While pregnancy is an exciting time in the parenthood journey, there are many uncomfortable and annoying side effects, stretch marks included. They are caused by the skin having to grow too fast or too much, such as in pregnancy, puberty, obesity or muscle gain. Unfortunately, there are still no confirmed methods of completely eradicating them, and treatments such as laser therapies orstem cell-based therapies are expensive and not always accessible. However, there are natural ingredients that you can apply to your skin yourself which help reduce the appearance of stretch marks, and some of these are included in our Beetanicals products.
Stretch marks appear in up to 90% of pregnant women. Risk factors for their development are a personal or family history of stretch marks; having a larger baby; being younger at the time of pregnancy; a higher body weight; low water intake and high alcohol use (Hechtman, 2014 – Clinical Naturopathic Medicine). Besides staying hydrated and avoiding alcohol, a diet rich in protein; zinc; antioxidants, particularly vitamin C; and essential fatty acids, such as those found in oily fish, flax and hemp seeds; may help to reduce stretch marks. These help to build and protect skin cells and the connective tissue underneath.
One of the most popular natural helpers is cocoa butter. A study of 300 pregnant Afro-Caribbean women found that usingcocoa butter reduced the risk of visible stretch marks by only 20%, and the results were not judged as significant. There must be a 95% chance or more that the treatment caused the results. In this case, there was a 91% chance that the cocoa butter reduced the appearance of stretch marks.For best results, at Beetanicals we believe in combining the best ingredients to give you the best results, while this study only used one ingredient.
Our Belly Bee Balm includesrosehip oil, Kakadu plum, kangaroo paw and grapeseed oil. Rosehip oil is very high in the antioxidant vitamin C. It also contains fatty acids, including gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), linoleic acid and oleic acid. And let’s not forget about our Australian native Kakadu plum. It has the highestvitamin C content of any fruit in the world, giving it enormous antioxidant and tissue repairing potential.
Kangaroo paw is another Australian native that we include for its beneficial properties on the skin.New research has found that an extract of the plant can smooth wrinkles and sagging in the real world, and that it may also help to visible reduce stretch marks.
Besides scientific research, we at Beetanicals highly value the real-world experience of new mums and families when evaluating the effectiveness of our products. Naturally, our first positive experience came from our founder, Tanya:
The Queen Beetanicals Belly Bee Nourished Balm is truly a lovely experience. It provided me a beautiful connection with my baby while I massaged my belly. It also assisted to reduce my chances of visible stretch marks. I only got a few lower ones in the last week of my pregnancy (I also got slack with my balm in the last couple of weeks). I kept hydrated throughout my pregnancy. In creating this balm it was all about making it 100% safe for pregnant mums and their bubs, and ensuring it was of high quality and effective. I am not ashamed of the few stripes I received, as they tell a story of me carrying baby Toby and nor should you be if you get any.
Find out more about how our Belly Bee Nourished Balm can help on your journey to motherhood. If you are prone to dry lips, it can also be a fantastic lip balm!
Written by: Tanya Stanley & Alexandra Preston - Naturopath - BHSc (Nat)