What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are breaks in the epidermis, the outermost layer of the skin. They form in parallel streaks and have a reddish-purple hue. Over time, the color changes to white or silvery. And while they don’t start as wounds, these marks resemble scars.1The skin is typically thin and weak compared to the surrounding areas. Sometimes, the stretch marks also form indentations. They may also look glossy and have a different texture.
How Do They Form?
Any kind of rapid weight gain can lead to stretch marks. The skin gets stretched out in a short span of time, making the epidermis tear. They’re even more noticeable once the weight is lost.
A lack of collagen in the skin may also cause stretch marks. Diabetes, Cushing disease, and extended use of cortisone medications are also linked to these marks.2
Who Gets Them?
Pregnant women often get stretch marks, thanks to the significant belly growth. But they’re not the only ones who can get them. Kids and adults who gain a lot of weight in a short span of time may also develop stretch marks. These can show up in the stomach, thighs, and butt.
Sometimes, rapidly growing teens get stretch marks; thanks to puberty!
Top 5 Essential Oils For Stretch Marks
1. Lavender Oil
On the skin, lavender essential oil can ‘fill’ stretch marks. It does this by making more fibroblasts, the cells that produce collagen. In turn, the skin will plump up! Stretch marks and indentations will become less noticeable.
Lavender oil has also been shown to speed up wound healing.3 This proves that it can strengthen the skin, a crucial factor for healing stretch marks. They’ll have an easier time disappearing if your skin is nice and tough.
2. Lemon Oil
The lemon fruit has a powerful role in the world of natural skin care. But it turns out that lemon essential oil can also reduce stretch marks. In fact, it multiplies the skin’s absorption of antioxidants, meaning that your skin will soak up more vitamins to regenerate cells.
With lemon oil, the skin especially loves vitamin E. Its absorption is enhanced by nine times, making sure your skin is protected from damage.4 It can even reverse discoloration, which is exactly what your stretch marks need.
So if you’re using vitamin E, always add lemon oil. It’s the best way to get the most bang for your buck.
3. Patchouli Oil
Patchouli oil is one of the best essential oils for stretch marks. According to the Journal of Ethnopharmacology, this magical oil can boost the skin’s thickness. So when it’s applied to stretch marks, the stretched out skin will toughen up. Patchouli oil also has strong anti-oxidative properties which add even more protection.5
4. Bitter Orange Oil
As a natural skin toner, bitter orange essential oil is great for old stretch marks. Indentations will disappear, thanks to the oil’s ability to reverse skin fragility. The high antioxidant content in it can also make the skin perk up.
For a citrus-inspired blend, pair it with lemon essential oil. Don’t forget to add vitamin E for extra benefits.6
5. Rose Oil
A study in Skin Pharmacology and Physiology found that rose essential oil stimulates the production of keratinocytes. These cells create keratin, the structural proteins that make up the skin’s outer layer. And since stretch marks are breaks in that outer layer, keratin is a must.
This essential oil also fixes cellulite and stretch marks by strengthening weak skin. It can also help the areas that are dry and stressed out from pregnancy. If you love floral aromas, try mixing rose oil with lavender.7
How To Use
To treat stretch marks, use essential oils in a homemade blend. Dilute 5 to 10 drops of essential oils in 1 tablespoon of a carrier. Remember, essential oils are made at high concentrations, so it’s important to do this. Lovely carrier oils include coconut, grapeseed, olive, and almond oil. Rub the mixture onto the stretch marks until fully absorbed.
You can also exfoliate with essential oils. This will scrub away dead skin cells and lighten up dark streaks, making the marks less noticeable. To exfoliate with essential oils and remove stretch marks, try this recipe.
- Start with 2 cups of a natural exfoliant like sugar or sea salt.
- Combine with 1 cup carrier oil like olive, avocado, or sunflower oil.
- Add 10 to 15 drops of essential oils and mix well.
Always do a patch test when using a new essential oil. You might be allergic and not even know it! If you do have an allergic reaction, stop using the essential oil.
If you’re pregnant, it might be tempting to start these remedies. But essential oils are very strong, so check with your doctor first. It may be safer to moisturize with carrier oils for now.
After using these oils, avoid the sun. They’re phototoxic and can cause irritation when exposed to sunlight. Be safe and use these oils at night before bedtime.
By using essential oils for stretch marks, you can ditch the expensive creams. You’ll expose yourself to fewer chemicals, too. Using the oils will also double as pleasant aromatherapy.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Stretch Marks. Better Health Channel.|
|2.||↑||Stretch marks. MedlinePlus.|
|3.||↑||Mori, Hiroko-Miyuki, Hiroshi Kawanami, Hirohisa Kawahata, and Motokuni Aoki. “Wound healing potential of lavender oil by acceleration of granulation and wound contraction through induction of TGF-β in a rat model.” BMC complementary and alternative medicine 16, no. 1 (2016): 144.|
|4.||↑||Manconi, Maria, Maria Letizia Manca, Francesca Marongiu, Carla Caddeo, Ines Castangia, Giacomo Luigi Petretto, Giorgio Pintore et al. “Chemical characterization of Citrus limon var. pompia and incorporation in phospholipid vesicles for skin delivery.” International journal of pharmaceutics 506, no. 1 (2016): 449-457.|
|5.||↑||Lin, Rong-Feng, Xue-Xuan Feng, Chu-Wen Li, Xiao-Jun Zhang, Xiu-Ting Yu, Jiu-Yao Zhou, Xie Zhang, You-Liang Xie, Zi-Ren Su, and Janis Ya-Xian Zhan. “Prevention of UV radiation-induced cutaneous photoaging in mice by topical administration of patchouli oil.” Journal of ethnopharmacology 154, no. 2 (2014): 408-418.|
|6.||↑||Suryawanshi, Jyotsna A. Saonere. “An overview of Citrus aurantium used in treatment of various diseases.” African Journal of Plant Science 5, no. 7 (2011): 390-395.|
|7.||↑||Casetti, F., U. Wölfle, W. Gehring, and C. M. Schempp. “Dermocosmetics for dry skin: a new role for botanical extracts.” Skin pharmacology and physiology 24, no. 6 (2011): 289-293.|