Stretch marks can be very annoying for your personality. These are the disfiguring lesions also known as some other terms like Striae, Striae Distensae (SD), Striae Atrophicans and Striae Gravidarum. These marks can occur in different parts of the body. Most common are the abdomen, breasts, flank, hips, buttocks, thighs, etc.
There are various causes of these marks. We will discuss later the reasons of stretch marks. In this article, we are going to discuss shea butter for stretch marks. There are different treatments for these annoying stretch marks, but using shea butter is one of the best and safest ways to get rid of stretch marks.
Shea butter is a type of fat extracted from Shea Tree generally found in different regions of Africa. It is known for its moisturizing properties and is used in cosmetics for a long time. Shea butter is edible and can also be used for cooking. It is mostly used with cocoa butter in chocolate industries for the preparation of chocolates.
This beautiful fat is being used for some other purposes as well as cooking, waterproofing wax, hairdressing, candle-making, an essential ingredient in medicinal ointments, etc. Let’s know more about stretch marks, shea butter, its effects on stretch marks, different recipes with it and their usage.
What Causes Stretch Marks (Causes of Stretch Marks)?
Extreme skin growth or stretching of the skin causes stretch marks on the body. There are different conditions and reasons responsible for stretching of the skin. We will discuss most common ones.
Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks in females. Skin of the abdomen is pretty much stretchable, and during pregnancy, it can stretch to its maximum limit due to an abnormal increase in body weight, progressive increase in the size and shape of the fetus.
It can be genetic as well. If your mother got stretch marks, there are higher chances of you getting these marks as well. Women having fair skin have more chances of getting stretch marks than those who have darker skin.
2. Stretching of skin during puberty
Overall rapid growth in puberty age is very common and can cause stretch marks on different body parts including belly, arms, knees, etc. Generally, these marks are erased with time, but they might remain for very long as well.
3. Rapid increase in weight
Rapid growth in body weight is another prevalent cause of stretch marks. When the body fat increases, muscles of different parts of the body (generally abdomen) tends to adapt size and shape according to the increased fat in the body.
Abdominal muscles like Rectus Abdominis, Transverse Abdominal Muscle, Abdominal External Oblique Muscle, Abdominal Internal Oblique Muscle, etc. are the most common muscles of the body where fat can get deposited very quickly and easily. Different parts of the body where stretch marks can occur due to increase in weight are thigh, shoulders, knees, and arms.
4. Usage of Corticosteroid
Collagen supports and provides strength to the skin. Prolonged and continuous use of Corticosteroid creams and lotions can cause a decrease in collagen in the skin, and hence there are very high chances of occurring stretch marks on the surface.
5. Marfan syndrome:
Marfan syndrome is a genetic problem. People suffering from it can have an abnormal growth of skin. Marfan syndrome inhibits the production of collagen and tonicity of the surface can be affected and hence there might be the presence of stretch marks on the different parts of the body of the people who are suffering from Marfan syndrome.
6. Cushing’s syndrome
Cushing’s syndrome occurs due to the increase in the level of cortisol hormone in the body. Increased Cortisol level inhibits the fibroblasts responsible for synthesizing collagen. Inhibition in collagen synthesize can automatically cause different skin related problems including stretch marks.
7. Other Medical Conditions
As we have learned that the most important reason behind the stretch marks is decreased Cortisol level. Different medical conditions responsible for inhibiting the production of Cortisol automatically become the factors accountable for stretch marks as well.
Adrenal gland develops and releases cortisol. Any problem in the Adrenal Gland can hamper the production of Cortisol and hence can cause Stretch Marks. Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone or ACTH is responsible for the regulation of Cortisol. Lower levels of ACTH can undoubtedly hamper the provision of cortisol and hence can cause Stretch Marks.
Hypothalamus (a part of your brain) also helps in the management of Cortisol production by producing the Corticotrophin-releasing hormone or CRH. CRH controls ACTH. Any problem or abnormality in the hypothalamus can cause the lower output of CRH and hence disturbed regulation of ACTH which can result in Stretch Marks.
Is Shea Butter Good for Stretch Marks?
We have already learned about Shea Butter and stretch marks. In this part of the article, we are going to talk about how Raw Shea Butter is handy for stretch marks.
- A Wonderful Moisturizer: Because of Shea Butter contains natural vitamins and fatty acids, it is an incredible moisturizer for skin. It has been used to tackle the dryness of the skin for a long time. It naturally moisturizes the skin in rapid time and also helps to protect the natural oil of skin.
- Skin Smoothening: As we have already learned, Shea Butter naturally improves the production and regulation of collagen, it becomes a fantastic solution for the roughness of the skin.
- It contains stearic, palmitic, oleic, and linolenic acids which provide protection to the surface and prevent it from getting dry and rough. Many people around the world used Shea Butter for softening and strengthening of the cover and got tremendous results.
