12 Ways to Get Rid of Cellulite
Cellulite seems to be one of those things that you either have or you don’t. And chances are, since 90% of women have it, you are one of them – even if you are otherwise slender and fit. If you are one of those that do not have any signs of cellulite, consider yourself the anomaly. The glamorous airbrushed bodies we see on the covers of magazines? Yes, even some of them have it. So is there a way to get rid of your cellulite once and for all? Well the answer is a complicated one, but let’s answer some other basic questions first and then dig deeper—fat cell deep!
What is Cellulite?
There is an official medical term for cellulite; it is gynoid lipodystrphy. Cellulite occurs when the fat distribution changes in structure of fat cells. There are a few different things that have to take place in order for cellulite to develop, but some of these circumstances may seem beyond our control.
What causes Cellulite?
The causes of cellulite can vary. Hormonal imbalances, reduction of estrogen in menopause, higher levels of insulin, high levels of carbohydrates, prolonged periods of sitting or inactivity, and thyroid issues can all contribute to the development of cellulite. Women are more likely to develop cellulite because fat cells in women are arranged vertically under the skin, while a man’s typically lay horizontally and flat against each other. Smokers are also more likely to develop cellulite because they tend to stand in one place at a time. There are 4 stages of cellulite development that can start as early as age 16:
- Grade 0 – No cellulite is present.
- Grade 1 – Skin is smooth while standing, but dimples and bumps appear while sitting.
- Grade 2 – Orange peel or cottage cheese appearance while sitting or standing.
- Grade 3 – Orange peel or cottage cheese appearance while sitting or standing with deep depressed and elevated areas.
There are so many myths out there when it comes to cellulite. Let’s take a look at some of them and determine whether or not there is some merit to these myths.
1. Cellulite gets worse with age: FACT
Because hormones play a major role in the development of cellulite and especially as women, our hormone levels have a tendency to change as we get older, so does the risk of cellulite. Because estrogen is so important to keep blood flowing throughout our bodies and we produce less estrogen as we age, we experience poorer circulation, therefore a decrease in the production of collagen and the older tissue continues to breakdown.
2. Cellulite may be in your genes: FACT
Blame it on your mom. Not really, but if your mom and grandmother have cellulite, you are at a much greater risk for having it. Considering 90% of women will have cellulite in their lifetime, blaming it on someone else really doesn’t change anything.
3. Cellulite only happens to out-of-shape people: MYTH
While the appearance of cellulite may be more noticeable if you are considered overweight, cellulite is just as likely to occur in someone who is generally slim. The more fat an individual has under their skin, the more stress your connective tissue experiences causing it to bulge and shift. The owner of the American Cellulite Reduction Center in New York City treats women with cellulite and explains that even some Victoria's Secret models that eat well, exercise and do everything right still have cellulite. That should make you feel better about yours!
4. Exercise reduces the appearance of cellulite: FACT
Exercise is not a cure for cellulite, but it can definitely help to prevent it or reduce the appearance of already existing cellulite. Toning muscles will help to tighten the skin and make it less noticeable. Strength training specifically targeting the butt and thighs are a great way to boost circulation, build muscle and minimize the appearance of cellulite.
5. Cardio is the best exercise for keeping cellulite under control: FACT
Cardio exercise like running is an effective way to keep weight off, thus reducing the appearance of cellulite. However, to actually smooth the surface of your skin – strength training is the way to go. Pairing the benefits of aerobic exercise with strength training is the most effective way to build muscle, lose weight and improve overall body composition; including reducing signs of dents and dimples. Check out these exercises to reduce cellulite from Shape magazine.
6. Skin-firming creams work to cure cellulite: MYTH
Wouldn’t that be nice? Lather on some firming cream and let the magic happen. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way. Their labels may claim to reduce the appearance of cellulite, but while products containing retinoid have been shown to temporarily improve the skins appearance, it does not permanently eliminate cellulite.
7. Skin fillers can be used to even out bumps in the skin: FACT
If you’re not leery of a needle, this may be a possibility for you. However, it’s expensive. Just like injectable fillers can be used for smile lines, wrinkles, sagging cheekbones – it can be used to help smooth the skin. But keep in mind that this isn’t fixing the problem, just temporarily covering it up like putting frosting over a lumpy cake. This process costs hundreds to thousands and lasts less than a year.
8. Non-invasive procedures do work: FACT
Other forms of treatment like lasers, massage and radio frequency have been shown to reduce the appearance of cellulite. The results are not permanent, but much less expensive and still last anywhere from 6 months to a year.
9. Liposuction will make your skin look better: MYTH
Liposuction is not the solution for cellulite. It has been known to help, however it’s expensive, extremely painful and not permanent. It could even make the cellulite worse by causing the fat distribution to be uneven. There are also many safety risks of liposuction you may want to consider, even if you're receiving the treatment for something other than cellulite.
