Non-Invasive Ways to Treat Stretch Marks

Let's face it! We as women have a lifelong search for skin products that will keep us youthful, radiant, and firm. We're always on the lookout for creams and emollients that protect our skin and keep it young and radiant.

The latest research shows that most of the commercial skincare products are harsh and strip the protective layer of our skin, making it fragile. It is less resilient and unable to combat environmental aggressors such as ultraviolet radiation, pollution, and harsh chemical ingredients.

The protective skin barrier is known as the lipid barrier consisting of water and oil. The use of commercial skincare products strips this lipid barrier makes it vulnerable to damage. Our skin is our biggest organ and protects against toxic substances and foreign or pathogenic organisms. Similarly, the skin's protective barrier also "carries" bacteria and foreign objects it comes in contact with. Maintaining the flora of our skin and keeping a healthy balance of good bacteria is essential. The harsh chemicals in commercial skincare products harm the bacteria that are protecting our skin! It further leads to skin issues like discoloration, dryness, fine lines and wrinkles, and aging spots.

Therefore, a healthy skin microbiome is not only for skin protection but to keep it healthy, hydrated and free of oxidative damage. But how do stretch marks factor into this? And how can you remedy them without surgery? Read on ahead to find out.

Stretch Marks

For men and women, there are no escaping stretching marks. Stretch marks are completely normal. But with social media influencers taking the limelight, flat-toned bellies are the ones that are accepted by society. Women with stretch marks are made to feel lesser and, a process that is biological is made to be hidden.

How Do Stretch Marks Appear?

As mentioned, the skin is our largest organ. It has a remarkable ability to expand and contract because of its elastic nature. Nonetheless, supporting tissues can get damaged if the skin stretches rapidly. Stretch marks are bands or lines that cause stretching of the skin's connective tissue. When the middle layer of the skin stretches too quickly, the collagen fibers break. This along with the rapid expansion of skin is the cause of stretch marks.
Stretch marks affect people of all ages and skin types but, 90 percent of them are formed during pregnancy. Other causes of stretch marks are puberty, weight gain, or extreme muscle building. Stretch marks eventually fade to a silver color over time. Stretch marks are not painful but, they do affect a person's confidence. They can be disfiguring in extreme cases.

Types of Stretch Marks

Stretch marks are initially red or purple that fade to a silver or white with time. The color difference distinguishes the age of the marks. Stretch marks don't disappear completely but fade with treatment or time.

• Red Stretch Marks (striae rubra)
Stretch marks with a red tinge are newer and easier to treat. They are red due to the presence of blood vessels. The active blood vessels make red stretch marks treatment more responsive.

• White Stretch Marks (striae alba)
White stretch marks are older. The blood vessels have narrowed immensely, making collagen production extremely slow. These marks don’t disappear but, there are natural and non-invasive options available to treat them.

Non-Invasive and Natural Ways to Treat Stretch Marks

We at Beauty Secrets believe firmly in giving skin the right natural nutrients and ingredients it needs. We believe that natural skincare and techniques are the way to go to achieve long-lasting results. Our Beauty Secrets app (available for Android, Apple and Huawei) features products, potent yet easy recipes, and techniques for skin issues. We believe that natural "prevention" is the best way to tackle and treat stretch marks. The use of oils, creams, and lotions along, with non-invasive at-home techniques will bring about the desired results.

• Microneedling:

The first at home non-invasive technique we recommend is microneedling. Microneedling involves the use of a handheld device with tiny needles. These tiny needles puncture our skin and create microneedle "columns" that penetrate the dermis.

But what is the connection between microneedling and stretch marks? Collagen production. Stretch marks appear due to a lack of collagen. Microneedling kick-starts our body into the healing phase stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. They replace the damaged and punctured cells with new ones. This process helps smooth out the appearance of stretch marks, blending them in with the skin.
Microneedling is effective for both old and new stretch marks, though it will require some consistency on your part to see effective results. We highly suggest reaching out to a professional for some guidance of choosing the right microneedling tool and the usage of it.

• Use of Oils, Lotions, and Creams

We now know that stretch marks are a result of the rapid expansion of the body, faster than the skin can keep up. Therefore, keeping your skin hydrated, moisturized could be of immense help. The more supple your skin, the lesser the chances are of it developing stretch marks. Regardless, oils, creams, or lotions do not eliminate stretch marks, but their application strengthens the lipid barrier and “prevents” the development of new stretch marks.

Bio-Oil is a fan and celebrity favorite when treating stretch marks! Its star ingredient, though, is the Calendula Oil! Research shows that calendula plays a role in the skins healing phase by stimulating cell turnover and accelerating repair time. It benefits stretch marks as it reduces scar tissue and encourages skin renewal.

Our homemade recipe featured on the Beauty Secrets app, titled "Stretch marks oil," involves the use of calendula oil as well. Beauty secrets recipe is easy to make and just as potent as a commercial product without being too heavy on your pocket.

Aaaaaaaaaannd, do not ignore or forget the body creams and lotions. These should be part of the beauty routine alongside oils to keep stretch marks at bay.

Creams and lotions are emulsions of water and oil together. Emulsions are much better at keeping skin hydrated. That is because an emulsion contains all four:
• Water to provide moisture,
• Humectants to attract moisture,
• Occlusive to retain moisture,
• And emollients to penetrate deep and soften the skins' layers.

Final Thoughts

In our experience and humble opinion, prevention is the best treatment for stretch marks. Together with a balanced diet and keeping skin hydrated will help keep the elastin and collagen at levels that our skin and body needs in preventing stretch marks. Regardless, stretch marks do fade with time. They are rarely ever as prominent when they first appeared.

Whether you're tall or short, fat or thin, male, female, or anything in between, chances are you'll develop a stretch mark or two. Stretch marks tell a beautiful story about your body. A body which can survive some incredible changes during a lifespan. The best and fastest way to get rid of stretch marks is to embrace your beauty and embrace your stretch marks.