The skin is made up of three pivotal layers. The epidermis (the top layer), the dermis (middle layer) and the hypodermise(button layer).
When the connective tissue in the middle layer of the skin is over stretched beyond its elasticity, it causes a tear, which then appears on the top layer of the skin as strikes or lines. These marks tend to be prevalent during pregnancy, puberty, rapid weight gain, or use of certain medications
You can prevent the occurrence or the severity of stretch marks during pregnancy by using raw, unrefined African shea butter.
Shea butter is a fat obtained from the nuts of the African shea tree. It’s packed with skin loving nutrients that boost the production of collagen.
Collagen is one of the most abundant protein in the body, that is responsible for giving the skin it’s elasticity; and supports the connective tissue in its ability to hold everything in place.
The application of Unrefined shea butter on the skin can help improve blood circulation which encourages cell regeneration and improves collagen production.
I have been using Shea butter for years due to my dry skin; it makes my skin supple and hydrated. It is an excellent skin moisturiser that gives a nice glow to the skin.
During my first pregnancy,I intensively used shea butter all over my body, after my morning shower. And in the afternoon, in the evening , right before I slept, and when I woke up to wee in the middle of the night, i massaged the butter in to my skin focusing on the abdomen and hips because stretch marks are more persistent on those areas. I did this right through to my final trimester. And guess what! I didn’t have a single stretch mark.
That excitement was short lived because my second pregnancy didn’t go as organised as the first. I was busier and didn’t have as much time in my hands to indulge my skin in shea butter. so, at the end i developed some stretch marks. I attempted to salvage the situation at the beginning of my third trimester. But it was a little too late. (The marks are not that bad to be honest, just some few strikes on the Lower left and right side of my abdomen)
I am still applying Shea butter on my skin, giving extra attention to the affected areas. Nine months after childbirth, i have noticed drastic improvement, and i am very hopeful that they will fade.
For my next pregnancy (phew! not anytime soon) I am going to indulge my skin in Shea butter. And I advice you do the same 🙂
- Use unrefined Shea butter as all the nutrients are intact
- Gently melt the butter on low heat and decant in to a jar, allow it to settle at room temperature
- Take a generous amount and massage in to the skin until it’s properly absorbed.
- Continuous use will yield a more desirable result.
- It’s safe and gentle even on baby’s skin. It helps heal and prevent nappy rash
- Shea butter is also an anti inflammatory, anti-aging and a sun screen , so if I were you I would incorporate it in to my skin care regime.