Stretch marks usually appear after pregnancy, drastic weight gain and loss, and even during growth spurts. Stretch marks occur when the skin stretches rapidly due to excess weight. Stretch marks cannot be prevented, and cannot be completely removed. The best way to reduce the appearance of stretch marks is to use several methods to help fade them and make them less visible. Special treatments, lifestyle changes, and a little bit of make-up also play a role in reducing the appearance of stretch marks.
Method 1 of 3: Treatment
Step 1. Try a natural moisturizer
There are many natural creams available in the market that can help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. This cream can be used during pregnancy and afterward to keep the skin elastic and stretch marks to fade. There are no studies that can conclude what ingredients can fade stretch marks. However, the following natural ingredients are believed to help:
- Aloe vera, which is believed to reduce scars and stretch marks
- Coconut oil or coconut butter, which keeps the skin elastic if used every day
- Shea butter, people use it to help fade stretch marks
- Egg oil (Oleova) helps prevent stretch marks if used twice a day on the entire abdomen from the first trimester of pregnancy until six months after delivery.
Step 2. Use a gel containing hyaluronic acid
Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body. When used topically, it has the effect of reducing signs of aging, such as fine lines and wrinkles. There are no studies that prove that hyaluronic acid can drastically change the appearance of stretch marks. However, some people prove that using a gel containing hyaluronic acid can help fade stretch marks.
- Gels containing hyaluronic acid can be ordered online or purchased at cosmetic stores.
- Apply the gel according to the instructions on the package.
Step 3. Try a retinoid cream
Retinoids are substances that are believed to stimulate the growth of collagen in the skin. When applied to stretch marks, it can help renew the skin and fade the appearance of stretch marks. Retinoid creams must be used with a doctor's prescription. Talk to a dermatologist if this is the right choice for your skin.
- Retinoids can take weeks or months to produce a significant effect on the skin. Even after such a long period of time, retinoids do not completely remove stretch marks.
- Retinoids should not be used while pregnant or breastfeeding. There are no studies that can determine whether retinoids have a negative effect on fetal or newborn development. However, health experts advise avoiding retinoids until you have given birth and are no longer breastfeeding.
Step 4. Consider dermabrasion
Microdermabrasion is the process of exfoliating the top layer of skin using a small peeler. Because stretch marks aren't just on the top layer of skin, many people feel that this treatment doesn't make any significant changes. However, some people believe that microdermabrasion can help fade the appearance of stretch marks.
- Talk to a dermatologist before dermabrasion. He will advise you on whether this is the right choice for your stretch marks.
- You can do a dermabrasion treatment at a salon or spa. The cost of this treatment usually ranges from four hundred thousand to one million rupiah for one session.
Step 5. Consider laser therapy
There are no studies that prove that laser therapy is effective in removing stretch marks, but many women are satisfied with the results. A high-energy ultraviolet laser is used to scrape off the thin layers of skin around stretch marks. After the treatment, the skin is renewed and the appearance of stretch marks fades.
- If you are interested in laser therapy, talk to your dermatologist about the risks before starting. In some cases, laser therapy leaves scars.
- The healing process after laser therapy usually lasts for about a week.
Method 2 of 3: Lifestyle Changes
Step 1. Protect stretch marks from the sun
Stretch marks usually fade from a reddish color to white streaks over time. You can fade them faster and make them less visible by protecting your skin from sun damage. Sunlight can weaken the skin and make stretch marks look worse.
- Use a sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or more whenever your stretch marks will be exposed to the sun. Make sure to use it regularly.
- If your skin is sunburned, apply aloe vera to help heal it as quickly as possible.
Step 2. Keep the stretch mark area moisturized
Keeping your skin moisturized won't fade stretch marks directly, but it can help keep your skin healthy and elastic. Dry skin tends to lose its elasticity, making stretch marks and other scars more visible. While there is no surefire way to prevent stretch marks, some people think that keeping the skin moisturized can prevent the appearance of stretch marks from getting worse.
- Exfoliate your skin regularly before showering, then apply moisturizer to the stretch mark area to prevent dry skin.
- If you have very dry skin, try using a humidifier to keep the air in your home moist. Keep the air humidity between 30 and 50 percent for moisturized and soft skin.
Step 3. Stay hydrated
When dehydrated, the skin tends to wrinkle more easily. The same goes for stretch marks. Hydrating the body will make the skin look healthy and elastic, so that the appearance of stretch marks is not so severe.
- Drink when you feel thirsty. Try to always carry a water bottle with you wherever you go, so you can always have a drink at any time.
- Replace alcohol and caffeinated drinks with water if possible.
Step 4. Quit smoking
Cigarette smoke worsens the appearance of the skin. The blemishes on your skin will get worse if you smoke cigarettes frequently. So that the skin always looks young and healthy, immediately stop smoking.
Method 3 of 3: Covering Stretch Marks
Step 1. Do a safe tanning
Once your stretch marks have faded to a whitish color, it's not that hard to make them blend into your skin. One way to do this is to use a fake tanner to make your skin look light brown. This is a great solution in summer when stretch marks on your body are visible. Buy a tanning lotion and use it to even out your skin tone.
- Don't do "real" tanning in the sun. Sunlight can cause skin damage and eventually make your stretch marks look worse.
- Follow the instructions on the packaging for realistic looking skin tones. No need to overdo it. A shade or two darker will help hide your stretch marks.
Step 2. Apply makeup
If you want to temporarily hide stretch marks, you can use the same makeup you used to cover blemishes. This is most effective for stretch marks that are on parts of the body that don't rub against clothing. Choose a foundation with a color that matches your skin. Follow these steps for a natural-looking look:
- Apply a thin layer of foundation to the stretch marks and the surrounding skin.
- Smooth with a brush.
- Apply loose powder to make the foundation last longer.