DEAR SARAH: My friend recommended coconut oil for pregnancy stretch marks. It sounds good but is it really better than those oils and butters that I’ve seen?
I really like the idea of using organic coconut oil as I’ve heard that there are no chemicals used so it’s incredibly gentle for my skin. I am prone to stretch marks around my belly, boobs and hips so I was just wondering if this might help.
Are there any downsides?
SARAH SAYS: When I first fell pregnant, a good friend of mine recommended that I use coconut oil for pregnancy stretch marks. I’d heard wonderful things about coconut oil for diet, hair and even teeth but could it also work for skin?
As much as I enjoyed bringing new life into this world, I became shy after my first pregnancy. I didn’t like to wear any revealing clothes because I had stretch marks on my stomach area.
Luckily, a friend recommended that I try to use coconut oil to get rid of the stretch marks.
How does coconut oil help?
To be honest, coconut oil has to be one of the most effective ointments when it comes to skin care. After my pregnancy, I tried many products, but never got any satisfactory results.
Coconut oil is effective because it contains high levels of vitamin E. Vitamin E is very important since it helps to prevent inflammation and combats free radicals that could damage the skin.
Vitamin E also helps to increase the rate of moisture absorption within the skin, making it glow, firmer, and less likely to develop stretch marks.
Stretch marks can occur in various areas of the body and can also be caused by other activities other than birth. The other causes are weight gain, weight lifting or breast formation during puberty. During pregnancy, I recommend that you apply the oil at least three times daily – morning, noon, and night time – on the belly and those areas likely to develop stretch marks during pregnancy.
Since I had already given birth by the time I learnt about coconut oil, I would apply it every night before I went to bed, I often did it after taking a shower to make sure that my skin was clean. In the morning, I would wash it off before I left for work. Within a few months, the stretch marks were gone.
Below are some of the properties that make coconut oil such a great ointment for preventing stretch marks:
In most cases, stretch marks happen due to inflammation of the skin that can cause it to stretch far out especially when giving birth. Coconut oil, in this case, comes in handy because it has anti-inflammatory properties that help restore the texture of the skin as well as reduce the time of healing for stretch marks.
When using coconut oil, it’s vital that one rub the oil on the skin so as to make sure that it gets absorbed. I can tell you from experience that no one could tell whether I had given birth because the coconut oil was so effective in restoring my skin’s natural glow and smoothness.
Bonus: It’s Cheap!
Unlike many of the lotions available, coconut oil is extremely affordable and has the added bonus that it smells great!
Side effects and risks of coconut oil for pregnancy stretch marks
Coconut oil is regarded to be safe for use by doctors and specialists all over the world. Yet, those that have an allergic reaction to coconuts or other nuts such as walnuts and hazelnuts are advised to avoid using the oil since it could have the same effects.
The Bottom Line
It’s safe to say that coconut oil is an excellent choice for skin care and stretch mark prevention thanks to its healing properties. This product helped me to regain my self-confidence after helping me to get rid of after-birth stretch marks. Unless you are allergic to nuts, I suggest that you try it out, even if you are not expectant.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.