Bio-Oil For Stretch Marks (Things To Know Plus Tips)

Anyone who knows me knows that I’ll read just about anything that talks about skin health. While at it, I came across this very informative stat: up to 90% of pregnant women get stretch marks. No surprise there. The bit that I didn’t know is that more than 50% of the adolescent and adult population also get stretch marks. In other words, it’s something that most of us have to deal with (or not) at some point in life. Me, I prefer handling my stretch marks the natural way – using bio-oil.

Bio-oil is that good at getting rid of newly formed stretch marks. It’s packed with tons of skin-enhancing ingredients like lavender, rosemary, chamomile, and calendula. These herbs are rich in vitamin A (retinoids), vitamin E (tocopherol) and several other compounds that improve the appearance and health of your skin.

The compounds work together to remove the lines caused by stretch marks, even out your skin tone and leave your skin looking younger and more radiant. That’s why I’d recommend Bio-Oil for stretch marks on any day of the week. Let's get into more details about this method below...

What is Bio-Oil?

Since its rollout in 2002, Bio-Oil has won well over 220 skincare awards all over the world. Ask anyone who has tried it and they’ll tell you that it’s the cure-all for all your skin problems. But what exactly is this magical oil?

To put it simply, Bio-Oil is a skincare product that is specially formulated to improve the appearance of scars, even out skin tone, treat skin dehydration, minimize wrinkles, and – you’ve guessed it – improve the appearance of stretch marks.

One thing you need to know (it’s, in fact, a disclaimer on Bio-Oil’s website) is that stretch marks are usually permanent in nature. They come about when the body grows at a faster rate than the skin covering it. When the skin stretches that suddenly, it develops long and narrow stripes – what we all call stretch marks.

Now, Bio-Oil doesn’t remove stretch marks per se. What it does is improve their appearance and give your skin an even tone. If you use it properly, someone may need a microscope to prove that you have them.

I know stretch marks are neither dangerous nor symptoms of any disease. But let’s face it, those streaks of broken elastin that tend to pop up as if from nowhere don’t really scream “pretty”. In fact, psychologists have proven time and again that stretch marks can affect your self-esteem and quality of life.

Related Post: Genius Tips For Removing Stretch Marks With Baking Soda

How Does Bio-Oil Work with Stretch Marks?

I’ve mentioned that Bio-Oil is made using lavender, rosemary, chamomile and calendula extracts. These herbs contain several skin-enhancing compounds, but the two that you need to know are vitamin A (retinoids) and vitamin E (tocopherol).

Why those two? Because they give Bio-Oil its ability to treat stretch marks. In addition to removing stripes of broken elastin, retinoids also even out your skin tone. They increase cellular turnover, stimulate collagen and reduce wrinkles. On its part, tocopherol is the undisputed champ of making your skin look younger and more radiant.

Combined, the two offer unparalleled regenerative properties. It’s no surprise that Kim Kardashian cottoned on to Bio-Oil way ahead of the rest of us. Speaking about the oil in 2013, she said: “it prevents wrinkles around my eyes and stretch marks over my body.

Are there ways to back up her claim? Turns out there are quite a few. In a 2011 study that was carried out in Texas, researchers found that 86% of people who used Bio-Oil registered “significant improvement” in the appearance of their skin.

A similar study had been conducted in 2005 in South Africa’s Photobiology Laboratory of Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University (SMU). The results were pretty much the same.

Most Effective Ways to Use Bio-Oil

The beauty of using Bio-Oil is that the plant extracts used are suspended in an oil base. You can, therefore, apply it topically pretty much like any moisturizer, lotion or oil that you’re used to. The only difference (with your regular lotion) is that Bio-Oil contains an ingredient called PurCellin.

Is PurCellin a good thing? Absolutely. It makes the oil non-greasy and slightly light inconsistency. In other words, it won’t block your pores. The oil’s ingredients will be absorbed faster than most other oils.

So, how should you use Bio-Oil? That depends on whether you’re using it by itself or with another oil. Here’s a layout:

1.) Bio-Oil

If you’re not combining Bio-Oil with any other skincare product, then make sure you use it at least twice a day, preferably in the morning and before bed. You don’t have to wash it off. Massage the oil gently on every part of the skin where stretch marks appear. Use a circular motion for the best results. Do that consistently for at least three months and you will start to notice your stretch marks “disappearing”. 

You can use the oil to avoid stretch marks during and after pregnancy. It is recommended that you start applying Bio-Oil in the second trimester of pregnancy. Focus on areas that typically get stretch marks like the abdomen, thighs, lower back, breasts, and hips.

