Stretch marks are usually caused with a sudden increase in size or weight. When this happens, the elastin in your skin (located in the dermis) stretches and that ultimately causes it to break down. Traditional beauty standards tell us that stretch marks are ugly or undesirable, that they need to be hidden or gotten rid of, but that’s only a patriarchal lie. If your stretch marks are darker in colour, it means they are fairly recent, and the plethora of anti-stretch mark products out in the market may have some kind of effect on them. But if your marks are white in colour, it means the skin has undergone more or less permanent damage.
That said, let’s get into what some of these anti-stretch mark products more or less include.
The most commonly used remedy for stretch marks, bio-oil is perhaps the only product that’s both a relatively safe method for omitting marks and an effective one too. The product usually contains a number of plant oils, including anti-inflammatory Calendula and Chamomile oils, which have naturally skin healing properties. However, for those with more aggressive stretch marks, this might be too mild. And for those with sensitive and oily skin, this might increase your skin’s oil and sebum production and cause rashes and acne.
Most stretch mark removal creams contain collagen – which is a type of protein supplement. It increases the skin’s elasticity and strength, which in turn, helps restore the skin’s natural state by fading marks. They might have a more immediate action, but too much of it might cause hormonal imbalances. So it’s important to exercise caution while using any product containing collagens.
Elastin is used to replenish the elastin fibers in your skin which may have been lost or damaged, which is especially important during rapid skin stretching. Elastin fibers help keep the skin smooth, supple, taut and consistent. They affect the skin’s elasticity as well it’s durability, so it’s important to have it replenished when there is a breakage or lack of it. While artificial elastins are good for this, again the kind of elastin that needs to be used varies according to skin type. Therefore, be cautious of applying a product with too much or too little of it, and if required, get the composition checked over by your doctor.
For less severe cases of stretch marks, aloe vera can be a safe and effective healing ingredient. This plant species helps hydrate and soften your skin without blocking pores and often helps in the scar-healing process. As safe and healthy this ingredient might be, it is not always as effective in erasing all your stretch marks.
Stretch mark creams will only do so much. They might reduce your scarring, but sometimes they can make it worse and cause allergies instead. Stretch marks are a natural occurrence, and can happen to nearly everyone. This pressure to get rid of it or hide it away from the world is more harmful for body image than anything else. But even then, if you feel the need to use a product to heal your marks, then try to be careful and aware of the ingredients it might contain.