Updated: Aug 12, 2020
Stretch marks after pregnancy- you either hate em’ or love em’. Okay, maybe not “love” per say — but embrace. I personally embrace mine, because they are symbolic of a tiger just earning her stripes (I also think I was a cat in a past life lol!). In all sincerity, I really do believe stretch marks are a reminder of just how powerful and beautiful our bodies are. They tell stories of our courage and our strength; however, I didn’t always feel this way about stretch marks…
Throughout my pregnancy, I was on the fence about how I felt about stretch marks. There were moments when I didn’t really care how my skin pulled and stretched, and there were times where I began seeking ways to prevent “unsightly” stretch marks. As a first time mom, I’ve only heard most mothers express their dislike for their stretch marks, and that it was extremely advisable to get a proper moisturizer for my pregnant belly. Naturally, with all the advice I was given, I feared that I would regret the appearance of my tiger stripes if I did not spring into action (after all, I was brand new to all of this!).
Even though stretch marks are inevitable, I took action towards minimizing their appearance. I am not entirely sure if the products and care practices I implemented were actually effective in warding off those “unruly” stretch marks; however, I’ll share them anyway, since they do come with a myriad of other benefits:
1. Dry Brushing:
Dry brushing is a personal care practice originating from Ayurvedic medicine (Yoga’s sister science). Dry brushing can be done to promote lymphatic drainage (removal of waste and toxins from bodily tissues), and to enhance blood circulation, which in turn, possibly reduces the appearance of cellulite and stretch marks. It is also just a great way to exfoliate skin, and to naturally boost your energy (who needs coffee!?). It is recommended to dry brush for at least 5 minutes in the morning (just one more thing to add to your morning routine!) — before taking a shower.
To begin dry brushing, you’ll need a natural bristle body brush. Start dry brushing from your feet, making soft circular motions with the brush around your joints going upwards, towards your legs and thighs. Essentially, when dry brushing, you need to ensure your brush strokes are being directed towards your heart, as this is where lymphatic drainage takes place. Continue the same process with your arms, and be sure to direct your brush strokes towards the heart as well. Once you’ve completed dry brushing, it’s time to hop in the shower!
2. Cocoa Shea Butter:
Cocoa butter is a popular go-to moisturizer to reduce the appearance of stretch marks. There are a few prominent brands that come to mind, however, some of the ingredients in these products (yes, here I go again talking about ingredients!) include “fragrance,” as well as other questionable additives (see my blog post: It’s All in the Label, for more info on why fragrance is a no-no!). Mamas Life Products Cocoa Shea Butter, is what I chose to use on my skin, since this product is 100% unrefined Shea Butter. Unrefined shea butter maintains the quality of its nutrients (vitamins A, E & F), whereas, refined shea butter goes through a process of heating and chemical usage, ultimately stripping the beneficial nutrients away.
Cocoa butter is extremely nourishing for our skin. The combination of Vitamins A, E & F help to heal and soothe many skin conditions. Vitamin A is great for minimizing acne and fine lines, and Vitamin E provides protection from environmental elements and delivers intense moisture to the skin. Vitamin F refers to the healthy fats that our skin needs, which aids in the proper functioning of our skin barrier. So, you’ll definitely want to give this a try to soothe sunburns, eczema flareups, stretch marks, and much more!
If you have any natural product ideas to help in the reduction of stretch marks, comment below!
That’s my healing hint of the day!