Limited Edition: Cleansing Balm with Organic Camellia Oil

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Effets huile de nigelle vergetures.

Black seed oil, a trick to make stretch marks disappear?

Nigella oil is a vegetable oil originating from the Mediterranean region. Extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, it has been used for centuries for its benefits on the skin. But can it play a role in the fight against stretch marks? Learn more.

How are stretch marks formed?

Stretch marks, also referred to as striae distensae, manifest as streaked lines on the skin, similar to scars. They occur when the structure of the dermis is altered, following a rupture of the collagen fibres. A common issue, stretch marks are often singled out and deemed as aesthetically unpleasing. However, they have no impact on health. Moreover, they are very widespread: it is estimated that about 80% of women are affected by stretch marks at some point in their lives. There are two main causes for the appearance of stretch marks:

  • A sudden stretching of the skin, which can particularly occur during a rapid and significant weight fluctuation. The skin tissues then undergo high tension, leading to a rupture of the collagen fibres.

  • A hormonal imbalance, caused by puberty, pregnancy or stress. The production of cortisol is then increased, which leads to a reduction in collagen synthesis by the fibroblasts.

Please note : there are two types of stretch marks: the purple stretch marks and the white stretch marks. The former are still in the inflammatory phase while the latter correspond to the scars left by the stretching of the skin. No treatment can act against white stretch marks, they are permanent.

Is black seed oil a solution for reducing the appearance of stretch marks?

Theblack seed oil, also known as black cumin oil, is a vegetable oil with multiple benefits. Indeed, its composition rich in fatty acids and active principles gives it properties on several targeted skin problems. As for stretch marks, no study has so far been conducted with black seed oil. However, this botanical extract has healing, protective and antioxidant virtues, which are interesting for preventing stretch marks. Moreover, the topical application of black seed oil is possible during pregnancy.

  • Nigella oil has healing properties.

    Oleic acid, an omega-9, plays a role in the healing process of damaged or injured skin, although the exact mechanism is currently unknown. A recent experiment conducted on injured rats demonstrated that, following the application of a gel containing 10% black seed oil and the placement of a dressing for 7 days, the sizes of the rats' wounds were reduced by 40%. As this study was conducted on rats, caution is advised. However, a similar mechanism can be hypothesised for human skin, and the potential effect of black seed oil on purple stretch marks.

  • Nigella oil protects collagen fibres.

    The thymoquinone found in black seed oil upregulates the activity of superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione peroxidase, and catalase, antioxidant enzymes that play a key role in eliminating free radicals. This protects proteins such as collagen and elastin from damage caused by the oxidative stress. Strengthened, the collagen fibres are less likely to break, a phenomenon that leads to the formation of stretch marks.

  • Nigella oil softens the skin.

    This property of black seed oil is derived from the oleic acid it contains. Indeed, this fatty acid is a component of the sebum. This is part of the hydrolipidic film present on the skin's surface, which helps to limit water loss. With less susceptibility to dehydration, the skin becomes more supple and the risk of stretch marks is reduced.

  • Nigella oil contributes to the elasticity of the skin.

    Nigella oil is rich in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that plays a role in the synthesis of acylceramides, a family of ceramides. Ceramides are lipids of the epidermis that act as intercellular cement and ensure the cohesion of the stratum corneum. When this is consolidated, the skin is more resistant to weight fluctuations and strains.

How to use black seed oil on stretch marks?

In prevention of the appearance of stretch marks, during pregnancy for example, or to diminish the appearance of purple stretch marks, you can apply diluted black seed oil in another vegetable oil (dilution at 10%) on the most at-risk areas (breasts, stomach, buttocks and thighs). Then perform circular motions to massage and allow the oil to penetrate. This will help to minimise the risk of tearing and the development of stretch marks and may potentially contribute to the healing process of already formed stretch marks.

Note : while black seed oil can potentially prevent the onset of stretch marks and reduce the appearance of purple stretch marks, it will have no effect on white stretch marks.

Sources

  • GHORBANI A. & al. Safety evaluation of Phytovagex, a pessary formulation of Nigella sativa, on pregnant rats. Avicenna journal of phytomedicine (2016).

  • SUTRISNA E. & al. A Comparative Study of the Effects of Nigella sativa Oil Gel and Aloe Vera Gel on Wound Healing in Diabetic Rats. Journal of evidence-based integrative medicine (2018).

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