Stretch marks are scars that are caused when the skin is forced to stretch beyond its limits due to pregnancy or rapid weight gain. This scarring is caused because the body can’t produce collagen quickly enough to fill the additional area. Collagen is produced in the layer of the skin (the dermis) just below the outer layer that you see. As the body grows, the dermis and epidermis (the outer layer) must grow quickly to cover the additional area, and when the body can’t produce collagen fast enough the dermis begins to break down. This causes microscopic bleeding and inflammation of the tissue in those areas, resulting in the dark, raised appearance of new stretch marks.Although there is no treatment that is guaranteed to prevent or eliminate stretch marks, applying coconut oil to the skin several times a day nourishes the dermis and epidermis, keeping them elastic and supporting the dermis in producing collagen. In addition, the nutrients in the oil help to reduce inflammation and fade existing stretch marks more quickly. Coconut oil contains vitamin E, which is known to reduce scarring and help heal existing scars. Because it is very similar in
consistency to the natural oils produced by the skin and is easily absorbed, it helps to moisturize and lubricate the skin, making it more “elastic” and stretchable. Internal use can also help prevent and heal stretch marks, since the nutrients in the oil help support collagen production, providing the vitamins, minerals, essential proteins and fatty acids necessary for healthy skin. NOTE: When purchasing coconut oil intended for internal use, such as in cooking, it must be a food grade oil. Although food grade coconut oil can be used externally, the reverse is not true. Stretch Mark Oil 1/2 C. cold-pressed, extra virgin Coconut oil
1/8 C. wheat germ oil
1/8 C cocoa butter or shea butter, melted
5 drops Vitamin E oil
10 drops Lavender essential oil Melt the cocoa butter or shea butter in a glass bowl set in boiling water. Remove from heat and add the coconut, wheat germ and vitamin E oils, mixing well with a non-metallic spoon or a bamboo skewer (whatever you use will not be safe for use with food after adding the essential oil, so you need to use a wooden spoon that can be reserved for mixing essential oil blends, or a skewer that can be thrown away.) Allow the oils to cool and begin to set up before adding the lavender oil, blending well. Pour into a clean container with a tight fitting lid, and allow to cool completely before using. The texture when cool should be semi-solid to solid, melting easily when applied to the skin.