Aloe Vera: the World’s Most Effective Natural Stretch Mark Treatment
If you gaze at your full-body reflection in the mirror only to find angry, jagged ridges glaring back at you, you’re not alone by any means. According to reports from the health and beauty industry, at least 80 percent of people, both men and women, have stretch marks. Since they can show up on anyone and come from a wide range of causes, humanity as a whole seems destined to bear those telltale signs of skin trauma.
Where Do Stretch Marks Come from?
Science tells us stretch marks are caused by “sudden” expansion of the skin; of course, sudden is a relative term. In the grand scheme of things, they do happen rather quickly, but from a short-term point of view, the process of tearing skin beyond its tolerable limits actually takes weeks or months. They show up for a number of reasons, including:
- Rapid Weight Gain
- Growth Spurts During Puberty
Certain medical conditions are known for decreasing skin’s ability to repair itself as well. At the same time, corticosteroids taken for asthma, psoriasis, Crohn’s disease and other problems involving inflammation are notorious for draining natural levels of collagen, which increases your risk of developing stretch marks. Some common medications falling into this category would be:
All these zap collagen, taking away skin’s strength and preventing it from holding in moisture the way it should. In truth, prednisone’s fast and intense swelling effect alone could possibly be enough to cause stretch marks.
Regardless of the cause, they certainly don’t go away as quickly as they come. For most people, they never really fade completely; at least, they won’t without intervention. That’s why Aloe Vera Help is here. We offer a wide range of aloe vera products designed to help get rid of stretch marks naturally.
Benefits of Aloe Vera
Aloe vera has been used for centuries in treating a long list of conditions. You’ve probably used it yourself for sunburn or burns acquired on a bad day in the kitchen. Its soothing effects are instant and very noticeable.
Not all that long ago, it was common practice for people to keep an aloe plant in their homes for occasions like these. They’d simply break off a chunk of the plant and dab it on their skin for immediate relief. It also happens to kickstart the healing process. Most don’t realize aloe’s health benefits run far deeper than first aid for burns.
- Detox: Aloe vera juice acts as a detoxification agent, helping to remove free radicals and other harmful substances from the body. As a result, vitamins and minerals from other foods can be absorbed more easily. Skin texture and tone often improve following a detox regimen, immunity gets a nice boost, and you just feel better inside and out.
- Digestion: Though detoxing helps rid your body of sludge and unhealthy elements it’s been holding onto, aloe vera can help ease digestive issues in a long-term sense. Those suffering from stomach ulcers, IBS and other gastrointestinal problems have found effective relief through aloe vera.
- Pain: Anti-inflammatory agents and analgesics found in aloe vera are responsible for its ability to take the sting out of burns, but they can also aid in relieving pain from arthritis, overworked muscles, strained tendons and other issues.
- Diabetes: Some studies have shown aloe vera may be effective in lowering blood sugar. It contains high levels of a specific dietary fiber that’s digested and absorbed easily by the body and can help reduce glucose in the body.
- Skin: More than 240 essential components are packed into the thick, green leaves of the aloe vera plant. While they serve in a number of ways to help the body function properly and ward off illnesses, they’re also vital in keeping skin healthy.
Nutrients found in aloe vera offer a long list of health benefits from easing the discomfort of acid reflux to reducing the pain of menstrual cramps. Unrivaled effectiveness in skin care, though, is the reason dermatologists, anti-aging specialists, natural remedy experts and numerous other authorities recommend aloe vera for stretch marks.
How Does Aloe Repair Stretch Marks?
On the most basic level, aloe vera has a high moisture content. When used topically, this alone helps keep skin well-conditioned, which is one of the most important factors in healing and promoting smoothness and elasticity. Since it can penetrate deep into the skin, it has an impact on the surface as well as damaged tissue underneath.
When you dive beneath the surface, you’ll find the potential therapeutic properties become even more profound. Vitamins are essential elements of any diet, and aloe vera contains a number of them. They play a key role in its ability to heal and repair skin.
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A supports the immune system and helps keep vital organs like the lungs, heart, and kidneys functional. Kidneys are part of the body’s natural filtration system and play a significant role in eliminating waste and harmful substances in the blood. This automatically promotes skin health. On top of those benefits, vitamin A stimulates cell growth as well as collagen and elastin production.
- B Vitamins: Aloe vera is a rich source of vitamins B1, 2, 3, 6, 9 and 12. B3, which is converted to niacin, helps skin hold in moisture. In turn, this aids in reducing visible damage and smoothing creases. B1, on the other hand, is a major player in detoxification whereas B2 works in tandem with vitamin A to generate healthy new cells. Folic acid, also known as B9, aids in DNA production and eliminating damaging free radicals. Vitamin B12 is crucial in cellular generation and can reduce the appearance of skin damage.
- Vitamin C: As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C supports immune health. It also prompts the body to produce collagen and aids in wound repair. Stretch marks can certainly benefit from vitamin C’s regenerative properties.
- Vitamin E: Health and beauty experts around the world recommend vitamin E as an effective moisturizer. Aside from that, it has been found to help smooth scars and reduce discoloration, like the pink, brown or white tinges of stretch marks.
