As I was getting dressed this morning, I smiled at the stretch marks on my stomach. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t seeing them for the first time. They have been my companions for almost 5 years, so I’m used to them. No, what was amusing me was the memory of everything I did to make sure I didn’t get stretch marks in the first place!
My first encounter with stretch marks was when I went to visit an older friend of mine. She had been my school mother in secondary school and had gotten married quite early. At the time, she was about 23, and I had just turned 19. She had been my school’s best athlete, and her body was beautiful and toned. Anyways, I went to see her shortly after she had her first baby, and I almost had a heart attack when I caught sight of her bare stomach. I had never, EVER, seen such in my life. The stretch marks had disfigured her once taut and beautiful stomach. That image scarred me for life, so much so that I refused to do stomach crunches, or anything that would make my stomach too toned. Why? My interpretation was that it was because my school mother had such a firm and toned stomach that the expansion from pregnancy had resulted in such a catastrophy. So, that became my excuse from that point on.
Fast forward to a few years later, when I got pregnant, pretty much from the very minute I got my positive pregnancy result, I started slathering on the popular bio oil, which I had read was the sure banker way to avoid stretch marks. So, from week 5, that oil became my regular routine, with me applying generous quantities on my small stomach. As I started so early, and as I hadn’t stiffened my stomach muscles too much, I was 100% sure I wouldn’t even smell stretch marks. My confidence was further boosted by the fact that my Mother doesn’t have any stretch marks on her stomach, and as I was also taking extra measures, neither would I. Also, as my pregnancy progressed, I made sure not to scratch my stomach, no matter how much it itched. There was no way stretch marks would catch me.
I was in for the shock of my life.
In my 34th week, I noticed some small ringlets around my stomach. They were not vertical lines, but little circles that circumferenced my bump. I wondered what they were, as my mind didn’t even go to stretch marks! You can imagine my shock when, after the girls were born, the cute little circles dropped and became the dreaded vertical lines we know stretch marks to be! I was so shocked and mortified, I could scream!!! When I was complaining to my friend and I told her how I had wasted my money on the expensive oil but had still ended up with stretch marks, instead of consoling me, she had laughed at me, saying I really did waste my money. And then she blew my mind when she told me what she used to avert stretch marks. ORI!!! Ori, as in shea butter! I felt cheated…and foolish! Instead of spending a small fortune on the useless oil, the much cheaper ori would have done the job just as well! And that was my introduction to this magical product…ori!
A few months later, when my kids were approaching their first birthday, I noticed what appeared to be little bites on their legs. At first, I panicked about what these bites would do to their fresh legs! Would they be scarred for life? This was until I was adviced to apply ori on these bites, to avert any possible scarring. Eeeehn?! Ori again! This time, I jumped on it, even before anyone could spell o-r-i, and applied generous amounts on my daughters. Very shortly after, the results blew my mind. The ori had removed every and any trace of these bites from their precious skin. I had become a convert!
Fast forward four years later, and ori is my daily companion oh! You might have seen that joke about coconut oil being good for everything, even your bank account. Hmmm, I feel the same way about ori!!! What don’t I use it for? I still use it on my children’s skin (albeit only at night though), their scalp on occasion (and mine as well, as I realized it does wonders for dry scalp and hair, and has even helped my hair grow, I kid you not!), the soles of my feet, my hands to keep them soft and moist…everything! I even now apply them on the stretch marks they could have prevented, as I have been told they will reduce the severity of their appearance…and, in all honesty, my lines are not quite as visible anymore.
And just when I thought I had exhausted all possible uses for the magic ointment, I recently found another awesome one!
So, a few weeks ago, I had cause to take some profile pictures at work. When the pictures came back, I gasped at the laugh lines around my eyes when I smiled. In fact, I gagged at the old woman staring back at me from the screen. Sharp sharp, I called the photographer to apply whatever filters he could to tackle those lines, and also the eye bags that come from waking up at 4am in the morning (the life of a working mom in Lagos!!!). But I wasn’t so comforted by the retouched pictures which, thankfully, eliminated the lines. I started panicking about ageing prematurely. I still have a year to go before I turn 40, and wondered if it wasn’t too early to be all wrinkled up?! So, I consulted Dr. Google, to find out what natural remedies could tackle wrinkling, as my bio oil experience had made me realise that not all expensive products can be trusted, I wasn’t surprised by the answer that was almost unanimous across all the sites I visited…shea butter…aka ori!
But of course!
Now, in addition to slathering it on my body, I now apply rather copious amounts of it around my eyes, before I go to bed at night. And, you know what? In the short period I have been using it, I have actually noticed a difference.
So, my people, I just said I should spread this gospel to you oh! Ori is the real deal! And if you are about to waste your time on any expensive anti-stress mark creams…babe, don’t even bother. Get your hands on some ori!