Cover Up Your Stretch Marks: Is It Possible?
Yes, it is possible to cover up your stretch marks but there are no permanent solutions.
Stretch marks are the colored parallel lines that typically appear on the body after significant weight gain or loss. Stretch Marks are easy to diagnose, because they look and feel different than the skin around them. They range in color, often appearing purple, pink, grey, or blue.
When touched they often feel raised and bumpy. Sometimes they can even be sensitive to the touch and become sore, similar to the way bruises feel.
In this article you can learn about the different options to cover up your stretch marks. We are also looking at different ways to reduce the appearance of your stretch marks.
Where Do Stretch Marks Appear?
The most common places stretch marks appear are:
- Upper arms
Stretch marks are caused by quick changes in weight that causes the skin to tear. The appearance of stretch marks does not necessarily mean someone is unhealthy or overweight.
For example, pregnant women will often develop stretch marks on their breasts and on their stomach. Teenagers sometimes develop stretch marks on their thighs during puberty, when they are prone to growth spurts.
Stretch marks can even appear after someone loses a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time.
Many times, stretch marks will disappear on their own. However, this is not always the case. Stretch marks are normal blemishes that appear on almost everyone’s skin.
Many individuals feel insecure about the way they look, especially is they are dark and thick. This causes the desire to cover up stretch marks, or try to make them less noticeable, when out in public.
Ways To Cover Up Stretch Marks
Covering up stretch marks is not a permanent solution to making stretch marks unnoticeable. Covering up stretch marks is often time consuming, which can be frustrating for a temporary solution.
However, it is a good option for activities like a trip to the beach or a night out with friends.
Below are some ways to make stretch marks seem like they are not there.
One of the most common and easiest ways to cover up stretch marks is to use make-up.
The number one mistake individuals make when attempting to use make-up is choosing the wrong concealer. Often, individuals attempt to use the concealer or foundation they use on the rest of their skin, but this is a mistake.
Stretch Marks are darker than the color of skin, so using a concealer that matches skin color will usually be too light. Therefore, to successfully disguise stretch marks, a concealer that matches the shade of the marks has to be used.
Once the proper concealer has been chosen, use the following steps:
- A small make-up brush to apply the concealer onto the stretch marks in small strokes or pats.
- Do not rub the concealer into the skin. Rubbing the concealer in will not make stretch marks less noticeable.
- Once the concealer has been applied, take some loose powder and dust it over the marks. This will help the make-up stay in place, making sure the stretch marks will be concealed for as long as possible.
- Finally take a pearl-colored cream and dab it onto the stretch marks. Again, do not heavily rub the cream into the skin. The point of the cream is to allow light to reflect off of it, making the stretch marks stretch marks less noticeable.
People with lighter stretch marks can mix a moisturizing lotion with a bronzing powder or cocoa butter, instead of using concealer.
The goal is to create a goldish, brownish color. Dabbing this mixture onto light stretch marks should make them blend into the surrounding skin.
Individuals planning on spending time in water should make sure the make-up they use is waterproof.
To cover up stretch marks with a tan, the tan must be a result of self-tanning products.
Getting a natural tan will not disguise the appearance of stretch marks. In fact, a natural tan will make stretch marks more noticeable in the future.
Natural tans permanently make stretch marks darker over time, making them much more noticeable once the tan has faded. However, self-tanning products should not negatively affect stretch marks.
Generally, self-tanning products are better for masking lighter stretch marks, rather than darker ones.
Using self-tanner can also be much more of an ordeal than using simpler methods, like concealer, because it has to be used on the whole body. However, just because it may be time-consuming does not mean this method should not be tried.
- Before using the self-tanner, make sure rub the skin in circular motions. This exfoliates the skin, allowing the self-tanner to be absorbed easier.
- After exfoliating the skin, apply the tanner to the arms, torso, thighs, and legs.
- To apply the self-tanner evenly, rub the tanner into the skin in circular motions.