10. Foods can fight cellulite: FACT
While your diet alone cannot change whether or not you will get cellulite, eating a healthy, well balanced diet helps to reduce overall inflammation and improves your chances of maintaining a healthy weight. Drinking lots of water also helps to keep the tissue strong. Eat foods that contain lots of water like cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, apples and peppers.
11. Only dermatologists can and should perform cellulite treatments: MYTH
Cellulite isn’t a medical condition, so while the dermatologist might be able to make a recommendation as to the next course of action, they are not required to treat it. You can seek a cellulite specialist to talk about different options that may be available to fit your need and budget.
12. There is currently no permanent solution: FACT
At least for now, there is no one cure all way to eliminate cellulite. Scientists are working and getting closer and closer for more long term solutions. A more recent procedure called Cellulaze has had the most success at actually eliminating fat cells by using a laser to melt the cells and promote the growth of new collagen. It’s a non-invasive procedure that requires very little down time. Still with a hefty price tag around $4000 per leg, this treatment has been shown to last anywhere from 1 to 2 years.
How to Get Rid of your Cellulite
If you happen to be one of the many women (or men) who notice the dimples and bumps in your skin and are looking for ways to minimize its appearance or even eliminate as much as possible, consider these 12 ways to get rid of (or at least better conceal) cellulite.
1. Drink lots of water
Keeping yourself hydrated will replenish the fluids in your body. When you aren’t drinking enough water and become dehydrated, cellulite is more visible.
2. Cut out dairy
Dairy products are packed full of hormones and the added estrogen can contribute to cellulite forming on your legs and butt. Move over cheese… try cutting out dairy for your skin or trying out alternatives like almond or soy milk.
3. Eat a healthier diet
Easier said than done, right? But this is one sure fire way to improve the appearance of cellulite on your skin. Eliminated fatty and salty foods will help to shrink fat cells. It won’t erase cellulite completely, but it will definitely make a difference. Fill your plate with healthier options like fruits, vegetables, grains and healthy fats. This will also help to prevent more cellulite from developing in the future.
This process of deep tissue massage by a professional massage therapist helps to open up the lymphatic system and get rid of swelling. The results are generally immediate, but very temporary.
Another procedure performed by a professional, cellulite bumps are marked by the doctor and a local antiesthetic is applied to the area. The machine, called the Cellfina machine, suctions up small areas of skin while tiny needles penetrate beneath the skin to cut fibers allowing them to release upper layers of fat from the skin. The result is a smoother complexion and less noticeable cellulite.
This cellulite reduction procedure is non-invasive and has requires downtime. A machine using radiofrequency heats up fat cells to help liquefy them, thereby reducing the appearance of dimples and bumps. It feels like a warm massage and takes about 30 minutes to complete the procedure. You will see results within a few weeks, but the treatment isn’t permanent. After completely about 6 treatments, the results will last a few years.
Just like all people don’t look the same, all cellulite doesn’t look the same and lasers offer a permanent solution to all severities of cellulite, but have been shown to be most effective in skin that is less lumpy. The doctor makes a small incision and using a laser under the skin, works to melt the fat, heat the skin and boost collagen and elastin production. One treatment will make a difference, but plan ahead with some recovery time – you’ll need it.
8. The Angel secret
Victoria Secret makeup artist, Stephanie Flor, uses bronzer to hide the appearance of cellulite. Attract light to other areas of the leg like the front to make cellulite look less obvious.
Everyone’s favorite thing to do at the gym… NOT! But strong muscles make cellulite less noticeable. How to properly do squats: Stand with your feed shoulder width apart, stick out your glutes as you bend your knees to a sitting position and hold for a couple of seconds before returning to standing. Add some hand weights to make it even more challenging. Building muscle is a great way to shrink fat cells and make your skin look smoother.
Boosting the circulation in the skin helps to plump it up and fill in the gaps where you may notice more dents and dips. Apply a body scrub, such as these DIY sugar scrubs, in the shower and follow up with body oil for a 2 minute deep massage. Apply pressure in slow, circular motions. This process will help redistribute fat cells and smooth otherwise bumpy skin.
A fast, easy, temporary solution can be found in your favorite self-tanner. Tanner skin can give your skin tone a smoother finish and slimming effect. If you already have fairly dark skin, try using an oil to draw attention to your skin in other areas less affected by cellulite.
12. Creams and Lotions
This is the fastest and most affordable way to treat cellulite. However, as we identified above, there are many products on the market that claim to help hide or eliminate cellulite and they are not effective. Skin care products with caffeine have been known to tighten the skin which may appear to change the circulation to the area and minimize the bumps. But the reality is, none of them have been proven terribly effective.
Don't get discouraged. There are lots of ways out there to manage, conceal and minimize the appearance of cellulite and you’re not alone! Talk to your girlfriends, your mom or grandma and sister. Find out what works for them or maybe try a few things together and watch the transformation begin. If you're looking for even more natural skin firming products, check out our anti-aging line: