Arnica essential oil may help get rid of stretch marks. It’s a common ingredient in massage oils, natural joint creams and other therapeutic products and remedies. Most notably, it’s used to soften scars and help speed up healing after surgery. Now it’s becoming increasingly popular as a means of making new stretch marks fade quickly, and in conjunction with cocoa butter or other moisturizing creams to help prevent new stretch marks from developing.
What is arnica oil?
Distilled from a common European wildflower, arnica oil has been used for a wide range of medicinal applications for centuries. As with most essential oils, arnica oil is toxic at its full strength. Even in diluted preparations, it’s never a good idea to ingest arnica oil unless directed by a doctor or other qualified medical professional. Arnica oil is most often used for arthritis therapies or post-surgery, specifically because of its purported anti-inflammatory and mildly antibiotic properties. It may also have properties that promote healing directly, though structured trials have never been done to test its efficacy in this area. That said, anecdotal evidence is strong enough that it’s a popular natural healing therapy.
How is arnica oil used in preparations?
Arnica oil products are usually used topically, and they are available commercially. Most recommend that you massage the product into your skin daily, preferably after a shower or bath so that it’s readily absorbed. Follow the manufacturer’s specifications on your particular product. While most commercial preparations are diluted enough not to cause an issue, it is possible to have a reaction to it – stop using it if you experience any skin irritation. Some products recommend that you use them for no more than 10 consecutive days, then take a break for 5-7 days to reduce the chances of irritation.
Can arnica oil stretch mark remedies be made at home?
Pure arnica oil is readily available from various online vendors, as well as local health stores. Make sure that you buy your oil from a reliable source; oil that’s tainted or diluted could be less useful or, worse, potentially dangerous. Never put the pure oil on your skin. Instead, you can add a drop or two to any topical product intended to help skin, joints or muscles. This might include joint cream, massage oils, or commercially prepared lotions. Take it one step further and make your own body products at home, then add a small amount of arnica oil to the mix.
For simplest usage, simply add a couple of drops of arnica oil to a carrier oil with moisturizing properties. Common carriers include jojoba, sweet almond oil, extra virgin olive oil or aloe vera gel. Add in an element of aromatherapy with a few drops of other potentially beneficial essential oils such as lavender, peppermint or patchouli. A little tea tree oil may also help further promote healing.
Remember that you can’t completely get rid of existing stretch marks. You can soften the scars, reduce the red or purple coloration around the marks, and tighten up the skin to reduce the size of the marks. With attentive skin care, it is possible to significantly reduce the appearance of stretch marks and possibly prevent any others from developing.