Women all over the world have stretch marks, but that doesn’t make it any easier to accept them. They usually appear on our breasts, sides, thighs, stomach, etc. during pregnancy, puberty, or any instance that causes our bodies to rapidly change in an amount of time our skin cannot keep up with.
Even though women should feel beautiful in their natural skin, we’re often held to a higher standard that makes us feel less attractive because of the stretch marks on our bodies, specifically our chests – and for the women in this busty community, stretch marks are probably a given. And if you’re a mom, they’re really to be expected; According to the American Academy of Dermatology, an estimated 90% of women who’ve been pregnant end up with stretch marks after their seventh month of pregnancy.
Stretch marks appear when the elastic fibers underneath our skin break. They are usually red, pink, or purple, but turn white or grey over time for some women. Genetics play a large role in the appearance of stretch marks, so even if you’ve never had a baby, you’re likely to get them if someone in your immediate family has them. Women with a light, fair complexion are likely to develop those pink, purple, or red stretch marks while women with darker skin tones are likely to have stretch marks that are lighter than their skin color.
As much as we hope for the opposite, stretch marks are not something that can be prevented. There’s no product to date you can just rub on your skin and have it prevent them. We might dream for a product like that all day long, but the reality of it is that it just does not exist.
Despite not being able to completely prevent stretch marks or completely get rid of them once they appear, there are several measures you can take to reduce your stretch marks as much as possible:
Try to massage your breasts, specifically where your stretch marks are. Massage yourself in a gentle circular motion. This will increase circulation in your breasts and allow vital nutrients to reach them, thus aiding in the healing process and over time minimizing the appearance of stretch marks. Try this twice a day for a minimum of 90 seconds each time.
In case you don’t think breast massage is beneficial enough to actually massage yourself, know the other benefits: it decreases your risk of developing breast cancer by encouraging blood flow and releasing healthy hormones, it prevents sagging, releases anti-aging hormones, increases pleasure, and decreases anxiety by the release of oxytocin.
Drink more water
I know it sounds silly and repetitive, but there’s almost nothing better than drinking water for most ailments. The more water you drink, the better the circulation in your body, which keeps skin healthy and can aid in making stretch marks appear more faint. Did you know you’re more likely to be prone to stretch marks if you’re not properly hydrating yourself? That’s because your skin’s elasticity is not where it should be. Keeping your skin as hydrated as possible is a preventative measure you must take to help make the appearance of stretch marks minimal. You need a minimum of six to eight glasses of water each day.
Exercising consistently will firm your skin over time, keeping your stretch marks from stretching further.
Women have sworn by shea butter for years. Shea butter hydrates your skin more than many other creams or lotions and should help stretch marks fade if you massage it into your stretch marks in the circular motion I mentioned earlier. Shea butter contains vitamins A, E, and F, all of which promote healthy skin.You can massage shea butter into your breasts two to three times daily.
You can also mix one part olive oil with three parts shea butter. Massage into your skin and either let it dry completely or leave it on for an hour – whichever comes first. Rinse with lukewarm water and repeat twice a day.
Castor, almond, or olive oil
Castor oil contains a fatty acid called ricinoleic acid; it hydrates your skin without clogging pores, which is great if you’re prone to heat rashes or acne on your stretch marks.
If you massage castor oil into your breasts consistently, you should notice results in as little as two to three weeks. After you massage the oil into your breasts, consider laying a heating pad over your chest or using a blow dryer to help it penetrate as deep as it can.
Castor oil is actually the only oil that homeopathic doctors recommend for treating stretch marks. Natural castor oil is better than black castor oil for treating your skin. Castor oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Almond oil is widely known for toning your skin, improving skin texture, and stimulating the formation of collagen. Women have used almond oil for years as a way to eliminate stretch marks and restore skin to its normal structure. It has anti-stretch properties when mixed with jojoba oil, cocoa butter, lime extract, and some essential oils.
Lavender essential oil alone is known for treating sunburns, cuts, and reducing acne, psoriasis, and eczema – this would be a nice place to start when choosing what to mix with almond oil to maximize healing effects. You can mix five drops of lavender oil with five tablespoons of almond oil and massage it into your breasts once or twice a day for 2-4 weeks.
Almond oil works as an anti-inflammatory and as a regenerative substance. The use of almond oil during pregnancy is known for doubling the chances of going into premature labor.
Extra virgin olive oil is the best type of olive oil to use on your skin. It’s very healthy for your skin and stretch marks because it has anti-inflammatory and wound healing components that can greatly accelerate the healing process. Olive oil contains antioxidants that kill off damaging elements that cause cancer and aging of the skin.
