No, my body isn't PERFECT. It has given birth to THREE kids. It has gained and lost over 100 pounds. Yes, I am covered in scars that reflect this truth. STRETCH MARKS. It's a word that negatively effects most womens self-esteem to the core, and I am covered in them. My stomach, my hips, my thighs... and worst of all my A**! (I'd show you, but I have to leave some things up to the imagination...) ;p When I asked my Mister for help with taking the photo you see above, he looked at me totally bewildered and the first thing out of his mouth was, "WHY do you want to show them THIS?!?!" –– I knew at that moment that I was doing the right thing.
I don't know a single woman who proudly displays her stretch marks for all to see. It's no wonder given the fact that mainstream media does everything it can to hide such imperfections in the thousands of images of actresses and models that we are bombarded with everyday. I think it's really sad that we as women are embarrassed and ashamed of the marks that are left on our bodies from baring our children, or from any weight loss that follows––we've earned them!
Taking the above photo and writing this post was anything but easy, but given the amount of times that I am asked on a daily bases about whether or not I have stretch marks, I thought it was extremely necessary... if not my public duty, to be vulnerable enough with you all to share mine.
While I'm fortunate enough to be able to hide most stretch marks under my underwear/swimsuit line, the thought of simply proclaiming "I have stretch marks" and showing them to the world wasn't enough. I wanted to cover the subject in greater detail. So without further ado here is my personal Bikini Body Mommy guide to preventing, repairing, and diminishing STRETCH MARKS.
STEP 1: PREVENT
DRINK AT LEAST 1/2 YOUR BODY WEIGHT IN OUNCES OF WATER DAILY *Upwards Of ONE GALLON The term "stretch marks" is really a misnomer. They are caused by hormonal changes and not just the skin stretching. Creams and other topical "treatments" can make the skin softer and more elastic, but they will not prevent stretch marks, nor make them go away. HYDRATION is the single biggest preventative measure that can be taken to ward off stretch marks because it directly effects the collagen fibers of your skin.
STEP 2: REPAIR
To be honest, I've had very little success with topical creams and I've tried the gamut. To be fair, I probably wasn't using them soon enough after I first noticed the stretch marks appearing, which is when most dermatologist say they'd have the greatest chance at being most effective. That said, I have found a topical skin care combo that has great reviews amongst those who have started early and applied often at the onslaught of their stretch marks first appearance.
• 1/2 cup olive oil
• 1/2 cup aloe vera gel
• 10 vitamin E caplets - prick & drain into mixture
• 5 vitamin A caplets - prick & drain into mixture
*Mix all of the above together and store in the refrigerator. Apply daily.
STEP 3: MASK
Last but certainly not least is my FAVORITE "PHOTOSHOP IN A BAG" LOTION called PRTTY PEAUSHUN [pronounced: pretty potion]. This stuff is absolutely UNBELIEVABLE for masking ALL of your skins flaws! I first learned about the product from a make-up artist who was styling me for the cover of a woman's health mag. HOOKED after that initial introduction, it quickly became my SECRET GO-TO WEAPON during times when I have to be in a bikini for a photo shoot, or even when I'm just spending the day at the beach with my family and I want to make my skin look flawless.
I wear MEDIUM, but it comes in a spectrum of different colors. Here is the link to get it for yourself: PRTTYPEAUSHUN
TRUST ME. You won't want to go through this summer without it!
IN CLOSING: I hope that I answered everyone's questions about stretch marks, and if nothing else that you found this blog post inspirational. If so, I'd love for you to SHARE the photo above with all the women in your life. I'd also love to hear your feedback in the comments below, or on BIKINI BODY MOMMY Facebook Page.
Thank you for the ENDLESS support Bikini Body Mommies. You ladies ROCK MY WORLD!