Whilst very few people are in love with their stretch marks, the good news is that most people have them in some kind of form. They are nothing to be ashamed for or to be insecure about. Stretch marks are not dangerous AND they can fade and sometimes even disappear over time. But how is it that we get these stripey marks and even more importantly... how can we overcome them?
Who gets stretch marks?
It has been reported that between 50-90% of women have stretch marks depending on which age and race demographics are examined which means an overwhelming majority of women experience these stripey marks on their skin with the most commonly affected areas being the abdomen, buttocks, thighs & breasts.
Women who are commonly affected are those with darker skin, have a family history of stretchmarks, who go through pregnancy at a younger age and who are or have previously been smokers.
Myself I developed stretch marks at a young age when I had my growth spurt, they never bothered me to much as I also don't know any better. They appeared at the side of my thighbones.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars caused by stretching of the collagen fibres of the skin when we have rapid growth, or growth that the elasticity of our skin does not support.
Stretch marks typically occur during:
How do I combat my stretch marks?
Well unfortunately there is no one easy answer to that. However given that stretch marks are caused by the stretching of skin due to rapid weight gain there are a few different measures we can take that together can make an incredible difference:
+ exercise - regular and consistent exercise assists with maintaining a healthy weight and also with improving skin strength, blood flow and elasticity.
+ get your daily dose - vitamin C is essential for providing the framework for collagen. Eating a nourishing diet with plenty of vitamin C can assist in creating healthy and strong skin. Think kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, broccoli, red bell pepper, brussel sprouts, oranges, carrots.
+ eat collagen rich foods like bone broth or use a collagen supplement to stimulate your collagen production. Optync, is made with MCS Marine Collagen which has a high bioavailability for the body.
+ improve skin elasticity with daily massage using a body oil. Our number one favourite is the Sans [ceuticals] Activator 7 Oil. Coined a ‘Miracle In A Bottle’ by beauty experts worldwide thanks to its potent levels of Vitamin A, an active ingredient that acts to stimulate cell turnover encouraging the production of fresh and healthy skin cells and the abolishment of old damaged cells, this miracle oil is the ultimate skincare companion for everyone. Whilst it is important to be cautious of how much Vitamin A we take orally, the good news is that Vitamin A is not absorbed into the bloodstream from the skin so is perfectly safe in the form of a body oil for all conditions including pregnancy.
Interested in reading more about body oils? Read: The benefit of body oils.
References: Oakley AM, Patel BC. Stretch Marks (Striae) [Updated 2019 Dec 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2020 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436005/