What Can I Do About Cellulite?
26 January 2018
Orange peel, cottage cheese, waffle ass, rumplestiltskin… Whatever you want to call cellulite, there’s no denying it’s there and we’ve all got it.
Around 98% of post-pubescent women have cellulite and it can affect individuals regardless of shape or size. Cellulite is caused by the herniation of subcutaneous fat within fibrous connective tissue, resulting in those charming bum and thigh dimples.
There are no definitive causes, but poor diet, genetics, hormone changes, a sluggish metabolism, dehydration, an inactive lifestyle, high body fat and pregnancy all play a significant role. Women are more likely to have cellulite than men due to their finer skin and differing arrangements of collagen.
So there’s the science, but what can we do about cellulite? The problem lies within your skin’s structure, so don’t expect to shift cellulite completely. However, there are a few things you can do to minimise those butt bubbles:
1. Weight training. In Emma’s world, strength training is the answer to most of life’s woes but, in this case, the science really does back up my evangelism. More defined muscles and a thinner layer of fat will give skin a smoother appearance. Weight loss alone can give skin a more lax appearance, making cellulite more visible.
2. Hydrate. Toxins and water retention are likely contributory causes of cellulite, but you can flush these out by drinking 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Avoid too much caffeine and alcohol which put a strain on your liver.
3. Eat healthily. Nutritious food is not a fix-all tonic for cellulite, but a healthy high protein diet could boost collagen production and reduce cellulite. Leafy greens, blueberries, goji berries, artichokes, kidney beans and pecan nuts are rich in antioxidants which help rid the body of toxins. Salt and sugar encourage water retention and fat deposits, so keep intake to a minimum.
4. Fake tan. A light tan is flattering and does wonders to camouflage cottage cheese. Stick to the Fake Bake though as a real tan will loosen the dermis, giving skin a crepey appearance over time.
5. Get a massage. Foam rolling or a deep tissue massage may stimulate the lymph flow and help shift pockets of excess fluids. Improvements in the appearance of cellulite are likely to be short term however.
And whatever you do, don’t:
1. Get liposuction. I’m no fan of cosmetic surgery but, personal feelings aside, liposuction is not a suitable treatment for cellulite. When fat is removed, a baggy layer of skin is left behind, making dimples more pronounced. Evidence suggests certain laser treatments will improve cellulite, but you’ll have to take out a second mortgage to fund them. Instead, put away your credit card and do something positive like join a gym or exercise class.
2. Waste money on expensive creams. Read the small print and you’ll find cellulite creams produced by reputable companies make no claims to blitz cellulite. Health and beauty magazines rave about these creams so cosmetic companies will send them expensive freebies, buy advertising space and invite them to lovely launch parties. Trust me, I used to be a journalist. The consensus among dermatologists is that topical cellulite treatments containing retinol or vitamin C may temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite, although these creams are far from a foolproof cure.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there’s no magical elixir for cellulite. If you’re female, orange peel is a genetic hiccup you have to live with. However, regular trips to the weights room and a healthy diet will aid fat loss and build bums circles that any girl would be proud of. And if there’s a little bit of moon cheese left over? Well, I don’t think it’s worth losing any sleep over, do you?