Shea Butter for Stretch Marks: Does It Help?

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Do you have stretch marks? How does it make you feel? Both men and women can feel embarrassed about their stretch marks. Women often get them as a result of getting pregnant. 

Being able to give birth to a child is a beautiful thing! But sometimes the stretch marks can negatively affect your self-esteem. In order to correct that, we turn to a variety of products available in the market. One popular product is shea butter.

Does shea butter help with stretch marks? Or is it just another marketing gimmick?

The direct answer to that question is yes, shea butter can help with stretch marks. 

In this article, we’ll take a close look at shea butter for stretch marks, and discuss whether this is the answer to your frustrating marks.


What Are Stretch Marks, And How Do You Get Them?

Stretch Marks on Skin
Stretch marks source: Wikipedia

Stretch marks are small scars that develop when the skin shrinks or stretches quickly. The stretching or shrinking of the skin occurs so fast that the elastin and collagen on the skin rupture. 

The process of healing the skin will cause it to possibly develop stretch marks. They may look like stripes or zig-zags on the skin. 

The occurrence of stretch marks on the skin will vary from one person to another. Some are more prone to developing these marks, it’s pretty random.

If most of your other family members get them, you are most likely to have them too.

Hormones are thought to have an effect on them as well. 

Stretch marks are most common in women who get pregnant. However, they can also be present in other situations such as a growth spurt in puberty, rapid muscle growth, or fast weight gain or loss. 

At first, the stretch marks will look reddish, purplish, or brownish discoloration on the skin. They may also be slightly raised and could feel itchy. 

As time passes by, the color fades. The bands that are raised will slowly sink. As the stretch marks mature, you can feel them as slight depressions on the skin. 

How Can You Get Rid Of Stretch Marks?

Just like other scars, it could be difficult to completely remove stretch marks because they are permanent. What can be done is to make them less noticeable (losing weight can help).

Additionally, you can also make them more comfortable by dealing with the itch.

There are various products that you can use to help with the stretch marks depending on what you want to do to them. Products such as derma-rollers, creams, lotions, and gels, and even self-tanner can all help.

Shea butter is a great ingredient that is commonly used to help with stretch marks. However, it doesn’t completely remove them. 

In order to get rid of them completely, you have to undergo medical procedures. Such procedures involve using laser technology. 

There are also some who remove the stretch marks as they undergo tummy tuck surgery. With this procedure, the excess skin that has stretch marks is removed. 

There are also some who would undergo microdermabrasion and other more expensive procedures. Some of these procedures aren’t just expensive, they also have health risks.

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What Is Shea Butter?

Shea Butter

The fat that comes from the nuts of the shea tree is called shea butter. It remains solid at warm temperatures and is off-white in color. 

It’s sorta like coconut oil, but… different!

These shea trees are mostly found in West Africa. They are still currently the largest producers of shea butter. 

Shea butter is a sought-after ingredient in the beauty industry because of the many benefits it possesses. It contains vitamins and fatty acids that help soothe, smooth, and condition the skin. 

Plus, it has a very smooth consistency that can be easily spread over the skin. It is also easily absorbed by the skin and it won’t leave your skin feeling oily.

Shea Butter for Skin

Shea butter may come from a nut but it doesn’t trigger allergies as much as some other nuts. It is low in protein and can be used by those with sensitive skin. 

Does Shea Butter Help With Stretch Marks?

Shea Butter for Skin

Using shea butter is a good alternative to expensive procedures. Although it cannot totally remove stretch marks, shea butter could help soften the appearance of the stretch marks. 

Additionally, using shea butter doesn’t involve surgical procedures or other more risky procedures!

Using shea butter on your stretch marks will help prevent the stretch marks from further developing. Shea butter does that because it is rich in vitamin A and E which helps with skin elasticity. 

Shea Butter During Pregnancy

Vitamins A and E are the key ingredients that boost the production of collagen so that the elasticity of the skin is improved.

That’s the reason why it is advised for pregnant people to apply shea butter regularly on their tummy.

This will help the skin become stretchier. It will help prevent stretch marks from appearing as your tummy grows. 

As more collagen is produced due to the use of shea butter, the skin becomes more supple and stretchy.

Shea butter application is a great way to prevent the skin from developing stretch marks. However, it can still be used when you already have stretch marks. 

Shea Butter on Already-Visible Stretch Marks

When shea butter is applied regularly to the areas where you have stretch marks, it can significantly reduce its appearance.

Shea butter can help with stretch marks but it can’t cure them. The only thing it can do is to reduce the itching and redness. It may also prevent further damage to the skin by making it more elastic.

Furthermore, shea butter also helps promote cell regeneration.

It can help heal the scars and improve the appearance as it boosts the production of new and healthy cells. 

There are antioxidants found in shea butter. These natural antioxidants help vitamin C so that it could also promote collagen production. 

The antioxidants are useful in improving the microcirculation in the skin so that stretch marks. With that, the skin would better receive the nutrients and oxygen it needs to produce healthier cells.

Lastly, shea butter is also thought to stop the keloid fibroblast or scar tissue from reproducing. Instead of scar tissues, it promotes the growth of healthier cells instead. 

With continued use, the scar tissues would stop growing and healthier skin cells will help minimize its appearance. 

How To Use Shea Butter For Stretch Marks

Shea Butter for Stretch Makrs

Shea butter is a common ingredient added to lotions or creams that are nourishing and moisturizing. However, most would prefer to have shea butter that’s as natural and unprocessed as possible. 

That’s why most people would advise using raw shea butter for stretch marks. 

To use shea butter on stretch marks, it has to be applied regularly. You could apply it 2-3 times a day. If you want to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy, use shea butter during early pregnancy. 

At that time, the skin still hadn’t stretched a lot. With regular application, the skin becomes supple so it can stretch with minimal stretch marks.

Then, you should continue using it even after giving birth as your tummy skin shrinks to avoid stretch marks. 

Just be reminded to use organic shea butter if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. This type of shea butter is the safest type available.

Always check the ingredient list before using them because it could contain some chemicals that aren’t safe for you and your child.

Types of Shea Butter

If you are looking for shea butter to use on your stretch marks, remember that there are many different types available. Some are more effective than others. 

Raw Shea Butter

Raw Shea Butter

Raw shea butter is preferred because it isn’t processed and there are no additives. That also means that it helps with stretch marks in the most natural way. 

However, pure shea butter may feel a little bit greasy for some people. It can feel quite thick on the skin 

Raw shea butter can be more difficult to find. A good alternative is unrefined shea butter. This type is produced by melting the shea butter and sifting it to remove impurities. 

It still didn’t undergo too much processing so it will also be as effective and easier to find.

Refined Shea Butter

Refined Shea Butter

If you see refined shea butter, it simply means that there are additives such as preservatives and chemicals in it. The additives help preserve the shea butter and neutralize the scent and color of the raw shea butter. 

Ultra-Refined Shea Butter

Ultra-Refined Shea Butter

Then, there are also the ultra-refined types, which you will usually see on various beauty products. They are still effective moisturizers but the healing properties could be lessened due to the processes it undergoes. 

How Long Does Shea Butter Take To Remove Stretch Marks?

As we said above, shea butter won’t necessarily remove stretch marks completely, but it can greatly reduce their intensity.

Assuming you’re using shea butter daily, you should start to see results in two to three months. With luck, your stretch marks will be much less noticeable.

Final Thoughts

With whatever shea butter product you choose to use, make sure that you don’t just put it on the stretch marks area. It would be better to massage the skin.

That will not only help the shea butter be absorbed by the skin, it will also help with circulation. 

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).