly, and thus prevent the appearance of stretch marks. Staying hydrated helps keep skin soft and supple so the dermis won’t tear as easily. Reduce your intake of caffeinated beverages as much as possible as they may increase your risk of developing stretch marks. Try loading up on foods rich in vitamin C, D and E as well as zinc as these will help to improve skin elasticity.
A proper body care routine will vastly improve your chances of lightening stretch marks as well. Pair regular massages with a stretch mark removal cream such as the Clarins’ Body Partner for best results. Infused with Centella Asiatica, Banana, and Hazelnut oil, this lightweight cream helps to boost your skin’s elasticity while nourishing it, promotes protection of collagen fibres and rebuild connective tissues to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Centella Asiatica specifically targets the collagen and elastin fibres in your skin to boost regeneration rates and protect it against future tears. Individuals with fragile skin stand to benefit even more with this cream’s ability to alleviate pulled skin and restore skin to its former suppleness, leaving it velvety soft. Simply massage it on after a bath, working your way from your waist, belly and hips to the ankles in kneading motions.
Tips to prevent stretch mark formation
Stretch marks can be due to genetics, hence it’s possible that even after taking precautions to avoid developing them, some may still show up on your skin. However, it’s still a great idea to try and maintain a healthy body weight to prevent it from getting more inflamed.
For pregnant women, pairing a body oil such as the Clarins Tonic Body Treatment Oil with a stretch mark cream during the early stages of your pregnancy may help reduce the risk of having permanent stretch marks. This treatment oil promotes skin elasticity and helps to manage skin’s rapid growth, reducing the likelihood of skin tearing.
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