- Reduces Inflammation: Shea Butter has excellent anti-inflammatory properties because of its cinnamic acid, lupeol cinnamate and some other natural compounds. Reports suggest that it reduces the inflammation of the skin to a decent extent and also helps to avoid skin mutation which makes it very beneficial in acne as well.
- Treats Acne and Blemishes: Due to the presence of different types of fatty acids and plant sterols including palmitic, oleic, linolenic, and stearic acids, Shea Butter is very well known for its healing properties.
- Shea Butter is much non-saponifiable than other oils and fats and doesn’t undergo saponification even after getting contacted with alkalis which makes it a great healer. Unrefined and raw Shea Butter is handy in skin rashes, skin peeling, scars, frost bites, burns, insect bites, acne, etc.
- Very useful in itching of skin: Due to its anti-inflammatory as well as moisturizing properties, Shea Butter works very well to reduces the itching of the skin. Itching of the skin can generally happen because of dryness of skin. Shea Butter naturally moisturizes the skin and decreases its thirst, and hence becomes very useful for itching.
- Restores the skin elasticity: None-saponifiable matter and vitamin F present in the Shea Butter which makes it very vital for improving the flexibility of the skin. By naturally enhancing the production of collagen, it promotes the overall health of the skin including elasticity.
- In addition to restoring elasticity, Shea Butter works wonderfully for hydrating, beautifying and softening of the skin. Improved flexibility will automatically remove the wrinkles and blemishes from the surface.
- Reduces different types of skin infections and irritations: Different people can have anger from different things. Using razor is one of the most common causes of skin irritation. Shaving can sometimes cause bumps on the skin. Shea Butter moisturizes and soothes the irritated skin. You can apply it even before shaving for perfect and smooth shaving.
- A beautiful fat for lips: Due to its moisturizing and efficiently absorbing properties, Shea Butter provides different types of much-needed nutrients to the lips and makes it smooth and soft.
- Protection against sun exposure: Shea Butter can also be used as an optional sunscreen. It has been one of the better options for getting protection from harmful UV rays from the sun. It is not a definite answer to the sun exposure but is more than enough to protect your skin from sun exposure temporarily.
- Most of the sunscreen available in the market contains different types of chemicals and can cause a lot of slow but progressive damage to the skin. Although it is not as high as sunscreen for protecting skin from sun exposure, it might be a better option due to its non-harming properties.
- Excellent in baby care: Originally made, pure and unscented Shea Butter can be used for application on different body parts of the babies. Olive oil is one of the best oil for the message of the baby, and if it is not available readily, you can replace it with Shea Butter. Oleic acid present in the Shea Butter is equally good as Olive Oil and can be used for messaging different body parts including elbows, knees, and cheeks.
- A strong skin barrier: Adding one tbsp. Shea Butter into a bucket of slightly warm water regularly can work as a radiant skin barrier. Skin absorbs Shea Butter pretty quickly and can work tremendously against different types of harmful mechanisms like dust and microorganisms.
- Prevents stretch marks during pregnancy: As it is great for getting rid of any type of stretch marks, proper and regular use of Shea Butter can even avoid the stretch marks during pregnancy. Keeping the skin moisturized regularly can reduce the possibility of stretch marks.
Using raw shea butter for stretch marks has shown beautiful results, but using it even before getting stretch marks can help you also to prevent them. Pregnancy is one of the most common causes of stretch marks in females. Using shea butter for stretch marks pregnancy can be more than just handy.
Related: Is Castor Oil Good for Stretch Marks?
How to Use Shea Butter for Stretch Marks?
Shea Butter alone can be handy for getting rid of stretch marks, using it with other natural substances can increase its effectiveness. Let’s know about some of the handy Shea Butter Recipes for stretch marks.
#1. Lemon-Basil Shea Butter Soap
Homemade soaps can be very useful for skin. Unlike commercial soaps, homemade soaps are very soft, gentle and pretty safe for the skin. Lemon-Basil Shea Butter Soap can be an excellent alternative for you. In addition to getting rid of stretch marks, you can adequately take care of the overall health of your skin.
- Take 14 ounces Shea Butter, 14 ounces water, 13 ounces coconut oil, 8 ounces olive oil, 5.5 ounces lye 3 ounces jojoba oil, 2.5 ounces avocado oil and 1-ounce beeswax.
- Mix all these ingredients properly with the help of a blender.
- Add 2 ounces lemon essential oil and 1 ounces basil essential oil during the blending of the mixture.
- After proper blending, transfer the mixture into a platter.
- Keep it aside for 4-5 days.
- Cut the large piece of soap into small pieces.
- Your Lemon-Basil Shea Butter is ready to use.
Must read: Is Jojoba Oil Good for Stretch Marks?
#2. Shea & Coconut Oil Body Butter
Dryness of the skin can be very annoying for anyone. This beautiful body butter gives you perfectly moisturized and smooth surface. Coconut oil used in this recipe has its benefits.
