Does Shea Butter Help With Stretch Marks? [+Easy Alternatives]

Ask a pregnant lady what her biggest concern is regarding her personal appearance; most often, the answer will be stretch marks.

Pregnancy stretch marks are a pet peeve for most women, and they are ready to try almost anything under the sun to avoid them.

Getting rid of stretch marks that are already there on the skin can be very difficult. It is nearly impossible with just topical applications; only cosmetic procedures can help.

It is best to avoid them as much as possible, with effective ingredients like Shea butter.

Shea butter is highly moisturizing and can help nourish dry skin. It cannot erase the stretch marks that are already there on your skin, but it can help prevent some of them. Shea butter can reduce the itching and redness that occur when skin is dry and expands. It nourishes the skin and keeps it supple.

Shea butter is extensively used in many skin care products due to its efficiency in keeping the skin looking young, feeling soft and nourished.

It can reduce the appearance of some new stretch marks and over tie it can also help reduce the visibility of old stretch marks.

How To Avoid Stretch Marks?

The appearance of stretch marks varies from woman to woman. Most of it is genetic. The skin stretches when you are pregnant and it expands to accommodate the growing baby inside.

After birth, when your body shrinks back in size, the skin does too but will leave marks left behind.

You cannot completely avoid stretch marks. Very few women get away without any such marks during their pregnancy.

If your skin is dry and undernourished, more stretch marks can appear and stay visible for longer.

Keeping your skin well moisturized and not letting it dry can help reduce the occurrence of stretch marks.

To deeply moisturize your skin, you can use various creams, including Shea butter, olive oil, and various other body butters.

Is Shea Butter Helpful in Preventing the Stretch Marks?

It can up to a certain extent. Shea butter can be very nourishing and will deeply moisturize your skin. When your skin is not dry, stretch marks do not appear easily. 

Regular use of Shea butter on areas where the skin is expanding quickly can help prevent the occurrence of stretch marks to a certain extent.

You need to ensure your skin is well moisturized at all times for the best possible results. 

Does Shea Butter Regular Usage During Pregnancy Help With Stretch Marks ?

Stretch marks are a type of scar. When you apply Shea butter to the marks, it can help reduce the appearance of the marks over time. 

If you use the Shea butter right from the beginning of your pregnancy, then it can reduce the occurrence of stretch marks to a great extent.

But applying Shea butter throughout your pregnancy ensures the skin is well-nourished and not dry.

It also improves skin elasticity, which in turn will result in lesser scars due to stretching.

How Long Does Shea Butter Take To Remove Stretch Marks?

Shea butter cannot remove the stretch marks that are already on your skin. It can only “improve” the appearance of stretch marks.

With regular use, Shea butter can reduce the visibility of the reddish stretch marks. So, the result is similar to Shea butter “removing” stretch marks, but it is not actually removing them. 

The duration for Shea butter to have a visible impact on your skin can vary from skin to skin.

If your skin is very dry and the marks are very deep, it will take a lot of time before you can see any visible results.

On the other hand, if you have well-moisturized skin and the marks are very mild, you may see results within a few days of continuous usage. 

How To Use Shea Butter During Pregnancy?

Shea butter is thick and rich. You need not use a lot of it to see visible results on your skin. You can use it directly from the jar or box.

Rubbing Shea Butter during pregnancy

Even if it is a little thick, the warmth in your palms will heat it up quickly and make it easy to apply.

Take a generous amount and slowly but firmly massage it into the skin. Ensure you cover all areas where the skin is stretching due to pregnancy.

You need to cover the baby bump, breasts, and buttocks. If your thighs are gaining weight, you can apply there too.

You can even mix a little Shea butter with your body scrub or homemade scrub with sugar crystals.

A scrub will usually irritate the skin, and butter can help soothe it immediately.

Don’t overload the Shea butter, as the greasy texture might reduce the abrasion effect of the scrub.

Does Cocoa Butter Help With Stretch Marks?

Cocoa butter is another fat-based butter just like Shea butter. It can also help moisturize and deeply nourish your skin from within.

Cocoa butter can also not erase all those marks away completely. With continuous use, cocoa butter can also help reduce the appearance of the stretch marks like Shea butter.

Cocoa Butter

If your skin is oily or clogs easily, resulting in acne, cocoa butter may not be a great option.

Cocoa butter tends to occlude, unlike Shea butter, and can clog your pores. With prolonged usage, it can cause acne or other breakouts in the skin, resulting in more marks in addition to the stretch marks.

When you compare the two, Shea butter is a better option for all skin types when you want to treat stretch marks.

Other Alternatives To Prevent Stretch Marks

You don’t have to always resort to packaged products to help with your stretch marks and other pregnancy-related skin issues.

If you are unsure about the chemicals and their effect on your pregnancy skin, you can opt for natural ingredients. These will not cause any rash or allergies in most cases.

Here are a few natural ingredients you can include in your daily or regular skincare routine during pregnancy. They are safe as well as effective.

IngredientsHow Does It Help
WaterIt hydrates the skin from within and ensures it does not dry out, leading to marks and scars
Aloe VeraIt is a naturally occurring ingredient, which will not have any side effects or chemicals that can irritate the delicate pregnancy skin
Coconut OilIt has nourishing properties and is an important ingredient in most the skincare routines
HoneyIt helps lighten the scars and moisturizes the skin at the same time
Olive OilIt is rich and helps deep moisturize the skin. Regular use can help prevent stretch marks to a great extent.

All the above ingredients can help considerably reduce red stretch marks, as they are new and only on the dermal layer. 

The white stretch marks which form when the blood vessels reduce in the skin and reveal the underlying fat layer are more challenging to remove.

They are stubborn and mature. Shea butter and other home remedies can help only to an extent with such stretch marks.

If you want to eliminate all the silver or white stretch marks completely, it can take years.

For quicker and more definite results, you can consult your dermatologist, who can recommend various procedures for the same.

Helpful Tips To Prevent Stretch Marks

As mentioned earlier, the way our skin responds to various events is mostly genetic.

If your skin is genetically designed to form a lot of marks or scars, there is not much you can do. 

Here are some tips you can use during pregnancy to reduce the formation of stretch marks, if not prevent it completely:

  • Ensure your skin is well moisturized at all times
  • Drink a lot of water and keep your skin hydrated from within. Water helps wash out the free radicals that cause skin damage too.
  • If your skin does not break out, you can massage various oils into your skin and let it soak for a few minutes before you can wash it off.
  • If you live in a dry or cold area, keep your skin covered and use a rich moisturizer every day.
  • Avoid scratching as it can add to the marks. If you itch badly, apply some cream or powder to help with the itch. Never scratch bad enough to draw out blood.
  • Carry a small bottle of Shea butter or something similar with you at all times. You can just apply a little on areas that feel dry or itchy.
  • Wear loose and airy clothes. The less you sweat, the less you will itch.

Final Thoughts

Skin’s reaction to creams, lotions, and other products varies from person to person.

On a general scale, Shea butter is famous for its help with scars, stretch marks, and dry skin, to a great extent. If you use it with patience, you can see visible results in a few days.

However, if you feel it is clogging your skin, you need to explore other alternatives. 

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