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Oh, the ever-so-neglected stretch marks. An alarming number of people all over the world have these stretch mark, yet somehow, it’s only their popular counterpart scarring such as acne, sun damage and blemishes on the skin that receive all the attention from the beauty industry. The industry have solution for all the above problems. There are many skincare products like Ayurvedic Face wash, Sunscreen Lotion with SPF30, Face Brightness Cream, Vitamin C Face Serum, Kumkumadi Serum and Brightening face cream. This apparent nonchalance towards stretch marks has all but ensured that any and all vital information, whether it’s on causes or treatment goes unnoticed by those who need it the most.
Obesity or weight gain during pregnancies are often thought to be the only causes behind the development of stretch marks. Sounds about right? Except that it isn’t. Did you know that pursuing a dedicated lifestyle toward fitness can also cause stretch marks to develop on your body? It may sound absurd but it’s true.
Sporting stretch marks can be a good reminder of the work you’ve put into your body but their blatant visibility can also hinder a person’s confidence, especially when the concerned individual is involved in a profession where these reminders of their insecurities are constantly put on display for the world to see. Such is the fast-paced life of an athlete. Having visible stretch marks can make even the fittest athletes feel as though they’re not pretty enough or that their beauty is flawed. The experience is subjective but everyone deserves help if they seek it. Athlete or not, if you’re someone who’s recently observed the onset of stretch marks ever since starting your fitness journey, this post is for you.
What are Stretch Marks?
They’re the indented streaks or scars that develop all over the body as a result of skin expanding too much too fast. Though the skin is an advanced organ in terms of elasticity and can adjust with fair ease to gradual expansion and shrinkage. However, this elasticity is determined by the amount of collagen produced. So, when your skin gets stretched beyond the capacity of your body’s collagen production, ridges known as stretch marks, form over the skin of overstretched body parts, disrupting the surface of the epidermis.
After pregnancies and growth spurts in teenagers, fitness pursuits like muscle building at the gym and training for sports are the primary reasons behind stretch marks. These are known as muscle stretch marks, simply because they scar the skin as a result of muscle definition rather than an increase of fat that gets accumulated in one’s body. Muscle stretch marks are very slightly different in appearance as they’re scattered over toned muscles instead of expanded muscles. If you notice some stretch marks starting to form then you can apply stretch mark cream or stretch marks lotion, keep in mind that their reddish-purple appearance isn’t permanent and will likely fade over time, ultimately resembling a skin tone fairly close to your natural skin color. So don’t be alarmed.
Which Types of Athletes are Prone to Developing Stretch Marks?
Although all kinds of fitness pursuits can result in athletes developing stretch marks over the body parts they use the most, the individuals that find themselves dealing with this scarring more often than others as a result of their profession are heavy weight lifters, professional bodybuilders, and boxers. But one doesn’t have to worry as this is the natural process and to prevent it you can apply stretch marks lotion, stretch mark removal cream or stretch marks oil.
Professions that require you to “bulk up” usually make this list, which is why athletes such as swimmers and runners with more cardio in their routines don’t have to deal with the issue of their skin overstretching. Powerlifters, boxers, etc. having so many stretch marks points to the fact that their diets often involve supplements that make their muscles expand in size far too quickly, not giving enough time for their skin to catch up to speed and that’s the only reason for stretch mark appearance.
Can Stretch Marks be Prevented?
Yes, stretch marks could be prevented. Stretch marks, though permanent, once occurred, can indeed be prevented and treated effortlessly. We recommend having a balanced diet, free of additives, chemicals, etc. that promote bulking but truly, the best and most effective way to avoid getting this scarring is by including some varying workouts into your fitness routine and you can also add stretch mark removal cream, stretch marks oil and stretch mark lotion (that suits you best).
A combination of these exercises may help:
Though the jury’s still out on yoga’s ability to completely reverse the scarring of stretched skin, one thing is for certain, yoga is a great preventive measure for the same. A healthy combination of breathing exercises with a fair number of physical poses is perfect for preventing the onset of those annoying stretch marks. It greatly improves the circulation of blood throughout the body which facilitates cell regeneration, thus providing our skin elasticity. We recommend that you start slow by doing a few stretching exercises to help loosen up your body then start with 10 cycles of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation). As you continue to do it over several weeks/months, gradually build the number of cycles up to 108Once done with those, bring your workout to an end with some Pranayama. Repeat 5-6 times a week, once a day to keep your body and mind healthy.
2. Static Stretches
Static stretches are simple to do exercises that don’t require much supervision and can be done from the comfort of your home without any apparatus. Basically, these types of stretches require you to hold a position that stretches a part of your body. You hold said position by standing, sitting or lying still for 30 to 60 seconds. In the fitness world, there’s a static stretch for most body parts. This exercise makes an effective way of training your muscles to be more agile while simultaneously encouraging your skin to expand and contract with ease.
