How to Prevent and Erase Stretch Marks

What They Are
According to New York dermatologist David Goldberg, MD, a stretch mark is an area of skin that has been so “stretched out” that an actual rip occurs, resulting in a scar. “They commonly occur during periods of rapid growth or weight gain, such as pregnancy,” he says. “Genetics can play a role, too, making you more prone toward getting them, and also how severe they will look.” 
 
What They Look Like
Often occurring on the abdomen, breasts and thighs, and even buttocks, stretch marks look like shiny streaks and may feel slightly depressed compared to the surrounding skin. “New stretch marks appear red or purple (the result of inflammation), and older stretch marks are often silver in color or white,” says Dr. Goldberg. “Older marks may also have very thinned skin, which is also a sign of scarring.” Insider Tip: Treat stretch marks at the very first sign of them, which is usually when they are red and itchy. Once they turn white, they are older and harder to minimize.
 
Key Ingredients to Treat Them:

Shea Butter
This fatty acid–rich ingredient soothes and hydrates dry, itchy and irritated skin that is often associated with stretch marks.
Avocado Oil
Rich in vitamins A, E and D, avocado oil helps battle stretch marks due to its ability to increase skin elasticity, keeping skin more flexible as it stretches.
Vitamin E
Commonly used for healing scars (many experts consider stretch marks a type of scar), antioxidant- rich vitamin E makes the skin more elastic and pliable.
Aloe Vera
Inflammation-fighting aloe vera helps prevent and minimize stretch marks since it works to regenerate damaged tissue.
Vitamin A
This potent antioxidant helps fade the appearance of stretch marks by promoting the growth of new skin cells and repairing old ones.
Peptides
Peptides help stimulate the production of collagen for skin that’s stronger and more even in texture and color.

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