Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. I receive a small commission at no cost to you when you make a purchase using my link.
Wondering how to prevent stretch marks naturally? In this article, we will cover the necessary steps you can take to prevent stretch marks from forming during pregnancy and we will tell you about how to use our most recommended product for natural stretch mark prevention.
What Are Stretch Marks ?
Stretch marks are a form of scarring on the skin. When we experience rapid weight changes or in particular pregnancy, the dermis can tear causing thin, narrow channels of an off-hue color.
Some people are more prone to stretch marks than others. With elevated cortisol in the blood stream due to pregnancy, you are at a higher risk. The most common occurrence of stretch marks is during pregnancy. The skin is changing very quickly, and hormones are in constant fluctuation.
There is both the belief that stretch marks are preventable with proper care, and the reasoning that stretch marks are not preventable based on a lack of evidence.
I have done a ton of research regarding this topic. I have spent time learning about the skin and what it needs to stay at optimal health for such an undertaking as pregnancy. I have also read countless testimonials from women, and at the very least, have to offer my own experience with stretch marks.
After all of this, I have come to the conclusion that we can take steps to reduce or even prevent stretch marks.
The Basics of Treating Stretch Marks
- Start right away: This is the most important measure to consider. I recommend treating the skin as soon as possible; this can be before trying to conceive or as soon as you find out you are pregnant.
- Exfoliate: When you exfoliate, you remove debris and dead skin cells that can prevent absorption of nourishing skincare products.
- Treat the skin daily: It’s important that you care for your skin daily. Get into a routine, so that every day after your shower, you apply your product.
- Treat all areas prone to stretch marks: This includes belly, thighs, hips and breasts.
How The Skin is Changing During Pregnancy
So what happens to the skin when we are pregnant? Well, a lot of things can occur. You may experience acne, spider veins or darkening of the skin in certain areas. But for now, we are focusing on stretch marks and what the skin goes through as it stretches.
When the skin is stretching, it becomes dry and itchy. The skin loses its much-needed elasticity. Researchers have found that pregnancy disrupts the skin’s elastic fiber network, which is responsible for allowing skin to “snap” back into place when you stretch it. The study was lead by Dr. Frank Wang, MD and her findings have been published in the British Journal of Dermatology.
How do we Improve the Elasticity of our Skin?
- Consume and Topically Apply Omega fatty acids: These fatty acids help the skin's barrier function. With a strong skin barrier, the layers of the skin hold onto moisture and protect the body from microbes and toxins. Carrier oils and plant butters are high in fatty acids.
- Increase Hydration: The skin's elasticity relies on hydration. Moisture needs to be abundant in all layers of the skin to maintain elasticity. Adequate hydration also promotes circulation and new cell growth. So make sure you are drinking lots of water as well as applying moisturizing products to the skin.
- Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that prevents cellular damage and conditions the skin.
When the skin functions at an optimal level, it is harder for it to become damaged and thinned out.
What Can we Topically Use to Prevent Stretch Marks?
My favorite topical treatment for the prevention and repair of stretch marks is shea butter.
About Shea Butter
Shea Butter is a superfood for the skin. Shea butter is abundant in omega fatty acids, as well as Vitamin E. Because of Shea butters nourishing capabilities, it helps treat difficult skin conditions including burns, sores, scars, dermatitis, psoriasis, dandruff, and stretch marks.
Shea butter can also help diminish wrinkles by moisturizing the skin, promoting cell renewal, and increasing circulation. Shea butter contains cinnamic acid, which helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays.
Shea butter protects the skin from both environmental and UV induced free-radical damage. It contains vitamins A and E and has demonstrated both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties.
My own experience
I started using raw Shea butter a month before the news of my pregnancy. I use it daily after my shower, applying it generously to my abdomen, belly, breasts, and hips.
There were times when I felt uncomfortably itchy and I could feel my skin stretching. I applied shea butter and felt relief. So far at five months along, I do not have any signs of stretch marks. I have brought relief to my discomfort, and at this point, my skin feels conditioned and super healthy.
I plan on using Shea butter the rest of my pregnancy, and I feel confident I will prevent stretch marks.
My Top Pick Stretch Mark Product
Perfect Body Harmony Shea Butter
Shea butter is by far the most popular treatment of stretch marks during pregnancy.
Perfect Body Harmony is a transparent company that creates whole food nourishment for the skin. Their skin care feeds and nourishes our living tissues, ensuring REAL results.
You are guaranteed pure, raw, and unrefined Shea butter that has retained its nutrients. This product is imported from the country of Ghana in West Africa. You can purchase Perfect Body Harmony Shea butter on Amazon.
Perfect Body Harmony provides high quality and sustainable Shea butter. There is no point in buying drugstore, processed Shea butter, because the most beneficial nutrients have been destroyed through processing and refining. Using Shea butter in its most raw form will ensure it is abundant in everything you need to prevent stretch marks.
Taking care of the skin during pregnancy is a great way to prevent or reduce stretch marks. It is also time you can take for yourself and enjoy your growing baby.
Rub some shea butter on your belly and other parts of your body for a loving, self-care ritual and as a time to bond with your growing baby.
When is your baby due? Have you used shea butter with any success? Let us know your story in the comments below!