Often compared to the stripes of a courageous tigress or described as the indelible proof of the strength of mothers, stretch marks, even surrounded by a string of poetry, remain for most of us unsightly streaks that we could do without. These scars, ranging from pearly white to purplish red, take up the formerly smooth space on our thighs, belly, chest, hips and sometimes even our buttocks. They become wavy with time and can even dig small furrows on our skin. Moreover, they are almost impossible to remove and almost no one is immune to their occurrence. Add to that the myths attached to stretch marks and you have the complete picture of these undesirable little ones. Fortunately, several simple actions can help prevent them.
Know the enemy
To fight them, one must first understand where they come from. Think about your favorite wool sweater. Now imagine that your brother-in-law, an ex-footballer, borrows your sweater to protect himself from the autumn breeze. While you watch with a worried look on your face, the stitches of your favorite sweater stretch to the maximum. It is then unlikely that the knitting will return to its original shape, since the extreme tension on the stitches will have broken the fiber. This is what happens with your skin when collagen and elastin, great guardians of the elasticity and healing of the epidermis, are found in insufficient quantities. If, at the same time, our skin is subjected to a sudden extension (pregnancy, growth spurt, weight gain or loss), it causes a rupture of the subcutaneous fibers and with it, the appearance of stretch marks.
Why me and not my friend?
So why you, but not your friend? Yet you have followed ALL of her advice! Stretch marks are accompanied by tenacious myths, which even make the most confident person feel guilty. Indeed, some believe wrongly, that pregnancy stretch marks are due to the fact that the future mother was not careful. Overweight people are also often blamed for being responsible for their stretch marks. However, even a very thin person can have some. First of all, just like the color of your hair, stretch marks are largely caused by hereditary factors. You read correctly. Hereditary. And then there are the normal hormonal changes that occur during one’s lifetime (hello pregnancy and puberty). If it is true that sudden weight gain promotes their appearance, it is actually the fluctuation of hormones during pregnancy that causes a drop in collagen production and makes the skin more fragile. Teens suffer the same fate during puberty when growth spurts combine with hormonal changes.
Tips and tricks
Heredity is not on your side? You can still take the following precautions to delay their occurrence, decrease their number, and reduce their appearance. These tips are as much for the expectant mothers as for others!
1. Drink enough water.
2. Eat healthy foods and maintain a healthy weight by including foods rich in vitamins E, omegas and antioxidants.
3. Move! Exercise helps the blood circulation and improves the elasticity of the skin.
4. Avoid weight gains and losses that promote the appearance of stretch marks. No more crazy yoyo diets!
5. Moisturize your skin. It is useless to purchase expensive creams, the price is not always a guarantee of efficiency. Daily moisturizing on at-risk areas with an effective product such as CHANV Intensive Care Oil will do the trick. It hydrates the skin quickly while leaving a silky finish.
If despite every efforts stretch marks are part of your life, know that they will fade with time. Of course, there are more draconian options like cosmetic surgery. However, the acceptance of these imperfections is becoming more and more popular. Just follow the movement #lovemylines on Instagram. People of all ages celebrate their famous stripes to convince themselves and the world. Even some celebrities, previously thought to be untouched by stretch marks, are showing their stretch marks on social media. Times are changing and making peace with our stretch marks remains a winning solution!