Once again, we find ourselves researching a potentially awesome (or maybe not) natural ingredient to help with your stretch marks, and that is MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane). Now, you might’ve heard of it, you might’ve not, but either way, by the time you’re done reading this article, you’ll have a complete and well-rounded view of what it means to use MSM for stretch marks.
What is MSM?
Methylsulfonylmethane is an organic chemical. MSM can be found in humans, animals, and plants. In alternative medicine, it is frequently used to treat various pains, most famously arthritis. This is to do with MSM’s potent anti-inflammatory properties.
Taken internally, MSM can also strengthen your bones, cartilages, and blood vessels and is often recommended as an overall tonic, particularly to older people.
What’s the Connection Between MSM And Stretch Marks?
Alright, so this naturally occurring sulfate might be of use for treating various internal ailments, but what about stretch marks?
Remember how I said MSM is often used for bone problems and to encourage bone strength? Well, it’s for a similar reason that it’s sometimes recommended for treating and perhaps preventing stretch marks.
Methylsulfonylmethane is said to boost collagen production, which can support bone health and provide relief for dry, stretched-out skin, as is the case for the tiger stripes we’re so fond of discussing.
If you’re reading this, you probably know that stretch marks result from too little collagen and elastin inside your skin layers. These two components are responsible for making the skin bouncy and survive heavy stretching (as in the case of pregnancy, bodybuilding, and so on).
If using MSM regularly can support collagen production in the body, it might also mean that you have healthier, more hydrated skin. Thus it can prevent to a certain extent the appearance of stretch marks.
Likewise, if you’re dealing with already-existing stretch marks, a much-needed collagen boost can speed up the healing rate and cause the skin to release new, healthy cells, which replace the old damaged ones and vastly improve the appearance of your stretch marks.
As I mentioned earlier, MSM is a naturally-occurring compound, meaning you already have this stuff in your body. Taking oral supplements or applying MSM topically serves to boost your production.
But What About the Science?
Sure, people say MSM is great for treating such a wide range of afflictions, but that’s not enough, surely. To ascertain that an ingredient can heal a problem, we need to turn to the science that might back such a claim.
A 2015 study that looked at the effects of oral MSM supplementation in treating conditions associated with old age (such as joint pain, difficulty walking, weakened bones) found that MSM is indeed successful. The study found that a regular MSM intake vastly eased the symptoms of multiple old-age conditions, among which bone pain, so implicitly, it must’ve also aided the production of collagen.
Another quite encouraging study that pitted MSM application to the skin versus a placebo for 16 weeks found that the MSM group showed impressive skin texture and appearance improvements. The study concluded that MSM could diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and add firmness to loose, flabby skin. Once again, this is good news, because as we all know, loose skin is practically a given with stretch marks.
What Are the Options?
One of the few products explicitly aimed at stretch marks seems to be the Ionic MSM Stretch Mark Gel (for Gym&Pregnancy), which combines methylsulfonylmethane with several other natural products, like tea tree, castor oil, and so on, all of them popular as either antioxidants and skin hydrators.
Alternatively, you could also try taking MSM orally, in the form of supplements like the ones from NOW Supplements, to boost body strength from within. Oral intake may be more efficient than topical application since it will allow the MSM to be absorbed better.
Bottom Line – Should You Try?
Having scoured the Internet, I can safely say that using MSM for stretch marks and loose skin is a natural option that shows great promise to firm and revitalizes your skin. Will it work? Only trying it out for yourself will give you that answer!