New Delhi: Stretch marks are a common annoyance during and post-pregnancy and the easiest and most convenient way of reducing these marks is by following a pregnancy skincare regimen, health experts have said.
Stretch marks often appear on the belly, thighs, breasts, and hips, during their second trimester as during pregnancy the skin undergoes several changes.
Along with the appearance of stretch marks, the skin tends to sag and become dry and itchy due to lack of moisture.
However, the best part is that with early intervention, these skin changes may fade or disappear after childbirth.
"Skin tends to change during pregnancy, which means regular skincare routine probably won't be very effective. Hence, understand the nourishment that skin requires during this phase and choose a regimen accordingly," said Dr Prathibha Babshet, Ayurveda expert, R&D, The Himalaya Drug Company.
For pregnant mothers, Babshet shared an essential two-step skincare routine for stretch marks during and post-pregnancy.
First, massage gently before bedtime: A massage is the most effective way to reduce stretch marks. Indulging in a light massage every night before bed helps in building skin elasticity while increasing blood flow.
"The increase in blood flow also results in a lightening of the marks. New moms can include this as part of their bedtime routine with an oil specially formulated for stretch marks; preferably olive, wheat germ, almond, and sesame," she said.
Then, moisturise after a shower. When the moisture level in the skin is maintained, it not only results in soft and supple skin but also helps reduce itchiness and the appearance of stretch marks, according to the expert.
Babshet also added that opting for a cream with a herb-oil-butter complex helps provide deeper moisturisation, especially when used after a shower.
"A blend of almond oil, wheat germ oil, olive oil, mango butter, kokum butter, and shea butter, and herbs like centella, pomegranate, and licorice helps firm up sagging skin and reduces the appearance of stretch marks naturally," she said.
The experts also stressed that, apart from a good skin care regimen, it is equally important to take care of your health and body.
"It is advisable to eat a healthy diet and exercise regularly. Drinking enough water also helps keep the skin hydrated. Avoid eating junk food and eliminate caffeine from your diet," Babshet noted.