MB asks…I recently found out that I’m pregnant. My mother has stretch marks and as I have read that it’s genetic in nature, I’m concerned about developing stretch marks during my pregnancy too. I have read here on beauty brains that there isn’t really any over the counter treatment for them. Is there any way to prevent or at least reduce the amount of stretch marks that occur? I have read elsewhere that Camellia oil may be helpful. Is it true?
The Beauty Brains respond:
Congrats on your pregnancy! While there’s no definitive cure for stretch marks there are some treatments that you may find helpful.
Reducing stretch marks
Stretch marks can be reduced depending on their age. According to Dr. Leslie Bauman, who’s quoted in this WebMD article, they respond to treatment best when they are still red or purple. As they age they become more silver or white and are then more difficult to treat. Dr. Baumann explains that moisturizing helps prevent marks from forming by increases skin pliability and that ingredients which stimulate collagen can help fade stretch marks.
The case for camellia oil
The camellia plant is a type of evergreen shrub which has shiny leaves and rose-like flowers. Its seeds can be cold pressed to yield a high quality oil which consists primarily of oleic acid, a mono-unsaturated Omega-3 fatty acid and Omega-6 Linoleic acid. (http://goldportbeauty.com/camellia_oil.htm)
Camellia oil has been found to reduce trans-epidermal water loss, so it will help moisturize. And there’s at least one study showing that Camellia oil can stimulate the growth of human dermal fibroblast cells which are responsible for the production of collagen. But this effect was only shown cells in the lab, not from application on real skin. The result was also proven to be concentration dependent so if you are using camellia oil, make sure it’s not diluted down with some other oil.
What else might work?
Nut butter products (like coconut and shea) are effective moisturizers, according to the article, and may help prevent stretch marks from forming. Also, retinoids have been proven to be helpful in reducing their appearance but can’t be used if you’re pregnant or nursing. And you could always try a skin resurfacing laser.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
There’s no definitive proof that camellia oil will get prevent or get rid of stretch marks but there is at least some evidence that it might help.