First of all, no I am not pregnant - rather I have slowly been loosing weight and as someone who is prone to stretch marks I have decided to do my darnedest to prevent any new ones from happening. What they don't tell you as a teen is that you can get those annoying red marks at any stage of your life, not just when you are expecting a baby, nor when you put on weight. I find it extremely odd that stretch marks can form when loosing weight - how? They are a product of the skin stretching beyond its natural capacity surely peeling the pounds off would be the polar opposite? None the less I am taking no chances and have purchased a whole array of various products aimed at reducing the appearance of existing marks and preventing new ones from forming. I should also flag up that some of us are more prone to stretch marks than others due to genetics.
Essentially I purchased one one of everything from the Palmers Cocoa Butter, most of which does seem to be aimed at expectant mothers - namely the massage lotion, the massage cream and the tummy butter. Unless you are pregnant skip the Palmers Cocoa Tummy Butter as it is a nightmare to apply - a solid balm which is greasy and near impossible to get anything out of the tub. In the end I had to scrape some of with my nails. Needless to say I won't be continuing with that. The others feature all the same ingredients of the Belly Butter minus the fuss - shea butter, argan oil, almond oil, collegen and elastin. Apparently such line up will not only help keep the skin supple and prevent future marks from appearing but help to fade and refine any existing stretch marks. As a plus the whole collection does smell delicious - a little like chocolate.
I am a huge advocate of Bio-Oil but man it is expensive, I purchase a bottle approximately once a week and at £10 a pop it sure does add up. I have to say that Bio-Oil does live up to the hype, it fades any existing scars and can prevent stretch marks if used religiously. Yes this is a little off topic but I have been dabbing this on my red acne scars and some have truly disappeared. In the hope of finding a cheaper body oil alternative I have purchased Palmer's Cocoa Butter Formula Skin Therapy Oil and Superdrug Vitamin E Dry Oil. Hopefully one of the two will suffice. I read that the skin needs Vitamin E to naturally repair scar tissue so I have began taking a daily supplement in the hopes it will somewhat help.
For my pesky existing stretch marks (on my hips) I have began daily gentle exfoliation and decided that since I am already using, oh I don't about 9/10's of the Palmer's Cocoa Butter range I thought it would only make sense to purchase the Palmer's Cocoa Butter Body Scrub. I will be entirely honest in saying that it doesn't smell nearly as delicious as the rest of the line up but does seem to have a nice, gritty yet gentle texture. If like myself you are avoiding any product that using plastic scrubbing beads the good news is that this only contains natural ingredients - the exfoliant power comes from crushed shell. Apparently by gently scrubbing any affected area you are refining the skins texture this making the stretch marks less noticeable.
I will of course update on what has worked for me in a couple of months but at the moment it is all very much trial and error. Any other tips and tricks you may have would be greatly appreciated.