Like most people in the world, I have some stretch marks on my body. They aren’t anything major–just a few stripes here and there on the parts of my body where weight tends to fluctuate–but, for, a long time, every time I looked at them, I’d feel a faint pang of revulsion at my own body. I’m not alone in this. If you’ve ever looked at a women’s magazine before, you’ll know that stretch marks on the body, how they got there, and how to get rid of them, tend to be a source of anxiety for a lot of women.
Not to get all, like, Women’s and Gender Studies 101 on you here, but a lot of the discomfort you feel with your stretch marks likely doesn’t have that much to do with how they feel to you, but rather how the rest of society perceives them. Women are expected to have certain physical attributes–big boobs, a big butt, curves all over–since they’re generally connected to attractive femininity. But other things like cellulite and stretch marks, which are often the byproducts of such attributes, are seen as things that should be eradicated from the body.
This, of course, is major league BS. Stretch marks–which occur when the skin changes shape due to rapid growth or weight gain–are totally, 100% normal. Most people have them. Your body has likely changed in some way over the past few years, whether you’ve gained weight, lost weight, grown a few inches, or simply gone through the puberty-related changes that most girls experience, so it’s only natural for your body to reflect that.
So, to be clear, the best way to deal with your stretch marks is accepting that there isn’t all that much you can do about them. Over time, they’ll fade on their own (if they’re a reddish color right now, they’ll eventually fade to a pale pink or translucent shade), but, since they’re made of scar tissue, they’ll likely always be visible to some extent. Still, there are some things that you can do to nourish and care for your skin that might be able to speed up the healing process. So, if you’re interested in treating your stretch marks, check out some easy ways to do so right here:
1. Bio Oil:
Buy Bio Oil for $19.99 from Ulta
Lots of people swear by Bio Oil to get rid of stretch marks, since it contains Vitamin A and something called PurCellin oil (a synthetic version of the oil ducks produce on their feathers). Like most things on this list, it won’t serve as a miracle product, but it’ll definitely nourish the skin and help it feel healthier overall, which can help the stretch marks seem less visible.
2. Vitamin E Oil
Buy Burt’s Bees Vitamin E Oil for $8 from Macy’s
Vitamin E oil is another popular option, since it protects and nourishes the skin, which can make stretch marks heal faster.
3. DIY Body Scrub:
Exfoliation never hurts (well, as long as you’re being gentle). You can always use this on spots of your body that are a little rough in addition to spots with stretch marks, too.
4. Vicks VapoRub:
VapoRub does everything, apparently–I don’t know that I endorse sleeping with plastic wrap around your body (that can’t be good for your internal organs!) but if you want to try putting the rub on your body before bed, it might be worth a shot.
5. Coconut Oil Cream
You knew coconut oil would appear on this list, right? In any case, this cream will hydrate the skin, which will make your stretch marks feel less noticeable.
6. Coconut Oil Scrub:
You can also try a coconut oil exfoliating scrub, which will help slough off dead skin cells without stripping it of moisture.
7. Aloe Vera:
If you want to try something a little more lightweight, aloe vera is a good option–it’ll offer some moisture to your skin without weighing you down.
8. Shea Body Butter:
This DIY body butter uses shea butter, which, like everything else, might not erase your stretch marks, but will definitely help keep your skin moisturized.
9. Beeswax Lotion Bar
Some people are into this DIY lotion bar, which allows for total body moisturization in a super handy, portable way.
10. Essential Oil Body Butter:
If nothing else, this body butter will smell good AF. So, there’s that!
11. Pretty Much Anything In Your Kitchen:
You have lots of options!
12. Avocado Oil Cream:
This stretch mark lotion is pretty similar to a lot of the others, except it uses avocado oil, which might be helpful to you.
13. Just Accept Them:
Maybe not the advice you want right now! But, hey–it’s pointless to spend a lot of time worrying about your stretch marks. At the end of the day, they’re just part of what makes you yourself.
Do you have stretch marks? Do you have any tips on caring for them? Let us know in the comments!