Both positives and negatives have been reported about using Bio-Oil for stretch marks. The issue, however, is not so much good versus bad, but one of degree. This formulation does not do wonders overnight, nor was it ever intended to. The positive results it produces usually take some time, and some of the negative reports may come from people who have used it only once or twice and expecting their scarring to disappear.
What the Formulation Consists Of
Just what is the secret (or maybe not so secret) formula this product has that supposedly works wonders on scar tissue? The formulation of this product involves a combination of plant extracts and vitamins which are suspended in oil, a formula most anyone could copy if they knew which plants and vitamins were involved. Whatever the combination, there are a number of home remedies that could be devised to treat scarring or stretch marks.
The oil involved in this product is not petroleum-based, which is something you would be reluctant to put on your skin as it would make you feel oily or greasy. The oil used in Bio-Oil does not leave your skin feeling greasy at all. The formula is considered safe to use.
- The Plant Extracts – The plants and their extracts that are involved are the Calendula, Lavandula, the leaf of the Rosemary, and Chamomile oil. All of these extracts or oils are known to have either medicinal or cosmetic applications and all are quite safe to use.
- The Vitamins – The vitamins involved are vitamins A and E. Vitamins A and E are found in the retinyl palmitate and tocopheryl acetate organic compounds. Now we are getting into the realm of unfamiliar compounds, too many of which might make you a bit uneasy about using the product. As far as a topical solution is concerned, however, vitamins A and E are quite safe.
- The Oil Solution – When we get to the composition of the oil solution these plant extracts and vitamins are floating around in, you have reached a point where, unless you are a chemist or a pharmacist, you have to begin to accept a few things on faith. There are eight different types of oils involved. The only one that most people are familiar with is mineral oil.
- The Fragrance – The list of ingredients that go into producing the fragrance is even longer. It takes nearly a dozen chemicals or compounds to give Bio-Oil its fragrance, which happens to be rose. You may be familiar with coumarin or benzyl salicylate. Citronellol and limonene may also seem familiar, or at least the names may sound harmless. Some of the other ingredients in Bio-Oil are tongue twisters. This is where you would probably want to leave it up to the medical labs and regulatory agencies to verify that each of these ingredients is safe to apply to your skin.
Safety and Effectiveness
As it has been on the global market for nearly 15 years and has been thoroughly tested both prior to and following its introduction, there’s little doubt that Bio-Oil is safe. The remaining question is how effective it actually is in treating striae, the medical term for stretch marks.
The product is known to be very effective in treating such things as light scarring and age spots. It doesn’t necessarily make these disappear completely, but it will lighten their appearance and in some cases make them, for all practical purposes, disappear. The effectiveness, which can vary from person to person, really depends on how deep the skin imperfections are. The product is extremely effective against light scarring, which mainly affects the outer layers of the skin, but the deeper the irregularity lies, the less effective this skin remedy will be.
A stria (singular for striae) is a scar whose main characteristic is a discoloration in the skin. Since the discoloration is caused by the presence of scar tissue, the way to get rid of the discoloration is to remove the scar tissue, a process which, in most cases, is difficult and often impossible. It really depends on how deep the scarring is. Since not all striae are necessarily the same, the results from applying Bio-Oil cannot be expected to always be consistent. The one factor that is common to all striae is that they form in the dermis or middle layer of the skin. If they formed deeper, it is unlikely topical oil or lotion would have much of an effect.
Worth a Try – Other Options Are Available
In any event, the use of Bio-Oil is certainly worth a try. It may take repeated applications over a number of weeks before you can determine if success is within reach. If success does not appear to be forthcoming or if you are in a hurry, there are other options you can follow, although some of them tend to be somewhat expensive.
A combination radio-frequency and pulse laser treatment appears to be one of the more successful treatments. Another option is fractional laser resurfacing. Here, only a fraction of the scar tissue is subjected to a laser beam. A small wound is created and the body responds by producing new collagen. While this method won’t necessarily completely remove stretch marks, there is usually significant improvement after a few weeks of treatment.
As far as the various over-the-counter creams and lotions that are said to remove scarring, using Bio-Oil for stretch marks offers the best chance of success. It is hypoallergenic and does not leave a greasy feel. One of the nicer things about Bio-Oil is it smells good. This product also contains only natural ingredients and does not contain the synthetic chemicals that are found in some other oils, creams or lotions, and which may be irritating to the skin.