Stretch marks are off-color marbled marks on the surface of the skin and are generally found on the abdomen, but can occur in other places as well, such as on breasts, thighs, buttocks and upper arms. One of the main causes of stretch marks is pregnancy but other common causes are rapid weight loss or weight gain. Whatever the reason for them, home remedies for stretch marks have been used for centuries and are some of the most effective treatments there are. Here are 12 great treatments for reducing unsightly stretch marks.
Our home remedies for stretch marks will help you get back your healthy skin
1. Castor Oil
Castor oil is a centuries-old treatment for a wide variety of ailments and conditions ranging from constipation to hair loss. The use of castor oil dates back as far as ancient Egypt, where it was used in lamps. Moreover, castor oil is also one of the best home remedies for stretch marks, and it can also work great for skin tags.
- Take some castor oil and gently massage it over the stretch marks.
- Use circular motions for 5-10 minutes.
- Wrap the area with a thin cloth or Ace bandage.
- Apply heat to the area using a hot water bottle or heating pad for at least 30 minutes.
- Repeat daily for 30 days for noticeable results.
2. Aloe Vera
Like castor oil, Aloe Vera is a plant that has been used for centuries to treat a wide variety of conditions and ailments. While Hawaii may be most well known for their Aloe plants, the use of Aloe Vera as a skin treatment dates all the way back to Cleopatra, you can also use it to get glowing skin. Many health food stores will sell fresh Aloe Vera leaves and it is fairly easy to grow at home. When purchasing bottled Aloe Vera be sure it is pure Aloe Vera and not a mixture containing only a small percentage of real Aloe Vera.
- Rub the gel from an Aloe Vera plant or Aloe Vera gel directly onto the stretch marks area.
- Allow the gel to soak into the skin for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Repeat 2-3 times daily for 3-6 weeks.
3. Egg Whites
Stretch marks form in the dermis, which is the middle layer of skin. They occur when the connective tissue between the layers of skin is stretched beyond the limits of its flexibility. This causes a breakdown of collagen, which leads to fine scars forming just under the top layer of tissue. Egg whites themselves are a natural source of collagen, which helps reduce the appearance of stretch marks. When treating with egg whites, be sure and only use the whites of the eggs and not the yolks.
- Take 2 eggs and separate the yolks from the whites.
- Whip gently with a fork.
- Rinse the affected area with water.
- Use a makeup brush to apply a thick layer of egg white.
- Allow the egg whites to dry completely and then rinse them off with cold water.
- Finish with a layer of olive oil to keep the skin moisturized.
- Repeat daily for 2 weeks.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is high in saturated fat, which can help strengthen cellular walls and heal collagen damage. Since stretch marks actually occur in the dermis or middle layer of skin, coconut oil is a particularly effective treatment because it can penetrate deep down to where the damage actually occurs. That is why this is also one of the most recommended home remedies for dry skin.
- Towel dry your skin lightly after showering.
- Rub some coconut oil onto the affected area using small, circular motions.
- Apply again each night for 3-6 weeks.
5. Potato Juice
Potatoes are actually rich in a number of vitamins and nutrients that make them a basic staple in many diets around the world. These nutrients help with muscle movement, mood, learning, and memory as well as helping to maintain the structure of cell membranes. The same properties also make potatoes one of the most effective home remedies for stretch marks.
- Cut a thick slice from a medium-sized potato.
- Rub it gently over the affected area for several minutes.
- Make sure the affected area is covered in a thick layer of potato starch.
- Allow the juice to dry completely and then rinse with warm water.
- Repeat once a day for 4-6 weeks.
6. Shea Butter
Shea butter is extracted from the nut of the African Shea tree and has been used as a moisturizer and healing balm for centuries. This butter contains a number of healing compounds that break down over time, so you want to be sure and purchase this butter from a reputable supplier that can provide assurance of its freshness. For best results, Shea butter should be no more than 2 months past harvest when purchased.
- Take a shower.
- Take some organic Shea butter.
- Rub it into the skin with stretch marks right after taking the shower.
- Repeat at least once daily for 3-6 weeks.
7. Alfalfa Powder
Alfalfa contains eight essential amino acids and is rich in protein and Vitamins E and K. The amino acids are critical for helping restore the skin’s elasticity and Vitamins E and K are beneficial for the overall health of skin as well as helping to nourish skin. The Vitamin E content in alfalfa leaves, in particular, is what makes them one of the most excellent home remedies for stretch marks.
- Mix a few drops of chamomile oil with some alfalfa powder until it forms a smooth paste.
- Massage the paste into the stretch marks 2-3 times per day.
- Repeat daily for 2-3 weeks.
8. White Sugar
Ironically, the same white sugar that can potentially cause stretch marks in the first place through weight gain can also help make them disappear. While sugar may be bad for your waistline, it can actually be healthy for your skin. Sugar also acts as a mild exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, in addition to containing glycolic acid, which has very small molecules that allow it to penetrate deeply into the skin.
- Mix one full tablespoon of white sugar with a splash of lemon juice.
- Add about a half teaspoon of almond oil.
- Scrub gently over the stretch marked area.
- Continue massaging into the skin for about 60 seconds.
- Let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing off.
9. Cocoa Butter
Cocoa butter is actually a vegetable fat that comes from the cocoa bean. Like coconut oil, it is rich in saturated fats which are excellent emollients. Emollients are important in restoring elasticity to skin, which helps reduce stretch marks.
- Dry your skin lightly with a towel after showering.
- Rub cocoa butter into the skin covering the affected area.
- Repeat daily for a few weeks.
10. Lemon Juice
Lemon juice contains citric acid, which is a mild acid that is just acidic enough to reduce stretch marks, acne, and other scars while still being gentle enough to not damage skin. Citric acid also acts as a mild exfoliant, which can remove dead skin cells and help other home remedies for stretch marks penetrate deeper down into the dermis.
- Squeeze the fresh juice from half a lemon into a bowl.
- Rub the fresh juice gently onto the stretch marks using small, circular motions.
- Allow the juice to soak into the skin for 10 minutes.
- Rinse off with warm water.
11. Olive Oil
Olive oil is another natural treatment that has been used for centuries for a wide range of skin conditions and for moisturizing. The oil contains a number of different anti-oxidant constituents and linoleic acid which helps prevent moisture loss from the skin and works great on clearing the skin. This oil also contains polyphenols which helps strengthen cellular walls much like coconut oil.
- Wipe your skin with a towel after showering.
- Quickly rub olive oil into the affected area.
- Wait 30 minutes before getting dressed.
- Repeat every night for a few weeks.
12. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil comes from the Australian Melaleuca tree and is sometimes referred to as melaleuca oil. This oil is infamous for correcting a wide range of skin ailments from acne to athlete’s foot. It has a number of antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that also make it one more of many effective home remedies for stretch marks, but it can also work wonders if you have itchy skin.
- Use a cotton swab to apply a fine layer of tea tree oil to the affected area of skin.
- Allow the oil to penetrate deeply for one hour.
- Rinse off with warm water.
- Pat skin dry and apply a moisturizer like olive oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, or Shea butter.
- Repeat daily for 2-4 weeks.
While stretch marks may be somewhat unsightly, there is nothing unhealthy or dangerous about them. Most home remedies for stretch marks will take time to take effect and fade the marks, but so do any other types of treatments. The key to treating stretch marks is just to be patient and diligent. The careful, daily application of almost any of these home remedies will invariably result in greatly reduced marks in just a matter of weeks. Have you tried any of the above remedies?