Whether you’re currently suffering from stretch marks, or you’re about to enter a time in your life when these nasty skin blemishes are likely to become a problem (pregnancy or weight loss for example), you’ve probably done a bit of searching and reading on the various treatments and preventatives that are available. One word you’ll see over and over again is collagen, with treatments purporting to contain, boost or help the skin produce this mystery chemical. So you might be wondering; what is collagen, and how does it relate to stretch marks?
Collagen is a protein of connective tissue in the skin. What this means is it’s one of the main contributors toward making the skin stretchy and supple. Wrinkles, fine lines and other indicators of aged skin are due to the levels of collagen decreasing in the body as a person gets older.
So what’s the collagen stretch marks connection? Well, when a person’s body shape or weight changes very quickly, the body can’t quite produce enough collagen to keep the skin elasticity up with the changes. This causes the fibers of skin to stretch out and break, leaving behind those red marks that eventually fade into silvery white lines.
So now we know the basics of this skin protein, we can examine how we can apply this knowledge of collagen in stretch marks to help prevent and reduce the appearance of those annoying silvery lines.
By increasing the our skin’s level of collagen, stretch marks can be prevented or their appearance reduced. Unfortunately once they are there they will never go away completely, but with some TLC and some collagen their appearance can be reduced drastically.
The first way to promote collagen synthesis in the skin is give your body the right fuel to produce the protein. This means eating a balanced diet, and keeping your vitamin levels up, particularly vitamin E and vitamin C. Keeping yourself hydrated is also very important, so drink plenty of water and avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Another way to help collagen along that will also help with the appearance of stretch marks is daily exfoliation. Exfoliating helps remove layers of dead skin cells, which has the double benefit of keeping your skin looking soft and glowing, and also removing those dead cells encourages the growth of new cells, and in turn the production of collagen. Making this a daily routine over time will also do wonders for the appearance of stretch marks.