Stretch marks. Yes, I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there. Standing in front of the mirror, body turned to the side, checking out the skin on our thighs and butts for the latest stringy addition. And it’s not just the thighs and the behind, it’s sometimes even our waists, backs, bellies and even arms. Redish, pink, or even dark lesions running around your body like lines on a map marking the height of the terrain. Ugh. Sometimes the stretch mark is barely visible so we sigh with relief, but other times it’s as if someone ran a knife along our body, and we flinch with worry. Are stretch marks permanent? If not, how to get rid of stretch marks? In fact, what is the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally? Is that even an option, or does it require special treatment?
Those are the questions that immediately come to mind. And yes, you can remove stretch marks naturally! But first, let’s see what it’s all about.
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks are dark, scar-looking lesions on your skin that can sometimes stick out like a sore thumb. As opposed to, say, normal scars, or scars that form due to acne or surgery, the defining feature of a stretch mark is that it is lengthy. It resembles a long, irregular line of skin that looks unhealthy, or stretched. To be more precise, stretch marks look like winding stripes, bands, or a tapes running along and often around your body.
Usually, the skin along the stretch mark feels a bit gentle, more yielding and softer to the touch. That is because - you guessed it - it is actually thinner because it is stretched. Hence the name these features have won for themselves: stretch marks.
Stretch marks can come in a variety of hues and colors. Depending on your skin color, they can appear either lighter or darker than the surrounding tissue of normal skin. This means that stretch marks can vary in appearance and be anywhere from almost black, to brown, light brown, even ochre, pink, reddish and in some cases almost completely white. The color variation is due to the physical properties of the stretch marks - they are stretched areas of skin. Hence, the color of the stretch mark changes depending on the color of your normal skin, as well as the shape and the type of tissue the stretch mark is covering. But how does this happen? Or let me put it simply: Why?
What Causes Stretch Marks?
If it’s any consolation, stretch marks are completely natural. Stretch marks, also known as striae by the medical community, occur when your skin stretches faster than natural skin elasticity permits. They may first appear as dark purple or red lesions. Depending on your skin color, however, that can vary.
A simple way to understand this is to compare it with a cotton t-shirt when you pull it out of the washer: the fabric gets full of “lines” because the machine forces it to assume a different shape.
The same process is true for the human body: if your skin is “forced” to stretch over a larger area of your body, it will “obey”, but not without leaving a mark as a sing of protest. Simply put, there is only so much skin to go around at a given time.
So, see, stretch marks are completely natural. They are the result of the skin’s occasional inability to follow with the changes your body is going through. Sometimes, the body changes faster than the skin is able to react. Our skin has its own natural rhythm, a tempo in which it creates skin cells and tissue, then those skin cells and tissue grow old and die, and then finally, the old, dead skin cells become replaced with new, fresh skin cells.
That is how the skin builds itself and molds itself around our bodies. And when the skin doesn’t have enough time to react to the changing body shape, stretched areas appear. Those stretched areas where the skin didn’t manage to cover the tissue correctly are called stretch marks.
So, when does this happen? Surely such a rapid change of the body shape is not something that happens every day, right?
Very often, stretch marks appear as a result of pregnancy, fast weight gain, or a different reason altogether. The rapid loss of weight can, on its own, have almost innumerable causes. Nobody likes the feeling of being uncomfortable in their own skin, but if you’ve ever put your body through a major transformation, you may intuitively know the answer to this question. (I sure do!)
However, we can reduce the causes of stretch marks down to a few. Here are the three most common situations when stretch marks may occur:
- During pregnancy
- During puberty (when the body is growing)
- After rapid weight gain
In addition, stretch marks can also be caused by certain health conditions or prolonged used of certain medications. These are fairly rare occurrences, but it is still necessary to point them out. After all, no one person is exactly the same, and our bodies don’t react the same to the same things. The same goes for our skin, as well, and in extension - applies to the appearance of stretch marks. If you have any doubts that certain medications may be affecting your skin or causing you rapid weight loss, please see your doctor immediately.
