Stretch marks are either a sign of aging, appear after pregnancy or symptomatic of an unhealthy lifestyle. You know how pesky and persistent they can be - you have been using what you think are the best stretch mark removal creams, but they just don’t work. Our tried and true home remedies for stretch marks will surely help you!
Causes of Stretch Marks
Having stretch marks is far from rare. They most commonly develop on the thighs, buttocks and breasts. The skin loses collagen with age, and collagen is vital for skin elasticity. In other words, losing this substance causes the skin to sag and that is when stretch marks form.
Rapid weight loss can also cause them – in this case they can appear as early as in your teenage years. Losing 20 kg in three months will do it. What was fat has disappeared in a brief period of time and the skin sags as a result. If you are young, this is likely to pass by itself with time as the skin adjusts to your new body weight.
Pregnancy is a common cause of stretch marks. The skin on the stomach starts hanging after delivery, which is completely normal if you think about it. It tightens by itself with most women. It will start sagging more and more and the stretch marks will get bigger and bigger with every next pregnancy though, and if you have more than three children, the marks will be there to stay.
However, there are as many ways to treat stretch marks as there are people who suffer from them. They are still more common among older people, and occur with women more frequently as with men.
Stretch marks are usually a cosmetic, not a health concern, and seldom a sign of a grave underlying medical problem. Home remedies can improve their appearance or even make them disappear. If they are very visible and / or persistent, you could ask a doctor about some sort of cosmetic treatment, but I don’t think you will need to.
Signs and Symptoms of Stretch Marks
Stretch marks usually appear on legs, buttocks and the chest area, where fat loss is especially visible. They look like lines, burrows in the skin, and can be from a centimeter to about 20 centimeters long. There may be one or several.
When to see a doctor
You are buying the best cream for stretch marks out there, but they aren’t going anywhere? Or they are getting worse and spots and bruises are developing in the part of your body? In this case, it may be time to go see your doctor or talk to a skin care expert.
Redness and swelling in the area of the stretch marks is a sign that you might be allergic to a given cream or treatment and / or that the stretch mark has been infected.
You may need to change your treatment or amend it, for example using cream or gel less frequently. Your doctor could give you advice or recommend various treatments, which you can apply in combination with our great, effective home remedies to reduce or eliminate the stretch marks depending on what's causing them.
There are millions of cosmetic products out there, the manufacturers of which swear that they will reduce the appearance of your stretch marks, but most of them are very expensive and contain dangerous chemicals. The skin is our most sensitive organ, so you really need to ask yourself whether you want to take your fear or disgust at the stretch marks that far.
There is no need to go to the extent of chemical peeling or other invasive treatment. What is more, stretch marks usually aren't a medical issue.
Try our effective, fail-safe home remedies! They will help you deal with this pesky problem.
1. Olive oil is the number one enemy of stretch marks
Even your doctor will tell you olive oil is the best skin lubricant out there. Most cosmetic skin care treatments are based on it. Extra virgin olive oil’s impressive consistency is the reason why it is so effective for all types of skin problems. Its oleocanthal content inhibits inflammatory enzymes COX-1 and COX-2, just like over-the-counter anti-inflammatory meds do.
You have to use cold-pressed olive oil because heat destroys oleocanthal. Its effect will also depend on how ripe the olives were when they were pressed.
- 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- Massage a bit of olive oil into the stretch marks gently several times a day.
- You can also eat 2-3 tablespoons daily, but make sure you cut down on others fats because there are plenty of calories in olive oil (read more about olive oil’s nutritional properties here.)
2. Potatoes are a top skin care remedy
Did you know that potatoes are a very efficient and simple skin care remedy? They can treat all kinds of skin problems, including stretch marks.
- A large, organic potato
- Cut the potato into thin slices and place in the refrigerator.
- When the slices get cold, place a slice on the stretch marks for fifteen minutes, then remove and wash the area gently.
- Repeat as needed. You could also grate a potato and apply the juice to the area.
3. Eucalyptus oil’s skin benefits are scientifically documented
Research on eucalyptus oil shows that it has a variety of anti-microbial and immune-modifying properties. It contains a chemical called eucalyptol, which is why it is so effective against skin problems like stretch marks.
- A few drops of eucalyptus oil
- Cool water
- Pour the essential oil into a cup of water, dip a cotton swab in it and rub gently into the area of the stretch marks.
- Repeat as needed until they begin to fade.
Note: Eucalyptus oil has many other beneficial medicinal and biological properties. Click here to learn more about its amazing benefits to your health!
4. Aloe Vera does wonders against stretch marks
Aloe vera’s main medicinal property involves skin care. Real aloe vera gel or juice from the plant is an absolute miracle worker - but not the type sold in shops. You can also get frozen aloe vera, unthaw it by warming in a pot, and blend it to make juice.
- A tablespoon of aloe vera gel or juice
- A tablespoon of aloe vera gel or juice
- Wait 20 minutes, then wash the area thoroughly
- Enhance the remedy by drinking aloe vera juice as often as possible.
- Repeat as often as needed until the stretch marks begin to face.
