Using Argan Oil for Stretch Marks during Pregnancy | Moroccan Argan Oil Malaysia
If you’re reading this then you’re probably worried about stretch marks and dread the sight of them. Although not medically dangerous, they are disfiguring and can be a source of psychological stress.
Unfortunately, stretch mark scars (like any other scar) are difficult to remove without resorting to more invasive procedures including laser and ultrasound ablation, chemical peels and microdermabrasion techniques.
Argan Oil - A Safe Preventive Anti-Stretch Mark Treatment You Can Try At Home
So is there a way to get rid of them safely and effectively at home? How effective is Moroccan argan oil for stretch marks? Does it help reduce stretch marks? Or are stretch marks permanent and there's little that can be done?
The answer: Yes, argan oil does work, though mostly as a way to prevent stretch marks from forming or to reduce its severity.
Many of the same benefits that argan oil has that heals and rejuvenates skin helps prevent and reduce stretch marks. When compared to other natural treatments, pure argan oil is the best oil for stretch mark creams.
What are Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks form when skin is stretched too far, causing the collagen fibres and elastin within to warp and tear, which then prompts the skin to repair the damage.
However, the repairs are often imperfect at best, resulting in dense collagen fibres that, when observed side by side with normal skin, is what we see as visible scarring.
The first symptoms start to show as skin irritations that noticeably pink and thin, which are sometimes also sensitive to the touch and itchy.
As it progresses, the first marks start to appear which, depending on the colour of the skin, are either red, purple, pink, reddish-brown or dark brown.
Causes and Affected Areas
The best way to deal with stretch marks is prevention. Stretch mark injuries are the result of skin getting stretched too much, causing it to tear and form scar tissue that we call stretch marks.
Stretch marks can also form as a result of rapid growth (especially during puberty), excessive and rapid weight gain or weight loss and badly performed exercise. That is, any activity when unhealthy, dehydrated skin gets gets stretched beyond its elasticity threshold.
Women are usually more prone to getting stretch marks because; (i) they experience pregnancy where the skin is stretched to crazy levels, (ii) naturally have more fatty tissue under their skin which makes it more susceptible to injury due to stretching.
Stretch are most likely to develop during:
- Pregnancy (about 50 to 90 percent of women are at risk of developing stretch marks during or after pregnancy)
- Excessive, improper exercise
- Rapid weight gain and obesity (stretch marks tend to appear underneath fatty areas)
- Rapid growth during puberty
- Cushing’s syndrome
- Use of Corticosteroids (which lowers the amount of healthy collagen in skin)
Image via Medical News Today
Stretch marks, also known as striae distensae, or distension of the skin, most commonly appear on:
How Argan Oil Helps Prevents or Reduces Stretch Marks
1. Improves Skin Elasticity (Scar Prevention)
Studies have demonstrated that argan oil is one of the best oils for stretch marks and is particularly good as a preventive treatment during pregnancies and to reduce stretch marks.
It does by virtue of its high unsaturated fatty acid content (i.e. oleic and linoleic acid) which acts as an emollient moisturizer and locks moisture in the skin.
Most people's stretch marks will naturally fade away over time. However, keeping skin well-hydrated (thereby more elastic and more resilient to overstretching) helps lessen damage and scarring.
Image via ARGANLife Products
Exercise can help prevent stretch marks by reducing fatty tissue which are more susceptible to stretching. However, excessive or improper exercise can aggravate stretch marks so consult a medical professional or exercise coach for advice. Keeping your skin healthy and supple with argan oil can make exercising safer and less likely to cause stretch marks from forming during the activity.
2. Keeps Skin Healthy
Natural argan oil has other benefits, including an abundance of anti-oxidants, vitamin E and anti-inflammatories that helps maintain the skin barrier. A functioning skin barrier is important for healthy skin because it:
(i) keeps harmful bacteria from entering the skin and causing diseases
(ii) prevents loss of water leading to dehydration
(iii) provides unsaturated fats needed by cells (all cells in the body) for new cell proliferation and maintenance.
