Stretch marks or striae (singular stria), as they are called in dermatology, are a form of scarring on the skin with an off-color hue. They are caused by tearing of the dermis, which over time may diminish, but will not disappear completely.

If you’re noticing stretch marks on your body, you’re not alone. Most girls and women have stretch marks, which tend to show up on the breasts, thighs, hips, and butt. Many women get them during pregnancy. And while they’re more common in girls, guys can get stretch marks, too.

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How did they form?
Stretch marks are often the result of the rapid stretching of the skin associated with rapid growth or rapid weight changes. Although the skin is usually fairly elastic, when it’s overstretched, the normal production of collagen (the major protein that makes up the connective tissue in your skin) is disrupted. As a result, scars called stretch marks may form.  Stretch marks may also be influenced by hormonal changes associated with puberty, pregnancy, bodybuilding, hormone replacement therapy, etc. Stretch marks formed during pregnancy, usually during the last trimester, and usually on the belly, but also commonly occurring on the breasts, thighs, hips, lower back and buttocks.
The first signs of stretch marks are going to be read lines that move throughout the skin usually they have a slight wavy pattern. Over time these lines will fade into a lighter color almost a white. This is why the darker your skin color from tanning or naturally the more stretch marks show on your body.
People who are obese often have stretch marks. Bodybuilders are prone to getting stretch marks because of the rapid body changes that bodybuilding can produce. Stretch marks also may occur if a person uses steroid-containing skin creams or ointments (such as hydrocortisone) for more than a few weeks, or has to take high doses of oral corticosteroids for months or longer.


How can I get rid of my stretch marks?

The best way to handle stretch marks is to prevent them entirely. If you know you will be gaining weight or your skin will be stretching do something like pregnancy or weight lifting then you can take steps in order to reduce the likelihood of stretch marks to occur in the first place. If you have them already, try some of the advises below.

1. Stay Hydrated

Drink lots of water to keep your skin fresh, drinking at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day and more if you live in a hot climate or sweat a lot. Along with this, eat nutritious food that will complement the water and keep your skin soft. This is probably the simplest home remedy for stretch marks and helps with a host of other ailments as well. When the skin is properly hydrated the cells are able to expand and stretch in a natural way. In addition to drinking water, you should make sure that your skin stays moisture.
REMEMBER! – Staying hydrated is key to keeping skin moisturized.

2. Eat Healthy

One of the best ways to deals with stretch marks and live healthy is to eat healthy. Having a diet full of foods rich in vitamins and nutrients such as fruits and vegetables will help provide elasticity to your skin and could help prevent stretch marks from forming. Foods that contain vitamin A, C and E, if included sufficiently in the diet, help in reducing the stretch marks. Foods that are rich sources of zinc and silica, aid in producing collagen, which is an important ingredient in renewing and regenerating the skin.  Foods like fish oils, vegetable oils and fresh vegetables also help to eliminate stretch marks.
 3. Exercise

There isn’t much that a good workout can’t do and it’s another way to deal with stretch marks. It might seem like working out won’t do much for your skin but working out tones your muscles, which helps your skin look and feel better. Exercise also helps boost oxygen and blood flow to your skin, helps purge your body of toxins from sweating and helps rebuild skin-all which can make a difference in dealing with stretch marks!

4. Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a core building block in skin health. You can work vitamin E into your diet a few different ways. First you can run it directly on your skin. Vitamin E oil is a great way to get the nutrients directly to the source. In addition your body will absorb the vitamin E systematically through the skin. One can also take vitamin E orally. This will increase the vitamin E with immune system and allow your skin to properly protect itself.

5. Vitamin C

According to WebMD, some formulations of vitamin C can increase the production of collagen in your body and help with stretch marks in the early stages. They recommend combining vitamin C with glycolic acid for best results. You can also talk to your doctor about adding 500 milligram vitamin C supplements to your diet.
These simple ways to deal with stretch marks can be an effective way to treat stretch marks at home. But if you find that your stretch marks are stubborn or you’ve had them for years so they aren’t budging, you might want to talk to a dermatologist about laser treatment.

