Dealing with stubborn stretch marks that just won’t go away months, or even years, after you’ve given birth? I’m going to let you in on a little secret: there is no “magical” fix for them. You can’t just rub on a cream and watch them vanish overnight. However, there are a few tips, tricks and treatments that will make them virtually invisible. We’re going to take a look at a few of the safer and less expensive options!
Pregnancy does some weird things to our bodies. We’ve talked about the random nosebleeds and the breathlessness, We all know about the morning sickness and the weird cravings, the back aches and the heartburn. While these things are no fun, they all have one major thing in common: for the most part they go away once your sweet tiny tot arrives. Stretch marks, on the other hand, can stick around until that tiny tot heads off to college. Sometimes even longer!
So what can you do about them? Well, you could learn to live with them. Hide them, embrace them, give them cutesy names like Pam and George. Or you could do something about them to help diminish their appearance. I say “diminish” because, short of surgery, there really isn’t much you can do to completely get rid of them. Let’s take a look at a few safe and practical options for dealing with stubborn stretch marks.
How to Deal With Stubborn Stretch Marks
Affiliate links included below.
Notice how I said “safe and practical” options? There’s a reason for that. Look up “how to deal with stubborn stretch marks” and you’ll find about a zillion advertisements for everything from potentially dangerous drugs to excessively expensive creams. Before you go out and spend your child’s college fund on treatments, try a few of these cheaper options.
Oh, and I shouldn’t have to say this, but I will just in case: please use common sense. This is not medical advice. Talk to your doctor or dermatologist before trying home remedies, especially if you have a medical condition or are on any type of medications.
- Essential Oils: Essential oils won’t make stretch marks vanish overnight, but they will help speed up the process. You don’t need to buy a fancy stretch mark vanishing essential oil blend. Just make your own with lavender, frankincense, sandalwood and/or tangerine. Mix a few drops of each (or whatever combo you prefer) into an 8-oz bottle of carrier oil (I love sweet almond oil, but olive oil works too) and rub on your stretch marks daily.
- Aloe vera: Aloe is pretty well-known for its skin healing properties, so it makes sense that the plant juice would make an appearance on this list. Massage aloe vera directly onto your stretch marks twice a day. I suggest buying yourself an aloe plant and using it straight from the source. Aloe plants are hearty little creatures, but if you’re a master plant killer like me, you can also buy fresh leaves at the supermarket in the produce section sometimes. If you decide to just go the easy route and buy it in a bottle, make sure it’s 100% aloe vera.
- Make your own version of the expensive creams: You can DIY your own version of expensive stretch mark creams with very few ingredients. While ingredients can vary, you’ll need a rich “butter” base, vitamin E, and maybe a few essential oils. Try this: combine 1/2 cup cocoa butter with 1/4 cup shea butter. Break open enough vitamin E capsules to get about 1 tablespoon’s worth and mix into the butters. Add 15 drops of lavender essential oil and combine. Store in the fridge, massage on daily.
- Exfoliate: Regularly exfoliating your skin can help diminish the appearance of stubborn stretch marks. There are countless ways to do this, from loofah sponges and your favorite body wash to sugar scrubs. My favorite, though, is with a coffee scrub, mostly because I love all things coffee, but also because there is some anecdotal evidence that the caffeine helps clear up stretch marks faster.
- Egg whites: Okay, this isn’t my favorite remedy by far because it’s just so messy, but egg whites are supposed to be amazing for reducing the appearance of stretch marks. If you look at all the expensive treatments, you’ll see that collagen appears on just about every ingredient list. Well, egg whites are a natural source and a whole lot cheaper! They are also rich in protein, a building block of just about everything in our bodies. If you want to give this a try, rub the egg whites directly onto your stretch marks, let it dry, then rinse.
- Exercising: Exercises that focus on the areas with the stretch marks may help reduce their appearance. This works by toning the skin and muscles in that area, tightening loose skin and regenerating tissue. Basically, it creates a sleeker overall look.
- Laser therapy: I was so on the fence about including this because it doesn’t really fall into the “practical” category, but if you’ve exhausted all other options and you really can’t stand your stretch marks, it’s worth looking into. Talk to your dermatologist about your options, as there are a few different methods depending on the severity of your stretch marks. Keep in mind that this option isn’t cheap, and even laser therapy can’t guarantee 100% results.
For most women, stubborn stretch marks will eventually fade away until they’re barely noticeable. Of course, the best way to deal with stubborn stretch marks is to prevent them in the first place! Keep your skin hydrated during your pregnancy, eat a healthy diet, and try not to gain excess weight (beyond what is healthy for you and your baby). I know, that last one is sometimes easier said than done.