There are plenty of myths about stretch marks, from the belief that they don’t happen to men to the idea that they only crop up on your stomach. This article will look at precisely what stretch marks are, how they’re caused and what you can do to prevent or treat them, including whether the age-old remedy of cocoa butter for stretch marks actually works. You can find some more detail on skin care issues here.
What are stretch marks?
Often starting out as red or purple lines with a slightly different texture to the rest of your skin, stretch marks tend to fade over time, becoming lighter and less noticeable.
While you may not love your stretch marks, they’re a natural part of development. If the body changes rapidly over time, for example during pregnancy, rapid muscle building or even during a teenage growth spurt, you may get stretch marks.
However, the name ‘stretch marks’ is actually slightly misleading, as they’re not just caused by the stretching of skin. In fact, hormonal changes are one of the main causes. Increased levels of hormones such as glucocorticoids reduce the skin’s natural elasticity, making it easier for rapid changes in the body to cause a mark. During puberty and pregnancy more of these hormones are produced, making the appearance of stretch marks more likely.
How can I prevent them?
Using cocoa butter for stretch marks is one popular form of prevention. Its natural healing properties include fatty acids, which deeply hydrate, and antioxidants, which help to prevent the damage caused by skin stressors such as free radicals. Both should help to improve the appearance of old stretch marks, and help prevent new ones from forming. It may be an old formula, but many people find cocoa butter for stretch marks to be an effective solution.
Keeping your skin well hydrated is the best way to prevent stretch marks, but the massaging process of applying the moisturizer itself is also thought to help. For more intense moisturization, try a cocoa butter solution for fast-absorbing, rich healing.
What else could I try?
There is more you can do to prevent stretch marks. Hydration is important both inside and outside the body, so ensure your skin stays hydrated by drinking plenty of water. The recommended daily amount is about nine cups a day. Drinking enough will also help to flush out toxins and can give your energy levels a boost.
Perhaps surprisingly, exercise can also help prevent stretch marks. This is because it improves the circulation throughout your body, which in turn keeps skin more elastic, stretching more easily as your body changes. However, very intense exercise like bodybuilding can lead to some stretch marks being formed, as it changes the shape of the body very quickly.
One final way to prevent stretch marks is to keep your skin nourished with foods like kale, bell peppers and broccoli. They’re naturally high in Vitamin C, which your body uses to make collagen and elastin, helping your skin bounce back after rapid changes. Other good foods include eggs, chicken and legumes, all of which are high in zinc, also used to make collagen.