6. Shea or Cocoa Butter

I think those two butters are the oldest way to deal with stretch marks and many women still swear by it! They can be a good preventive measure to be used to prevent stretch marks during pregnancy. Both butters contains enzymes that can reduce damage to the skin’s tissues, can help tone your skin and keep it moisturized so it’s more pliable.

7. Retinol – Tretinoin Creams

If you’ve got relatively new stretch marks that are less than six weeks old and are still red, you can try applying retinol topically to minimize the appearance of stretch marks. Using retinol on the skin can help minimize the color, rebuild the dermis and exfoliate older skin, all of which helps decrease their overall appearance. You can find skin care products with retinol in drugstores or by prescription.  Pregnant and breast-feeding mothers should however, avoid using such creams.

8. Lavender Oil

Aroma Oil in Bottles with Lavender, Pine and Mint
Another topical treatment you can use as a way to deal with stretch marks is lavender oil. Lavender oil is one of the gentler oils and can be used to induce the growth of new skin to help reduce the appearance of stretch marks. Mix lavender oil with a carrier oil or a body butter and apply it to the affected area up to three times a day.

9. Coffee Beans

Coffee beans make for a great home remedy for stretch marks. Coffee beans are a great source of chemicals which help in tightening the skin in the affected area. Grind the coffee beans until they take the form of a fine powder. Add olive oil to the powdered coffee beans to make a paste. Apply the mixture to the affected area, rubbing in a circular motion for 30 to 60 seconds. Wrap the affected area with a cling wrap and allow the applied mixture to warm up and get absorbed in to the skin. Leave it on for 5 minutes and then wash it off. Repeat this every day to get rid of your stretch marks.

10. Jojoba Oil

Massaging the affected skin with essential oils such as jojoba oil, helps in improving the blood circulation in the area. When the blood circulation improves, the skin on the breasts heal, thus minimizing the appearance of the marks. Massaging with jojoba oil is one of the most effective home remedies.

11. Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid comes from fruit and is often used in small doses as part of home remedies for stretch marks. This acid has the potential to be dangerous in large doses, so it should only be used by experts.

12. Exfoliation

The best way is to exfoliate the affected area on alternate days with a good quality exfoliator. Regular exfoliation removes the dead skin layer, thus revealing the soft, blemish-free and mark-free skin beneath. Post exfoliation, moisturizing the skin with a cream which has a collagen-producing active ingredient, will help in making the skin look smooth and tight.

Stretch Mark Removal Creams/Lotions
When buying Stretch Mark Removal Cream check all ingredients first.
Those are Natural Ingredients you should look for:

Vitamin A – Vitamin A is already well known for its ability to helps improve the skin’s elasticity, texture and tone.
Vitamin E – The most widely used antioxidant in skincare products today, Vitamin E increases the moisture content of the epidermis, making the skin softer, smoother and more supple. Vitamin E also assists in the proliferation and maintenance of healthy skin.
Calendula oil – Calendula Officinalis, more commonly referred to as marigold, has been used for centuries as a natural antioxidant and has the ability to clarify and condition the skin, while providing soothing and calming benefits for sensitive skin types.
Lavender oil – Lavender oil is well known for its skin conditioning properties, and is also effective in calming and soothing the skin.
Rosemary oil – Rosemary oil helps to invigorate and condition the skin, and has calming and soothing properties.
Chamomile oil – Chamomile has a calming and soothing effect and is particularly beneficial for sensitive skin. It also helps to condition and clarify the skin, assisting to maintain its natural health.
Aloe Vera Gel – There are over 240 different species of Aloe, growing mainly in the dry regions of Africa, Asia , Europe and America . The aloe leaf contains over 75 nutrients and 200 active compounds, including 20 minerals, 18 amino acids, and 12 vitamins. Aloe gel has been used for topical treatment of wounds, minor burns, and skin irritations since ancient Egypt . A major part of acne treatment is healing, and nothing natural heals acne better than aloe.
Alfalfa – First discovered by the Arabs, they dubbed this valuable plant the “father of all foods”. The leaves of this remarkable legume contain eight essential amino acids. Rich in protein, vitamins E and K, alfalfa restores and increases body tone. It contains an anti- fungus agent which alkalizes and detoxifies the skin. This ingredient is one of the top scar treatments.
Green Tea – Catechins (the medicinal portion of green tea) are well recognized as powerful antioxidants. Used to enhance your skin’s immunity and rebuild damaged skin cells. Useful in the treatment of acne scars, burns,stretch mark chronic photo-damage, aging and the effects of environmental pollutants.
Vegetable glycerin – Vegetable glycerin comes to us through a very complex and sophisticated method of extraction known as Hydrolysis. It is invaluable as a natural acne treatment ingredient with emollient like properties which can soften and soothe the skin and it assists the outer epidermis is retaining moisture.  Like Divas Masas Shea butter will never dry out your skin, and will make it feel clean and smooth.

