Tiger stripes and cellulite. Often made a big deal about, but most women have it. Be it on your thighs, breasts, butt or arms every woman has stretch marks and cellulite. And before you get worried or feel conscious about them, you should know that it’s natural. You are more likely to get stretch marks or cellulite if your body goes through rapid changes like weightlifting or pregnancy, and sometimes it is hereditary. But again, it is all-natural and nothing to be ashamed of!
In conversation with TC46, the CEO & Co-Founder of mCaffeine, Tarun Sharma, shares his thoughts on stretch marks and cellulite. He shares 8 points on the topic, including its causes and DIY remedies.
1. Stretch marks or cellulite appear when there is a change in weight or muscle tone
A stretch mark is a type of scar that develops when our skin stretches or shrinks quickly. The abrupt change causes the collagen and elastin, which support our skin, to rupture. As the skin heals, stretch marks may appear. They are very common during pregnancy, rapid weight gain or weight loss, growth spurts that happen in puberty, or rapid muscle gain during weight training, and even as a side effect of medication.
Cellulite appears as dimpled skin caused by the protrusion of subcutaneous fat, which is caused by a combination of water, fat and toxins. These substances get trapped in the connective tissue between the muscle layer and the skin. Hormonal factors play a large role in the development of cellulite, and genetics determine skin structure, skin texture and body type. Other factors, such as weight and muscle tone can also affect whether you have cellulite, even weight watchers and trainers can have it.
2. Stretch marks are thin, long lines that eventually fade
Stretch marks often appear as thin, long lines which are red or purple. These narrow, long streaks will eventually fade into a lighter colour over time. They mostly develop on areas that are likely to stretch out if there’s a weight gain or loss, especially on the back, abdomen, thighs, buttocks, flank, and hips.
Stretch marks form in the middle layer of the skin, when the connective tissue is stretched beyond the limits of its elasticity. This is normally due to rapid expansion or contraction of the skin. The stretch marks eventually fade to a silvery, white, or glossy appearance, due to the pale fat beneath the skin becoming visible instead of the usual blood vessels.
3. Cellulite appears as dimples over the thighs and buttocks
Cellulite, on the other hand, often appears as dents over layers of the skin, making it appear uneven. It’s most commonly found in fat-rich areas of the body like thighs and buttocks.
There are three structural problems that cause the appearance of cellulite.
- First, the connective tissue bands beneath the skin surrounding the fat cells can become tight and inflexible, pulling the skin down to create depressions.
- Second, enlarged pockets of fat trapped by the rigid bands push up against the skin.
- Finally, thin skin makes the appearance of cellulite even worse.
Other factors associated with cellulite include ageing, heredity, hormones and weight.
4. Debunking the myths
- Is it true that cellulite runs in the genes?
Yes. Certain genes passed down through generations may predispose an individual to cellulite production. It is not inevitable but the possibility is higher
- Is it true that people who are on the slimmer side do not get cellulite or stretch marks?
People who are on a slimmer side can develop cellulite or stretch marks since there are multiple causes like hormones, medications, genetics which can lead to stretch marks, and cellulite.
5. Lifestyle choices can increase the formation of stretch marks and cellulite
Smoking triggers the damage of collagen and elastin. Since these proteins are crucial in maintaining healthy skin, smoking can cause stretch marks and cellulite. Having a healthy diet high on nutrients and staying hydrated is equally important to avoid the formation of stretch marks and cellulite. Devoting self-care time to moisturize and exfoliate regularly plays a beneficial role in maintaining skin texture and helps skin to heal faster as well. Having said that if the cause behind cellulite and stretch marks is genetic or hormonal lifestyle habits can help to reduce their intensity.
6. Clinical treatments to erase stretch marks
Laser therapy, needling, and microdermabrasion are three clinical treatments for stretch marks. Microdermabrasion involves exfoliating the skin in a way that at-home remedies cannot. Research has shown that microdermabrasion improved the appearance of stretch marks. Needling, which is a relatively new treatment in which collagen is injected underneath the top layer of your skin, may also be effective.
7. Higher intake of vitamins, protein and zinc can reduce stretch marks
Stretch marks may occur if you lack nutrition in certain areas. Eating foods that boost skin health may help. Make sure your diet includes foods rich in Vitamin C, D, E, protein, and zinc. Vitamin C is an important nutrient for the development of collagen which is important in maintaining skin elasticity. Foods that are rich in vitamins and proteins help maintain healthy skin. High consumption of sugar and carbohydrates can lead to damage of skin proteins, which can lead to higher chances of stretch marks. For cellulite, reducing the fat intake in the diet may help, along with exercise.
8. Home remedies that work to reduce cellulite and stretch marks
To reduce cellulite, the most effective and prominent way is massage. Massage may reduce cellulite by improving lymphatic drainage. It can also help stretch your skin tissue. This may help stretch out cellulite dimples, too.
mCaffeine Coffee Body Scrub made with ground-coffee exfoliant can minimize the appearance of cellulite in two ways:
- Massaging the scrub along your skin can help stimulate lymphatic drainage.
- Coffee contains caffeine, which temporarily tightens and plumps your skin. Caffeine can also dehydrate fat cells so they deflate, which then makes your cellulite look a little less obvious.
To reduce stretch marks, it is important to provide skin with appropriate nutrients so that it heals itself faster. Moisturizing the skin with ingredients like rosehip oil, almond oil, cocoa butter, olive oil or vitamin E help relieve stretch marks. According to a 2013 study, a moisturizer containing rosehip oil helped reduce the appearance of stretch marks in pregnant women who had already had stretch marks, finding it to be significantly more effective than the placebo.
When stretch marks occur, that’s a sign that the tissue has been stretched beyond its abilities and this is why promoting skin elasticity and moisture are the best remedies for ensuring your skin’s comfort and support as you stretch, grow, and evolve. Vitamin E and almond oil are ingredients that can do just that. They promote the production of collagen, a structural protein that’s responsible for the strength and elasticity of skin thereby preventing stretch marks from occurring.
mCaffeine Coffee Body Polishing Oil has a rich combination of rosehip oil, vitamin E, and almond oil to alleviate the existing stretch marks and to prevent its further occurrence.