In addition to these and other skin-healing vitamins, aloe vera hosts 20 vital minerals, including copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium, sodium and zinc. Copper helps boost collagen production while also aiding in generating healthy skin cells. It’s said to ramp up the positive impact of those crucial antioxidants found in aloe vera, too.
Iron has been found effective in repairing damaged skin by improving blood flow; by association, it can also diminish discoloration in some cases. Magnesium is one of the many nutrients found to encourage cell regeneration. Manganese, like others on this list, promotes collagen production and can help boost skin’s ability to bounce back from injuries while making it more resistant to future damage.
Potassium and sodium are additional factors in maintaining skin hydration whereas selenium has a hand in protecting skin cells from harm. Reports show zinc can improve collagen production and skin regeneration.
These are only a few of the highlights. Aloe vera contains numerous amino acids, enzymes, plant sterols and other agents of skin healing. Each has its own advantages in terms of skin care as well as overall health. They all work together to reduce the appearance of stretch marks and prevent further damage.
Aloe Vera Products for Stretch Marks
You’ll find any number of aloe vera stretch mark products on the market. As long as they contain the authentic substance rather than a synthetic substitute, they’re bound to help your skin rebound from scarring and avoid damage going forward. Having said that, stretch marks can appear almost anywhere on the body and for various reasons, so not all products are right for all cases.
- Creams and Lotions: Dozens of aloe-based moisturizers are at your disposal, but some actually contain very little of the healing agent. If you’re looking for a moisturizer to help rid your body of stretch marks, be sure to read the labels before spending your money. For maximum effectiveness, choose one with aloe vera near the top of its ingredients list. On a side note, stretch mark creams meant for the arms, legs, chest and abdomen shouldn’t be used on facial scars or inflammation because they can cause unnecessary breakouts.
- Wraps: Body wraps are making headlines these days, and they’re available for everything from skin firming to actual fat reduction. Aloe wraps are typically made for abdominal stretch marks, but some do target those on the arms, legs and other areas. If you decide to try one of these amazing products, make sure they’re designed to be used on the parts of the body you’re looking to repair.
- Supplements: Aloe vera supplements are a great way of fighting stretch marks and various medical conditions from the inside, but like so many other oral therapies out there, you have to pay close attention to the fine print. Try to avoid pills or capsules with a long list of fillers or artificial ingredients. Though no specific dosage has been set for aloe vera, some experts recommend taking 200 to 300 milligrams per day. Higher amounts could lead to stomach cramps, abdominal pain and other negative side effects whereas lower dosages aren’t likely to be effective.
- Juice: Like supplements, aloe vera juice gives you an inside advantage over numerous health conditions while acting as a skin healing agent. Again, reading labels is the key to success. Opt for decolorized, purified juices because those that haven’t been through these steps can cause pain and digestive issues. Drink no more than four ounces per day as higher amounts can be risky. Some describe the taste as somewhat unpleasant, but you can add sweeteners, fruits and other juices to make it more palatable.
- Oils: While creams and lotions offer plenty of moisturizing benefits, oils tend to have a luxurious texture and a lasting effect. They make your skin feel wonderful, and when infused with aloe vera, you get a double dose of healing. Most products in this category consist of almond, olive or other skin-nourishing types of oil and are infused with aloe vera gel. Look for one containing at least 0.5 percent aloe vera; any less just wouldn’t be as effective.
Though juices and supplements shouldn’t be combined to avoid overdosing, either one can safely be used with topical products. If you’re looking for a highly effective all-in-one external treatment for stretch marks and other skin blemishes, a simple 100% aloe vera gel will serve you well.
What about Other Treatments for Stretch Marks?
Right now, cocoa butter is aloe vera’s closest rival. It’s an incredible moisturizer extracted from the same cacao used to make chocolate. Products containing this substance work particularly well on dry, cracked hands and feet as well as rough knees and elbows.
Cocoa butter does contain an array of beneficial nutrients and moisture-retaining elements. Skin care experts point out moisturizers alone can temporarily reduce the appearance of scars. Still, its impact on stretch marks is minimal. It’s best used early in pregnancy or at the first signs of weight gain to help prevent stretch marks from forming. In the cocoa butter vs. aloe vera showdown, aloe vera definitely comes out on top.
Does Aloe Vera Really Help Stretch Marks?
As is the case with any type of treatment, not everyone will respond in the same way. Some may see very little change after using aloe vera orally, topically or in combination. For the most part, those with stretch marks experience significant improvements in skin texture and discoloration. If you’re looking for further proof, browse our photos of stretch marks before and after aloe vera.
Aloe vera contains an unrivaled blend of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients proven to provide a wide range of benefits for skin as well as overall health. These essential elements ramp up collagen production, reduce discoloration, promote skin regeneration and retain valuable moisture.
While topical products permeate skin’s outer layers to heal deep beneath the surface, oral supplements and juices offer therapeutic advantages from within. When used together, the two make a powerful team in the battle against skin damage from short and long-term perspectives.
Here at Aloe Vera Help, we offer a wide range of information on the benefits of this ancient natural remedy as well as our own line of aloe vera products. We also provide a number of recipes for homemade skin remedies and even tasty treats made with aloe vera juice. Our goal is to be the most in-depth aloe vera guide available and help everyone discover the benefits it has to offer.