More info about Stevia and Himalayan Salt


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What about Bleaching Agents?

People, nowadays, want to look fairer than they usually do.  However, there are reasons to be worried about using such products as some may harm the skin as well. Let us discover then how bleaching skin creams may work or not for skin lightening.
Bleaching skin creams are solutions that are applied topically on the skin that works to lighten it. These creams contain an active ingredient known as hydroquinone which is the only skin bleaching agent that had been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Bleaching skin creams are normally used to fade hyper-pigmented areas and in addition they can help with other skin conditions too. Prior to the use of these creams, you must consult your doctor or dermatologist if beaching skin cream is recommended for your skin condition.
Significance of Hydroquinone in Bleaching Skin Creams:
Melanin is a compound that gives color to the skin, explained by the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Melanin is produced by the body naturally however sun exposure can contribute to the production of melanin which helps protect the skin from the harmful effects of the UV rays.

Features of Hydroquinone:
Usually, hydroquinone is combined with other ingredients in order to increase its efficacy. These ingredients are retinoids which include adapalene, tretinoin or tazarotene and steroids like fluocinolone acetonide. Sometimes it is also used in combination with skin lighteners like azelaic acid, glycolic acid, kojic acid and retinol.
Dosage of Bleaching Skin Cream:
Bleaching skin creams can be purchased both by prescription or over-the-counter. OTC creams come with strength of 2% concentration only while prescription products consist of three to four per cent concentration. Whichever you purchase, be sure to apply on hyper-pigmentation areas only because if applied to on affected areas, this will cause hypo-pigmentation.
Duration of Treatment:
You have to wait about four to six months to be able to notice any improvement on your skin tone. If there are no visible results within this period, you must stop using the product and try other options which can help lighten areas of your skin.
Bleaching creams are often used to treat age spots also known as sun spot or liver spots since these dark areas of the skin are consisted of clusters of melanin. Additionally these creams are also used to treat melasma, freckles, chloasma, acne spots, skin trauma and post inflammatory hyper-pigmentation.
Other Products:
There are other products that can help lighten the skin although these are considered real bleaching agents. Examples are kojic acid, azelaic acid, glycolic acid, melatonin, dithiaoctanediol, licorice extract, bearberry extract, metacarpus scaber extract, beta carotene and vitamin C.
Bleaching skin creams do offer a lot of uses for skin lightening. You may use them but better take note of their components first so as to avoid further damage on the skin.

Whether it’s an acne scar, melasma, or caused by medication, uneven skin tone is a curse for many of us (including myself). Hydroquinone has traditionally been the go-to for dealing with hyperpigmentation. However, it’s been getting a bad rap lately with research stating its dangers to skin and possible cancer causing capabilities. Rather than hide behind concealers and makeup, women today are opting to deal with the issue head-on, and get rid of the problem naturally.
Here are a few ingredients to look for when purchasing a green beauty product that can help lighten your skin naturally, as well as a few suggested buys.

Kojic Acid

kojicLG  kojic-acid mushroomkojic-acid-a-useful-skin-lightener-620x279

A by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice or derived from fungus ( like mushrooms on the picture), kojic acid is fast gaining traction in the natural beauty industry. Some research shows kojic acid to be effective for inhibiting melanin production. The ingredient is normally used in products at 1-4%. Kojic acid is usually found in creams, lotions, and soaps.
How safe is it? Well, you don’t want to put pure kojic acid directly on your skin, as that can cause irritation. In small amounts, it’s been shown to improve skin tone by attacking the source, or melanin production.



