There are a lot of creams and ointments out there that claim to remove stretch marks, also known as striae. It's not always easy to know what to look for when you're shopping for something to prevent or remove your stretch marks.
Stretch marks are formed when underlying tissue grows faster than the skin layers covering it, causing small tears in the epidermal surface. Scar tissue then proceeds to grow in these tears, creating stretch marks.
Some Common causes of stretch marks are:
Your body changing shape during puberty
Bodybuilding (where your muscle mass increases faster than your skin can keep up with)
Very fast weight gain or weight loss
Ultimately, since stretch marks are in essence scars, the easiest and best way to fight stretch marks is to start the fight before they even show up. You can start by using a topical stretch mark cream that will help increase your skin's elasticity. Applying it on your skin regularly early on will make the biggest difference and will certainly help in minimizing the damage.
If you already have stretch marks, all is not lost. There are creams out there that contain ingredients that help heal the skin while minimizing scar tissue.
Whether you're doing some preventive maintenance or just trying to remove existing stretch marks, some of the key ingredients that you will want to make sure your stretch mark cream contains are:
Vitamin A Palmitate
Vitamin A is an essential vitamin and is best known for having positive effects on vision. However Vitamin A is just as important to the largest organ; the skin.
Clinical studies have shown vitamin A to have properties that block the absorption of harmful UVA and UVB rays, as well as a stimulating effect on cell regeneration. It has been clinically shown to improve the appearance of striae (stretch marks) and regulate epidermal (skin) cell growth.
Aloe Vera Extract
Aloe vera has been shown in clinical studies to have a positive effect on wound healing and holds anti-inflammatory properties.
As stretch marks start out as microscopic tears in skin layers due to overstretching of the dermis, aloe vera helps heal these small wounds without causing scar tissue to form, effectively preventing the appearance of stretch marks. Aloe vera has been used for thousands of years by the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, Arabs, Indians and Chinese to decrease the appearance of scars and to moisturize and heal skin.
This extract from the aloe leaf protects skin from environmental factors and promotes skin regeneration.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is a natural antibiotic used for many different types of skin ailments. It is a powerful ingredient to aid in the healing of skin damage. Grapefruit seed extract helps to restore damaged collagen and elastin, which strengthens and retextures the skin.
As collagen and elastin are responsible for the skin s elasticity, improving and stimulating production of the connective tissue cells will prevent skin from tearing and thus prevent the formation of stretch marks. The condition of the skin s connective tissue also dictates how well the skin contracts after pregnancy. So not only does this compound improve the condition of your stretching skin, after the delivery it will also aid in the contraction of your skin to its previous appearance.
DL-Penthenol is the scientific name for pro-vitamin B5. It has healing properties on damaged skin as it works to improve the structure of both the lower and upper skin layers. DL-Panthenol soothes skin while stimulating cell growth and differentiation.
This ingredient aids in the regeneration of the skin, therefore aiding in reducing the appearance of existing stretch marks by replacing the scar tissue with new skin cells. It also acts to prevent stretch marks by promoting collagen and elastin production, which allows your skin to stretch without rupturing and causing stretch marks.
A cream that has been shown to be highly effective at preventing stretch marks as well as healing stretch marks that you may already have is Stretch Mark Prevention by Revitol.
Whether you are afraid that stretch marks may be in your future of if they are already a part of your life, the Stretch Mark Prevention cream is the product you will want on your side!