Stretching marks are caused when your skin gets tight due to frequent cell growth or loss of moisture. This occurs especially during pregnancy as your body produces more estrogen, which stimulates cellular activity.
When you workout, your muscles can get very tight and pull tightly on your skin.
This is why people often notice fine lines and wrinkles around their eyes after washing them. The skin stretches with time, but it will eventually set into that position- so if you don’t do anything about it, it will continue to expand beyond its normal state, causing permanent damage.
That’s what makes stretch marks persistent. They’ll stay for awhile, at least until you rehydrate the area by bathing or swimming, then they’ll go away. But not always!
Luckily, there are some things you can do to prevent this inital wrinkling. And one of those things is using cocoa butter. Let me tell you how.
Cocoa butter is usually made from melted down and roiled up cacao beans. That powdery ingredient we like to add flavor and health to most chocolate products. It has a really lovely scent and taste that many people enjoy.
Some people say that cocoa butter feels warmer than regular oil, but I never noticed much of a difference between them aside from temperature.
What does make a difference is how soft or hard you use cocoa butter.
What are stretch marks
Stretch marks occur when your body doesn’t have enough healthy skin to patch up some internal or external wounds. When this happens, it has to create new skin to fill in the gap.
Usually, these wounds come from pregnancies where growth is rapid (think: baby growing at speed). Or from weight gain that occurs rapidly (think: chocolate chip cookies every day!).
But they can also happen due to other reasons, like hormonal shifts or conditions such as dry skin. Unfortunately, most don’t go away even after the symptoms disappear.
Stress can make them seem worse since you may worry about the appearance of them. Luckily, there are ways to help prevent and treat them!
Coconut oil is one of those things that works as both a topical moisturizer and a health supplement. It acts as a natural healer and anti-inflammatory agent, helping restore soft tissue to its normal state.
When used correctly, it can be fun to experiment with coconut oil for beauty and wellness purposes. Since it goes well beyond our skins surface layer, experimenting with it is worth doing just because you wanted to try it.
In this article, we will discuss how cocoa butter helps reduce the occurrence and/or healing process of stretch marks. For more tips on using coconut oil for beauty, read our article: 9 Ways To Use Coconut Oil For The Skin.
How cocoa butter can help prevent and treat stretch marks
While most people are aware that coconut oil is a skin-care staple, less known is its potential to do more than just moisturize your skin. Many beauty brands include some in their products, either as an active ingredient or a feature product.
Coconut oil has many uses that go beyond baking, cooking, and washing your hair. It may even have health benefits!
One of these uses is for dry, uncomfortable stretch marks. Luckily, it’s possible to use cocoa butter during the times you feel self-conscious about your markings.
When used correctly, this natural compound will work to soothe your skin and mitigate the symptoms of dryness. Plus, it won’t cause additional discomfort like some other treatments.
This article will discuss how cocoa butter works to reduce the appearance and severity of vaginal dryness, why it can be helpful when looking to avoid or eliminate stretch marks, and where to find it.
Helpful tips for stretch mark treatment
One of the most important things to do in preventative treatments is use a gentle washcloth or brush to scrub away dry skin and potential new marks.
When using a washcloth, make sure not to pull on the skin with it as this could cause more damage!
Another good option is to use a natural bristle toothbrush. These are much healthier than manufactured ones that contain chemicals such as sodium lauryl sulfate. (Something to be aware of if you’re suffering from eczema!)
Bristle brushes also work better because they never come into direct contact with your skin so there is no risk of leaving trace amounts behind.
Helpful tips for moisturizing skin
As mentioned before, dry skin can contribute to stretch marks. This article will go into more detail about some helpful ways to keep your skin hydrated!
First, make sure your bedsheet or nightshirt is not dried out. These items can help prevent wet skin that may stick to yourself as you sleep.
If possible, use a mattress cover or pillow case to mitigate this risk. If you do not have either of these, invest in both! They are typically cost-effective and can be found at most furniture stores or online retailers.
Another way to do this is by using a silk sheet. Although they are slightly expensive, they will always feel better against your skin than regular cotton ones.
When using cocoa butter to treat dry skin, you should make sure your use it in conjunction with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 so that it does not replace regular sun cream.
You can also use a lighter layer of cocoa butter under your normal moisturiser to help prevent new stretch marks forming. However, never apply directly onto an old mark as this could irritate it further. Try rubbing in some of the healthier oils first before applying the thicker top coat.
As with any care product for your skin, do not use cocoa butter if you are sensitive to anything it contains. Check each ingredient list on the pack or the manufacturer’s website.
Get enough rest
When your skin is being stretched, it needs time to relax before you see changes in how it looks. If you are trying to conceive or are pregnant, this is even more important as your skin grows thicker and therefore takes longer to relax!
Most people gain weight during pregnancy due to blood and fluid retention. This can result in extra water under the surface of the skin, which may make your skin look darker and puff up slightly.
However, this also means that there will be less space for the layers of skin to contract, and thus stretch marks. In fact, almost everyone has at least one small patch of dry, wrinkled skin due to stress-induced tissue thinning.
Fortunately, cocoa butter works as an excellent derma-roll agent (a way to remove dried out layer fragments from the skin) and ichthyologist (fish expert) Maybelline New York uses it in their products! It also helps keep moisture in the skin so it does not become dehydrated.
So, try rubbing some onto your hands and feet after washing them with a good quality moisturizer. Let it soak in for a few minutes and then wash it off.
Eat healthy fats
Another factor to consider in preventing or treating stretch marks is eating some of your favorite foods! There are many different ways to add more fat into your diet, including coconut oil.
Coconut oil has several uses, one of which is as an edible cosmetic supplement. It can be applied directly onto the skin surface to help smooth out wrinkles and reduce dryness. When used in this way, it is referred to as topical coconut oil.
Many people use cocoa butter for this purpose since it does not easily oxidize like other oils. Oxidation is when molecules break down and become unstable, so they may chemically react with other chemicals or other tissues. This could cause inflammation or harm to normal cells.
However, using too much coconut oil as a makeup remover might strip your skin of its natural moisture, making excessive drying possible. If you are very concerned about potential side effects, do a small patch test first to see if it works for you.
Use a moisturizing cream
When using cocoa butter, make sure to apply it directly onto the area of skin that has been exposed to excess hormones or chemicals during pregnancy. Make sure to mix in some additional moisture as this product can be slightly thick.
Most people feel that the powder form is easier to use, which is why most people use that for their cosmetic uses with cocoa butter. However, when applying it as a treatment option for stretch marks, using cream is more effective due to ease of use.
Just like any other lotion, let your skin dry completely before putting on your clothes or washing yourself. This will ensure that all of the ingredients are fully absorbed into the skin. Don’t forget to wash the product off either, otherwise it may cause hyper-sensitive skin.
Some people say that you can simply rub the cocoa butter into the skin, but I have never found this to work. If you do try rubbing it in, make sure to spread it out evenly across the whole mark so that it works effectively.