Stretchmarks - The Truth About Them and The Best Products For Them
Stretchmarks are the last thing you want to worry about when you've already got so much to think about, namely growing a little human from scratch. So let's just take a moment to put that into perspective. You are growing a little tiny human from scratch. And the reality of this new situation is, it will lead to changes in your body, I mean YOU ARE GROWING A LITTLE TINY HUMAN FROM SCRATCH. And I say this over and over, because it's easy to forget this fact. I too had to repeat this to myself over and over again when I was left grappling with my new body normal, which was strikingly different to the pre-baby me. And eventually, I got over the new normal, and the timing of that will be different for every mother, but just taking a step back to recognize all the joy your children have brought you helps you put into perspective that a few stretchmarks on the way, was all worth it. And I hope you too will realise that too.
For those that aren't so familiar with stretchmarks, they occur when the skin rapidly expands, which causes the production of collagen (which allows the skin to be more elastic) to get disrupted, leaving scars on the surface of the skin. A significant amount of scientific research on stretchmarks does point to the origin as more genetic - as much as the cosmetic companies would have us think otherwise. Over 75% of all women will develop stretchmarks in their pregnancy, regardless of what they do. This is a common and normal thing.
I was one of those who swore I'd take all the precautions to not have stretchmarks. I used all the products, the Bio-Oil, the Clarins oil, the Mama-Mio tummy rub - all of the products you typically see on the best selling anti-stretch mark list. And I figured, why not alternate between all the best ones and use them multiple times a day, that way I'd surely minimise my chance of stretchmarks. And despite doing this up until the day I gave birth, I still got a LOT of stretchmarks. I say this so that those who feel dismayed and that they could have done more to minimise their stretchmarks, get some sort of comfort knowing, you can really do a lot and still get plenty.
Whilst the above was my personal experience, everybody's skin and genetic patterns are different, and so preventive creams and oils may help you. Plus, with an expanding tummy, it's important to keep the area well moisturized and nourished with daily creams and oils even if stretchmarks are in your genetic history.
So - is there anything that can help?
The good news is Yes, there is. Vitamin E oil is very effective for minimizing stretchmarks. I found that by using a Vitamin E oil after I gave birth, helped reduce some of the stretchmarks. Products with retinoids or retinol are also known to reduce the look of scars on the skins surface, as well as Cocoa Butter.
If you are having trouble embracing your new normal, feel comfort in that so many women are too. I hope this passage below takes you that one step further into embracing them.