For this whole month of May, I am dedicating all my health and wellness-related posts to all the mommies out there reading my blog by writing about topics or common problems and concerns typically faced by mothers like me. As a believer of going “natural and organic”, I am in pursuit of finding natural ways to curing all sorts of health-related problems and concerns that I encounter in my life. Some, I have already discovered and used, but for many, it looks like Mother Nature has so much gifts and wonders that I have yet to discover to find health cures. Such an interesting journey to discover…
Well anyway, for a start, here’s one common concern I think any mother who has given birth would be interested in. Well, it’s a personal concern of mine, especially when summer time comes…Would you believe I have been dreaming of wearing a two-piece bikini in the beach?!? (LOL) But because of this problem, I feel so awkward to flaunting my body with these marks all over my tummy. What are they? STRETCH MARKS!
We all know that in pregnancy it is common to develop stretch marks because the skin stretches very rapidly that the fibers in the deep layers of the overstretched skin tear. Unfortunately, once the marks appear, they are permanent, but they do become much less noticeable with time. And I learned that the best way to avoid stretch marks is by preventing them. How? Here are how.
- Regular exercise tones the muscles and keep them firm, thus, avoiding stretch marks.
- In your diet, make sure you are getting plenty of protein and foods rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin E as they promote good tissue growth.
- Incorporating good amounts of seeds and nuts that contain zinc in your diet may also prevent stretch marks.
- Drink at least 8 oz. glasses of water per day. Water keeps the metabolism on track, helps with digestion, and helps to keep the skin elastic, which in effect helps reduce the formation of stretch marks.
- If you are pregnant, try not to gain too much weight. Gaining weight slowly over the course of the pregnancy, instead of a sudden burst, decreases your chance of getting stretch marks.
- Even though they can sometimes itch, scratching stretch marks isn’t really a good idea. Massaging your body, instead, with aroma oil or olive oil or Vitamin E may also help reduce the chances of stretch marks. Massage also increases circulation, thus helping to stimulate new cell growth.
- You can also try the following recipe for preventing stretch marks:
½ cup virgin olive oil
¼ cup aloe vera gel
liquid from 6 capsules Vitamin E
liquid from 4 capsules Vitamin A
Mix all the ingredients together in a blender. Pour the mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator. Once a day, apply the oil externally all over the abdomen, hips and thighs or on the places where stretch marks commonly appear. And if you do this diligently, everyday, you may be able to prevent stretch marks.
Even though modern technology has its way of removing these unwanted marks in the body, here are some natural remedies that you can apply at home:
- Cocoa butter applied topically (especially during pregnancy) helps in the stretch mark treatment.
- Aloe vera gel or vitamin E also help cure stretch marks and is a good home remedy for it.
- And here’s what I’ve been using, sunflower oil.
Sunflower oil is a natural oil that is extracted from the Sunflower flower seeds. This is a great moisturizing oil for the skin and may even provide an infection resisting blockade. There are large amounts of vitamin E in this kind of oil and this makes it great for repairing damaged skin, such as skin with stretch marks, scars, old marks from acne, sunburn and more. When used as a repairing tool for the skin, this oil can reduce the appearance of stretch marks or scar and makes the marks or scar less noticeable.
And here’s a great Philippine-made product I discovered, Human Nature’s Sunflower Beauty Oil. Because this cosmetic-grade sunflower oil is packed with vitamins A, D and E, it helps lighten dark circles under eyes and even stretch marks with daily use. It also helps fight wrinkles and naturally protects the skin from infection and irritants, and can even be used as a make-up remover and adds a healthy-looking shine to hair. This product is quite new to me, and I have been using it so far for my stretch marks and as a make-up remover. I have yet to try it for other purposes as the product suggests. The smell is like that of a cooking oil, though, that’s why I’m quite hesitant spreading it all over my face and body. But so far, it removes my make-up easily and the stretch marks are becoming a little less noticeable with only a few days that I have tried applying it.
Human Nature has another product that’s great for stretch marks, too. It’s their cocoa butter called Body Butter, and it comes in different scents – Mango, Strawberry and Unscented. The product combines goat’s milk with cocoa butter plus whatever scent you choose. What I like best about these products is that they come from natural ingredients and have 100% no harmful chemicals. I have yet to try this one, and see if it will work on my stretch marks, too.