What are pregnancy stretch marks? We know this question is on a lot of our expecting mama’s minds. Read on to discover what stretch marks are, why they develop during pregnancy, and how our bodycare can help to improve their appearance.
What Are Stretch Marks Caused By?
You may notice that stretch marks (…or mama marks as we like to call them) have appeared on your stomach, breasts, buttocks or thighs during your 9-month stre-e-tch. But why? Well, during pregnancy, the skin rapidly expands to accommodate a growing baby bump. As the name suggests, these marks are a result of this stretched skin, and its effect on the skin’s underlying collagen structure.
Collagen is a major (and naturally-occurring) component of our skin. Within the deeper layers of the skin, collagen is arranged into tight bundles called fibres. Its main role is to provide structure and support. In other words, it helps to keep our skin feeling firm and plump. The stretching experienced during pregnancy can cause tension within the skin, which can ‘pull apart’ and damage these collagen bundles, resulting in stretch marks. When this happens, our skin attempts to repair these ‘tear-like’ ruptures by producing more collagen. However, as our skin quickly adapts to repair this damage, the collagen produced is believed to be thinner and less organised than ‘regular’ collagen fibres. These changes within the skin’s collagen structure, is what leads to the visible difference between a stretch mark and the surrounding skin.
What Colour Are Stretchmarks?
The colour and texture of a stretch mark will change over time. When a new mark appears, it is often raised or ‘bumpy’ and will have a pink, or ever purple hue. This is due to the colour of the underlying blood vessels, which become more visible as the skin stretches. As time passes, it will become thinner and fade to a white or silvery colour, with a ‘wrinkled’ appearance. This is due to the physical changes in the structure of underlying collagen. Stretch marks may also appear glossy or shiny in comparison with the surrounding skin.
What Can You Do To Help Improve Their Appearance?
Interestingly, stretch marks are believed to behave similarly to ‘scars’. This is due to the similarities in their formation and characteristics. Areas of the skin which are scarred (like stretch marks) are known to have a weakened barrier function. The skins barrier function is crucial for retaining water and keeping our skin hydrated. When our skins barrier is not functioning as effectively, it is much more prone to water loss. This can lead to dryness and may leave the skin feeling less elastic (which can further exaggerate the appearance of stretch marks). It is believed that improving the skins barrier function, can help to improve the appearance of stretch marks. As hydrating the skin is an effective way of improving our skins barrier function, using moisturising body-care products (such as oils, creams and butters) can be super beneficial.
Stretch marks are commonly experienced during pregnancy and are a result of your journey into mamahood! Keeping up with your daily body-care routine can be a great way to help look-after your adapting skin.
Our iconic Tummy Rub Butter, Tummy Rub Oil and Mama Marks Cream are infused with our signature Omega-Rich Skin Stretch Complex. This expertly formulated super-blend is packed with skin nourishing Avocado, Inchi and Argan oils (which are naturally rich in omegas 3, 6 and 9). Why does our skin love omegas so much? Well, these fatty acids help to support the skins barrier function and leave the skin feeling silky soft and supple.
Our Mama Marks Cream also contains the super-hydrator know as Sodium Lactate. Sodium Lactate is actually a naturally-occurring component of the skin, which attracts and binds water from the atmosphere (which helps to protect against moisture-loss). This helps to leave the skin feeling uber-hydrated and more elastic! What’s more, is that 83% of mamas agreed that the appearance of stretch marks were transformed. *
*Used by 60 women with stretch marks, in a 12-week independent consumer trial
Our iconic and bestselling Tummy Rub Butter and Tummy Rub Oil contains Coconut and Almond Oils. These skin-conditioning ingredients are known as emollients. Emollients are really beneficial, as they help to form a protective barrier on the skin’s surface. This helps the skin to retain moisture, and leaves it feeling super smooth and nourished. Both of these products are also clinically proven to help increase skin elasticity and moisture**
*Used by 20 women in a 2-week clinical trial
It’s best to start your body-care routine as early in your pregnancy as possible. We recommend applying our skin-nourishing oils and creams onto your growing bump daily, all the way through to baby and beyond!