So, that about covers the physical aspect of stretch marks. Are they natural? Yes. Do we like ‘em? Mostly no. So let’s see how we can manage our thoughts and emotions around stretch marks.
How To Deal With Stretch Marks
No matter what the cause, stretch marks can have a negative impact on our self-esteem. When it happens, it can make us self-conscious about our images, leading to avoidance of exposing our skin.
And it’s not just images, it’s real life too. We may begin to shy away from social events where the dress code is more revealing, like for example a swimming pool, a beach party or just a wild Friday night at the club. Needless to say, from bikinis to intimacy with our partners, stretch marks can take a toll.
In some cases, the psychological consequences are so severe that the appearance of stretch marks may even trigger depression. And while that is at the very extreme end of possible reactions, most people feel anywhere between slight worry, shame, or anxiety. But it doesn’t have to come to depression - or even the less extreme feelings about it!
Stretch marks are not permanent, and if they don’t go away on their own, there are many ways to reduce them. But before we talk about how to get rid of stretch marks naturally, let’s consider the problem with a bit more depth.
The problem with stretch marks is their timing. They have an uncanny habit to appear at the absolute worst of times, such as on a beach somewhere. You’ve hit the gym, spent months following a diet, and now that you’ve finally gotten a sexy beach body… You discover that your thighs and waist are lined with lines and lines of stretch marks. Yikes.
Needless to say, If you’ve ended up with stretch marks on your legs, arms or stomach, you can easily feel self-conscious about wearing clothes that show more skin. It’s not just the beach or the swimming pool anymore - it’s the bars, clubs, the disco, the parties… Whenever you decide to wear something more revealing, the stretch marks, and the problem - become apparent.
And on top of it all, what will your partner think? You were supposed to relax, enjoy yourself and have a good time… But instead, here you are, biting your lip and wondering how visible that scar-looking stretch mark on your back is.
Now, sure, in the end, it’s all in the mind. As with most things, adopting a different mentality will make a huge difference, but adopting a different mentality isn’t easy. Of course, some women show them off proudly and call them their “tiger stripes”. But not all people feel so secure with their bodies and encountering someone who tells you to “accept yourself the way you are” can feel dismissive.
Why? Well, let me explain.
The people who tell you not to worry definitely have a point. I mean, why should you, at all? Stretch marks are natural, they happen to almost everyone… But, you’re also human. And you, yourself, are put off by the sight. You can only assume that others will react the same, even if they are outwardly polite. This is, basically, the thought process of anyone who struggles with stretch marks. (And not only stretch marks, but any kind of physical disfigurement or skin condition, such as acne and so on.) All the reassurance in the world sometimes isn’t enough.
Because we secretly doubt. Because we judge ourselves. Because we secretly judge others. And we will always doubt, and chances are we will always find certain things more pleasing than others.
So, what to do?
We can learn to love our stretch marks, and gradually train ourselves not to give any care in the world about them or what the world thinks about us… This is, by far, probably the healthiest alternative in the long term. Especially when it comes to mental health.
But we also have the option to do something about our stretch marks. Change them, reduce them, improve our looks, basically, help ourselves. As the saying goes, necessity is the mother of change, and more often than not, people aren’t simply cursed with a stretch mark or two for their entire life. Stretch marks can be reduced, even changed. ANd taking responsibility and taking care of yourself is also psychologically healthy and beneficial in the long term.
Love them or change them, it’s always better than feeling bad about them. So, you can either feel good about yourself by embracing your stretch marks. Or, you can feel good about yourself by taking extra care of your body and reducing stretch marks by helping your skin to heal. Whichever you choose, it’s the right thing.
There are many ways to get rid of stretch marks, and this article concerns itself with the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally. So let us see how to do that.
The Fastest Ways To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks Naturally
You might be among the many women who have tried different methods for removing stretch marks, only to find that the problem can be very persistent. Even though this is a common issue, many so-called “solutions” are either a waste of money or harmful to your skin. Some of these are conventional methods, which are hardly affordable to be experimenting with.
