Stretch marks happen to the best of us.
During your pregnancy, you followed every stretch mark prevention regimen known to man: you slathered on the creams, drank plenty of fluids, and even tried rubbing your bump down with coconut oil.
And yet your body is still covered with strawberry tiger stripes.
At least, this was certainly the case for my pregnancy.
During my first and second trimester, my skincare game was strong. By the end of my third, I gained about 20lbs and at least a dozen stretch marks.
While stretch marks can—and should—be viewed as a badge of strength, they can also be the sole reason why some moms never go to the beach or wear shorts.
If you’re a natural-minded, budget-conscious mama, you’re going to love this post.
We’re going over the most effective natural remedies for stretch marks.
While these products may not be able to erase your stretch marks from existence, I think you’ll feel really good about the results you see.
What Are Stretch Marks and What Causes Them?
Don’t worry, I’m not going to give you a biology lesson. However, you should know exactly what you’re dealing with and why these remedies actually work.
Simply put, stretch marks are scars that accumulate when your skin stretches faster than it should. Elastin and collagen, major structural components of your skin’s middle-layer, have been damaged.
This damage creates the strawberry stripes we all know and love.
Can You Get Rid of Stretch Marks?
You may not be able to erase your stretch marks, but there’s a good chance you can diminish their appearance. This process relies on the production of collagen.
Collagen products are definitely hot right now, with an assortment of supplements, creams, and powders available at any retailer.
Unfortunately, dermis scar tissue is not that easy to heal. If you apply collagen topically, it simply won’t absorb into your middle layer of skin.
Instead, you need to improve your collagen production to heal your scars from the inside out. The bulk of the tips below focus on this method and removing your dead skin cells.
5 Highly Effective Natural Remedies for Stretch Marks
1. Vitamin C Serum and Vitamin E Oil
Certain vitamins are essential for collagen production.
Vitamin C contains antioxidants that defend your body against free radicals (which hinders your collagen production) and aids in collagen synthesization. Meanwhile, vitamin E helps stretch marks fade, restores skin elasticity, and also protects against free radicals.
Both vitamins should be applied topically, twice a day. Ideally, you should use a vitamin C serum with a concentration of between 2-20% and a highly-concentrated vitamin E oil.
2. DIY Stretch Mark Cream
If you’re a do-it-yourself kind of girl, you can try creating your own stretch mark cream. There are plenty of DIY creams on the internet, but I love this particular recipe. It includes key nutrients essential to collagen production, such as vitamin E, coconut oil, and frankincense.
Coconut oil lightens the appearance of your stretch marks, reduces inflammation, and hydrates your skin. Frankincense improves cell regeneration and can also lighten your stretch marks.
Ideally, you should apply this cream twice a day (in place of your vitamin E treatments).
3. Sugar Scrub
Are you ready for the easiest stretch mark remedy ever? You probably already have the ingredients in your pantry!
Before you can stimulate cellular regrowth, you really need to remove some of those dead skin cells. Exfoliating not only removes dead tissue, but it increases circulation, which can also aid in collagen production.
An all-natural scrub is a highly effective, affordable exfoliation technique. I especially love sugar scrubs. (Yes, I said sugar!) Sugar is a natural source for glycolic acid, which can effectively whittle away dead skin cells. It also helps your skin retain moisture, which can improve elasticity.
Plus, sugar scrubs are so, so easy to make!
For the best results, use the sugar scrub every day while you’re taking a shower. Try to wipe the scrub on your stretch marks in circular motions for about ten minutes. Rinse and you’re good to go!
4. Belly Butter
Belly butters are essentially thick creams that you apply topically to heal and diminish stretch marks.
Personally, I’ve used belly butters with great success. I received my first sample as a pregnancy freebie from the Amazon baby registry and loved it. That tiny sample lasted for an entire week!
Still, belly butters do have their disadvantages. While they tend to last for a while, they can be very expensive. Not only that, but some can contain ingredients that may irritate your skin.
All-natural, organic belly butters are a safer route to go if you have sensitive skin. Look for vegan and gluten-free formulas that feature powerhouse ingredients such as shea and cocoa butter, almond oil, grapeseed oil, and macadamia nut.
5. Bathing with Sea Salts or Essential Oils
If you needed an excuse to take a nice, long bath, here it is. Bathing with sea salts actually serves a dual purpose: it promotes relaxation and increases circulation.
A long bath by itself probably won’t heal your stretch marks, but if you combine it with your exfoliation routine and healing essential oils, you may be able to increase your collagen production and notice results much quicker.
Just keep in mind that essential oils should be diluted properly. If you’re not sure how, you can always create your own DIY bath salt mixture beforehand.
Final Advice: Don’t Neglect Your Diet!
Your diet is essential to healing your stretch marks naturally. You want to make sure that you’re giving your body the nutrients it needs to produce collagen effectively. Without these nutrients, the topical treatments above will be worthless.
Adding collagen-friendly foods into your diet is super easy. Just focus on integrating these nutrients:
- Vitamin C- Leafy greens, green and red peppers, tomatoes, thyme, kiwi, broccoli…
- Zinc- Red meat, shellfish, nuts, eggs, dark chocolate…
- Vitamin A- Sweet potatoes, carrots, cod liver oil, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes….
While you may not be able to erase stretch marks completely, diminishing their appearance absolutely is possible!
When you’re using these remedies (I recommend using a few at a time), keep in mind that stretch marks take time to heal.
Try not to get discouraged if it takes a while before you notice results. Just stay consistent and celebrate even small improvements!
Good luck, mama!