Skin is pretty stretchy, but if you grow too quickly, it can’t quite keep up, and you end up with stretch marks. Some people are not bothered by their stretch marks; others can be really self-conscious about them. If you are not very happy with how yours look, you are probably wondering if you can do something about them.
As a whole, shea butter is not a cure for stretch marks. While using shea butter to moisturize skin can result in reduced redness and itching for stretch marks, it can not prevent them completely. Shea butter does contain ingredients that can help protect skin from additional damage.
Shea butter is a tree nut fat that promotes skin health. It can’t make stretch marks fade completely, nor can it prevent them. Shea butter can reduce the redness of new stretch marks, strengthen the damaged skin, and provide added UV protection.
Shea butter has many skin-related benefits, which is why you are seeing it as an ingredient in more and more skin products. It is also one of the favorite natural alternative for stretch marks.
Can Shea Butter Make Stretch Marks Go Away?
Stretch marks are a form of scarring. Some scars fade and disappear quite quickly, while others are relatively permanent. It depends on the amount of damage, the depth of damage, the individual’s susceptibility to scarring, etc.
Stretch marks are not just on the surface of your skin. The damage extends deep into the tissue, and while the marks fade over time, it is unlikely that your stretch marks will ever go away completely.
It is widely agreed that topical ointments, lotions, etc., including shea butter and shea butter products, are relatively ineffective for making stretch marks go away. You are more likely to have success with procedures like light or laser therapy or micro-needling.
One way that shea butter may make your stretch marks look better is that it can have a hydrating and plumping effect, which lessens the wrinkling of old stretch marks.
Can Shea Butter Help To Prevent Stretch Marks?
Shea butter hydrates your skin and improves cell growth. Healthy, supple skin is less likely to scar.
However, the stretching that causes stretch marks is quite extreme, and although keeping your skin moisturized it will help, it will not completely stop them from occurring.
Therefore, shea butter cannot be said to be a preventative of stretch marks, but it may help to minimize the amount of damage.
Can Shea Butter Help To Make Stretch Marks Less Red?
Stretch marks are actually dermal lesions. When they first form, your body responds with the natural healing process.
This involves inflammation, increased vascularization, and itchiness.
The anti-inflammatory properties possessed by shea butter can help to reduce the redness of new stretch marks and ease itching.
Can Shea Butter Help To Strengthen The Stretch-Marked Skin?
Damaged skin is always more sensitive and vulnerable to external stressors.
Areas of skin that have stretch marks are no exception. The cell growth promoted by the vitamins in shea butter (A, E, and F) help to make the skin healthier, and therefore stronger.
Additionally, the triglycerides and esters contained in shea butter moisturize the skin and lock the moisture in, improving the skin’s barrier.
Can Shea Butter Help To Protect Stretch Marks From UV Radiation?
Damaged skin is more vulnerable to additional potential damage caused by UV exposure.
Sometimes, prolonged time in the sun can cause stretch marks to darken, which is really not desirable, especially if you are already self-conscious about them.
Shea butter is not a substitute for proper sunscreen, but the esters contained in shea butter do have some capacity for the absorption of certain portions of UV radiation.
Apply shea butter to your stretch marks before sunscreen for added protection.
Can Shea Butter Be Used On Sensitive Skin?
Skin allergies are difficult to live with. So many products, natural or otherwise, can trigger a flare-up of dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis, etc., which takes weeks to get back under control.
Thus, people who suffer from skin allergies are very careful about trusting products, even if they say they can be used on sensitive skin.
Evidence suggests that shea butter should not trigger an allergic reaction, and in fact, it may even be effective in soothing skin allergies.
However, before you use it on your stretch marks, you should do a patch test or two to see if you are going to react.
If you do not react to shea butter, you should seriously consider trying it as an alternative to corticosteroid creams and ointments if you get eczema over your stretch marks.
Corticosteroid creams are actually very harsh on your skin and can even cause it to become thinner, which is not something you want on your already damaged stretch marks.
Can You Use Shea Butter While Breastfeeding?
Many women get stretch marks when their breasts suddenly fill with milk during pregnancy.
If you are breastfeeding your baby, you have to be careful about what substances you put on your breasts because your baby’s skin comes into contact with whatever you use. Additionally, the chances of your baby ingesting these substances are high.
So, is shea butter dangerous for babies? Well, the best approach is to consult your OBGYN or your baby’s pediatrician about this matter.
However, as mentioned previously, shea butter does not typically harm sensitive skin (like a baby’s skin), so if their cheeks press against the area to which you have applied shea butter, there should not be a problem.
Furthermore, shea butter is a natural substance and is used in its raw form as a food oil for cooking, so it is typically safe to ingest.
How To Use Shea Butter For Stretch Marks
Shea butter is in its solid form at room temperature, but like similar fats (e.g., coconut oil), it is quickly warmed up and melted in your hands.
You can directly apply shea butter to your stretch marks and the surrounding skin, rubbing it in until it is entirely absorbed. The rubbing action helps to heal scarring as well by promoting circulation and breaking down fibrous scar tissue (newer stretch marks).
Exfoliation is known to help scarring heal faster as it improves skin turn-over. So, if you add some shea butter to your body scrub, it can be a great way to treat your stretch marks.
If you will be out in the sun for an extended amount of time and the area of your skin that you have stretch marks on is not going to be covered by clothing, then you should apply the shea butter before you put on your sunscreen.
If you want to start treating your new breast stretch marks while your baby is still breastfeeding, you can use raw, organic shea butter.
Shea butter is a natural and gentle product, so you can use it as often as you would like. To treat stretch marks, you can apply it two or three times a day.
However, you should note that it can make your skin oily if you over apply, if you are still new to using shea butter, you might want to forgo your daytime applications and only put it on overnight until learn the amount that works best for your skin.
Shea butter cannot prevent stretch marks, nor can it make them disappear. However, it can make them appear less red and less wrinkled. It can also help to strengthen the damaged skin and protect it from UV radiation.
Shea butter is reported to be unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction in sensitive skin, and organic raw shea butter can also be used to reduce redness and strengthen stretch-marked skin on your breasts while breastfeeding because it is not harmful to babies.
While the benefits of shea butter for stretch marks are not what you were probably hoping for - making them go away completely, shea butter will help to make your stretch-marked skin more healthy, which is a much worthier goal!
Your skin is beautiful!
Our skin is the largest organ of our body, and it needs special care and attention. The problem is that most people aren't taught how to take proper care of their skin, which can result in dryness, itching, or rashes.
Even though there are many products on the market that claim to nourish your skin, they often contain ingredients such as parabens or mineral oil. These ingredients may be harmful to you and your family's sensitive skin.
Naturally Tribal Skincare was created with sensitive skin in mind. Our Body Foods have been specially formulated using Shea Butter to nourish, protect, and moisturize problematic skin without any of the harmful ingredients you might find in other body care brands. Our products are 100% natural making them perfect for use from birth all the way through adulthood!