For example, conventional methods for stretch marks removal involve cosmetic surgery and laser therapy. Those two are the most expensive (and I’d say, pretty debatable) ways to address stretch marks.
But there is no need to put your health at risk or spend a ton of money to regain blemish-free skin. Luckily, there are some natural ways to reduce the appearance of stretch marks you can do from home that actually work without invasive procedures or using harsh chemicals. And some of them do work, and are perfectly safe to at least give them a shot.
In case you’re having reservations about the whole thing, I would remind you that it is perfectly okay to try to get rid of those stretch marks. If anything, it will give you some peace of mind and make you feel more comfortable in your own skin, whatever you’re wearing. It will make you more comfortable even in the privacy of your own home.
What’s even better, there are many ways to do this in the comfort of your home, using household, natural ingredients that are perfectly safe for you.
But how exactly do you do that? Here is a list of some of the most helpful ways you can treat your stretch marks naturally:
Aloe Vera For Stretch Marks
Aloe vera is one of the most widely used plants in today’s skin care and anti-acne industry. Not only that, but the leafs and juices of this amazing plant finds great use in the beauty care industry, as well as a number of uses in conventional medicine. Aloe vera is somewhat of a miraculous cactus - its flesh contains dozens of healing and anti inflammatory ingredients that help our body and skin heal faster.
You can buy Aloe vera from most flower markets and even supermarkets, but it also pays to have one growing at home. That way you can both take care of this lovely plant, and use its leaves for its healing properties at your leisure. Alternatively, of course, you can buy the extract in the form of capsules. Aloe Vera gel and Aloe vera products are readily available for purchase over-the-counter.
When it comes to our topic today - i.e. how to get rid of stretch marks naturally - this versatile plant can help with that too. Due to its many healing and soothing properties, Aloe vera can help you fade stretch marks over time. Its high reputation is well deserved, and it should encourage you to try it for treating your stretch marks before you go and waste a ton of money on some expensive treatment that might, or might not work.
Here’s how to use Aloe vera to get rid of your stretch marks. Take a leaf of the plant (they actually look like long, soft, prickly branches) and cut a section of it. Regarding which way you cut it, it doesn’t really matter as long as you expose its inner tissues and juices. Inside of the leaf (or branch) of the Aloe vera, there is a perfumy, clear liquid of a gel like consistency. This is what you need. Simply take the piece you sliced off and rub some of the plant onto the affected areas. You can also just squeeze out, or scoop out the gel and apply it directly, but most people find it more practical if they just take an Aloe vera slice and rub it against their skin. After applying the Aloe vera gel over your stretch marks, you should let it sit for about 15 minutes, and wash it off with warm water.
But what if you don’t have an Aloe vera plant at home? Even worse, what if you live in a region, or a country, where the plant is simply not available for purchase at all? That is certainly a possibility, but there are workarounds. As I mentioned earlier in this article, there are many skin care products based on Aloe vera and its extracts. Most of these products have very specific purposes, but you can also find Aloe vera products that target stretch marks.
You could try applying some of those, or, alternatively, you could seek out pure Aloe vera products. Sometimes these come in the form of gels or capsules.
If capsules are your only available option, worry not. Simply open the capsule and apply the contents over the area affected by stretch marks. Let it sit for a while (but no less than 15 minutes) and then rinse off the skin with warm water. Of course, if you experience any negative reactions, or adverse effects after applying the Aloe vera extracts to your skin, you should wash the area immediately. I would also suggest that you also have a chat with your doctor, and do an allergy test. This might seem unnecessary, but it’s always good to know what your body can’t stand.
But if everything goes fine and you don’t experience any irritation, pain or redness, you can relax and go on with the plan of getting rid of those stretch marks. You can repeat this every day, preferably after showering, and you should be able to see results within 2 or 3 weeks.
This might seem slow to you, but remember - the natural process of them disappearing takes much, much longer. A couple of weeks is pretty much the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally. So, be patient. Or try different methods, such as...
