Pregnancy stretch marks, nurturing you & your growing baby.
I completely understand the fear of stretch marks and to be honest some of us are more genetically blessed then others in the fight against developing them. However, while you investigate how to protect the skin against them, you might be interested in learning a little more about how stretch marks develop and finding some healthy and natural stretch mark prevention alternatives.
So what exactly are stretch marks?
Stretch marks are red-purple coloured streaky scars that developed in skin that has been over stretched or has stretched too quickly. As these scars mature they often turn white or silvery in colour.
How do stretch marks occur?
As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing baby, the skin’s supportive connective fibres can dry out and tear which can lead to the development of stretch marks.
Stretch marks are caused by scarring that occurs within the deeper dermal layers within the skin when it is stretched. During pregnancy, the skin stretches often beyond it’s capacity, this strain places pressure on the collagen and elastin fibres within the skin, making the connective tissue weaker and stretched to breaking point.
These breakages or tears occur within the dermis and allows us to see the deeper layers of the red, inflamed connective tissue through the tears. As a result this reaction within the skin is what causes the red or purple colour of stretchmarks.
The inflammation eventually fades and is then replaced by scar tissue, this is the white or silvery effect you see after the redness fades.
During pregnancy, an increase in hormones can suppress the production of collagen. This means that our bodies can’t repair broken connective tissue as well as it could otherwise.
How do I help to prevent stretch marks?
Here at Skin Juice we believe in supporting the skin’s connective tissue with lubricatng moisture to provide it with the capacity to stretch further without the fear of tearing.
It was 20 years ago when I realised my clients needed a natural product that would nourish and protect their stretching skin during pregnancy. I loved spoiling my clientele with new products and this one was no exception.
I realised the creation had to be rich, yet penetrable, as the skin’s structure when stretched doesn’t allow products to absorb the same way as they would normally. I took my love of oils and created a shea butter concentrated, whipped buttery textured cream. It couldn’t feel greasy, but would need to be emollient enough to be massaged onto the tummy easily. My clients loved feeling their baby respond when they massaged the cream onto their tummy at the end of the day.
Mummy’s Tummy was rich enough in lipids that nightly application would be enough protection to last all night and day. I continued to make this cream for my clients, and this pink jar of nourishing goodness is one of our most popular products and has seen sets of twins and even triplets safely into the world. It’s natural and organic shea butter enriched formulation melts on the skin, allowing rejuvenating oils to lubricate the skin on a deep level to allow for easy stretching.
These oil soluble nutrients feed the skin’s connective tissues to help restore it’s strength and elasticity. While essential fatty acids rich berries, almond and apricot oils work together to help rebuild the skin’s barrier and lock in moisture while sedating skin reddening inflammation.
Naturally occurring vitamins and antioxidants from kakadu plum and rosehip are essential for the skins healing process and for the formation of the amino acids that is required to make collagen, which is essential in the fight against developing stretch marks.
When should I start using stretch mark prevention creams or oils?
Keeping the skin supple from early on is very important, as prevention is better then cure. Massaging onto areas prone to stretching, such as the bottom, boobs and belly, from the first trimester will keep dermal elastin fibers lubricated and ready for the big stretch.
Massage in this buttery cream every night to support and comfort skin prone to stretching, allowing a few moments each day to connect with your growing baby and body.
Continue massage these areas after baby is born to help to stimulate blood supply and support the skin’s natural healing process.
How can I soothe my itching skin?
It is normal for the skin to feel a little itchy during pregnancy, however it’s always good to check with your midwife or doctor if you are suffering from more severe itching.
As the skin stretches, the protective oil layer is broken and moisture evaporates from within the deeper layers, this not only leads to potential damage to the connective fibres but will also dry the skin out, which can leave the skin feeling itchy and irritated. Just like dry skin in winter can feel.
It’s important to have warm, not hot showers and never to use soaps or foaming body washes of any kind – this means anything that bubbles or suds. Also, avoid using any artificial perfumed washes or lotions, as these will make the skin dryer and become more irritated.
Mummy’s Tummy body wash is soap free and does not foam or lather. This creamy, conditioning body wash is packed essential fatty acids from shea butter and rosehip and will help promote the skin’s elasticity and firmness, while skin-loving oils are infused with organic beeswax to increase the skin’s ability to hold onto moisture for an all over healthy glow.
This creamy body wash is not a traditional body cleanser. We recommend to massage Mummy’s tummy creamy body wash onto dry skin before jumping into a bath or shower. The skin will be left feeling calmer and soft to touch.
After showering always follow with the Mummy’s Tummys stretch mark prevention cream. Take time out to massage onto all the areas that are prone to stretching. This nourishing cream will help repair the skin’s protective layer and sedate irritation and itchiness.
Follow by wearing loose cotton or bamboo clothing, as synthetic type fabrics will only make the the skin hot and further irritate and itch.
How do I know whats skin care is safe to use during pregnancy?
It can be very frustrating when I hear about products formulated using harmful, cheap and low grade ingredients. These types of products often fool the user, as they can feel texturally nice on the skin. However these formulations often only offer a bandaid solution and not long term sustainable results.
Look for 100% plant based body oils such as Berry Body Oil or creamy formulations such as Mummy’s Tummy.
These are 100% FREE from Vitamin A, synthetic ingredients, parrafins, mineral oils, PEGS, parabens ,sodium lauryl sulfate, artificial dyes or fragrances.
Pregnancy is a time for making healthy choices for mum and growing baby. Your skin is the largest organ in your body and can absorb unhealthy chemicals applied to the skin. Just like a healthy diet for your body, choosing natural, organic, nutrient-rich products will feed your skin, nurturing and balancing it long after mum welcomes baby into the world.