This promotes overall health of skin and makes it more resilient to injury as well as helping any marks that form heal a little better and makes any scarring less noticeable.
3. Protects the Skin from UV Radiation
and stops UV radiation. It calms skin and prevents unnecessary inflammatory reactions that can be triggered by exposure to UV light, sparking off uncontrolled inflammatory reaction that can wreak havoc on skin. Polyphenols also have antioxidative properties.
How to Use Argan Oil for Stretch Marks
For optimum results, rub some argan oil onto your belly about two times a day, during your pregnancy. Don’t worry about your baby – the oil is non-toxic and is safe for babies in the womb as it does not contain retinol and its derivatives like tretinoin.
What's the Best Time to Treat Stretch?
If stretch marks do appear you can still try to treat it, which is best done in its early stages.
Argan oil contains wound healing properties and it is possible to treat stretch marks that form in the early stages — that is, when the marks are still visibly red with live blood vessels running underneath and not too large. This is when the tissue is most responsive to treatment.
Remember that you should treat stretch marks as soon as possible because as the condition progresses the blood vessels underneath the skin will start to narrow and lose its supply of blood before turning white (a.k.a. striae alba, or the late stage).
In the late stage, stretch marks are difficult to treat, regardless of whether you're looking at ablative laser surgery or microdermabrasions.
However, if the stretch marks get worse (even a little bit worse) then you should really consider laser ablation or some other medical procedure.
Again, do this quickly because laser ablation works best during the early stages as well as the red hemoglobin of blood helps absorb laser light and makes the treatment more effective.
Other tips on how to use Argan Oil
1. Re-stabilize Skin Lipid Layer after exfoliation (scar reduction)
With the exception of going through medical procedures, daily skin exfoliation is really the only option you have at reducing stretch marks after they form. This stimulates growth of new skin which helps reduce discolouration that make the marks less noticeable.
Skin exfoliators are also effective at reducing stretch marks by gently and gradually removing the layer of dead skin on the surface and allowing and stimulating new skin to grow.
At the very least, exfoliating the skin should reduce some of discolouration caused by stretch mark scars.
Applying argan oil after an exfoliation also helps to restore the lipid layer and skin barrier function, which we've covered earlier as to why it's important.
Helps to Clear Clogged Pores and Blackheads
In addition, argan oil’s fatty acids help dissolve and clear clogged pores (non-inflamed acne i.e. blackheads, whiteheads) and help prevent inflamed acne from breaking out by clearing pores and forming a protective barrier that keeps bacteria from getting in.
The relatively low molecular weight of these fatty acids also means that they seep into skin quickly and thoroughly, making it a lot less greasy and more comfortable to have on throughout the day.
2. Help Post-Menopausal Women keep skin hydrated and healthy
The re-hydrating effects of argan oil stretch mark cream treatments are especially helpful for post-menopausal women as they have decreased estrogenic secretions which reduces the elasticity of the skin. This makes them more susceptible to overstretching the skin as a result of weight gain and excessive exercise.
Make your Pregnancy Journey Beautiful and Memorable; get your Moroccan Argan Oil, the Best Oil for Stretch Marks from us and prevent stretch marks from happening to you.
- NCBI, PMC5019162 (Clin Cosmet Investig Dermatol, Sep 2016): Preliminary study on the development of an antistretch marks water-in-oil cream: ultrasound assessment, texture analysis, and sensory analysis
- NCBI, PMC4321565 (Clin Interv Aging, 2015): The effect of dietary and/or cosmetic argan oil on postmenopausal skin elasticity
- NCBI, PMC5057295 (J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol, Feb 2016): Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae
- Healthline, (Cynthia Cobb, Mar 2018): Getting rid of white stretch marks
- Medical News Today (Hannah Nichols, Jan 2018): How do I get rid of stretch marks?
- OSTONOMY WOUND HEALING 2016;62(3):26, ÄÌ34 The Effects of Argan Oil in Second-degree Burn Wound Healing in Rats
PMC4520377, NCBI - Skin hydration in postmenopausal women: argan oil benefit with oral and/or topical use