Black seed oil is a vegetable oil native to 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.
Black seed oil, a trick to make stretch marks disappear?
- How are stretch marks formed?
- Is black seed oil a solution for reducing the appearance of stretch marks?
- How to use black seed oil on stretch marks?
How are stretch marks formed?
Stretch marks, also referred to as striae distensae, appear 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 fibers. A common issue, stretch marks are often singled out and deemed as unattractive. However, they do not impact 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 change. The skin tissues then undergo high tension, leading to a rupture of the collagen fibers.
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.
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.
Black seed 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 showed that, following the application of a gel containing 10% black seed oil and the placement of a bandage for 7 days, the sizes of the rats' wounds were reduced by 40%. This study was conducted on rats, so caution is advised. However, we can hypothesize a similar mechanism on human skin and a potential effect of black seed oil on purple stretch marks.
The nigella oil protects the collagen fibers.
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 oxidative stress. Strengthened, collagen fibers are less likely to break, a phenomenon that leads to the formation of stretch marks.
The oil of black cumin softens the skin.
This property of black seed oil comes 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.
Black seed 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 layer is strengthened, 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 (diluted to 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 minimize 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.
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).