Using essential oils for stretch marks is more likely to help prevent them or to work best on newer ones. Fading older stretch marks is possible but could take six months or longer.
Stretch marks, also called striae, are tears in the elastic tissues in the dermis (the second layer of skin, under the outer epidermis). Most often, striae appear after rapid weight gain or loss, including during pregnancy and during teenage growth spurts, and may be partially heredity. Other causes of stretch marks are medications or chemicals that interfere with collagen formation and certain diseases, such as diabetes and Cushing disease.
A general measure to help prevent stretch marks during pregnancy and other weight changes is to moisturize your breasts, abdomen, hips, and buttocks three or four times a day with cocoa butter or shea butter.
You can enhance the effects of the cocoa or shea butter by adding a few drops of an essential oil. Essential oils for stretch marks recommended by Aromatherapy: A Complete Guide to the Healing Art are:
Note: Not all essential oils are recommended during pregnancy. See below for blends for normal pregnancies, or consult a professional.
Helichrysum combined with rosehip seed oil is the classic aromatherapy recipe for getting rid of stretch marks (and scars). Here's the blend:
Apply to skin 2 or 3 times a day.
Although the following blend is for use after pregnancy, you can also try it for other stretch marks:
Use a loofah daily (for 3 to 6 months) to massage a little of the blend into your skin.
Source: Advanced Aromatherapy
These blends contain essential oils that are safe to use during pregnancy. Continue using these stretch mark prevention blends until you return to your previous weight after giving birth.
Starting in the seventh month of pregnancy, gently massage your belly, hips, buttocks and thighs with this blend:
You can start using the next two blends in the second month of pregnancy.
Photo Credit: artemfurman / 123RF Stock Photo