Apr 2, 2014

The Icky Truth About Stretch Marks

Why thank you, but no, this is not me -- source
I have stretch marks. There, I said it. I've had them since I was a teen...ah, puberty. Fortunately, they are in places viewed  by only a lucky few. But, since I'm prone to stretch marks, at 33 weeks pregnant, I have been so nervous to get them on my stomach. Literally every mark from my clothing or bed sheets I think, "there they are... here they come..."

While I don't normally moisturize everyday,  I've been applying Mother's Special Blend every night before bed. I love the slight scent of chocolate that comes from the blend of almond oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter and vitamin E (that's it -- no additives!) and guess what? No stretch marks.

With just a few weeks left, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that those squiggly dark lines won't show up during or after my pregnancy. And yet, these bad boys can show up anytime -- pregnant or not. While there's no proven way to prevent them (you can thank your parents), I've done a little research and found 3 ways I believe will help keep them from appearing:

  • Gain and Lose Weight Gradually: While we can't control that beautiful growing belly, we can control our diet. Just because we are pregnant does not mean we should shove our mouth full of whatever we want. Same goes for post pregnancy, it's not the time to crash diet. Keep your meals healthy and proportionate and you'll have a better chance at gaining and losing the weight over time. 
  • Moisturize: This goes for the inside and the outside. Not only can you use a moisturizer (this one is my absolute favorite), but make sure you're staying hydrated by drinking at least half your body weight in ounces a day of water. This will help to keep your skins elasticity.
  • Take your Vitamins: Taking a daily supplement as well as essential fatty oils (my daily regimen, including prenatal vitamins, can be found here and here) help every organ in your body, including the largest organ... your skin. 

Unfortunately, once stretch marks have reared their ugly faces, there isn't much you can do to get rid of them. Studies show that Retin-A and Glycolic acid creams tend to reduce their appearance, but you absolutely cannot use either of these products while you're pregnant or nursing. 

The Good News: If you've got dark stretch marks, they should fade within 6 months to a year. Also, while maybe every time you look in the mirror all you can see are those ugly lines, nobody else will notice. And if they do, who cares? Stretch marks are a reminder of who you are and what you're body has gone through. Whether through childbirth or weight loss, don't let your battle wounds get you down. Nobody will notice a few little lines if you've got a bangin' body... am I right?
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