Note: You can mix aloe juice with lemon and pomegranate juice and drink once a day on an empty stomach to improve the condition of your skin and health in general. Studies have shown that aloe gel’s benefits and properties include treating burns and abrasions, psoriasis, skin injuries caused by radiation, and even dandruff, a common problem that involves dryness of the skin on the scalp.
5. Rose water offers a host of skin regenerating properties
Rose water is a natural skin cleanser with multiple skin regenerating effects. It’s a great way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
- 100 ml of rose water
- Mix the rose water with some regular water, wash the area of the stretch marks well with soap and pat dry.
- Dab a cotton swab in the water and cover the area before going to bed.
- Rinse with warm water in the morning.
- Do this daily for two months or until the effect becomes noticeable.
Note: You can add black gram to this remedy, sold in Asian markets. This herb has many great health benefits.
6. Never neglect the benefits of organic honey
One of the oldest natural remedies in the world for all types of skin problems, this humectant is not only delicious, but extremely beneficial. Its ethereal oils and alcohol will help reduce the appearance of stretch marks by strengthening the skin.
- One teaspoon of honey
- Lay a little bit of organic raw honey on the area of the stretch mark once a day in the evening before going to bed. This is particularly important to follow
- Take care to ensure there are no clothes or anything else on the stretch marks, because the treatment will not work as well.
Note: Honey also kills bad bacteria and treats inflammations. This guarantees quick and fast relief from all types of bacteria wreaking havoc on the skin and your body in general – there are more of these than you think! Get organic raw honey is best for fastest relief.
7. The bliss of coconut oil
Coconut oil is one of the most amazing home remedies for treating stretch marks. All natural coconut oil is a great anti-inflammatory and antiseptic. You can buy it in any pharmacy or specialized store.
- 75 ml of coconut oil
- Wash the area of the stretch mark, pat dry and dab some coconut oil on it using a cotton swab.
- Massage it in gently. It will help by stimulating the blood vessels beneath the skin, facilitating the skin regeneration process
- Leave on overnight and rinse off in the morning.
- Repeat daily for two weeks – you’ll start seeing the effect by then.
8. A gentle touch of apple vinegar
Apple vinegar can also help treat stretch marks. It is a natural astringent, tightening the skin and relieving you of the marks.
- Two teaspoons of apple vinegar
- One glass of water
- Add the vinegar to a glass of warm water, let it cool to room temperature, and rub some on the marks with a cotton swab.
- Do this once a day in the morning.
Note: Apple cider vinegar also aids weight loss, reduces blood sugar levels and improves symptoms of heart disease.
9. Lemon and garlic – a dynamic duo
Garlic works not only against vampires, but also a variety of skin problems, including stretch marks. Lemon juice also has a host of medicinal properties. The combination is twice as effective. Lemon juice is an antacid that facilitates a compensatory response of the body where the pH increases, going from more acidic (low) to more alkaline (high). As a result, the skin tightens and regenerates faster.
- A few cloves of garlic
- The juice of one lemon
- Ground black pepper
- Grind the cloves to a pulp and mix with the lemon juice and a little bit of pepper.
- Mix until you get a homogenous solution, then strain it and put it in the fridge.
- Dab some on the stretch marks once a day before going to bed and rinse off in the morning – it will start working very soon.
Note: Do wash it off regularly – you don’t want to permanently smell of garlic at work, right?
You can also consume this remedy for it to work faster, but do not drink on an empty stomach if you have stomach problems.
10. Fuller’s Earth destroys stretch marks
Fuller’s earth is a great natural ingredient, available in most pharmacies, which is often used to treat a variety of skin problems, including stretch marks.
- One tablespoon of Fuller’s earth
- One teaspoon of rose water
- Mix the Fuller’s earth and rose water and apply on the stretch mark, massaging it in gently.
- Let it dry, then apply a second layer of the remedy.
- Leave it on for five minutes, then clean the area well with warm water.
- Do this as often as needed – that is, until the stretch marks become less noticeable, which is going to happen very soon!
11. Sandalwood prevents stretch marks
This natural ingredient is an astonishingly effective cleanser with myriad of skin regenerating effects. You can use sandalwood powder to reduce or make the stretch marks go away completely. This product is quite cheap and sold in most pharmacies.
- 500 g of sandalwood powder
- Mix the powder with some tap water to form a thick, homogenous paste.
- Wash the affected area well with water before applying the treatment.
- Cover the marks with the paste before going to bed and wash off with warm water in the morning.
- Do this daily for two months or until the effect becomes noticeable.
How to prevent stretch marks
The best you can do to prevent stretch marks is never age – ha! No, seriously – there is little you can do with age even if you have never been pregnant. Cover your body with moisturizing lotions made with natural products and avoid excessive exposure to the sun. Try to keep your weight stable – avoid drastic diets because the yo-yo effect can be unforgiving.
We hope our list of home remedies has been useful. Please tell us what you think in the comments and share this article so you can help other people out there who are suffering from stretch marks. Go ahead and contribute your own remedies too if you have any! The more the better.