We mamas know well that our stretch marks are to be worn with pride and honor. They are a mark of our accomplishments, our journeys… the life or lives that we carried inside of ourselves, nurtured, birthed, loved and raised. We love our stretch marks.
And at the same time, there are days we wish to treat them and reduce their impact. That’s just being honest – and that’s okay, too. Because there are many things that the great women that have gone before us did, and for the very same reasons.
There are plenty of natural, of-the-earth ways to tone down our stretch marks – if we have them – and give them some love. There are also plenty of things we can do to reduce the chances of them making an appearance in the first place. Stretch marks can occur just about anywhere on the body that skin-stretching takes place, but the stomach, thighs and belly are especially prone during pregnancy.
Indulge in Using Organic Oils
Rubbing natural oils into your skin is a soothing way to stop the itch of stretching skin and increase its softness. Some oils that are good to rub directly into the skin are:
- Sweet Almond Oil (I use this in my evening bath – incredible for the skin)
- Olive Oil
- Shea Butter
- Cocoa Butter (this smells delectable!)
- Hemp Oil (I was initially gifted this by my mom, and I’ve not looked back!)
- Grapeseed Oil
- Sesame Oil (we use this after swimming at the pool – sesame oil is an all over incredible healing oil in Ayurvedic practices)
- Coconut Oil (I use this after a shower)
These oils can be blended or mixed with essential oils to create a wonderful aroma-therapeutic experience, and enhance the healing properties of the “carrier oils.” You may wish to use lavender essential oil for relaxation, rose oil for uplifting, tea tree or mint oil for sore and aching muscles, or rosemary for congestion. Very often I blend my own oils, but when I choose to treat myself to something unique, this is where I go.
Check In With Your Diet
We all know this by now – your skin is affected by what you eat. There are so many foods that promote skin elasticity and health, and it’s important to get these into you. Foods high in good-for-you fats, such as avocado, salmon, nuts, seeds, and olive and safflower oils.
Vitamin C is also a vital and important component to any skin-healthy diet. Be sure to eat lots of foods rich in this vitamin, such as citrus fruits, bell peppers, and cantaloupe.
It is super important to get your healthy proteins in as well – your skin is composed partially of protein, and lean meats, fatty fish, and dishes made from a combination of whole grains and legumes provide healthy proteins to promote skin health. And of course, take in plenty of water in your diet, too – hydrated skin is much more supple as the water helps to flush toxins from your system.
Discover the Power of Calendula
This is one of my absolute favorites. It helped me so much after the birth of all three of my babies. Calendula is an herb that helps the skin form new cells. It is incredibly effective at healing cuts and scrapes for this very same reason, and that is what makes it amazing for treating stretch marks. You can find many different kinds of calendula ointments and creams in health food stores.
You can also make your own calendula oil at home – gently heat about a cup of any of the above carrier oils, stir in half a cup of dried calendula flowers and plant parts, cover and “steep” overnight. Then strain out the plant parts and use the oil on any areas subject to stretching.
Treat Yourself to a Massage
It is a really good idea, at any time, to explore the added benefit of muscle manipulation and relaxation. The idea when working with any skin concerns is to get fluid moving through the tissues, and flushing out. The lymphatic system does not cleanse itself, unlike the other bodily systems. Therefore, the only true way to get the lymphatic system cleansing is through massage, aerobic exercise, and specially formulated herbal cleanses.
When you work any of these above remedies into your belly skin, give yourself loads of time to massage the oil well into the skin. This greatly improves circulation, and there is nothing to beat how amazing you will feel afterward!