It is often thought that stretch marks are genetic or unavoidable. However, this is far from the truth. I have seen many women who have been able to avoid the issue of stretch marks during pregnancy by adding a few very easy and cost-effective steps into their beauty routines.
On the Outside
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. Keeping the skin hydrated is key. When it is hydrated when the skin’s moisture lipid barrier is intact, the skin is stronger and more pliable, causing less injury and trauma to the skin when slowly stretched over the course of nine months. Get into a routine with this so you are consistently hydrating and firming the skin without even thinking about. Most women do this after showering.
1. Massage. Massage your belly, lower back, buttocks and thighs with a nutrient rich oil –rich in vitamin A, and E (jojoba, olive oil, sunflower oil, almond oil all work great). These all help to promote skin elasticity and boost collagen production. They also help to repair the skin’s protective barrier to help keep the skin strong and less resistant to injury of skin tissue.
Massage in a circular clockwise motion, which follows your stomach’s natural digestive tract.
2. Moisturise. Follow the massage with a sealing nourishing moisturiser. Shea or Coco Butter are great emollients which work really well to further nourish and seal the skin, keeping it ultra-hydrated.
On the Inside
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate. I obviously cannot emphasise this one enough! IT is equally important on the inside and outside. Drinking a lot of water ensures the skin’s elasticity is kept intact. Aim for at least two litres of water if possible daily.
A, C, E It. Make sure you are keeping your diet rich in anti-oxidants. A good way of doing this is to eat the rainbow. Aim to have at least 5 of the below foods daily: carrots, sweet potato, kale, spinach, berries, almonds, avocado, broccoli, red capsicum, kiwi fruit and eggs (if not vegan).
Vitamin A. Vitamin A helps to repair skin tissue which is essential when it is being stretched a little more than usual. Foods rich in vitamin A include carrots, sweet potato, spinach, squash. If you are not vegan, egg yolks and fish such as sardines and cod are also high in vitamin A.
Vitamin C. Foods rich in vitamin C assist in promoting collagen production which helps to keep the skin elastic. The best sources include berries, kiwi fruit, broccoli and red capsicum.
Vitamin E. Vitamin E helps to keep the skin membranes intact. Our favourite vitamin E rich foods include almonds, avocado and spinach.