When you sit down, do you uncomfortably shift in your chair and tug at your shirt to cover your tummy or stretch marks? Obviously, no one likes them – but they are common and often, not your fault.
Everyone associates stretch marks with pregnancy or weight gain, but did you know that some people are genetically predisposed to get them? Basically, if your mother had stretch marks – you can pretty much count on getting them too. There's no need to worry though. There is hope!
The best way to avoid stretch marks is to not to get them in the first place.
By knowing and sticking to your body’s healthy weight and body fat range, you can do a lot to avoid stretch marks. If you are already above your recommended body fat percentage, there is a lot you can do to begin to reduce that number. Find exercises that you enjoy, keep healthy fibers like fruits and veggies prevalent in your diet (they help cut off fat during the digestive process), and “cheats” to speed your metabolism - such as eating spicy foods and drinking green tea.
Another important thing to remember is that you have to stay hydrated! Sixty-four ounces of purified water is the daily minimum. Staying hydrated not only helps curb appetite (a lot of times you think you’re hungry when you’re just a bit dehydrated), but it also helps keep your skin hydrated and pliable, which will help prevent marks when your skin does need to stretch.
If you find yourself in a position where stretch marks are likely, such as pregnancy, sudden growth spurt, major increase of muscle mass or some other sudden change to the body, it’s important to hydrate your skin. While drinking plenty of water will help from the inside, you want to apply a body moisturizer three to four times a day to help the outside.
You can look through store brands for one that contains a high amount of cocoa or shea butter, or you can try this simple at home recipe to make one of your own.
Try your hand at this recipe also works to reduce the appearance of stretch marks in their early stages:
Stretch Mark Cream
- ¼ cup cocoa butter or shea butter
- 1 tablespoon wheat germ oil
- 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
- 1 teaspoon apricot kernel oil
- 2 Vitamin E capsules (cut open to release the oil)
- 2 teaspoons grated beeswax
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine the cocoa or shea butter, all oils and beeswax in a small pan on low heat to melt the ingredients. Stir well and remove it from the heat still stirring occasionally. Stir in the vanilla as the mixture cools. Allow it to cool completely before massaging onto areas of concern.
Stretch marks will happen to most of us, and while they're nothing to be ashamed of, know that you're far from powerless to do anything about it.
To find other D.I.Y. recipes, advice on healthy weight awareness and weight loss, or want to ask me a question about beauty, please visit www.JustAskDavid.com.
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