Getting rid of stretch marks or striae is a frustrating process. The products in the market may either take too long or simply may not work. Then there are home remedies that may or may not work. In our pursuit of beauty, there are many “whispers,” “wives-tales,” and old beauty tricks that have not escaped our ears.
One of these beauty secrets is the use of lemon juice on skin. It is recognized as one of the most effective home remedies in the fight against blackheads and acne. Its acidic nature makes it an effective antibacterial agent. Also, it is rich in antioxidants making it an effective moisturizing agent. So are the stories true? Is lemon juice an effective stretch marks remover?
Why you should try lemon for stretch mark removal
Lemon juice can be a great ally in our endeavor of getting rid of stretch marks. First, lemons are laden with vitamin C which is a vital component of collagen synthesis. The ascorbic acid they contain is beneficial for the skin as it leads to firmer, smoother, and lighter skin.
Also, it contains bleaching properties. As a result, it is an effective agent against purple, red, or colored stretch marks as it lightens the skin and gets rid of the discoloration. The organic acidity in lemons helps break down the dead skin cells or dirt in the skin pores thereby boosting skin health.
It is advisable to try out lemon juice for stretch marks removal. This is because of its beneficial properties on the skin. They are typically scars that form as a result of the stretching of the skin. The stretching of the skin can be due to significant weight changes, pregnancy, or bodybuilding at the gym. Alternatively, hormones such as glucocorticoid hormone can prevent inhibit fibroblasts in the skin from forming collagen. As a consequence, the skin’s ability to stretch (the skin’s elasticity) is disrupted. Since the skin’s ability to adapt to changes is impeded by the hormone, the dermis and epidermis layer begin to tear.
If you already have these marks, then your top priority should be smoothing out your skin and promoting skin growth. Lemon juice can help you in both. The high vitamin C promotes the cell growth in the skin. Also, the acidic nature of the juice removes dead skin cells leaving your skin smooth, refreshed and softened. It can promote skin health leading to faded stretch marks.
Lemon against old stretch marks
Lemon can be of help in the removal of old striae. The powerful ingredients in the juice boost the skin’s health leading to a lighter appearance of your skin.
Lemon for preventing striae
The secret to preventing stretch marks is to prevent the tearing of the dermis in the first place. The best way to do this is to constantly moisturize and hydrate your skin. This, not so easy, a task can be done by regular intake of water as well as the use of a good moisturizer, preferably organic coconut oil, Shea butter, and organic olive oil. Lemon juice is mostly used after they have occurred. However, for prevention, your best bet is probably a proper health care approach that prioritizes keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized. Simply follow the routine of regular water intake to keep the body hydrated and a healthy diet. You can never go wrong with natural oils.
How to use it
There are concerns that the acidic nature of lemon juice can significantly burn the skin. However, this fear is unfounded and generally rare. You can get a fresh lemon, cut it into small pieces and squeeze out the juice on to the affected area. Gently spread the juice on the affected area and leave it there for about 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Some people opt to apply the juice at night and leave it there until morning. Alternatively, you can use cotton balls to spread the squeezed juice on the affected areas.
You can opt to use the lemon in its purest form or mix it with a bit of water, or rose water. This is advisable especially if you have sensitive skin. You can also make your own combinations at home to boost the efficacy of the remedy. You can combine its juice with other essential oils such as a mixture of lemon with coconut oil in liquid form. Alternatively, you can make your own exfoliating scrub at home. Gently exfoliate the affected area by mixing lemon juice with honey, or lemon juice with baking soda, or with salt. After the exfoliation, rinse off the paste with warm water and apply a natural oil such as olive oil, Shea butter, or coconut oil.
Why lemon is the best thing for stretch marks
Although there is no effective, inexpensive process for permanently removing stretch marks, the use of juice made from a lemon can significantly help in minimizing their appearance. It can help in getting rid of fresh and old stretch marks. On the downside, the process is “excruciatingly” slow. The only benefit is that this process is a natural, and healthier approach to dealing with these marks. Lemon juice for striae is recommended as it:
- Removes the color of the stretch marks
- Boosts skin’s health and texture
- A natural approach to fading the stretch marks, so the side effects are minimal
The biology behind these marks is remarkable. It is simply the body’s response to all the changes we experience throughout our lives. If only there weren’t so ugly, then maybe we would appreciate the science behind the scarring. If you opt for the natural approach, then try out multiple strategies to the remedies. This includes a healthier diet, high water intake, natural oils, and lemon juice. A few warnings consider:
- Do not expose your skin to direct sunlight after applying the it
- Always use fresh lemon juice as opposed to stored one
- Since it can be irritating to the skin, you can mix it with a bit of water
- Remember that it can be drying to the skin, so after you wash off the juice, apply a moisturizer.
- Samuel Billings. Big Book of Home Remedies, Lulu.com, 2013
- Chris Shaw, Lemon Health Benefits: Lemons for Healthy Skin, Hair, Cleaning, and Weight Loss, Chris Shaw, 2015
- Donna Kennedy. Born to Be Beautiful: How to Look and Feel Amazing During and After Pregnancy, Liberties Press, 2015