Does Horsetail Help Reduce Stretch Marks?
Horsetail (Equisetum arvense) extracts have long been used in the manufacture of products to reduce stretch marks. Because of its silicon content, this plant seems useful in restoring the skin and improving its appearance. But is it as effective as many claim?
It’s worth remembering that stretch marks are a form of skin scarring caused by stretching of the dermis, either during growth, after weight gain, or due to hormonal issues. They’re often located on the buttocks, legs, and abdomen. However, they also appear on the breasts and back.
As detailed in a publication in the National Center for Biotechnology Information, their treatment aims to increase the production of collagen and elastic fibers, as well as hydration. To this end, a wide variety of products have been tested. In the following article, we’re going to focus on the possible healing effects of horsetail when it comes to treating stretch marks.
The possible benefits of horsetail for the treatment of stretch marks
Horsetail, whose scientific name is Equisetum arvense, belongs to the Equisetopsida family and comes from the temperate regions of Europe. Since ancient times, it’s been an herb with various medicinal applications. As far as the skin is concerned, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and restorative properties are attributed to it.
Research reported in BMC Complementary Medicine and Therapies details that it’s an abundant source of flavonoids, triterpenoids, phytosterols, potassium, calcium, and, above all, silicic acid and silicates.
The latter are valued at a cosmetic level, since their assimilation in the skin is associated with several benefits, such as the reduction of stretch marks. In this regard, a study shared in Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia details that silicon plays an important role in the synthesis of collagen.
In addition to this, it intervenes in the activation of hydroxylation enzymes, which are decisive for the formation of the collagen network. Thus, it improves the strength and elasticity of the skin.
The drawback is that there’s still no conclusive evidence on the effects of horsetail in the treatment of stretch marks. Apart from anecdotal data, no study has corroborated that its anti-stretch mark effect is true.
Instead, dermatology experts continue to argue about the efficacy of topical products in diminishing stretch marks. According to research in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, there’s a paucity of evidence to support the use of anti-stretch mark creams or lotions.
We think you may also enjoy reading this article: Stretch Marks in Men: Causes and How to Reduce Them Naturally
How is horsetail used in the treatment of stretch marks?
Despite the lack of evidence, there are those who attribute positive effects to horsetail treatments for stretch marks. In fact, there are several products on the market that have extracts from this plant among their components.
On the other hand, popular literature has disclosed several homemade preparations. These combine natural ingredients that promise to nourish the skin from the outside to minimize this problem. Bearing this in mind, let’s take a look at some recipes.
1. Horsetail oil
A study shared through the International Journal of Molecular Sciences details that the application of some vegetable oils helps in the repair of the skin barrier, healing, and collagen synthesis. In this case, you can combine horsetail with olive, coconut, or almond oil.
- 200 milliliters of vegetable oil (the one of your choice)
- 100 grams of horsetail
- Heat the vegetable oil over low heat.
- Then, add the horsetail, previously crushed.
- Leave it on the fire for about 5 minutes more and remove it.
- Then, when it rests, pass the oil through a fine strainer and store it in a glass container.
- Use the product by gently massaging the areas you wish to treat.
- Apply every night before going to bed.
2. A horsetail infusion
The infusion of this plant is used as a lotion to conceal the appearance of stretch marks. However, it should be used simultaneously with a moisturizing cream.
- 20 grams of horsetail
- 2 cups of water (500 ml)
- Pour the horsetail into the cups of boiling water.
- Cover the drink and let it steep for 15 minutes.
- Filter the liquid through a fine strainer and pour it into a spray bottle.
- Spray the lotion on the desired areas. Massage and leave on for 20 minutes.
- Rinse and moisturize with your favorite cream.
Other recommendations to reduce stretch marks
There’s no miracle formula to eliminate stretch marks overnight. In fact, many treatments only manage to fade them a little. To this end, the American Academy of Dermatology suggests the following:
- Use anti-stretch mark products on the first stretch marks that appear. The substances are usually ineffective on stretch marks that are already mature.
- Massage until the substance is well absorbed. It’s believed that this can enhance its effect.
- Be consistent with the treatment. That is, make sure to use it several weeks in a row.
- Choose products that contain hyaluronic acid and tretinoin in their components.
- Access professional dermatological treatments. Some useful ones are chemical peels, laser therapy, and microdermabrasion.
Like this article? You may also like to read: 5 Treatments With Coconut Oil to Reduce Stretch Marks and Scars
What to keep in mind
The use of horsetail treatments to reduce stretch marks is widespread. Despite this, there’s no conclusive evidence about its effects and benefits.
No studies have been done evaluating the effects of this plant on stretch marks per se. It’s believed that it could be useful because of its silicon content. However, this still hasn’t been scientifically proven.
So, have you been encouraged to try this plant? In general, its topical application is well tolerated and carries no risks. It may work best when combined with a massage, a healthy diet, plenty of water, and physical exercise.It might interest you...
All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.
- Oakley AM, Patel BC. Stretch Marks. [Updated 2022 May 24]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436005/
- Gründemann C, Lengen K, Sauer B, Garcia-Käufer M, Zehl M, Huber R. Equisetum arvense (common horsetail) modulates the function of inflammatory immunocompetent cells. BMC Complement Altern Med. 2014 Aug 4;14:283. doi: 10.1186/1472-6882-14-283. PMID: 25088216; PMCID: PMC4132922.
- Araújo LA, Addor F, Campos PM. Use of silicon for skin and hair care: an approach of chemical forms available and efficacy. An Bras Dermatol. 2016 May-Jun;91(3):331-5. doi: 10.1590/abd1806-4841.20163986. PMID: 27438201; PMCID: PMC4938278.
- Ud-Din S, McGeorge D, Bayat A. Topical management of striae distensae (stretch marks): prevention and therapy of striae rubrae and albae. J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2016 Feb;30(2):211-22. doi: 10.1111/jdv.13223. Epub 2015 Oct 20. PMID: 26486318; PMCID: PMC5057295.
- Lin TK, Zhong L, Santiago JL. Anti-Inflammatory and Skin Barrier Repair Effects of Topical Application of Some Plant Oils. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Dec 27;19(1):70. doi: 10.3390/ijms19010070. PMID: 29280987; PMCID: PMC5796020.