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How To Get Rid Of Stretch Marks Post Pregnancy: Ayurvedic Oils, Herbs And Natural Ingredients

Stretch marks, medically termed as striae distensae, affects around 50-90 per cent of pregnant women. Age, maternal health, increased birth weight of a child, increased maternal pre delivery weight and family history are some of the independent factors that determine the formation of stretch marks.

Many natural ingredients are used as a topical treatment method to prevent stretch marks or reduce them. Though prescribed creams and laser treatments are available for the faster recovery from stretch marks, natural ways are always considered the best when it comes to zero or minimal side effects. [1]

In this article, we have listed down a few Ayurvedic herbs, oils and natural ingredients which can be effective in clearing up the postpartum stretch marks. Remember, it is always good to consult an expert medical practitioner before starting on any Ayurvedic herbs or oils for its proper dosage and usage.

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Natural Ingredients

1. Honey

Honey has moisturising and hydrating properties that help reduce the stretch marks to a great extent. Also, the antiseptic property of honey helps ease itchiness, heal wounds and promote the growth of new cells.

How to use: Gently apply honey on the stretch marks. Place a warm cloth over the area after its application and wait for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. You can also mix honey with a small amount of castor oil, olive oil or glycerin and salt for best results.

2. Lemon Juice

Lemon juice is often renowned for its ability to lighten the skin. Therefore, it may help lighten the post-pregnancy scars on the stomach and make them less noticeable. Be careful with its concentration as it may cause skin irritation to some skin types. [2]

How to use: Soak a cotton ball in a lemon juice and apply on the stretch marks. Let the juice dry and then wash with lukewarm water. Repeat the process regularly for best results.

3. Egg White

Egg white can do wonders to the skin. The proteins present in it not only helps rejuvenate the skin, but also gives a fresh look to the body. Egg white also helps in lightening the marks and tightening the skin.

How to use: Crack an egg and collect its white, leaving behind the yolk or yellowish portion. Whisk the egg white and add some lemon juice. Apply on the stomach and allow it to dry. Wash with lukewarm water.

4. Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is the best remedy for all skin problems. It contains high amounts of antioxidants that may help heal wounds and soothe the skin. Regular usage of aloe vera gel on stretch marks can give faster results. [3]

How to use: Scoop out some fresh aloe vera gel and apply directly on the marks. Gently massage the area for around 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. You can also try an alternative way. Take some fresh aloe vera gel in a bowl and add a vitamin E capsule and mix well. Apply this mixture on the marks and massage until it is absorbed. Leave it on for 15 minutes and then wash with lukewarm water. Repeat the process once or twice a day for better results.

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5. Potato Juice

Potato juice contains bleaching agents which is why it is effectively used in reducing the visibility of the stretch marks. The starch and enzymes in potatoes may help lighten the skin when applied regularly.

How to use: Take a potato and cut it in half. Rub a piece on the stomach and make sure the juice is absorbed well by the skin. Wash with cold water later once dried. You can also grate some potato and extract the juice from it and apply. Repeat the process 2-3 times in a day.

6. Sandalwood

This popular Ayurvedic ingredient has been used in various skin therapies for ages. Sandalwood can help improve collagen production in the skin and provide hydration and nourishment to the skin, thus reducing the stretch marks.

How to use: Apply sandalwood on the marks directly after mixing with lemon juice. You can also add sandalwood oil to your lotion and apply or in the bathtub and soak for around 15 minutes.

7. Coffee

Coffee is great for skin due to the presence of polyphenols, a type of antioxidant. Its usage is linked to reduction in stretch marks, scars and spots. The chlorogenic acids in coffee help lighten the stretch marks and make them almost invisible. [4]

How to use: Make a paste by mixing two tablespoons of coffee and water. Scrub on the affected area in a circular motion for 3-5 minutes. Wash with lukewarm water. Make sure to apply some moisturiser later.

8. Sugar

Sugar helps in exfoliating the skin and removing the dead skin cells. It increases blood circulation in the area when massaged and thus, helps in lightening the stretch marks and tightening the skin.

How to use: Mix one tablespoon of sugar with two tablespoons of almond oil in a bowl. Scrub this on the stretch marks in a circular motion for 10 minutes. Wash with cold water. Repeat the process at least once a week. You can also add lemon juice to the mixture.

