The Science Behind Stretch Marks
During pregnancy, the body undergoes so many changes. As you grow your baby, your skin begins to stretch to accommodate this development.
There are different layers of the skin, and the turnover of each layer takes an average of 4 weeks. Below the top layer is the dermis, which has collagen. It is the key to keeping the skin tight and maintains the volume and structure of the skin. The dermis is broken during pregnancy, as the skin is continuously stretched. When it breaks, an underlying vascular “bundle” will start to show, and this is why stretch marks first appear as red, due to the vascular “bundle” showing. As the stretch marks become white, this is a sign that the dermis is beginning to heal.
The goal of preventative stretch mark treatment is to moisturize the skin, increasing its elasticity, so that early on, you won’t have the broken cracks. But in many cases, the elasticity of the skin is hereditary and therefore, so are stretch marks. But, providing your skin nourishment and repair through skincare always helps!
To help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, we recommend first and foremost ensuring that the skin barrier is in a healthy state, with sufficient hydration. Then, on top of this base layer of hydration, using ingredients that promote collagen production and strengthen the skin barrier are more effective to reveal overall healthier, renewed skin (AKA reduced appearance of stretch marks).
Some of my favorite plant-based ingredients to help with stretch marks are Centella Asiatica, to soothe and heal skin, and Rosehip Oil, to stimulate collagen production. These are gold standard ingredients for stretch marks and can be found in Evereden’s Nourishing Stretch Mark Cream and Golden Belly Serum - a two-step routine where the Nourishing Stretch Mark Cream provides that base layer of hydration, which the targeted actives of the Golden Belly Serum can then go to work on.
Of course though, like I tell my patients, stretch marks are a normal course of the changes our body undergoes, to support some of our life’s most momentous moments.
Dr. Sarina Elmariah, MD, PhD,
Evereden Scientific Officer,
Professor of Dermatology,
Harvard Medical School.