3. Cardio Workouts
When one does a lot of strength training with weights, tension bands, etc. your muscles get pumped to grow with more definition. This process gets amplified manifold in an athlete’s routine. However, a healthy amount of cardio keeps your muscles in check. Even just 20 minutes of your preferred cardio workout combined with your gym session can control the gains of your muscles effectively. Not just that, cardio is also a great way of burning calories and there’s a plethora of exercise options to choose from… riding a bicycle, speed walking, swimming a few laps, Zumba dance routines, or just some good old running!
Do Stretch Mark Removal Creams Work?
So once your skin develops stretch marks, it’s only natural to want to get rid of them. And for this purpose, the wellness market is saturated with stretch mark removal creams, stretch marks oil and stretch marks lotion that claim to do away with the scarring. So, do these actually work? Are they worth it? Should you invest in a stretch marks cream, lotion or oil? Yes and no… Confused? Let us explain. These stretch mark creams and stretch mark removal cream certainly do work but only to an extent and the effects take a while to show up. All types of scars are pretty much permanent. But, their appearance can certainly be diminished through natural. Certain chemical products and other physical treatments (such as derma rolling). Stretch marks creams and stretch mark removal cream are generally the safest and most cost-effective option to get rid of this type of scarring. Our recommendation would be to go for a natural ayurvedic variant creams like Blue Nectar Niraa Stretch Mark & Scar Body Lotion Cream because they’re generally more potent than the chemical OTC stuff but still gentle enough on the skin so that you don’t deal with unpleasant side effects.
Natural Ways to Reduce Stretch Marks
We get it, store-bought stuff isn’t for everybody. So, if you’re apprehensive of the ingredients in stretch marks creams or don’t believe stretch mark removal creams work, or if you’re just into DIY hacks and home remedies then you can make your own stretch marks oil and stretch marks lotion, try these options instead:
1. Coconut Oil Massages
Though not as popular as its fellow causes, the dryness of the skin is also a significant contributing factor in the development of stretch marks. Simply speaking, skin that lacks moisture and proper hydration, tends to crack fairly easy. So, a nice, stress-relieving body massage using good-quality coconut oil can help your skin a great deal in fading away the stretch marks.
How: Slightly warm up some pure coconut oil and pour a bit on one of your hands. Rub it between your palms for a few seconds. Begin massaging it over all the areas with stretch marks with adequate pressure for 5 minutes. Do this 2-4 times a week before bathing or going to bed. This will help you to reap many benefits of oil massage – fading of stretch marks being just one of them.
2. Cucumber Aloe Vera Mask
Both Cucumbers and the Aloe Vera plant are extremely soothing to the skin. Thus, this home remedy is great for fresh stretch marks that have only just started to form. When combined in the form of a mask, they significantly improve the redness in the appearance of the scars and help with any discomfort or pain one may experience initially.
How: Blend up one cucumber (with the peels) and 50 grams of fresh aloe vera (peeled) till they form a smooth gel with a somewhat watery consistency. Transfer to a bowl and using your hands, apply this stretch marks mask over the concerned areas. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes or till it starts to feel sticky. Wash off with cold water and follow it up with a preferred body lotion.
3. Sugar Malai Scrub
Scrubs and Exfoliators primarily aim to make the skin smoother. Their abrasive texture effectively removes dead skin and promotes skin cell regeneration which helps a great deal with stretch marks. So, it doesn’t come as a surprise that this natural 2-ingredient homemade scrub can do the job for you! The best part? The fat in the malai will simultaneously nourish and hydrate the skin without any side effects!
How: In a small bowl, take 2 teaspoons of fine granulated sugar and mix it with 1 tablespoon of malai (thick cream-like skin that forms over milk after it's heated). Use this stretch mark mixture as you would any other scrub and apply it over the concerned areas with firm pressure. Keep massaging it in for 2 minutes and leave it on for 5 minutes after that. Wash it off with some lukewarm water and moisturize with body oil afterwards.
We firmly believe in the motto “Embrace your flaws and love your body no matter what”. Your worth isn’t determined by how many scars adorn your body but rather by how you choose to present those scars. Stretch marks aren’t just another part of your body. They’re an embodiment of the struggle you’ve been through. Of course, it is perfectly normal to want to reduce their appearance. And for that purpose, if you’re on the hunt for a safe, trustworthy, and effective product that actually helps, try out Blue Nectar’s Niraa Stretch Mark & Scar Body Lotion. It’s got the moisturizing goodness of 3 types of plant butter and smells amazing, Try it out and let us know what you think! Recommend this blog to someone who might find it helpful and keep watching this space for more content on beauty & wellness. Until next time!
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