9. Baking Soda

Baking soda is an exfoliating agent that may help remove the dead cells and improve the skin hydration thus, reducing the stretch marks. The antimicrobial property of baking soda may also help heal wounds caused due to scars [5]

How to use: Mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a few drops of fresh lemon juice. Apply on the stretch marks and leave for 20-30 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Repeat the process regularly for better results.

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10. Karanja leaves

Karanja leaves are used in many Ayurvedic potions and herbal pastes to get rid of the stretch marks. The leaves of karanja (Pongamia pinnata) deeply hydrate the skin and keep dryness and skin sagging at bay. They can also be used as part of diet. [6]

How to use: Massage the area with karanja oil extracted from the leaves of the plant.You can also paste the leaves and apply on the area. Let it dry for some time and then wash with cold water.

11. Manjistha

Manjistha, scientifically known as Rubia cordifolia is renowned for its very good skin care. It helps lighten the marks and make the skin tone even. According to a study, glucosides in this vital herb have skin whitening properties which may help lighten the stretch marks post pregnancy. [7]

How to use: Make a thick paste by mixing manjistha powder and water. Manjistha powder can be made with its roots, or is easily available in the market.

12. Daruharidra (Indian Berberi/Tree Turmeric)

Daruharidra is another Ayurvedic herb that may help reduce post-pregnancy stretch marks. It can be used topically or consumed as a part of your diet. Daruharidra has wound healing and anti-microbial properties. It can be an effective remedy to reduce scars to a great extent. [8]

How to use: Mix ghee with daruharidra powder and apply on the affected area. Leave for some time and wash.

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13. Almond oil

Vitamin E in almond oil not only helps in lightening the stretch marks but also in improving the skin tone. It moisturises the skin in the most natural way and provide nourishment for the growth of new cells.

How to use: Mix an equal proportion of almond oil with other essential oil such as coconut oil. Apply this on the affected area and massage for 5-10 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Use this remedy twice every day.

14. Sesame Oil

Sesame oil has the ability to tighten loose skin and prevent the worsening of stretch marks after pregnancy. It accelerates the tissue repair, prevents infection and facilitates debridement thus, effectively reducing the stretch marks. [9]

How to use: Apply sesame oil 10 minutes before the bath for better results.You can also mix sesame oil with almond or jujube oil and apply.

15. Tea Tree Oil

One of the lesser-known benefits of tea tree oil is it helps to fade away stretch marks and scars. The antioxidant, anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties of the oil may help reduce pregnancy stretch marks on the stomach.

How to use: Mix tea tree oil with coconut oil/olive oil and massage gently on the stretch marks. Allow it to get absorbed by the skin and wash with lukewarm water.

16. Helichrysum Oil

The helichrysum oil is mainly famous for its fruity aroma and efficacy on reducing stretch marks. It has antispasmodic, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties that work together to stimulate blood flow and heal damaged skin cells. [10]

How to use: Mix one tablespoon of coconut oil with around 15 drops of helichrysum oil. Massage the oil on stretch marks. Let your skin absorb the oils. Apply it regularly for a noticeable difference.


17. Castor Oil

Castor oil is packed with ricinoleic acids along with omega-6 and omega-9 fatty acids that penetrate deep into skin layers and heal broken skin tissues. Applying castor oil on the affected part can help get rid of the stretch marks easily. [11]

How to use: During pregnancy, mix one tablespoon of castor oil with half a teaspoon of almond oil and massage on the stretch mark-prone area. Leave it on for an hour. Rinse it clean and repeat the process every day for visible results. For after pregnancy treatment, apply some castor oil on the area and cover in such a way that no air comes in contact with the skin. Place a bottle filled with hot water above it and roll for 30-40 minutes and relax. The heat helps to open the pores and allow the absorption of the oil.

18. Olive Oil

Olive oil is rich in vitamin E that helps neutralise free radicals in the skin, thus keeping it supple and accelerate healing of the scars. It also helps soften the skin and reduce the stretch marks. You can also replace the olive oil with coconut oil or vitamin E oil.

How to use: Apply olive oil directly on the stretch marks or after mixing with coconut oil.

19. Lavender Oil

Lavender oil is a traditional therapy to treat stretch marks. The content in the oil helps diminish the stretch marks easily. Also, the calming property of lavender oil helps ease itchiness and promote wound repair.

