Stretch marks after pregnancy are a reality you have to contend with just like busy schedules and swollen ankles. About 90% of women will develop stretch marks, most commonly in the sixth or seventh month when the baby’s growth really spikes. There are steps you can take to minimize stretch mark formation during your pregnancy, but it’s likely that you’ll need to treat them after your baby is born as well. Rest easy, though, because Mustela is here to help. We’ve assembled the eight best ways to heal stretch marks after pregnancy. With these simple treatments, you can focus more on your new bundle of joy than on your skincare routine.
1. Massage With Oil
Massaging the skin of your hips, belly, and bust is one of the best ways to treat stretch marks after pregnancy. A gentle massage increases blood flow and breaks up the scar tissue that causes stretch marks. We recommend using a healing oil like Mustela's Stretch Marks Prevention Oil to reduce friction during the massage and give your skin the vitamins and minerals it needs to repair itself.
Apply some oil to the palms of your hands and then gently massage your belly. Focus on this area for two minutes, reapplying oil as needed. When the two minutes are up, move to another area with stretch marks and repeat the process. For extra healing, you can try soaking in a warm bath for ten minutes or taking a warm shower before your massage to soften your skin and open up the pores.
2. Apply A Specialized Cream
Specialized creams like Mustela's Stretch Marks Recovery Serum and Body Firming Gel are the simplest way to treat stretch marks after pregnancy. Their unique formulas—which include natural ingredients like avocado peptides, sunflower seed oil, and beeswax—help heal stretch marks in the deeper layers of your skin while keeping the upper layers soft and supple. One application in the morning and one application in the evening provides continuous healing for stretch marks.
3. Keep Skin Moisturized To Treat Stretch Marks After Pregnancy
Moisture is one of the most important components of a healthy skin care routine. It keeps your skin smooth and bright, helps maintain your skin’s protective outer layer, and preserves skin elasticity. Oh yeah, and it helps heal stretch marks, too.
Your skin can get moisture in two ways: from the water you drink and from the moisturizers you apply. You can do one or the other, but combining both habits creates a powerful one-two punch that reduces inflammation and keeps stretch marks soft and pliant (meaning they’ll heal faster). We suggest drinking at least eight cups of water every day and using a healing cream like Mustela's Soothing Moisturizing Balm in the morning and evening.
The water you drink helps your skin cells function properly and repair themselves more efficiently. The healing cream uses powerful ingredients like ceramides to strengthen stretch-marked skin, alleviate itchiness, and boost elasticity.
4. Exercise To Improve Skin & Muscle Tone
Exercise can be a fun and effective method for repairing stretch marks after pregnancy. Even light exercise, such as walking and yoga, can strengthen the muscles of your hips, thighs, and belly (the areas where stretch marks most often appear). Strengthening those muscles helps to tighten loose, stretch-marked skin and promotes faster healing.
Any exercise will do, so pick one you enjoy. There are so many options to choose from, such as swimming, walking, running, weight training, yoga and pilates. Depending on your fitness level and the exercise(s) you choose, we suggest starting with one day per week and gradually increasing to two, three, four, or even five days per week.
5. Rejuvenate Skin With An Egg White Peel
Egg whites contain a whole host of beneficial nutrients, such as protein, potassium, riboflavin, and magnesium. These nutrients are great for the health of your skin and can be used to heal stretch marks after pregnancy. Here’s how they work:
- Protein maintains skin elasticity, tissue repair, and growth.
- Potassium puts moisture back in the skin and keeps it from evaporating.
- Riboflavin eliminates toxic free radicals in the skin.
- Magnesium delays the aging process and keeps skin looking youthful and radiant.
The easiest way to direct these healing nutrients to stretch-marked skin is to whip up an egg white peel. Here’s how to do it.
- In a small bowl, separate 2 egg whites from their yolks. Note that 2 egg whites is enough for an area about the size of your face. Use more or less egg whites depending on the area you need to cover.
- Whisk the egg whites until they’re foamy.
- Wash your face with lukewarm water and a gentle cleanser.
- Apply the whipped egg whites to stretch-marked-skin.
- Let the egg whites dry for 15 minutes.
- Rinse off the egg white peel with warm water.
- Pat skin dry with a soft towel.
Your skin will feel tighter and more radiant and the nutrients will penetrate deep to heal stubborn stretch marks.
6. Ice Stretch Marks To Reduce Inflammation
Stretch marks are tiny scars that form as your skin stretches. As they heal, these tiny scars can cause inflammation and swelling which can make stretch marks look even worse. Rubbing ice on stretch-marked skin can help relieve and reduce this swelling and inflammation.
A reusable ice pack that is stored in the freezer makes it quick and easy to apply cold whenever the opportunity presents itself. If you don’t have an ice pack, try putting some ice cubes in a Ziploc bag. Wrap the cold pack in a dish towel or pillow case so that the ice doesn’t come directly in contact with your skin. Start with your belly. Hold it on your skin for up to ten minutes, then move to your thigh and hold the cold pack on your skin for another ten minutes. Repeat this process for all areas of your body that have stretch marks.
7. Exfoliate Once Per Week
Your skin does a great job of repairing and rejuvenating all by itself. You can help the process, though, by exfoliating stretch-marked skin once per week. Exfoliating helps remove the top layer of dead skin cells and promotes growth and healing in the deeper layers of skin where stretch marks form.
We suggest a natural product like baking soda or witch hazel. Both products are gentle on the skin so they won’t cause dryness, irritation, or inflammation. The best time to exfoliate is in the morning after your skin has had time to complete its natural reparative process. Pick one day each week to help heal stretch marks by exfoliating the skin on your belly, hips, thighs, and bust.
8. Relax To Help Your Skin Heal
When you get stressed, your body releases hormones that can interfere with your skin’s natural healing and regulation process. This slows the healing process of your stretch marks after pregnancy.
You can avoid these issues by taking some time each day to relax and unwind. This helps to reduce the hormones that could prevent your stretch marks from healing. Your method of relaxing could be as simple as listening to your favorite music or reading a book. Meditation is also a great way relax after a hard day. Find a comfortable position, take deep breaths, and let your thought go. A guided yoga class can be an easy way to combine relaxation and exercise to help heal stretch marks after pregnancy.
The Best Treatment for Stretch Marks
Of all the options available for treating stretch marks, specialized product such as Mustela Bust Firming Serum, Stretch Marks Prevention Oil, or Soothing Moisturizing Balm are the quickest and most effective way to repair, rejuvenate, and restore your skin. Choose any of Mustela’s products and you’ll be on your way to smooth, young-looking skin in no time!