by Wendy Mackay MIAAMA
Stretch marks are a condition that is most commonly thought of in connection to pregnancy, although they can be caused by any rapid weight gain or loss.
Stretch marks appear due to the deeper fibres in the skin tearing when stretched. They initially appear as thin wavy red lines, gradually fading to white or silver. Although the appearance generally lessens over time, they do not disappear completely. So prevention in this case is definitely the preferable option, as, once the stretch marks have appeared, you options are very limited.
Preventing stretch marks in pregnancy means getting in early with treatment to help the skin to stretch and accommodate the growing baby, without the skin being damaged in the process. Apply a rich vegetable oil daily, not just to the stomach, but also the breasts buttocks and thighs, as these areas also expand during pregnancy. Try Sweet Almond or macadamia nut oils, adding some Rosehip Oil for its skin, regenerating properties or some Wheatgerm for its vitamin E content.
You can also improve the effect of the oil by adding some essential oils to the mix. Of course you should take care if you are pregnant in choosing the essential oils to use. They should be safe for use in pregnancy as well as being good for the skin. The best oils are lavender, mandarin, frankincense, geranium, patchouli or sandalwood. You can use a combination of these if you like, but keep the total amount of essential oil in the carrier oil to less than 30 drops for every 100ml of carrier oil.
It is a good idea to make up a bottle of the oil to last a few weeks at a time, rather than making up small amounts each day. (Try the Stretch Mark Oil Recipe below, or make your own combination.)
You should be starting to use your oil by the beginning of the second trimester, even if you are not “showing” yet, so that the skin as nice and supple before it needs to start stretching.
Be aware of any skin sensitivities you may have, or develop. If necessary use only a carrier oil, or use a lesser concentration of essential oils. Do this also if you are one of those whose develop a very sensitive sense of smell during pregnancy. You will be using this oil every day – you want to enjoy it!
Another tip is to continue to use the oil after the birth to keep skin supple whilst it settles back to its normal state.
Of course if you have any concerns about your health or your essential oil selection, please do see a qualified aromatherapist for advice and guidance.
Stretch Mark Prevention Body Oil
You will need –
To make -
1. Measure your essential oils into the bottle and swirl gently to mix.
2. Then add your vegetable oils & screw on the top and shake the bottle gently for a few minutes to mix the oils.
3. Leave the oil for 24 hours before first use.
4. Use oil daily, ensuring you cover your skin from the breasts down to the thighs, massaging it well into the skin.
5. Keep the bottle in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
6. Finally, don’t forget to label your bottle with the name of the blend and the date you have made it.
(This information is meant as general advice. Please consult your health practitioner or a qualified aromatherapist for advice on your specific situation.)
Wendy Mackay is a qualified Aromatherapist and a member of the International Aromatherapy and Aromatic Medicine Association (IAAMA). Wendy along with her husband David is the Founder and Director of Essence of Wellbeing. Essence of Wellbeing is dedicated to the best in Aromatherapy and Pure Natural Skin Care and is located in Mornington on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.
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