Cellulite is a term used to describe the dimpled and uneven appearance of skin caused by fat deposits that are just below the skin. Scientists don’t actually know what causes cellulite, but it’s believed to be related to the body’s inability to get rid of toxin, fat and fluid. It becomes trapped under the skin and causes fibrous tissue to become hard, that is the dimpling effect we see.
The puckering of skin happens when the layer of fat beneath the skin pushes against connective tissue and bulges, causing the orange-peel or cottage cheese appearance. Excess weight doesn’t help, as the fatter you are the more it pushes through the sub-dermal structures. So healthier diets plus exercise lower your risk of getting cellulite.
We all stress over it, but most of us are plagued with it – if you’re covering up because of your cellulite we’ve got some tips and tricks to reduce it without resorting to cosmetic surgery. Just remember a large number of women in the world are in the same boat as you – as well as men suffering from the same issue. There’s nothing wrong with cellulite, but if you want to reduce it there’s a few things you can do.
Start the day with dry body brushing. Before you turn your shower on, or get in the bath, lightly sweep a dry body brush all over – start from your ankles and always brush in the direction of your heart. This will give your circulation a great boost and help eliminate toxins.
2. Blast with cold water
Blast your thighs with cold water before you get out of the shower to get blood flowing to the area.
3. Cellulite creams and lotion
When you’re applying your body lotion (a cheap lotion is just as effective), massage it well into your thighs and other potentially dimply areas.
Cellulite is often caused by toxins (from a less than perfect diet) which reduce skin elasticity and slow down circulation – so eat plenty of brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. Why? Because they contain the most antioxidants, which help our bodies to shed toxins.
Berries are particularly good, so have a handful of either raspberries, strawberries, blueberries or blackberries on your cereal every morning. Bananas and mangoes are renowned for boosting blood flow, which helps prevent cellulite, so tuck into those as often as you can, as well as papaya, which studies show helps prevent tissue damage under the skin.
b. Vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C are also excellent cellulite-busters because they boost levels of collagen in the skin, which promotes elasticity and keeps things firm and taut.
c. Skin-strengthening foods
Skin-strengthening foods include; oily fish, chicken, grapefruit, tomatoes, apples, spinach, carrots and avocados.
Foods known as “diuretics” are also good at warding off cellulite. Diuretics basically make us pee a lot and also reduce bloating and fluid retention. A build-up of fluid can sometimes trigger cellulite, so, along with drinking plenty of water, include diuretics in your diet. Try cucumber, celery, onions and asparagus.
e. Green tea
Green tea has got a lot of recognition as being a treatment for weight loss. While losing fat isn’t an immediate fix it does help reduce fat deposits. Try sipping on 2-3 cups a day – not to near bedtime.
f. Foods to avoid
Processed fatty foods, such as sausages, cheese, biscuits and cake, are particularly bad. They’re often full of additives, salt or sweeteners, which can cause toxin-overload in the body.
Exercise won’t get rid of cellulite entirely but it will help you lose weight, get your blood flowing and tone things up – which all help banish that orange-peel look.
a. Cycling and jogging
Cycling and jogging are brilliant because they really target thighs, bottoms and hips.
If you have cellulite on your bottom and thighs, squats and lunges are the best moves. You can do either anywhere and they only take seconds. When you go to do a squat, stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your weight in your heels (i.e. don’t lean forward), go to sit down on an invisible chair, so your bottom is roughly two feet off the ground. Then lift yourself back up and repeat. Keep your arms straight out in front to help you balance. Repeat 20 times.
For a lunge, stand with your feet hip width apart. With your hands on your hips, step forward on your left leg (so your feet are roughly three feet apart) and bend down so your front knee is bent and your back foot comes off the floor. Hold for a couple of seconds, then lift yourself up and bend down (lunge) again. Repeat 15 times on each leg.
Kickboxing is also good, so check out your local leisure centre for classes. Also use a foam roller in your workouts. Massages also help with circulation and stimulating lymph flow.
6. Cellulite cups
This type of therapy uses a rubber section cup to stimulate blood flow. The idea is to create more oxygen and work out toxins by getting the blood to flow. The suction and pressure can loosen the muscles too, and relieve pain, according to those who practice it.
7. Don't take caffeine
Caffeine can make cellulite worse, because of its effects on blood flow and getting oxygen and nutrients to skin tissue. So limit intake of coffee, tea and cola. Only have one or two cups, max, a day.
8. Stop smoking
Avoid smoking and alcohol both create toxins in the body, and booze is full of sugar. Finally, ditch sugar. It slows production of collagen in the skin (so it’s a good way to cut wrinkles and cellulite). As well as all the usual suspects, it’s also in foods such as cereal, pasta sauces (have a look) and yoghurt.