How to use: Apply lavender oil on the stretch marks and massage on the skin. Repeat the process for a week or until you see good results.

20. Sage Oil

This herbal oil has properties similar to helichrysum oil. It is much safer and therapeutic for pregnant women. Sage oil stimulates the blood supply in the affected area and promotes faster healing of stretch marks. Bathing with water mixed with sage oil helps soothe the mind and repair the broken skin layers. [12]

How to use: Add a few drops of sage oil to bathing water. Soak in the water for around 15 minutes.

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21. Patchouli Oil

The oil has rich earthy aroma and is packed with essential antioxidants that nourish the skin from deep layers and regenerate damaged skin cells. Patchouli oil is made from the leaves and stem of a patchouli plant that belongs to the mint family.

How to use: Mix a tablespoon of patchouli oil with a regular body lotion. Apply all over the stretch marks. Caution: Make sure the oil does not react to the chemical compositions of the body lotion. Therefore, do a patch test first.

22. Geranium Oil

Geranium oil boosts collagen production of the skin, which in turn, improves elasticity and removes stretch marks. It is packed with anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and skin-rejuvenating properties that contribute to good skin health. [13]

How to use: Apply geranium oil on the affected area, twice a day for better results.

23. Neroli Oil

Extracted from the flowers of bitter orange trees, this sweet-smelling neroli oil helps rejuvenate the skin, remove stretch marks and improve the tone of your skin. It also heals the redness caused due to skin breakouts.

How to use: Take a few drops of neroli oil on a palm and gently massage over the stretch marks. Massage until you feel a warm tingling sensation on the skin. Apply every day for two weeks for a visible difference.

24. Cedarwood Oil

Cedarwood oil nourishes the skin by penetrating deep into the skin layers and removing dead skin cells, which in turn reduces the stretch marks. Cedarwood oil is extracted from the leaves, bark and berries of the cedar tree.

How to use: Take a few drops of cedarwood oil and massage on the affected area. Leave it for a couple of hours. Rinse with warm water. Apply one time daily for best results.

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Other ways

25. Kumkumadi Tailam

This is an Ayurvedic oil with a pleasant odour. It helps improve the elasticity of the skin when massaged regularly on the affected area. Kumkumadi tailam is made with around 21 herbs and is effective in lightening the stretch marks.

How to use: Apply as per the instructions given in the product package.

26. Nalpamaradi oil

This Ayurvedic oil is known to reduce stretch marks effectively and can also be used for other skin problems like itching, rashes and dryness. Nalpamaradi oil is mainly made from the stem barks of four ficus tree species: banyan, gular, pukar and kamarup. In Ayurveda, these four species are together known as Nalpamara. Market-based nalpamaradi oil has other added ingredients such as turmeric and gooseberry.

How to use: Apply as per the instructions given in the product package.

27. Vitamin A Cream

Vitamin A based cream helps remove stretch marks by boosting collagen production. Experts suggest using vitamin A cream on new stretch marks as it may be less effective for old stretch marks. Caution, avoid using it during pregnancy or while breastfeeding. Take extra care to keep the applied area out of the sun.

How to use: Use only after prescribed by a doctor or a dermatologist.

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28. Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter

Shea Butter and Cocoa Butter are the best natural ways to treat stretch marks effectively. Cocoa butter is a natural fat extracted from the cocoa bean and shea butter is made from the nuts of the shea tree. The fatty acids present in both the butter types help to boost the production of collagen and heal the stretch marks faster.

How to use: Massage the area either with cocoa butter or shea butter. Apply twice every day for better results.

29. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid is a natural exfoliant found in sugar cane and grapes. It is commonly used in skin care treatments as it can increase collagen production and improve the elasticity of the skin. Glycolic acid can be considered safe during pregnancy, but must not be applied before going in the sunlight.

How to use: Use only after prescribed by a doctor or a dermatologist.

30. Almond Scrub

Almond scrub is prepared by mixing almond oil, sugar and lemon juice. The scrub helps nourish the area and is good for all types of skin. While the sugar exfoliates, the almond oil and lemon juice hydrate the skin by penetrating deep into the skin layers.

How to use: Use this scrub once a week as too much exfoliation can damage the skin cells.

Which home remedy do you like the best? Leave your answer in the comment section below.