There’s a great deal of anxiety around weight gain and stretch marks during pregnancy. The skin tends to stretch gradually, allowing the body a little time to adjust to the change in growth. However, the rapid weight gain that happens toward the third trimester of pregnancy results in subtle—if not intense—stretch marks in many women. There are ways you can minimize the likelihood of stretch marks and lessen the impact on the skin. The results vary from person to person, and depend largely on your genetics, diet, and lifestyle. One thing to keep in mind is that these marks are the sign of a rite of passage that you’ve taken as a new mom. It’s no sign of failure or inferiority; it’s a sign of motherhood.
5 ways to prevent or decrease appearance of stretch marks
Exfoliate your skin often. Try Basq’s citrus sugar body polish and make exfoliation a part of your weekly beauty routine. Exfoliation brings new skin to the surface and helps to slough off weathered and vulnerable skin.
Eat fat to increase skin elasticity, foods like avocado will help to keep skin firm and fortified.
Apply vitamin E, Shea, or Mango butters to the belly, hips, and breasts in a circular motion. Be sure to massage the underside of the belly as that is the skin that tends to overstretch the quickest. Vitamin E is very sticky and viscous, so mix it with your butters to create a powerful moisturizer that is smooth and absorbs well. This is best done in the evening after a shower, when your pores are still open.
Get your proper intake of EFAs (essential fatty acids). These consist of flaxseed oil, borage oil, blackcurrant seed oil, sunflower seed oil, blue-green algae, and so on. Polyunsaturated fat is prone to oxidation, which leads to rancidity and free-radical generation, so store your fats in the refrigerator and consume them in balance with your other foods.
Eat nuts and Seeds (Brazil nuts, macadamias, almonds, walnuts, hempseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds). The oils from nuts and seeds help to nourish the skin from the inside, helping to increase skin elasticity.