Lemon Juice For Stretch Marks
If you’re thinking “No way, that’s too easy”, this article is doing its job. Our goal is to show you that you can get rid of stretch marks naturally, using the most common household ingredients and items. It’s safe, affordable, and super easy to try out. In fact, you probably already have all these ingredients lying around your house. And one of those is… You guessed it, lemons.
A couple of years back, little did I know that I can use something as simple as a lemon to nurture my skin. I knew it was a great source for Vitamin C, but that was pretty much it. But it turns out that I could’ve used it for my stretch marks too.
The and citric acid in lemons is a well-known substance that finds wide use in the skin care and cosmetics industry. That is mainly due to the astringent properties of lemon juice. Astringent means that a substance is causing the contraction of skin cells and tissues. In layman terms, for something to have astringent effects, it means that it has tightening effects. Like, you know how your mouth feels when you bite into some intensely sour fruit? Besides the taste there is also this feeling of tightening going around. That is exactly due to the astringent properties of the fruit you’re eating (and you’re probably eating something from the citrus fruit family).
The astringency in lemon juice comes primarily from the citric acid, which is also found in a number of other citrus fruits - including grapefruits, oranges, limes, red oranges, and actual citrons. Paired up with Vitamin C, lemon juice can combat skin conditions and make the skin tighter, brighter and more elastic. But when it comes to getting rid of stretch marks, astringency is what we need. That is specifically why lemon juice can be so helpful - because it works as a tightener of the stretched skin that makes your stretch marks.
So here’s how to use lemon juice to get rid of stretch marks: take a lemon and slice it in half. Or really, any way you wish - the key is to extract its juice and the apply it over your skin. If squeezing out the juice from the lemon seems like too much of a hassle for you, you can just carve out circular slices of lemon and place them over the stretch marks.
Same as with Aloe vera, you should let the plant work some of its magic. This means leaving the lemon juice, or lemon slices, over your affected area for at least 15 minutes. Again: if you experience any side effects, such as irritation, redness, itching or pain from the lemon juice, you should wash the area immediately.
But if everything goes fine, you can apply this treatment every day. Lemon juice can help you get rid of stretch marks, or at the very least, reduce their prominence and visibility. Lemon juice is a well know “bleacher” of darkened skin areas, so some lightening of the stretch marks is the least it can do.
Not satisfied? Worry not, there is also...
Potato Juice For Stretch Marks
Just when you thought common household ingredients couldn’t possibly get more common… I mention potatoes. Yes, yes, I can almost see you rolling your eyes there, wondering “What do potatoes even have to do with stretch marks!” Well, it turns out they have quite a lot to do with it, actually. Again, it has to do with the plant’s juice. Potato juice is one of the best and fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally.
But how? Well, the juice of the potatoes contain a lot of starch, and it might surprise you that something as common as starch can be so very beneficial for the skin. Usually, starch is used in the composition of glues and beautifying products. It provides the product with structure that also soothes the skin. But more specifically, starch is used in treating sunburns, removing excess oil from the surface layers of the skin (the epidermis) but also in cleaning nails. In general, starch has restorative effects for the skin, which is why it can help you get rid of stretch marks naturally.
Similarly to using lemon and Aloe vera, the method of employing potato juice over your stretch marks consists of extracting its juice. Now, because the consistency of potatoes is a lot harder than the soft, watery lemons and the gelatinous Aloe vera, you won’t be able to squeeze potato juice out. Your best bet is to slice the potato into circles and then arrange the circles over the affected area of the skin. Make sure that you cover your stretch marks thoroughly with the potato slices, and that the juice comes into contact with the skin.
Contrary to Aloe vera and lemons, this treatment can take a bit longer. The goal is to let it work its magic until the potato slices have dried off. Then, you can either wipe the area off, or rinse it off with water. As with the other methods, it will take a few weeks until the effects show themselves.
But is there anything even more common than potatoes? Yes! And that’s...