In addition to the presence of Vitamin E and lauric acid, coconut oil is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Using this wonderful butter can give you a very smooth and moisturized skin and hence you can quickly get rid of Stretch Marks.
- Take 1 cup coconut oil, 1 cup shea butter, ¾ cup of wheat germ oil and 10 to 15 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Add all the ingredients in a bowl and mix them well with a blender or a medium-sized spoon.
- Keep blending it until you get a soft fluffy cream like structure.
- Sterilize it properly before transferring into a clean and dry jar.
- Keep it in a cold and dark place.
- Keep using the cream on a regular basis for getting rid of stretch marks quickly.
#3. Honey Herb Body Bar
This is a beautiful skin softening bar made from purely natural ingredients. It starts melting even with just a touch. It is not only a great solution to stretch marks. This wonderful moisturizer is an adorable and soft fragrance as well.
- Take 20 grams of Shea Butter, 1 tbsp. Coconut oil, 5-gram cocoa butter, ½ tbsp. Macadamia oil, ¼ tbsp. Raw honey. 2 springs fresh rosemary and 1 fresh spring sage.
- Take a saucepan, fill its 1/3 part with water and set on the stove for boiling.
- Cover it with a large enough bowl which shouldn’t touch the water.
- Put all the ingredients over the top of the bowl (except raw honey).
- Melt all the ingredients slowly on low flame.
- Keep the mixture mixing with a spoon for dissolving every ingredient properly.
- After the solution appropriately dissolved, remove the saucepan from the stove and set aside for cooling.
- Do not disturb it for at least an hour.
- Add the raw honey to the solution and mix it well.
- Transfer the liquid to a clean and dry plastic container and place it in the fridge to set.
- You can remove the bar from the container by gently rubbing the tank from outside.
- For proper use, leave it inside the container and try to keep in a cool place (the fridge will be the best option)
- Apply gently on the skin affected with Stretch Marks for positive results.
#4. Whipped Shea Balm for Avoiding Stretch Marks
Getting rid of stretch marks can be comfortable with these recipes mentioned above. Preventing stretch marks can be one of the smartest options. Constant use of this balm can help you to prevent stretch marks and have healthy and smooth skin.
- Take ½ cup refined shea butter, ¼ cup coconut Oil, ¼ cup olive oil, ¼ cup almond oil and 8-10 drops of lavender or chamomile essential oil.
- Combine oils and butter in a medium glass bowl.
- Melt all the oils and butter properly on low flame.
- When the combination of oil and butter gets melted completely, add essential oils and continue to stir.
- Keep the mixture aside and do not disturb until it converts into a semi-solid consistency.
- Place in the fridge for solidifying further.
- Beat the mixture with a wooden spoon until the solid butter turns creamy and frothy.
- Place in a clean, air-tight container.
- Keep using it on a daily basis for avoiding the stretch marks.
- You can repeatedly add a little number of essential oils for keeping its consistency.
Also read: How to Use Olive Oil for Stretch Marks?
Tips on Preventing Stretch Marks
- As we have learned enough about stretch marks, how effective shea butter is for getting rid of stretch marks and some innovative ideas to use shea butter, we should also learn how to avoid stretch marks, because preventing something terrible or harmful is always more beneficial than treating it.
- Control Your Weight: One of the biggest reasons behind the stretch marks is overweight. Whether you are pregnant or not, you should try to maintain your proper weight with the help of healthy diet and appropriate physical activities. It is not easy to prevent weight gain during pregnancy, but some smart daily routine and some precautions can help you to maintain your weight even during pregnancy.
- Keep your body hydrated: As we have already learned, stretch marks can also happen due to dryness of the skin. Drinking enough water and other essential fluids can help you to keep your body hydrated and hence you can avoid the stretch marks without much effort.
- Have a proper and healthy diet: Our overall health is directly related to our menu. Having a healthy diet is very important. Including foods rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Zinc and Protein can be very helpful to keep your body including skin in a healthy state. Healthy skin means there is a proper growth of the surface and hence the chances of getting stretch marks can be reduced to a decent extent.
- Do not ignore fresh Stretch Marks: Although stretch marks are not harmful to your body, the severity of these marks can make your body and personality dull and unattractive. If there is a minor stretch mark starting to take place on any part of your body, try to treat it before it gets larger. You can quickly get rid of Stretch Mark when it is in its initial stages.
- Avoid using corticosteroids: As we have discussed earlier, constant use of creams and lotions containing corticosteroid can hamper the production of collagen and hence can cause stretch marks on the skin. Try to avoid corticosteroids as much as possible. If it is essential to use corticosteroids in a medical condition, ask your physician, how to reduce its adverse effects on the production of collagen and the health of the skin.
If you ever used raw shea butter for stretch marks, do share your recipe in comments.