Thursday, January 26, 2017

Stretch marks -- what can you do?

Stretch marks. Some moms love them. After all, they're a sign of all they went through to bring a little one (or ones) into this world. They see them as badges of courage. For the rest of us who just might want to erase those outward signs of skin stretching far beyond what seems possible, guest blogger, Trisha Miller, returns to give us some advice.

Natural Methods for Reducing 
the Appearance of Stretch Marks

These are some of the best natural methods out there for potentially reducing the appearance of your stretch marks. With that being said, every body is different and everyone’s skin is different. I  cannot guarantee that any of these methods will work for everyone. 

Stretch marks are stubborn. They occur when skin is pushed to its absolute limit. So, please be aware that they may never go away completely, but you may be able to reduce their appearance.

Essential Oils

Frankincense is a sap derived from the Boswellia Sacra tree, used for centuries due to its healing qualities. The tree is domestic to the areas of Oman, Yemen and the Horn of Africa. It has been used for centuries due to its healing qualities. Before the use of more modern medicine, it was used in the actual healing process. It was placed directly on wounds to aid the body in healing. In current years, frankincense is used more for beauty remedies including the removal of dark spots, stretch marks, and acne scarring. Not only is frankincense wonderfully restorative, it’s also a fantastic protectant. When used on the skin, it can help remove scarring and prevent new skin damage from occurring.

How to Use: Add a few drops of frankincense to your favorite carrier oil (like coconut, avocado, or grapeseed oil) massage a small amount directly onto stretch marks and allow it to soak in completely. More essential oil does not equal better results. If you add too much essential oil to your mixture, you may experience discomfort on the skin. This is because essential oils are extremely concentrated and in most cases are suggested to be used with a carrier oil, not by themselves. Another great option is to use them with an air humidifier daily. Humidifiers are great for people with dry skin anyway. However, do not put the oils directly into the humidifier, as they could damage the unit. Rather, sprinkle a few drops of oil on a small cloth and drape it in front of the escaping steam to diffuse it into the air. A diffuser is another good option.

Aloe Vera

You may have heard of aloe vera gel being used to treat heat burns and sun burns. Like frankincense, aloe has been used for healing for hundreds of years. The aloe plant itself consists of many “leaves” that grow straight out of the stem, which lies underneath the surface of the ground. These leaves are thick and squishy and hold the actual aloe gel inside. The plant uses this gel to survive extreme temperatures, since aloe mostly grows in desert locales -- originating in places like Africa, Egypt, and the Arabian Peninsula. This plant can survive almost everywhere. It is because of this that we can benefit from the natural antiseptic that exists within the leaves. The gel is deeply reparative. When applied, it absorbs into the skin and helps it to repair itself from the inside.

How to Use: Grab your favorite aloe gel (it can be purchased in plant form or gel form -- just make sure you check the ingredients and make sure there are little to no unnecessary additives that could irritate your skin) and dab a small amount directly onto the scarred area. Massaging it into the skin is unnecessary. Once it is applied, allow the gel to fully dry. If there is any residue, remove it with a soft towel.

Castor Oil

This plant is indigenous to the Mediterranean area, Eastern Africa, as well as India. It has long been used in oil form for its medicinal properties, but other parts of the plant, including the leaves and bark, have been used for their antihistamine, anti-microbial, and anti-inflammatory properties. Castor oil can be purchased just about anywhere and is still commonly used for ailments such as constipation, reduction of scarring, and even to treat fungal infections (like athlete's foot and ringworm -- although I don’t suggest skipping a doctor’s appointment if you have a serious infection). Aside from all of the above effects, castor oil is thick in nature, which allows for extreme moisturization to dry, damaged skin and stretch marks.

How to Use: Castor oil can be applied directly to the skin, but due to its thickness, it does take awhile to dry. If you prefer, you can add some to another oil (like avocado, grapeseed, or coconut) and allow that to absorb for several minutes. Another option is to soak a cloth in castor oil and simply place it on the stretch marks. This makes for less of a mess and can be removed whenever you’re ready.

Every person in the world is born with imperfections. Many of us develop scars, spots, blemishes, and more throughout our lifetime. The best method for dealing with the appearance of stretch marks is to have an open mind. Accept your body as it is. Sure, everyone can use a bit of improvement here or there, but no one should be expected to have the perfect body. We see some things in society as imperfections simply because we don’t understand them. If we can spread acceptance of our bodies through positivity, hopefully less people will feel the need to change what nature and real life has given them.

Trisha Miller is a freelance writer from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan and is committed to an all-around eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle. You can follow her on Twitter @thatdangvegan and her blog (

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