Can I use olive oil for stretch marks including those appearing after pregnancy? How is it used? Must it be extra virgin olive oil? Can I use it with other products such as shea butter, coconut oil, Aloe Vera or vitamin E? How does it help with this problem?
Olive oil is hailed as the golden oil. This is because of its numerous benefits on the skin, and the body. In ancient times, it was used to treat a range of skin conditions such as rashes, eczema, and skin irritation. Ancient Mediterranean cultures used it to make soaps, cosmetics, and skin protectants. In ancient Egypt, it was hailed as a secret to beauty and used in the making of cosmetics and perfumes. the Romans used it to keep their skin rejuvenated by applying it during their bathing time. It is no secret that it works wonders on the skin. But what about stretch marks? Can the olive oil help us beat them?
What causes striae gravidarum
Stretch marks or striae gravidarum is a common symptom in people of all body types. They tend to occur in people who have gained weight. Similarly, they can occur in people who have lost weight. Their appearance is closely related to changes in body mass as well as high cortisol level.
These marks can be unsightly. They tend to appear raised, purple-like or pink, to whitish in appearance. They mostly appear on the abdomen, thighs, arms, breast area, and the buttocks. Once they are formed they are permanent. However, the good news is that you can reduce fade out the stretch marks using natural oils.
The relationship between increased these marks and obesity, pregnancy, has been well documented. This is because they are the outcome of “stretched skin.” When a woman is pregnant, the skin experiences changes to compensate for the “baby weight.” Similarly, the fat deposit in body regions such as the thighs, buttocks, or arms stretches the skin leading to their appearance.
These marks are not only exclusive to women. Some men are predisposed to getting stretch marks whereas there are men who end up with the symptoms either due to weight gain, or rapid growth especially during the adolescent stage or due to intensive exercise.
The skin consists of three layers, the outer layer (epidermis), the middle layer (dermis) and the inner layer. As the skin stretches, it tears leading to the occurrence of striae gravidarum. After some time, the dermis may heal, and the affected skin region begins to resume to a color similar to that of the surrounding unaffected skin.
Reducing stretch marks by natural oils
There are various treatment options for dealing with striae gravidarum. These treatments include laser therapy, spa treatment and the use of topical moisturizers. However, it should be noted that most treatments seek to improve their appearance as permanent removal is not easy.
Olive oil for stretch marks is an effective approach for improving the appearance of striae gravidarum. It has certain properties that make it great for skin. They include:
- Powerful antioxidants, including vitamin E and K
- Has emollient properties (softening capabilities)
- Occlusive; meaning it locks in moisture thereby keeping the skin hydrated.
- Contains oleic acid that helps slow down the damage to the skin.
The best way to deal with the striae gravidarum is to apply this oil. This is a natural approach that has no side effects and contributes to the long-term health of your skin. You can use olive oil to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Simply apply it regularly on your skin during and after your pregnancy for about three months after pregnancy. This approach helps minimize the risk of these marks appearing during pregnancy and helps you prevent their appearance after pregnancy.
It is the best oil for these marks. It is rich in antioxidants such as vitamin E. Vitamin E helps in skin hydration and in the healing of damaged tissue. These strong properties make it an effective tool in the treatment of stretch marks.
Must it be extra virgin olive oil ?
When it comes to which brand to use, there are many brands available. However, go for extra virgin olive oil or organically certified brands for best results.
5 ways to apply olive oil for stretch marks
Depending on the severity of the striae gravidarum, applying virgin olive oil to your skin can help reduce the appearance of striae gravidarum. Virgin brands are preferred over the regular ones as it is free from additives. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatories compared to refined one. You can simply massage the oil into the desired area. In time, you will discover that the stretch marks appear to be fading.
Alternatively, you can combine it with other ingredients to help with the stretch marks removal. Here are some combinations to try:
- Olive and coconut oils: You can mix equal qualities of these two. Massage the mixture on the affected area.
- Olive oil and Salt: Take a ¼ cup of salt and ½ a cup of this oil. Mix the two ingredients and gently massage it on to the affected area. This mixture is a great exfoliation for the skin. After each massage, shower to rinse off the mixture and towel dry.
- Olive oil and Wheat germ/almond oil: Natural oils are a great way to get rid of stretch marks. They contain natural curative properties and powerful ingredients that make them great for the skin. You can mix it with wheat germ or almond oil to help get rid of the striae gravidarum.
- Olive oil and Aloe Vera: Aloe Vera is rich in nutrients and vitamins that penetrate the skin and repair the damaged tissues. You can extract Aloe Vera gel directly from the plant or purchase it from a drug store. You mix some aloe Vera gel with it for great results. This is a great way for pregnant women to prevent stretch marks from developing when they are pregnant.
- Olive oil, plus Aloe Vera, plus vitamin E. You can make your own moisturizer using ½ a cup of this oil, two tablespoons of Aloe Vera, and 6 capsules of vitamin E. Mix the three ingredients and apply it on the affected areas.
You should apply the oil, or the mixtures as frequently as possible for best results. Gently the massage it on the skin for 5-8 minutes. Also, apply it every night for best results.
- Stephen Maret. Introduction to Prenatal Psychology, Lulu.com
- Zoe Diana Draelos. Cosmetics and Dermatologic Problems and Solutions, Third Edition, CRC Press, 2011