Pregnancy is an overall joyous experience for most. The body expands and stretches to make room for your growing baby, and with all these new wonderful experiences that one goes through, the thought at the back of one's minds is: what can I do to prevent stretch marks from forming?
Rule Number 1: Adjust your lifestyle!
A balanced diet is good for the skin.
Enjoy a balanced diet and focus on food that is particularly good for the skin. This includes food groups that ensure the supply of fatty acids. Fatty acids hold the structure of the skin together. Essential fatty acids are not produced by the body and should thus be incorporated into meals. These helps to maintain skin elasticity and firmness.
Nut, olive and grape seed oils are rich in omega 3 fatty acids and are also a source of vitamin E, an antioxidant that protects the skin. Muscles, seeds, avocados and fatty fish (salmon) contain a high content of vitamin E whereas fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants.
Vitamin A is a liposoluble vitamin that contributes to keratin regulation (a substance that forms the upper layer of the skin, nails and hair), minimises dry and cracked skin. It is found in yellow and orange-coloured fruits and vegetables as well as fat, for example, butter or margarine. Note: butter and margarine contain the same fat content.
Water cleanses the body and strengthens the cells. Moreover, it is necessary to uphold the skin's moisture levels. Keep your water intake up by drinking 1.5 litres a day. Fruits and tea are great for keeping your body hydrated.
Exercise stimulates blood circulation and skin elasticity. Yoga, walking or swimming are all great choices, but be sure to check with your doctor first.
Gradual weight gain is best
Rapid weight gain (and resulting weight loss) can strain the skin and promotes the formation of stretch marks. However, this is not limited to pregnancy and can occur when dieting or during puberty.
A key factor to keep in mind when you're pregnant is to commit to not overindulging or starving yourself.
Rule Number 2: Incorporating the right skincare may prevent stretch marks
Gentle exfoliation of the skin, done on a regular basis, can work wonders - for both sensitive skin areas and in preventing stretch marks. Scrubs and peelings remove dead skin cells and encourage the skin to breathe while promoting regeneration. This may also be helpful reduce the appearance of existing stretch marks.
Moisten and massage
It is essential to care for your skin on a regular basis. This should be done on a daily basis both during the day and at night. Massage the skin, focusing on areas that are most prone to developing stretch marks: tummy, bum, hips and legs. Opt for a nourishing massage oil that is rich in essential fatty acids to improve the elasticity of the skin.
Not using sun protection can lead to stretch marks becoming more visible and apparent, when the skin is exposed to the sun for a longer period of time. It is best to stick to sunscreens that are free from chemical filters.