Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Bulking up

Grooming_Body Building.jpg

Q: I recently managed to drop a couple of pounds around the waist and have bulked up around my arms too. While I’m happy with the results in terms of size, the skin around these areas has developed a weird texture and gone a bit purple. Which kind of detracts from all the hard work I’ve put in at the gym. Any suggestions?

Mike, Tyne and Wear

Our expert Ahmed Zambarakji answers your questions below:

A: What you have, my friend, are stretch marks - the very same affliction that pregnant women moan about once they’ve popped a sprog and find that the skin around their lady stomach has gone kaput. Congrats on the new bod, though.

Stretch marks are caused by tearing of the dermis and can be pretty nasty depending on your age, race, diet and skin hydration. Basically the body expands too quickly for the skin to adjust so it breaks and leaves a scar as it tries to repair.

The bad news is you’re probably not going to be able to cure your stretch marks completely if they’re really severe or deep. Having said that, dedicated use of a topical product over a couple of months will make them a lot less noticeable. Some products marketed towards pregnant women might not be very appealing, but they’ll do the trick if you apply them religiously (see something like Mama Mio Tummy Rub Stretch Mark Oil £23 for 120ml from mamamio.com).

The goal is to repair the broken skin layer, stimulate collagen production, improve texture and eradicate that weird purple colour – four very tall orders for one product to achieve with sporadic use.

I use a pretty common pharmacy product called Bio Oil (£8.95 for 60ml from any half-decent chemist; bio-oil.com) on my own dumbass-induced scrapes.

Bio Oil a dry vitamin-rich oil which is ideal for soothing any grazes and scars while speeding up the skin’s recovery time. An oil might sound high maintenance but it’s easily absorbed and, crucially, will penetrate farther down into the skin than a topical cream. Stick with it for a minimum of three months, applying it twice daily and see what happens.

Be patient, be disciplined and, most importantly, try and keep your size steady for the next few months so your skin has a chance to repair

(Image: Rex Features)

Find Ahmed at theexfoliator.com

Related

Grooming_oilyskin_HERO.jpg

Oil Control

Grooming_shaving.jpg

Wet vs Dry Shaving

Grooming_3.jpg

How to grow a beard

More

The winners of the ShortList Grooming Awards with House of Fraser

And the winners are...

31 May 2017

The 11 best moisturisers for men

Because your face deserves better

by Sam Diss
30 May 2017

A guy’s guide to skincare - by a girl who just really wants to help

Just a girl, standing in front of a bunch of guys, trying to make them moisturise twice a day

by Lauren O'Neill
15 May 2017

Supermodel Paul Sculfor tells us how to be the perfect catch

Tips from a man who knows better than anyone

20 Mar 2017

Meet the judges for the 2017 ShortList Grooming Awards

We're back with the best new products for 2017

17 Mar 2017

5 of the biggest men's hair trends for 2017

You're not actually going to get a six-pack, so settle for a slick new haircut instead

by Jamie Carson
03 Jan 2017

8 express grooming treatments for the discerning yet curious man

When you want to look good but just don't have the time

by Jamie Carson
13 Dec 2016

Manscaping; what is it, how to do it and how short is TOO short

After a lifetime of assuming that all guys went au naturale, Josh Burt realised that everything he knew was wrong

by Josh Burt
13 Dec 2016

Trim your pubic hair? Science claims you’ve probably got an STD

You're 80% more likely to have a sexually transmitted disease, new research suggests

by Jamie Carson
06 Dec 2016

What to do when you’re going bald

We round up the best ways to deal with hair loss

by Jamie Carson
17 Oct 2016