Sugar For Stretch Marks
Amazing, right? Something as common as sugar can double up as a homemade remedy for removing stretch marks. It’s a bit ironic that sugar, which is one of the main causes for people getting overweight nowadays and ending up with stretch marks, can also be used to reduce them.
But if we withhold our judgments and reservations for a second, we can notice that it is one of the best, and simplest, natural treatments for getting rid of stretch marks.
But how? Sugar has no… Juices on its own. So how should one go about applying it over one’s skin?
Well, the way we can use sugar to combat stretch marks is by converting it into a neat exfoliator. It costs you pretty much nothing since you already have sugar just lying around your house, so this is super easy to prepare. However, having some almond oil, or coconut oil will be pretty handy too.
Without further ado, here’s how to get rid of stretch marks naturally by using sugar. Just take a tablespoon of sugar, and add it to a tablespoon of an oil of your choice and squeeze a bit of lemon juice in it. Mix the ingredients together until they acquire a paste-like, exfoliator quality, and apply it to the stretch marks. This solution isn’t as fast as the others, however. You will need to be applying this homemade mixture of sugar, oil and lemon consistently for at least a month or so, until you begin to see results. But it can be washed off easily, and you should apply it every day. In time, the stretch marks should begin appearing lighter and more difficult to spot. But...
What If None Of These Natural Solutions Work?
So, you’ve read a ton of articles on how to get rid of stretch marks naturally, but no luck. It can happen. Or it may be that you’re just impatient. Or maybe, two or three weeks as the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally just isn’t fast enough for you. That’s certainly a possibility too. What if you’re heading out to a vacation next week? What then?
Well, luckily, there are tons of skin care products that deal with treating stretch marks. Most of them come in the shape of gels and creams, and are meant to be applied locally over the affected areas. Stretch mark creams will work just as efficiently as the homemade remedies we’ve mentioned here - and sometimes even faster Here’s what to look for in a stretch mark cream.
Use Stretch Mark Cream For The Most Stubborn Spots
Sometimes, there is only so much home remedies can do to fade stubborn skin lesions. Some people will see amazing results and will say goodbye to their stretch marks forever. But others will only become frustrated by the lack of visible results. After all, everyone is their own person, and our bodies, while for the most part similar, can sometimes react very differently to the same treatments and remedies.
So, some stretch marks just won’t budge at any of the natural, homemade remedies we talked about here. For them, perhaps it’s time to use skin care’s big guns. For the most insistent spots, you may consider using professional-grade, stretch mark removal creams. And as the ancient saying goes, “Fortune favors the bold.”
These ointments, gels, and creams usually contain a blend of ingredients that stimulate skin regeneration, while at the same time slowing the natural process of skin degradation. Because the formulas are synthesized in labs, the creams normally contain a much higher concentration of active ingredients than the solutions we are able to make at home. Who knows? Maybe for you, using such a product will definitely be the fastest way to get rid of stretch marks naturally.
You won’t know until you try, however.
It shouldn’t surprise you that professional-grade stretch mark creams offer a more powerful and faster alternative to natural home remedies.
However, you should approach these products with caution, because some of the creams out there may contain harsh chemicals that can actually make the problem worse. As we mentioned before, everyone’s body is different. Read the labels of each product carefully, and be mindful of any ingredients you are allergic to.
Or, you could avoid all that and just go for a healthier alternative - a safer, organic, and natural solution for removing stretch marks just as quickly. Instead of using some of the many conventional products made by the big cosmetic companies, you can go with more natural, green, alternative skin care products that specialize in stretch marks removal.
One such option is the completely natural and plant-based cream by Amaira, the Advanced Scar Removal Vanishing Cream. It’s a 100% natural scar cream that contains powerful marine botanicals, and doubles as an effective treatment for skin lesions or stretch marks. If you need a solid, safe, and natural replacement for all the home remedies listed here that packs more punch, go ahead and try it out. You just may surprise yourself - and hit that beach happy and with relief.