- Do not just apply self-tanner to the stretch marks, as this will only make them more obvious. The objective is make the stretch marks blend into the rest of the skin, not to make them stand out.
- Apply self-tanner to the ankles, feet, wrist, and hand, once the main parts of the body have been covered.
For lighter stretch marks, an additional coating of self-tanner can be applied directly to the marks by using a cotton swab. Let the self-tanner dry, and look at the stretch marks.
If they are still clearly visible, apply some more self-tanner using the same process.
Get a Tattoo
Getting a tattoo may seem like an extreme method for covering up stretch marks. However, it is a creative way to disguise stretch marks.
Of course, this method is not completely full-proof, and there are some things to consider before trying it.
It is important to know that stretch marks are actually tears in the skin. When someone loses or gains weight too quickly, the middle layer of skin tears and creates stretch marks.
Therefore, designing a tattoo to go directly over stretch marks may not be the best idea. The teared layer of skin will not absorb and hold ink in the same way that smooth and healthy skin does.
This can actually make stretch marks become more obvious in the long run.
The solution is to design a tattoo that incorporates the stretch marks. Incorporating stretch marks makes them less noticeable, as most people will look at the design as a whole, instead of looking at the individual lines in the tattoo.
Before deciding to get a tattoo, make sure to carefully consider the pros and cons. While this is a creative way to cover up stretch marks, remember that tattoos are permanent.
There is also no guarantee that stretch marks will not become obvious again later on.
Reduce The Appearance Of Stretch Marks
Trying to cover up stretch marks with make-up and self-tanner is a good temporary solution. However, there are medical treatments designed to try and lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
These treatments are often more permanent solutions, making the need to cover up stretch marks unnecessary.
The biggest downside is that they are more expensive than other treatments, and there is never any guarantee they will work.
Below are some of the common medical treatments to lessen the appearance of stretch marks.
Retinoid-based creams are generally a good way to try to lighten the appearance of stretch marks.
The creams are derived from vitamin A, and contain tretinoin. Tretinoin helps restore collagen, which is a fibrous protein responsible for keeping a skin’s elasticity.
Restoring collagen also helps the skin heal itself, which helps heal stretch marks. Tretinoin creams also remove dead skin, which helps evenly restore the color of stretch marks and the skin around them.
In a recent study, that looked at the effectiveness of retinoid-based creams, 15 out of 20 people saw an improvement in their stretch marks.
The study found that within 12 weeks, a participant’s stretch marks improved when the cream was massaged directly onto the marks.
These creams are usually prescribed for stretch marks that are red or pink in color, because they are most effective on stretch marks less than six weeks old.
However, one concern about retinoid-based creams is that it can cause side effects, such as skin irritation and sensitivity to the sun.
Pregnant women are also discouraged from using these creams, because it could negatively affect their child.
Pulsed Dye Laser Therapy
Laser therapy probably sounds scary.
Laser stretch-mark treatments have improved over the past few years, and have become another option for attempting to improve the appearance of ugly stretch marks.
Once such therapy is pulsed dye laser therapy. Pulsed dye laser therapy is usually recommended for individuals who have newer and lighter stretch marks.
Some doctors may only recommend this treatment for lighter-skinned individuals, as it can discolor dark-colored skin.
Pulsed dye laser therapy is another way to produce collagen and elastin. This is how it works: the laser targets bloods vessels. The laser light becomes heated, and it kills the blood vessels without damaging the skin.
The procedure itself does not take long, and is usually pain-free. Lighter stretch marks, pink or red in color, only need a few sessions to improve the appearance of them.
Darker stretch marks may need additional treatments, or may not respond to treatment at all.
Fractional Photothermolysis is another laser treatment, better known as laser hair removal.
Even though this treatment is known for removing hair, it has proven to be an effective stretch-mark treatment.
In a recent study, fractional photothermolysis significantly improved stretch marks within two months.
This was because the treatment improved epidermal thickness, collagen, and elastin. Individuals who receive this treatment often do not need more than a few treatments.
