One of the most common pregnancy-related complaints has got to be stretch marks. Whether you develop them or not has a lot to do with genetics, however, there are measures you can take to help prevent them from forming.
Why do stretch marks occur during pregnancy anyway?During the second and third trimesters, your uterus will grow rapidly, stretching the skin over your abdomen and tearing the connective tissues in the dermis. The torn tissue heals with irregular scars, also known as stretch marks. The growth of fat deposits in the breasts, hips, thighs, and buttocks can cause stretch marks in these areas as well. Stretch marks affect 70 to 90 percent of all women. They occur more often in first pregnancies, the fair-skinned, and the overweight. There is definitely a genetic component, so you may not be able to avoid them, but you can minimize your risk by avoiding excessive weight gain and staying well hydrated.
How to prevent stretch marks—and itchy skin—during pregnancy
The best preventative measure you can take against stretch marks is to keep your skin extremely well moisturized and hydrated. This will also help with the itch factor that typically goes hand in hand with your growing belly. When the skin stretches, it can start to itch. When the skin is dry, this only increases the itchiness. Well-moisturized skin is key to fighting off itch and decreasing your chances of developing stretch marks. The Belli Skincare Elasticity Belly Oil is made with pregnancy-safe Vitamin E and Gotu Kola, which are researched ingredients shown to aid in the prevention of stretch marks, along with cocoa butter to provide rich hydration.
Correcting stretch marks post-pregnancyNow let’s shift gears and talk about minimizing the appearance of the stretch marks you already have. Most of us get stretch marks during pregnancy, but they can also happen during the growth spurts of puberty or from rapid weight loss or weight gain. Stretch marks fade naturally to some extent, but they never go away completely. With thorough research, two topical ingredients stood out as particularly effective for treating existing stretch marks. Darutoside, from the plant Sieges-beckia Orientalis, was shown in scientific research to reduce the appearance of a stretch mark’s length and irregular surface area by up to 52 percent, and registril, derived from green beans, was shown to reduce the appearance of a stretch mark’s depth by up to 72 percent. Both ingredients, plus skin smoothing avocado oil, are found in our Stretch Mark Minimizing Cream.
Follow this regimen to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks:
- In the shower, exfoliate over the stretch marks every other day. Try Belli Skincare Exfoliating Body Polish.
- Towel-dry and then apply your stretch mark product to the affected areas twice daily. Massaging the area is also thought to be helpful in reducing the appearance of these marks—so try massaging while exfoliating or applying any other body product.
- Ask your dermatologist about prescription solutions, such as retinoids or laser treatments.
By Melissa Schweiger Kleinman on Behalf of Belli Skincare.