While it's generally safe for pregnant women, it wouldn’t hurt asking your doctor if you can use bio oil on stretch marks. That’s especially important if you’re also using other oils.

2.) Bio-Oil and Aloe Vera Gel

The rule of thumb here is to apply Bio-Oil first and then Aloe Vera. Why? Because Aloe Vera gel, like pretty much every other moisturizer, can leave a residue on your skin. That residue may block pores and prevent Bio-Oil from being absorbed, and you don’t want that.

So, start by applying Bio-Oil wherever stretch marks appear and then wait until it's absorbed. That should be anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes. Feel free to do other stuff (chores or preparations for the next day; assuming you’re applying at night) as you wait.

After that, apply Aloe Vera and massage it gently. In addition to all the stretch mark removing benefits of Bio-Oil, this combo brings to the table all the healing and rejuvenating properties of Aloe Vera. It's excellent for treating eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, burns, and sunburns.

3.) Bio-Oil and Cocoa Butter

Again, start by applying Bio-Oil before cocoa buttercream or lotion. Otherwise, the cocoa butter can block your skin’s pores and prevent them from absorbing Bio-Oil. 10 minutes should be enough to allow Bio-Oil to be absorbed properly. Proceed to apply cocoa butter.

I know we all have our different ways of applying cocoa butter. But in this case, the best method is to shave off a piece and rub it gently against your skin. It will melt, allowing all the ingredients to be absorbed through the skin. Use the two oils at least twice a day and you won’t have any regrets.

So, why combine cocoa butter and Bio-Oil? Because Bio-Oil actually improves the appearance of stretch marks and cocoa butter moistens and nourishes the skin. It has a special type of fat that forms a protective barrier over your skin, trapping moisture in the process. Besides, it improves the skin’s elasticity, smoothens scars and reduces wrinkles.

4.) Bio-Oil and Shea Butter

By now you know the drill – apply Bio-Oil first and then shea butter. Do it twice a day and, just like magic, they’ll improve the appearance of your skin. Shea butter is rich in vitamins and fatty acids, both of which are great for skin care. Here’s what they do:

  • Soothe the skin
  • Tone the skin
  • Condition the skin
  • Soften the skin 
  • Offer anti-inflammatory properties

5.) Bio-Oil and Aspirin

Aspirin for skincare? Absolutely, and it does a very good job. It contains salicylic acid which rids the skin of dead cells and excess oil. By doing so, the acid treats acne and inflammation. It may also be an anti-aging agent that reduces wrinkles.

Now, if you use Bio-Oil and aspirin for younger-looking, acne-free skin, you will end up with healthy and well-toned elastin. As usual, start with Bio-Oil before applying aspirin. Powdered aspirin is the best, but if you can’t get your hands on that you can still crush a few tablets and use the resultant powder.

Mix it with a tablespoon of warm water to form a paste. Apply Bio-Oil, wait for about 7 minutes and then apply the aspirin paste. Leave the mixture on for 10 to 15 minutes and then wash it off. That’s it, you’re good to go. If you wish you can apply Bio-Oil again after cleansing the area thoroughly.

Are There Any Side Effects?

Although Bio-Oil is generally safe, it does come with a few risks and potential side effects. For example, it contains linalool, an alcohol that has no business being inside your body. In other words, you shouldn’t use Bio-Oil on broken or cracked skin.

Also, if essential oils trigger your allergies then it would be wise to stay clear off Bio-Oil. It’s made using essential oil extracts and may, therefore, be allergenic to some people.

Other than those two considerations, Bio-Oil is completely safe for topical use. Do not ingest and in case of any doubts please consult your doctor or physician for direction.

Related Post: Can Apple Cider Vinegar Reduce Stretch Marks? (Things to Know and Tips)

Related Questions

When should I start using Bio-Oil on my stretch marks?: As soon as you notice the stretch marks. If you are pregnant then its recommended that you wait until the second trimester.

How long does it take for bio-oil to work on stretch marks?: At least three months. Apply the oil a minimum of two times per day and you’re likely to start seeing some results after three months. Note that Bio-Oil works differently on different people (depending on race, age, diet, and type of skin).

Is it safe to use Bio-Oil for stretch marks during pregnancy?: Yes, it is completely safe. In fact, Bio-Oil won the Best Maternity Skincare Product, Mums & Tots Awards, in Ireland in 2019. It's recommended that you start to apply the oil during the second trimester.

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