Whether you have stretch marks from weight loss, weight gain, pregnancy, or that massive growth spurt you endured during puberty, you probably want to get rid of them. The bad news is that you can’t get rid of stretch marks once they show up without surgery. The good news is that you can prevent stretch marks and take steps to lessen their appearance naturally with coconut oil.
While women tend to be more prone to getting stretch marks than men, both men and women can get stretch marks at different points in their lives. Here’s all the information you need on what stretch marks are, steps you can take to prevent them, and everything you need to know about coconut oil so you can have gorgeous looking skin.
What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are scars that develop when the skin gets stretched suddenly (hence the name). You can recognize them by their appearance. In general, stretch marks show up as red, purple, or brown marks. The exact color depends on your skin tone, and they might appear in different colors on different parts of your body. Over time, they’ll fade to more of a silvery or even white color. They might even become transparent over time, meaning nobody can really see them except you.
It’s important to know that stretch marks are extremely common, especially for women. Our bodies change shape as we age, especially during puberty and again during pregnancy. You might notice stretch marks on your hips, thighs, back, abdomen, breasts, and butt. You might also notice stretch marks if you have lost a lot of weight suddenly, including after undergoing bariatric surgery.
If you have stretch marks anywhere on your body, you aren’t alone. Even if you haven’t been pregnant, you can get stretch marks from quickly gaining or losing weight, from growing quickly during puberty, and even from weight training if you have put on a lot of muscle mass in a short amount of time.
Preventing stretch marks
If you already have stretch marks, then you don’t really have an option except to treat them. However, if you’re pregnant or are going to undergo surgery that you know could lead to stretch marks(such as breast augmentation or bariatric surgery), there are a few steps you can take to try to prevent them:
1. Apply coconut oil to your skin regularly
Stretch marks tend to show up more on dry skin than on skin that is properly moisturized. Coconut oil is great for moisturizing your skin and is a natural alternative to other stretch mark creams and ointments on the market.
2. Keep your weight in check
This tip is more for pregnant women than for anyone about to undergo surgery. Quickly gaining or losing weight is one of the main ways we get stretch marks. When you’re pregnant, it’s important to remember it is healthy to gain weight, but try not to obsess about gaining during pregnancy. Just remember to maintain a healthy lifestyle to help reduce stretch marks.
This definitely isn’t an easy task for a lot of women, particularly around your abdomen. Remember, getting stretch marks during pregnancy is common and totally normal! They are a beautiful reminder of the gift of motherhood, and you are definitely not the only woman walking around with them! Talk to your doctor to find out how to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight for you.
3. Stay hydrated
Because stretch marks tend to show up more on dry skin than moisturized skin, it’s important to stay hydrated, especially when you’re pregnant and when you’re trying to lose weight.
How to remove stretch marks
If you’ve tried treating your stretch marks and are still unhappy with them, then you can look into surgical procedures that can permanently reduce their appearance. Even surgery can’t fully get rid of stretch marks, though.
If you have stretch marks that are causing you extreme anxiety and making you feel self-conscious to the point that it’s interfering with your daily life, talk to your doctor about your options for surgery. A dermatologist can suggest the best procedures for your body to reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Coconut oil for stretch marks
Coconut oil is an amazing product that can help treat stretch marks naturally, thanks to its fatty acids, including lauric acid. A lot of women have found that applying coconut oil directly to their stretch marks can make the marks feel less itchy, especially when the stretch marks are new. Rubbing coconut oil on the affected areas can nourish and moisturize your skin, which can improve how your stretch marks appear and make them less noticeable to others.
For best results, use virgin coconut oil for your stretch marks. This is pure coconut oil, which provides the best results for skin health. Use coconut oil for old stretch marks to make them less visible and on dry areas of your skin to prevent new stretch marks from forming.
In general, coconut oil doesn’t have any negative side effects, provide you aren’t allergic to coconuts. If you have a coconut allergy, then avoid coconut oil. You might also want to avoid it if you are allergic to hazelnuts or walnuts, as some people who have these allergies end up having negative reactions to coconut oil.
You can try essential oils, like argan oil, if you are allergic to coconuts. Other alternatives include lemon juice and olive oil.
Other beauty secrets of coconut oil
Coconut oil has several other beauty benefits aside from easing the appearance of stretch marks. Here are some of our favorite ways to use coconut oil:
1. For a calming detox bath
Combine a couple of scoops of coconut oil with a few cups of Epsom salts for a luxurious detoxing bath that will leave your skin feeling smooth and your body feeling healthy all over. This is a great way to relax and unwind at the end of a long day. As an added bonus, thanks to the warm bath water, you’ll be primed and ready for a great night’s sleep!
2. Quick and easy shaving cream
If you’ve never shaved with coconut oil, you’re missing out! You can use it by itself or combine your coconut oil with aloe vera for a nourishing shaving gel that will leave your legs feeling silky smooth. Best of all, this is a completely natural way to shave your legs!
3. As a nourishing hair mask
If your hair’s anything like mine, it gets dry and brittle, especially in the winter. A quick fix is to massage coconut oil directly into your scalp when you’re in the shower. Or, if you have a little time and feel like pampering yourself, give yourself a salon-like treatment with a DIY hair mask. Simply mix two tablespoons of coconut oil with one tablespoon of honey (I know, it sounds sticky, but stay with me). Microwave this combo for just a few seconds so it can spread easily.
Next, massage your mask directly onto your scalp, making sure to also rub it into your dry ends. Cover up with a shower cap for a half-hour, and then rinse and wash your hair. You’ll be amazed at how soft your hair is!
The fact that there isn’t a way to permanently remove stretch marks is frustrating for a lot of women. Keep in mind that other women have stretch marks too, and they’re probably more obvious to you than to anyone else!
If you’re pregnant or are worried about getting stretch marks from weight loss or weight gain, make sure to stay hydrated and to keep your skin moisturized. Coconut oil is a great, natural way to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy during pregnancy and beyond.