Arbutin is an organic compound extracted from the bearberry plant, but it also present in some pears. You may see both names, or one of them listed in skin care products. Arbutin is used for skin lightening purposes for both long and short term use. Often seen in face creams, moisturizers, and even cosmetics.
A note: it’s actually a glycosylated hydroquinone, so some may feel it can carry the same risks as actual hydroquinone. However, research has shown it is safe. According to Wikipedia, “Arbutin and other plant extracts are considered safe alternatives to commonly used depigmenting agents to make the skin fairer… Arbutin actually exists in two conformations, alpha and beta. The alpha conformation offers higher stability over the beta conformation and is the preferred form for skin lightening indications.”


The ingredient responsible for giving licorice its skin lightening effects is glabridin. Glabridin prevents hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase. Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for the chemical production of melanin. If you stop it from activating, you can prevent further discoloration.
Studies have shown that the ingredient’s gentle, non-toxic nature is ideal for providing a brightening effect safely. Licorice extract is also known to have anti-inflammatory properties.


I’m sure many of you have seen those papaya soaps claiming to lighten skin tone over time. The ingredient responsible for this purported effect is papain, a natural enzyme known promote skin and cell turnover with extra exfoliation. Papaya also contains vitamins A and C, the latter also known to help with lightening skin, and is considered a natural alpha hydroxy acid.
Papaya, and in turn papain, is often found in soaps and creams, and is intended to be used long-term to gradually lighten skin and keep it that way with continued use. While papaya is supposed to be moisturizing, some have found that the soaps can be drying, so always apply a moisturizer after use.

Lemon Juice

It’s not just for lightening your hair anymore! Lemon juice’s acidic properties have long been a homemade remedy for darker patches of the body, such as knees and elbows. It’s also been used against freckles. Many people would cut a lemon in half, and rub the pulpy area on their elbows. The vitamin C and citric acid can help exfoliate and brighten skin tone.
Because it’s so acidic, I highly recommend not applying lemon juice on your skin by itself. Soften the concoction with something to dilute its high pH balance, such as aloe, honey or even plain water.

Skin Lightening with Milk Using 5 Recipes:

Maybe, some may wonder but milk can also lighten the skin because of its lactic acid content. Lactic acid has the ability to lighten up, brighten and tone skin complexion because it reduces melanin. However, skin lightening process takes some time so be patient enough and try to use it on regular basis for best result. Maximum results can be achieved after 3 weeks of regular daily application. It causes lightening of skin complexion by almost half of the skin shade to most people. If this happens, reduce your topical application of milk to only two times a week to maintain its effect. Learn about some recipes for skin lightening with milk.
Recipe #1: Cow’s Milk
Put some milk in a bowl whether it is a cow’s milk or a goat’s milk as both can lighten your skin. You can add buttermilk for added benefit of making your skin softer and smoother. This is an advice from the “1,001 Home Remedies and Natural Cures: From Your Kitchen and Garden.” Place the bowl of milk in the microwave for at least 30 seconds to warm the milk.
Once the milk is warm soak a clean wash cloth into the milk. Make sure that the wash cloth should be fully saturated but not dripping. Gently massage the milk on a clean, dry part of the skin you want to lighten. If the wash cloth dries out, dip it again into the bowl to refresh its milk supply. It is best recommended if you have shower first before applying the milk so that you can be sure that your skin is well cleaned.
Recipe #2: Egg Yolk, Honey and Milk
You can also create facial mask recipe by combining one egg yolk with 2 tbsp each of honey and milk together. After making the mask you can apply it smoothly on your skin and leave it for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with water.
Recipe #3: Lime Juice and Milk
Make a paste by combining milk and lime juice. Use one spoon of gram flour and mix it with 2 tablespoons of raw milk and a few drops of lime juice. After thoroughly combining the ingredients together, apply the mixture on your skin leaving it for 20 minutes before you rinse it with water. This paste can help lighten your skin and at the same time a good remedy for pigmented skin. This remedy can be used on a weekly basis.
Recipe #4: Almonds and Milk
You can also soak some almonds in milk for a whole night then make a fine paste on the next morning which you can apply on the areas of the ski you want to lighten. Leave it on the skin for overnight and repeat the procedure everyday for two consecutive weeks.
Recipe #5: Papaya and Milk
Mix 1 cup of papaya pulp ½ tsp each of honey, milk and rose water. Apply the mixture on your face and leave it for about 20 minutes before rinsing it off with water. This is a good remedy for a pale skin.
There are many items which you can mix with milk in order to lighten your skin. You can then follow the recipes above or discover more about recipes for skin lightening with milk.