There are several ways to use olive oil for stretch marks; the simplest way is to massage lukewarm olive oil into your skin for five minutes. After massaging the area, leave it on for an hour before rinsing it off. You can cover yourself with saran wrap to maximize the benefits. Do this twice a day.
You can also mix one teaspoon of olive oil with one teaspoon of castor oil and massage it into your breasts for ten minutes. After ten minutes, use a heating pad or a blow dryer to heat the area. Rinse off after twenty minutes. Do this twice a day.
A dermatologist can also prescribe a cream called retinoid which will stimulate new collagen growth and speed up cell turnover. With proper use of retinoid, your stretch marks can look more like your normal skin in as little as four weeks. It has a high vitamin A content, which encourages healthy skin cell production. Retinoid is not safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Laser treatment is a non-surgical stretch mark treatment. It boosts collagen growth and shrinks your dilated blood vessels. Laser treatment works for light and dark skin tones. When the lasers heat your stretch marks, they break your stretch marks down and trigger new tissue production. Each laser treatment improves the texture of your stretch mark and reduces the overall appearance, making them blend back into your normal skin.
One laser treatment can be completed in thirty minutes. Pain is supposed to be minimal, but still occurs with many people. You will probably feel slight pain that is tingly. It should not be severe. The treated area make sting and be red for a few days after treatment – this is to be expected.
A lot of doctors will rub an anesthetic cream onto the area before using the laser on your skin to help numb the area. The cream is not always necessary and whether or not it will be used depends on the doctor performing the laser treatment. It could take several laser treatments before you see a noticeable difference and the cost usually starts at $200 per treatment. Laser treatments are not safe for pregnant women.
What?! It sounds absurd, I know. You can whip egg whites and massage them onto your stretch marks. Let the egg whites completely air dry and then wash them off, making sure to moisturize your breasts afterwards. Because egg whites are high in protein, collagen, vitamin A, antioxidants, and amino acids, applying them to your breasts consistently will enhance elasticity, regenerate skin, fight free radicals, and reduce the appearance of stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion is an also option, but it could take ten to twelve treatments before you are closer to the results you are looking for. Your stretch marks are not on your outermost layer of skin (known as the epidermis). Your stretch marks are on your middle layer of skin, the dermis. Microdermabrasion works by sandblasting the skin and reaching a little deeper into your skin with each treatment. This might be a better option for someone with few or light stretch marks.
Microdermabrasion also promotes collagen production, increasing elasticity and making your scars thinner. Many women see maximum results by combining microdermabrasion treatments with topical creams or oils, like shea butter or almond oil.
Microdermabrasion is not recommended for pregnant women.
Lemon, cucumber, and potato juices are the best natural juices for your stretch marks. They’re even better when you combine them and then massage them into your breasts. These juices promote the regeneration of skin cells.
You can combine half of a fresh lemon and one teaspoon of olive oil and massage it into your skin for several minutes. Let the mixture dry and rinse with water. Repeat twice a day.
Numerous women have claimed that lemon juice combined with cucumber juice is especially effective when massaged into the skin for five minutes and then rinsing.
You can also massage fresh potato slices into your breasts and stretch marks for ten to fifteen minutes daily to help speed up the healing process of your skin.
Make your own by combining sugar with a healing oil, like almond oil or vitamin E oil. When you massage the mixture into your breasts, you’ll remove dead skin cells and keep your sensitive breasts hydrated. Make sure you scrub GENTLY so you do not damage your skin.
Chamomile and lavender oil mixture
Seven drops chamomile oil
Five drops lavender oil
Five drops coconut oil or another carrier oil (olive, almond, jojoba etc.)
Mix well and apply generously to your breasts and stretch marks. Repeat once a day for fifteen minutes each time. It’s not necessary to wash the mixture off unless you want to.
Chamomile oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Dr. Axe says it’s used for eczema, wounds, ulcers, gout, skin irritations, bruises, burns, canker sores, cracked nipples, chicken pox, poison ivy, and diaper rash – and those are only the skin problems it helps.
As I mentioned earlier, lavender oil treats sunburns and cuts, reduces acne, psoriasis, and eczema, and lessens the appearance of scars.
Some doctors recommend that pregnant women refrain from using chamomile and lavender oils until they reach their second or third trimester, so if you’re pregnant make sure not to use this mixture too soon.
Remove the seeds from three apricots and grind the apricots into a paste. Massage the paste into your stretch marks and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Apricot is known for healing damaged skin, reducing wrinkles, maintaining elasticity, and reducing skin disorders like dermatitis and eczema. It is a good moisturizer because of its high content of fatty acids and vitamin A.
Consume foods that are rich in vitamins A, C, and E
Vitamin A stimulates fibroblasts, which are cells that develop tissue that makes your skin firm and healthy. Vitamin A penetrates deeper layers of your skin than other vitamins.
