How to Prevent Stretch Marks During Pregnancy
The Basics of Stretch Mark Prevention
- Start early.
- Establish a routine.
- Stimulate blood flow with dry brushing.
- Maintain elasticity by moisturizing.
You Need to Start Early to Prevent Stretch Marks
I was one of the lucky ones. I did not get ONE stretch mark on my stomach anytime during or after my pregnancy. Do I think that I have naturally resilient skin? No way! My skin is super sensitive. I did get stretch marks on my sides and breasts. But why not my stomach? The answer is simple: prevention. Sounds easy enough, but it takes discipline and consistency.
The most overlooked aspect of preventing stretch marks is starting before you think you need to. The day you find out that you're pregnant, go home and rub some almond oil on your belly! This begins building up the strength and elasticity of your skin, which will be key in the last trimester, when your stomach grows the most.
My Stretch Mark Prevention Routine
The most important thing you can do to prevent stretch marks is to be consistent! Follow your stretch mark prevention routine at least twice daily.
I recommend using a body brush along with creams and oils to prevent stretch marks. It can do miracles to help strengthen the elasticity of your skin, which is extremely important if you want to avoid stretch marks. The elasticity is what allows your skin to stretch without tearing the dermis, which is what creates stretch marks.
Customize your routine so it works for you and your schedule. Again, the most important part is to stay consistent. Here is what I recommend:
- Apply stretch mark cream or oil at least twice daily. Pick times that can easily be incorporated into your daily beauty routine. Like after you shower in the morning and before you go to bed at night. If you can fit an additional time or two to apply your moisturizer during the day, even better!
- Daily exfoliating is also extremely important. I wouldn't recommend exfoliating more than once a day, because your skin needs time to recover. I like to use a stiff, natural-bristled body brush for this. It's easy, and you can do it while you're waiting for your shower water to warm up.
Stimulate Blood Flow With a Dry Brush
A body brush has bristles that you use to literally brush your skin. It almost looks like a horse brush. It is used to exfoliate, deep clean, and stimulate the skin.
When you look for a body brush, look for one with stiff, natural bristles. When you first start using it, it may feel scratchy and uncomfortable because your skin isn't used to it yet. Brush gently and be consistent. You'll get used to it after a couple of days.
Brushing will not only give you more resilient skin, but it also massages the skin and increases blood circulation. Note: Don't brush so hard that you scratch yourself! Your skin should look a little rosy after a brushing session. That means you've increased the blood and circulation at the surface of the skin, which is exactly what you want.
How to Use a Dry Brush to Prevent Stretch Marks
I like to start at the bottom and work my way up. Using short, gentle strokes, brush in an upward motion toward the heart. Start with the back of the thighs and work your way up and around. Don't forget your sides and breasts.
Stretch Mark Creams and Oils
Another important aspect of preventing stretch marks is to use high-quality creams or oils. These don't have to be expensive or fancy. I used plain almond oil. Towards the end of my pregnancy, I mixed vitamin E capsules with mineral oil and used that. For me, that was enough.
There are a number of stretch mark creams out there to choose from. If you choose to buy a cream, I recommend choosing one with high customer reviews. For the most part, I trust the reviews on Amazon more than testimonials on a cream's website.
But, really, you don't need to buy a fancy cream. As I mentioned before, I simply used almond oil two or three times a day. It was recommended to me by a doctor in Mexico, and I am very happy with the results. It's also a lot cheaper than you might pay for a fancy stretch mark removal/prevention cream. However, there are some people who swear that those creams work wonders. Early on in your pregnancy, you can test out a stretch mark cream versus almond oil and then stick with whichever you like best.
Make sure to apply your stretch mark cream liberally. When using almond oil, remember that a little bit goes a long way. Massage into the skin for a few minutes until absorbed. It will take a little bit longer to rub almond oil into your skin than it would a cream or lotion. But for no stretch marks? It's definitely worth the extra effort.
Take Care of More Than Just Your Stomach
I made the mistake of focusing purely on my stomach and I got a number of large stretch marks along my sides and on my breasts. Be sure to exfoliate and moisturize your hips, thighs, butt, and breasts, as well as your stomach.
Relax in a Bath of Milk and Honey
Relaxing in a warm bath while you're pregnant is wonderfully soothing, which is very healthy for you and your baby. A bath with milk and honey will make your skin glow.
Honey is calming, naturally anti-microbial, and full of antioxidants. It is great for clearing your skin of impurities, as well as moisturizing and healing your skin. Milk has cleansing qualities as well.
So the next time you fill up the tub, add 2 cups of whole milk and 1/2 cup honey. Relax and enjoy!
I hope you found some information here useful. Please leave any questions you may have in the comments below. Good luck on your journey!