Let’s begin with a fact – stretch marks are a completely normal and natural skin condition. Though usually associated with pregnancy, it has nothing to do with expecting a baby. In fact, stretch marks can also occur during a growth spurt or even as you age.
Stretch marks are narrow lines on your skin that appear when the skin expands and shrinks. They are commonly seen on the abdomen, hips, breasts and thighs. Even though they are permanent, they do fade with time.
Reasons for stretch marks
Wondering how you got those stretch marks? Here are some possible causes:
Growth spurts during puberty can be a primary driver for stretch marks. Riding on the roller-coaster of hormones, the skin expands causing the marks to appear.
Quick weight loss or weight gain causes these lines to surface. Muscle growth due to weight training can also cause these marks to show up on your skin. However, it also depends on the stress one applies during the training.
Underlying factors like genetic history also play a role in causing these marks to surface.
Pregnancy is another reason for stretch marks. A sudden surge in hormones causes fibres to weaken hence causing stretch marks.
While the causes of stretch marks are aplenty, the most common reason is pregnancy. That’s because, during pregnancy, the skin stretches itself to accommodate the baby, causing collagen and elastin – the fibres that keep your skintight, to break. This can also happen due to rapid weight gain. While this is a common occurrence during pregnancy, it can get difficult to get rid of them. But it’s not impossible. Here are a few handy tricks you can use.
- Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Not only will it keep your body and baby healthy, but soft skin doesn’t develop stretch marks as easily as dry skin.
- Load up on the Vitamins and boost your skin’s health. Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc, and Potassium work wonders. But do consult your gynaecologist before trying this out.
- Treat them as soon as they appear. You can try creams and lotions under the guidance of your doctor.
- Stay active but do not over-exert. Go for walks or indulge in Yoga. These activities will help tighten the loose skin.
- Gain a healthy amount of weight. Gaining weight during pregnancy is normal, be mindful and gain weight gradually and stay within the kilos medically approved by your gynaecologist.
As we mentioned earlier, there are other reasons for stretch marks too.
While some embrace them, there are plenty who are more comfortable covering them up. So, if you belong to the latter, read on:
Ways to hide stretch marks
The easiest way to cover stretch marks is with the magic of makeup. Apply a concealer or foundation onto the skin. Apply a thin layer of foundation and spread it gently across the entire area of your stretch marks and lines with a beauty blender or a sponge. Dab some fixing powder on it for an even skin tone.
Before applying foundation or concealer, you need to exfoliate. That’s because you need to smoothen these lines before applying makeup. Get a gentle skin scrub that removes the dead skin accumulated on the skin. This will not only make your skin soft and even but will also help apply the concealer or foundation easily.
Sunscreen is a real saviour when it comes to preventing hyperpigmentation. And when you have stretch marks, the sun’s harmful rays can further pigment it, making it darker and more visible. You definitely don’t want that. Opt for a sunscreen with SPF 30+
Tanning lotions too work wonders. You can apply a tanning lotion that shortens the colour gap between your skin and stretch marks, thus making them less visible.
Creams, lotions, and gels
Nourishing creams and lotions may not remove stretch marks but they will definitely help in fading them and keeping your skin hydrated and soft. Look out for these three ingredients:
Retinol – for strengthening skin
Hyaluronic Acid – for plumping lines
Silicone – for skin smoothening
The right clothes
The easiest way to cover stretch marks is to wear clothes that hide them. Opt for comfortable kurtas, below-knee-length skirts and long tops teamed with a belt. You can always accessorize and keep your style going, whilst covering those stretch marks. If you have stretch marks on the arms, then designer sleeves will do the trick.
Moisturizing and hydrating the skin works wonders. You can try either of these – Coconut Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Olive Oil, Argan Oil, Aloe Vera Gel, etc. If your stretch marks change colour, do see your dermatologist.
Try these easy hacks and you’ll see a difference. But remember, do not expect miracles. Stretch marks take time to fade. You cannot hurry the process but diligently following a skincare regime can help you achieve results sooner than later. And whatever the outcome, don’t forget to love the skin you’re in.