Hi everyone,

I was browsing the forum a couple days ago and came upon a thread started by MichellePhan.com site member Mounchin.  In her post, she asks for tips on getting rid of stretch marks.  I thought it would be a great blog post – after all, it’s a topic that affects more woman than you think!  Here’s the 411 on stretch marks and the truth about how to get rid of them:


What are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are pinkish streaks that appear on your body and eventually fade to a white or gray color. They’re commonly associated as a post-effect after pregnancy, but women of all ages can get them, pregnant or not. Here’s a picture of what they look like.

What causes stretch marks?
Stretch marks can be caused by a number of different issues, but it is mainly the result of rapid stretching of the skin.  This can happen during pregnancy, or just from a growth spurt.  You can also get them from certain lotions and pills.  Lastly, stretch marks can also be genetic – you might be more likely to get them if your mom had them, according to Mayo Clinic.

Can you get rid of them?
Technically, no.  However, there are things you can do to greatly fade their appearance.

Ways to fade stretch marks:
+ Laser therapy uses intense wavelengths of light to help grow collagen, elastin or melanin in your skin.

+ Tretinoin cream (also called Retin-A, Renova, Avitaca) can help rebuild collagen and make the stretch marks look more like your normal skin. Just make sure you are treating the stretch marks early on, when they are still pinkish or purple.

+ Microdermabrasion involves a device that blows tiny crystals onto your skin.  These crystals gently polish your skin’s surface.  This is an option for older stretch marks that have faded to white.

Are their natural ways to reduce their appearance?
Yes! But it’s not cocoa butter – even though it’s been commonly associated with getting rid of stretch marks, this study proved it’s ineffective in preventing and treating stretch marks. Try vitamin E instead – this study showed that pregnant women who used a cream with a form of vitamin E in it developed fewer marks than those given a placebo. Here’s a great homemade recipe to reduce and prevent stretch marks:

DIY Stretch Mark Reducing Oil:

2 tbsp vitamin E oil
½ cup jojoba oil
½ cup almond oil
¼ cup sugar

Pour oils into a container and shake vigorously.  Add sugar and gently massage over affected areas daily.  This works best for prevention or right after they develop!

Vitamin E promotes skin elasticity, jojoba oil is full of fatty acids that easily penetrate deeply into the pores, almond oil gives a big dose of moisture and sugar exfoliates.


Have you ever gotten stretch marks? What are some other questions you want me to answer in my next “Ask Michelle” post? Tell me in the comments!

<3 Mish

Photo credit: Thinkstock

Beauty, Beauty School, skincare

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