Stretch marks and scars. For some, they're not too bothersome or apparent, but for others, their presence can induce serious insecurities. And the worst part? They're stubborn, they're forever, and they're nearly impossible to get rid of.
However, I'm also here to tell you that there's hope. Living with stretch marks and scars can significantly reduce one's confidence and self-image, which is why it's so important to come up with creative ways that actually work. Judging on the severity of the scarring or stretch marks, even the most diligent of skincare approaches and remedies can end up in failure. There are some scars and blemishes that are just beyond reversing.
But let's start with the basics, shall we?
What Are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks (striae) are indented streaks that appear on the abdomen, breasts, hips, buttocks or other places on the body. They're common in pregnant women, especially during the last trimester, and while stretch marks aren't painful or harmful, they can be a source of embarrassment and can be almost impossible to get rid of.
What Are Scars?
Why Do We Get Stretch Marks?
Aside from pregnancy, a few other reasons why stretch marks may occur include:
- rapid muscle growth (weight training)
- excessive weight gain
- growth spurts
Can Scars and Stretch Marks Be Reversed?
Sometimes (if you're lucky), scars and stretch marks fade over time and they may become less noticeable. Faded stretch marks usually look lighter in color and a bit shiny, like a scar. But what stretch mark and scar reversal truly means is rebuilding the healthy skin tissues beneath the scar or stretch mark and allowing time to do the rest.
How Do You Rebuild Healthy Skin Tissue?
Collagen. This pretty important protein is responsible for the overall health and youth of your skin. While some claim that an uptake in collagen won't do anything to already existing stretch marks and scars, what some fail to realize is that it's the method in which you induce collagen. Taking collagen supplements or eating high-collagen foods might seem like a quick-fix solution, but you're not exactly targeting the location on your skin for collagen induction. By performing skincare solutions directly at the source, there's a higher chance of diminishing the appearance of stretch marks and scars.
So what are some things you can do to induce cellular turnover and collagen production?
Regular exfoliation is recommended as a supplement to other stretch mark treatments. Since exfoliation removes dead skin from your body, this allows other skin treatments to penetrate more deeply and allow for faster results.
Consider genuine, all-natural exfoliating products, including Gin Amber Beauty's AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser, which not only cleanses and exfoliates, but reduces pore size and increases cell turnover.
Also, be sure to use products that contain exfoliating acids and enyzymes.
The queen of stretch mark results has arrived. Microneedling (also known as dermarolling) is one of the most effective ways to drastically reduce or erase the appearance of stretch marks.
By using proper dermaroller size and technique (see my FAQ for important information on this), you're creating microscopic puncture wounds in the skin to a certain depth, which in turn triggers the body's natural healing response.
What happens then? A surplus in collagen and elastin production; the very thing we need, a restructuring of the skin on a cellular level. An increase in collagen and elastin, along with other healing processes within the skin means regeneration on a whole new level.
What's a good needle depth for this? 1.0mm to 1.5mm is the sweet spot here, with 0.75mm recommended for those with a little more sensitive skin, however keep in mind that the needles will need to penetrate to a certain depth to activate the mentioned healing benefits. Watch my video to see the proper way to dermaroll your skin specifically for stretch marks.
Also remember to invest in real-needle dermarollers, such as my line of microneedlers, designed with real, medical-grade stainless steel needles. Keep in mind that several dermarollers on the market contain low quality, fake needles that can potentially scar your skin and worsen your stretch marks, so it's always important to do your research!
Chemical peels improve the appearance of mild scarring by using a chemical solution to remove the outer layer of old skin. The new skin that replaces it is usually smoother and less irregular in appearance.
A plus? Chemical peels can also highly reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines in the process.
While no single method, serum, or lotion alone is going to cure or rid you of stretch marks and scars, there are several avenues for drastically reducing their appearance. Keep in mind that certain stretch marks may be so severe as to have generated deep scar tissue, and that these are much more difficult, if not impossible, to completely get rid of.
However, with patience, consistency, and implementation of the tips above, you can see a drastic reduction in your stretch marks. Continue to practice safe skin routines, do your research, and remember to always be gentle with your skin and yourself. Confidence and self-love is key!