Stretch marks are yet another item on that long list of ways that our bodies are changed (sometimes irrevocably) by pregnancy. For some post natal women, stretch marks are a positive visual reminder of their birth journey…a part of an amazing story of change and these women are happy to leave the stretch marks to diminish over time. Other women find stretch marks visually unappealing and these stretch marks can affect post natal body confidence. If you fall into this category, you will be pleased to know that there are some safe and natural ways to help.
So, what exactly are stretch marks and what can help them to fade?
Stretch marks are a form of scarring that occur during periods of rapid weight loss or weight gain. It is estimated that between 75% and 90% of women develop stretch marks during pregnancy. Stretch marks form on the skin when the elastic fibres in the body become damaged (the collagen fibres in the skin’s dermal layer tear). Although the skin is elastic to a certain extent, overstretching interferes with the normal production of collagen. As a result, stretch marks can form. Stretch marks most often appear on the thighs, stomach, arms and breasts, though they can be anywhere on the body. They initially appear red (sometimes angrily so) but over time can fade to a silvery white.
Preventatives and remedies:
Pre-natal moisturiser: Stretch marks do have a hereditary component, however your best chance of preventing stretch marks is to keep the belly and breast area well moisturised. Use a nourishing natural cream or oil 2-3 times each day. The skin will become suppler and better able to stretch when it’s well hydrated.
Post Natal Rosehip Oil: Rosehip oil is gaining popularity all over the world. It’s hailed as Mother Nature’s answer to aging, and many people are incorporating rosehip oil, into their daily skin care routine. Its other claim to fame is in the treatment of scars and burns. Rosehip oil is pressed seed oil, extracted from the seeds of an Andean rose bush. It is unique among vegetable oils in containing Vitamin A and is also high in vitamin C. Rose hip seed oil is high in the essential fatty acids – linoleic acid or omega-6, and linolenic acid or omega-3. It is commonly used in skin care products. Rosehip oil can be used alone, or as part of a cream or oil blend. It is suitable for both face and body. It’s good for all skin types, and can be used in place of a night cream, and is particularly beneficial for dry, irritated and mature skin and also on scarring. The anti-sclerotic properties of rosehip oil make it idea for stretch marks and acne scars. It’s also used widely for burn scars and post-surgical scarring, plus a variety of other skin conditions. Rosehip oil has undergone substantial research to reach its current status as an effective treatment for the majority of scars.
Essential Fatty Acids: Rosehip oil is a naturally rich source of essential fatty acids which include omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids, which are important for healthy skin. These essential fatty acids help to regenerate skin cells and to repair damaged skin tissue. A high content of essential fatty acids in rosehip oil contributes to the overall elasticity of the skin and its ability to bounce back after trauma.
Antioxidants: Antioxidants work to prevent or reverse scarring by correcting damage of tissues in superficial layers of skin. Vitamin C which is a powerful antioxidant may increase collagen production which is beneficial for stretch marks.
Rosehip Oil Usage: The wonderful thing about Rosehip oil is that you only need small amounts, so it becomes a cost effective skin care routine. You need only a few drops to do your stomach area (best applied at night) and no other moisturiser is required as rosehip oil allows your skin to repair, rejuvenate and breathe whilst you sleep. In the meantime, while you wait for these marks to fade, try to look at your body with a sense of pride and accomplishment. You have grown, nurtured and birthed a precious baby, and you are amazing.
Ayana Organic Rosehip Oil
Ayana Organic Rosehip Oil is an organic oil created with stretch marks and postnatal bellies in mind.
This belly oil is a beautiful blend of certified organic jojoba, sweet almond and apricot oils, which has been enriched with organic rosehip oil, which is well known for it’s anti-sclerotic (scar reducing) properties, plus vitamin E and scented with certified organic lavender and geranium oils.
Contains 99% certified organic ingredients.