Vitamin C improves hydration, evens your skin tone, firms your skin, and is considered an “anti-aging superstar”.
The National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements claim that vitamin E blocks free radicals, which make your skin age quicker than it should. It strengthens your nerves and deeply nourishes your skin from within.
Good sources of vitamin A are milk, eggs, liver, fortified cereals, dark orange or green vegetables – think carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and kale – and orange fruits like cantaloupe, apricots, peaches, papaya, and mango.
Good sources of vitamin C are oranges, red peppers, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli, strawberries, grapefruit, guava, kiwi, and green peppers.
Good sources of vitamin E are almonds, sweet potatoes, avocados, spinach, wheat germ, sunflower seeds, palm oil, butternut squash, trout, and olive oil.
Aloe vera gel
Some people call aloe vera “the plant that’s your skin’s best friend”. Humans have used it for years to soothe sunburns, cuts, and rashes, and now it’s being recognized as a remedy for stretch marks. Any aloe is great for your skin, but it’s more effective if you can rub it on your body straight from the plant.
If you have a plant, cut it open and massage it directly into your skin for two minutes. Let the aloe air dry completely and do not rinse it off. Repeat this twice a day to maximize results. You should notice a difference within a couple weeks.
If you do not have an aloe vera plant, purchase vitamin E gel capsules and a bottle of aloe vera gel. Break open ten vitamin E capsules and pour them into ¼ cup of aloe vera gel. Massage the mixture into your breasts and let it sit for an hour before washing it off with warm water. Repeat twice a day.
You can also mix aloe vera gel with some of the other tips I have recommended today. Mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with one teaspoon of 100% lemon juice; massage into breasts and rinse off after it air dries. Repeat once daily. Your stretch marks should appear lightened in two to three weeks.
Also mix two tablespoons of aloe vera gel with one tablespoon of castor oil; barely heat the mixture up, maybe for seven to ten seconds. Massage the mixture into your breasts and wash it off after 30 minutes. Repeat once a day to maximize results; expect to see a noticeable difference within three to four weeks.
Homemade glycerin scrub
Glycerin aids in lightening skin and prevents moisture loss. You can make the following scrub to lighten your stretch marks and prevent future stretching as much as possible:
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon glycerin
1 teaspoon honey
Mix well and store the mixture in the refrigerator. (You must use it within two days.) Gently massage into your breasts for two to three minutes before rinsing it off with soap. Pat your breasts dry and moisturize them. Repeat daily.
Protect your stretch marks from the sun
I know people generally love soaking up the sun, but it can damage your skin and make your stretch marks appear to be more severe. You should wear sunscreen as much as possible every time you’re going to be outside. You need a sunscreen that is at least SPF 15, but higher would be better. Apply it regularly. Applying once is not enough if you’re going to be outside all day. If you burn where your stretch marks are, apply aloe vera gel immediately and consistently until you heal completely.
Do not expect miracles from these remedies.
The tips I gave you today are very helpful, but do not expect a miracle and do not expect to see results overnight, as that is completely unrealistic. Unfortunately, it takes a great deal of patience to eliminate the appearance of stretch marks, and even then they will not completely disappear.
When you have stretch marks, you need to treat them while they’re still red, pink, or purple. Once your scars turn silver or grey, they are likely to look like that forever. When you are doing a treatment like using almond oil, shea butter, or retinoid cream, you need to apply them exactly as often as directed. If you are not consistent in treating yourself, or if you get burnt out and give up after one or two weeks, you will never reduce the appearance of your stretch marks! Pace yourself. Set alarms if you have to in order to remind yourself that it’s time to massage your breasts. You have to be consistent.
Before treating your stretch marks it’s important that you don’t set yourself up for disappointment. You might try some of these remedies exactly as you should and you still might not see results. There’s no 100% sure way to reduce them – these are merely suggestions for things that MIGHT work. Many doctors claim that laser treatments and microdermabrasion do not work in reducing stretch marks, but then you have hundreds of women objecting these claims saying they tried the treatments themselves and they do work. It ends up being a trial and error situation for many women.
If you don’t achieve the results you are looking for, don’t get discouraged! Stretch marks do not make us unattractive. They are a part of life and they’re natural. Move on to the next remedy if the first one does not work. Always do your research on products that claim to heal stretch marks on the label; those products are usually false and misleading.
Always make sure to test each substance or mixture on a small patch of your skin before applying it all over to make sure you are not allergic to it.
If you have tried any of the remedies listed and saw great results, or if you have your own secret remedy to add, please let me know in the comments! Nobody wants stretch marks on their breasts (or anywhere else for that matter) and women love to hear from other real women about what truly works and what does not.