Fractional photothermolysis works because it focuses directly on stretch marks. The laser penetrates the skin’s deeper layers to strengthen the weakened parts of the skin.
The skin will then start to heal itself, and get rid of the tissue that has been torn. This then improves the appearance of stretch marks, and helps restore smoother skin.
Excimer laser treatment is slightly different than other stretch-mark laser treatments.
Instead of attempting to heal and improve stretch marks, this treatment attempts to affect the color of stretch marks.
The laser beam attempts to repigment the color of stretch marks, in order to make them appear to be the same color of the surrounding skin.
This treatment positively affects stretch marks without damaging the surrounding healthy skin. One of the major positive aspects of this treatment is that it is pain-free, and typically has no side effects other than some slight swelling.
Natural Remedies For Stretch Marks
To improve the appearance of stretch marks, expensive medical treatments may not be necessary.
Many individuals use natural and homemade remedies to help make stretch marks much less noticeable. However, keep in mind that natural remedies generally do not have scientific proof backing up their effectiveness.
Nonetheless, it is still worth considering some of the natural remedies listed below in order to save time and money.
Aloe Vera has anti-inflammatory properties, which have reportedly been known to help get rid of stretch marks.
Applying Aloe Vera to stretch marks twice a day, once in the morning and once in the afternoon, may help heal and repair the fibers of the torn skin. It may also help prevent any more damage from happening.
Like most treatments, Aloe Vera works best on new stretch marks, or on lighter colored stretch marks. It has been reported that Aloe Vera can be used to be prevent stretch marks if regularly applied to skin.
Some individuals use castor oil to try and improve the look of their stretch marks because it contains a fatty acid that hydrates skin.
Castor oil has been known to help prevent saggy skin, improve skin discoloration, and improve the appearance of stretch marks.
While castor oil does not necessarily heal the damaged skin, its ability to hydrate skin may help stretch marks become less noticeable.
Castor oil can be mixed with almond or rose oil as well, and only a small amount should be applied to stretch marks.
However, castor oil can cause serious side effects. When large amounts of castor oil are taken or applied, it can become toxic. Some side effects include: dizziness, fainting, and diarrhea. It can also cause an allergic reaction; apply it to a small area of skin before using it on stretch marks.
Pregnant and nursing mothers should not use castor oil, unless directed by a doctor. This is because castor oil may have negative effects on the development of a child.
Applying lemon juice to stretch marks is a common home remedy for improving the appearance of stretch marks.
Reportedly, it is the acidity in lemons that helps lessen the appearance of stretch marks, as well as scars and even acne.
Unlike other natural remedies, lemon juice seems to have more scientific evidence and support claiming that it actually is an effective treatment.
There a few of different ways to use lemon juice as a stretch-mark treatment.
- The simplest way is to squeeze lemon juice into a bowl, and to use a cotton ball to apply it to the stretch marks.
- It is recommended to leave the juice on for at least ten minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.
- According to some reports, some individuals leave it on overnight to make sure the skin absorbs all of the lemon juice.
- It may also be a good idea to exfoliate and remove dead skin before applying the juice.
- Another option is to mix lemon juice with cucumbers, Vitamin E, olive oil, or cocoa butter.
Lemon juice will not make stretch marks less noticeable right away. It takes at least a month for results to start appearing.
There is also an extremely small chance that the citric acid will burn the skin, instead of healing it. However, this is a rare side effect and is not something to be concerned about. If the skin does start to burn, wash the juice off and use a smaller amount next time.
Stretch marks can be unsightly, and can be a source of anxiety for many individuals.
Many individuals want to be able to wear bikinis, shorts, and short-sleeve shirts without having to worry if their stretch marks are clearly visible. However, there are many different solutions to making stretch marks less noticeable.
There are medical treatments and natural home remedies that help improve the appearance of stretch marks.
There are also ways to temporarily cover up stretch marks. However, remember that once stretch marks have appeared it is impossible to completely make them disappear.