How To Avoid Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
While growing a human inside you is beyond amazing, it definitely comes with a whole lot of other things to worry about especially when it comes to your skin. Stretch marks - they’re completely natural for everyone and extremely common, affecting around 80% of pregnant women. From woman to woman, stretch marks will appear different. With that being said some may be unbothered by them while some may want to reduce the appearance of them. Here are a few tips to keep in mind to reduce and prevent stretch marks from occurring.
What are stretch marks?
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks too quickly. This abrupt change causes collagen and elastic tissue to stretch beyond its limit causing it to tear. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear.
Why do stretch marks appear during pregnancy?
As your pregnancy develops and your hormones continue to change, you may experience a number of changes to your hair, skin and body. As your baby starts to grow, it’s extremely common to experience stretch marks particularly around your torso, and sometimes even your upper thighs & breasts - especially in the last 3 months leading up to your due date.
The hormone cortisone plays an important role in pregnancy which can increase by two to four times during the second and third trimester. And although this hormone plays a vital part in the pregnancy process, increased cortisone levels can weaken the elasticity of your skin, making stretch marks more likely to form.
4 tips to avoid stretch marks
Unfortunately there’s no magical potion that will completely banish stretch marks. However there are some nourishing ingredients we can incorporate in our routine to reduce them and also prevent them.
Keeping up with hydration
For Mum’s-to-be that are hoping to prevent any skin damage, keeping up with hydration internally and externally is key. For ultimate hydration, make sure you’re applying creams to the skin both morning and night - this will maximise the skin’s ability to stretch, keeping the skin soft and supple.
Incorporate nourishing ingredients
Use products that are formulated with skin-loving ingredients to prevent & repair stretch marks:
- Shea Butter: Regenerates, repairs & stimulates collagen production.
- Coconut Oil: Hydrates, nourishes and prevents moisture loss.
- Cocoa Butter: Promotes skin elasticity and long-lasting hydration.
- Macadamia Oil: Repairs & prevents scarring & stretch marks.
- Argan Oil: Helps skin retain moisture.
Creams for stretch marks
A cream to include in your skincare routine is Saya®'s Rich Body Cream. Saya, our founder swears by this product “It’s amazing at increasing skin elasticity. I haven’t had any stretch marks from pregnancy so I truly believe this product is key!” And the best part? It includes all of these restorative ingredients to keep the skin well-hydrated and remain more elastic.
Oils for stretch marks
Another option is incorporating a body oil that is vitamin-rich like our Argan Body Oil. It’s formulated with Argan Oil (great for collagen production), vitamin E (known for its anti-ageing and skin regenerating benefits) and Omega fatty acids (improves skin barrier function, suppleness & elasticity).
Quick tip: Older stretch marks that are skin-coloured cannot always be changed by using cream. You may need to seek out other options like laser or microneedling. However, if they are pink/red/purple, depending on your skin tone, creams and oils will definitely help to improve them.
Apply a vitamin A alternative, like Bakuchiol.
While Retinols, Retinals and Retinoids are completely off limits during pregnancy, Bakuchiol on the other hand will significantly improve texture and tone and assist with fading stretch marks - without all the typical side effects from using Vitamin A.
Try mixing a few drops of the Renew Serum with the Rich Body Cream to targeted areas. A powerful mix to replenish hydration, restore the skin barriers function and prevent any new damage from occurring.
Vitamin C for scarring
During the process of healing, vitamin C promotes collagen production which helps to reduce the appearance of scarring (and stretch marks). This power-house antioxidant will also aid in reducing any inflammation while keeping the skin protected. Looking for body products that are formulated with vitamin C? Saya®’s body range is formulated with powerful native botanicals like Kakadu Plum which are rich with antioxidants to encourage healing, nourishment & protection.
Are you struggling with other skin concerns like skin sensitivity or hyperpigmentation? Try this Pregnancy-Safe Skincare routine to keep your skin concerns in check.
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