How to treat stretch marks & cellulite
Stretch marks and cellulite are perhaps the most common body concerns in clinic and that may be because they effect up to 80-90% of us.
Cellulite predominantly effects women as we have a higher body fat percentage than men. The way it’s distributed beneath our connective tissue also makes it easier for it to wiggle out of place and create that dimpled effect on the surface.
It can happen no matter what size, shape or weight you are and usually effects the lower half of your body. Sometimes hormonal and genetic factors make us more prone to developing it, but more often than not, just being a woman is enough of a reason for it to make an appearance.
Stretch marks get their name as they develop when, you guessed it, your skin stretches. Often during times such as puberty or pregnancy when our bodies expand at a fast pace, the connective tissues under our skin isn’t able to keep up. This causes it to tear and create those wiggly lines that many of us are familiar with.
So, what can be done to treat them?
Before I cover this, can we firstly take a moment to recap the stat at the start of this blog…80-90% of us have stretch marks and cellulite.
So despite the fact they continue to be airbrushed out of images or we’re made to feel as though we need to apologise for having them on show, they are 100% normal and I for one certainly have both!
Expecting them not to appear is a bit like wishing we didn’t have moles or body hair, which simply isn’t realistic. However with that being said, I’m all for looking and feeling the best version of you, so here are a few ways to soften their appearance.
When it comes to cellulite, the first thing you need to know is that no cream will ever be able to touch it. This is because it’s caused by an issue with the connective tissue and not the skin itself.
The best way to make everything appear smoother is simply to maintain a healthy, happy body. This means prioritising a nutritious diet, regular exercise and lots of water.
Another great tip is to incorporate dry brushing before your shower a couple of times a week. It increases circulation, lymph drainage and removes the build up of dead skin cells for smooth, even skin.
Now stretch marks tend to be a little more challenging, but the best time to treat them is when they first appear and they are red or purple in colour. This means they still have a strong blood supply and therefore are more receptive to treatment.
So if you’re looking to reduce their appearance, this would be a great time to introduce the TLC Roller. When rolled over the effected area twice a week, the tiny needles trigger a wound healing response in your skin which helps to plump and ‘fill in’ the wiggly lines.
Once stretch marks fade to white or silver though, they no longer have a proper blood supply and are therefore more like scars. In this instance, the only way to see signifiant improvements would be to visit your local skin clinic, where they would recommend professional treatments such as laser, chemical peels or radio frequency.
Personally, I have never pursued this as mine appeared during puberty and I’ve since made peace with them.
I always remember when I was studying, a lady on my course came in one morning and said her boyfriend had told her he loved ‘the silvery lines’ on her body…
She responded by saying ‘Are you joking? Do you mean my stretch marks?!’. And to her utter disbelief he had no idea what a stretch mark was. He looked upon them with zero judgement and simply thought it was another beautiful part of her body…A little silver lining if you like 🥰
So whether you’re choosing to treat yours or not, please know you’re 100% normal and completely perfect regardless.
Amy is a qualified skin expert and founder of BASE. When she’s not writing about skincare, you’ll find her applying it, developing it or daydreaming about it instead!