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Saturday, 9 May 2015

Sanctuary Stretch Mark Oil

Stretch marks or not, this oil from Sanctuary is amazing.

I first tried this several years ago. I'd put on weight and got stretch marks. I felt self-conscious about them and wanted rid of them. Nestled among the nappies and baby formula in my local Boots was this gem of a product. 

It was twice the price of a body lotion, (which I was still buying) and I couldn't quite justify buying both. My stretch marks improved with time, and the bottle was resigned to the back of a  drawer. 

In a spate of itchy winter skin I reached for it - and it was brilliant. My skin was instantly soft, smooth and calm. I already used oil on my face so it seemed natural to use it on my body too. 

I found the benefit of using body oils, particularly in winter, is that they can be splashed onto wet skin after showering. Oils cling to the skin and stay on after drying. This meant moisturising became really quick; I could dry myself, already moisturised, in the warm post-shower bathroom without having to migrate to the cold bedroom to apply lotion. Oils have none of the cold stickiness of body lotions. Because of their viscous texture, they apply smoothly and sink in fast.

After using Sanctuary Stretch Mark Oil after my shower for the last six months, I can safely say that my skin is softer and smoother than I ever thought it would be. My stretch marks have improved ten-fold. The stretch marks from weight gain are barely visible; the silvery lines on my shoulders that I've had since my growth spurt at twelve are much less visible too. My skin feels hydrated and nourished. Not only is this the best stretch mark product I've tried, it's the best moisturiser I've ever used. 

This is due to it's amazing ingredients. It's full of natural plant oils which are rich in fatty acids: sweet almond, coconut, rosehip, wheat germ, borage, sunflower and tamanu oils, plus added vitamin E. Every oil helps to heal, soothe and moisturise. Vitamin E helps to heal damaged skin cells and prevent future skin damage. Sweet almond, wheat germ and tamanu oils are also particularly high in vitamin E. I find rosehip oil works wonderfully as a nightly face oil, soothing and moisturising my skin. It's the third ingredient on the list, meaning it's the third largest constituent. It, alongside wheat germ oil, creates the beautiful golden colour. It's free from parabens, alcohols and mineral oil. 

Annoyingly it does contain dipropylene glycol and fragrance, which some skins can react to. 
The fragrance is, however, pleasant: warm and soothing. To me it smells like jasmine, with a slight musky sandalwood base and a hint of green freshness.

If you are having trouble with stretch marks or dry skin, give this a go. In my opinion its ingredients and consequently its healing abilities are far, far superior to Palmer's or Bio-oil. 

If you do have a history of reacting to fragrance, you could try using pure organic plant oils. Neal's Yard Remedies sells a variety of organic carrier oils including wheat germ and almond. Health food stores are also a good source.

(A word of advice: oils make the shower floor incredibly slippery. Wait until you're out of the shower to apply this or any other oils - I don't want anyone breaking their neck!)

£10.25 for 150ml.