Home skin routine, diet and stevia.

Hello everyone,
I just wanted to share with you some of the basics of my profession. When I started my career as a esthetician I was mostly concentrating on the treatments and products (of course) I am using. That was number 1 thinking mistake…of course professional facials, body scrubs are super important to keep your skin clean and glowing, but as a people we think: “I will get facial once in a while, and that’s all my skin needs”. BIG MISTAKE! Your skin home routine is the most important. Please remember, estheticians are not miracle workers ( I wish we would be) and start taking care of your skin by using good cleanser, serum and cream that is designed to your skin type. Remember to check the labels – ingredients are important not name or brand of the cosmetic.
Returning to one of the most important thing (besides skin home routine) is taking care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising. YEP, I said it… those two are the key to feel and looking beautiful, because whatever is going on inside of your body shows outside and your body will tell you first if it is not treated right…I know something about it. I always had problems with my skin and I was blaming young age, than stress in school…to be honest. Life as an adult person is more stressful, since we are dealing with real problems that we did not have as teenagers. Stress also takes a toll on our bodies and it clearly shows up on our faces the come from our inner body.  Anyway, my life now is pretty busy ( and a bit crazy in a good way ), filled with stress and a lot of expectations so you will be thinking “gosh, her skin is probably looking like Pearl Harbor”. Thanks to my diet, and healthy cosmetics I am using, my skin feels fresh and healthy.
I am really trying get to the point of good diet, because sugar for example, is one of the worst enemies to date. Food is loaded with sugar. I would like to recommend natural sweetener, that a lot of you probably heard about already – STEVIA. Let me explain some of the benefits of using this natural sweetener.  Stevia leaves and whole leaf stevia products, such as water-based stevia concentrate offer several healing benefits when taken internally and used topically. Stevia, in these natural forms, even appears to be involved in helping to correct pancreatic function, and there is no evidence that it contributes to insulin resistance. Quality leaves are about 30 times sweeter than sugar but contain zero calories, and, more importantly, have a glycemic index of zero, which means that the sweet glucoside are not converted into glucose. Therefore, stevia does not cause fat creation and storage. When the body is deprived of glucose, it must go to its fat cells for energy. Thus, fat is released, broken down and transported to muscle cells to be burned. While glucose, which is found in all fruits and vegetables, is essential for the function of the brain and body cells, natures complex carbohydrates proteins, which should be ingested in one’s normal daily dietary intake, are slowly converted into glucose and are made available for such energy requirements. Stevia also reduces the desire for sweets and fatty foods.
liquid steviaStevia liquid by Divas Masas
stevia321Stevia leaves
Would you like more information about stevia? Please check my other website and check “store” page. We are selling this product for a special price until the end of February 2013.Have any questions? Feel free to leave your comment and I will get back as soonest I can 🙂
Magda – Mind N Soul Spa esthetician




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The truth about dry brushing…

Here are the 4 secrets we professionals know about dry brushing – and why you should be doing it every day:

1. Dry brushing exfoliates the dead, dulling skin cells that accumulate on your body. Sweeping off these cells renews texture, smoothes and softens.

2. It’s preventative. If you find your skin gets drier in the winter, you can help prevent that flaky, winter skin before it starts.

3. Dry brushing increases skin’s circulation, jumpstarting its renewal process.

4. Dry brushing energizes you – and it only takes a few minutes. Just gently sweep the entire body from neck to toes to feel its immediate benefits. It’s the perfect way to start the day before you jump into the shower.

Instructions how to do it properly…(by Dr Bo)

When one performs skin brushing, the body should be dry and brushed several times over every part of the body surface except the feet and face. Do several extra brushes on the inside of the thighs, behind the legs and under the arm pits. Lymphatic node points are in those areas. No back and forth motion, no circular motion, no scrubbing. Brush the whole body with an upward motion except the neck and chest, which should be brushed with a downward motion.

Have you ever tried dry brushing? Tell me your thoughts or questions in the comments.