How Stretch Mark Oils Can Help Tone Your Skin
4 minutes read
There’s a reason stretch mark oils are so popular. Stretch marks are very common – an estimated 80% of adults have them, including both men and women.
On the one hand, they’re harmless. They don’t cause pain and are a normal part of life. Yet, these little lines (sometimes pale and flat, other times discoloured and sunken) seem to bother us.
But can stretch mark oils help fade them? Here’s what you should know.
What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks, also known as ‘striae’, are scars that develop on the skin’s surface. When they first appear, they can be red, purple, pink or brown and sometimes feel itchy. With time, they tend to fade and sometimes sink a little, causing a slight depression in the skin.
“They’re caused when the skin is unable to keep up with the expansion or contraction of the body,” says Charlotte McHale, Clarins Training Manager.
The sudden change causes the collagen and elastin in the skin to rupture. And when these tears heal, they leave scars behind. “This is why they are common during periods of changing body shape,” McHale explains.
According to the NHS, you are more likely to get them if you’re female, pregnant, going through puberty, losing or gaining weight quickly, overweight, or have a family member with stretch marks. Fluctuating hormone levels could also play a role.
Can you permanently remove stretch marks?
As we already know, stretch marks are like scars. They may fade over time and sometimes, specific products and procedures can help accelerate the fading process. Certain retinoids and laser treatments may help – but they’re not for everyone, and you should consult your doctor before trying anything, especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding.
Stretch mark oils seem to be the gentler option, which is why many prefer them. But do they work? Let’s find out.
What are stretch mark oils and how do they work?
A rich, nourishing body oil can help keep your skin soft and moisturised. This could help prevent the itchiness that sometimes occurs when the skin is stretching. Plus, if you use the right oil, it could also make the skin more resilient.
McHale recommends the Tonic Treatment Oil, £42 for this. “Tonic Oil helps keep the skin supple and elastic so it can better keep up with the changes it’s going through during these periods in your life,” she explains.
Tonic Oil is packed with plant extracts like rosemary, geranium, mint and hazelnut oil that help smooth the skin and inject it with loads of moisture. So, making the skin more elastic will also tone the skin and improve its general appearance.
We recommend pairing your stretch mark oil with another star product if you want a more powerful treatment plan. “For a double dose of stretch mark prevention during pregnancy, mix Tonic Oil with Body Partner,” says McHale.
Body Partner, £40, is a moisturising body cream specifically formulated to target stretch marks. “Apply it to any areas where stretch marks have appeared,” recommends McHale. “The key ingredient centella asiatica (blended with firming organic green banana) helps to visibly reduce the appearance of the stretch marks on four levels: length, width, depth and colour.”
Tonic Oil helps keep the skin supple and elastic so it can better keep up with the changes required during these periods in your life.
How to apply a stretch mark oil
Apply Tonic Oil on slightly damp skin to improve its absorption into the skin. First, warm the product between your palms and then massage it in, working in upwards strokes. You can apply it all over the body or on specific areas you’re concerned about.
Tip: Tonic Oil is the perfect choice for a baby bump massage. Begin by exfoliating the skin with a gentle scrub and following up with the oil, mixed with Body Partner.
When can you expect to see results?
Stretch marks don’t disappear overnight, and it may take weeks to see results from even the best products. It’s also important to remember that often, prevention is better than cure.
“Regular application of Tonic Oil at the beginning of any period of bodily change will help prevent stretch marks from forming by maintaining the skin’s elasticity,” says McHale. “Apply as soon as the stretch mark appears for best results.”
According to the American Academy of Dermatology, taking time to massage the products gently into your skin may make them more effective. Try to apply your stretch mark oil two to three times per week.
Next read: Your Ultimate Pregnancy Fitness Guide
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