Can Sugar Scrubs Help Reduce Stretch Marks?
Stretch marks occur in millions of people and are common during pregnancy or excessive weight gain. Between 70% - 80% of Americans have stretch marks. Stretch marks are a form of scarring within the skin that occur during rapid periods of growth with stretching of the collagen fibers. We've all seen them, either on ourselves or a friend or family member. People have been attempting to treat them for thousands of years, including using olive oil in ancient Greece and Rome and Ethiopians using frankincense. Both modern and ancient history tells us that stretch marks are a real concern for many both physically and psychologically.
Sugar scrubs are a common body and facial exfoliant, commonly used for reducing dry skin, moisturizing, cleansing, and making skin healthier. Sugar found within sugar scrubs is a natural source of glycolic acid, which has been shown to increase collagen production within the skin. What exactly is is glycolic acid? It’s a colorless and odorless alpha hydroxy acid(AHA) which is usually derived from sugar cane.
When applied to skin, glycolic acid stimulates fibroblasts in the dermis to produce increased collagen proteins. It can help speed up the skin renewal process and improve the soft texture as well as the appearance of skin. Increases in collagen have shown to produce more youthful skin, including firmer, smoother skin. As we get older, our body’s collagen production naturally slows down, so a boost to production can equate to younger-looking, smoother skin. Glycolic acid also helps exfoliate the outer, dead layer of skin. This process helps glycolic acids small molecule size enter the dermis layer, allowing collagen proteins to be created more easily. Collagen has also been shown to act as a powerful wound healer, able to stop bleeding, recruit immune and skin cells, and stimulate new blood vessel formation. Collagen's powerful healing properties allow for new, healthier skin to grow.
With this in mind, gently using exfoliating sugar scrubs on your stretch marks with consistency aids in glycolic acid entering the skin leading to more collagen production and a potential reduction in stretch marks. Exfoliating with sugar scrubs is another powerful aid in stretch mark reduction and a happier, more positive you.
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Glycolic acid treatment increases type I collagen mRNA and hyaluronic acid content of human skin.
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Comparison of topical therapy for striae alba (20% glycolic acid/0.05% tretinoin versus 20% glycolic acid/10% L-ascorbic acid).