Cellulite - it's something most of us have, but are ashamed of nevertheless. However ghastly you find it, it's important to remember cellulite is perfectly natural, especially for women.
Whilst cellulite won't cause you any physical harm, if you find that it's affecting your self-confidence, all is not lost. By getting clued up on the causes, preventative methods and home remedies for cellulite, you'll be able to banish those bumps in no time at all.
Ready to get body confident? Then let's get started.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is often referred to as orange-peel or cottage cheese skin, due to its dimpled and lumpy appearance. Whatever you want to call it, cellulite is nothing more than fat cells pushing through connective tissues beneath the skin.
It usually occurs on the buttocks and thighs, but no areas are off limits, and it can affect the arms, stomach and other areas too.
Why are women more prone to cellulite?
As unfair as it seems, women are naturally more prone to cellulite than men - between 80 and 90 per cent are likely to experience it at some point during their lives.
This isn't just bad luck - there's a scientific reason for it. Females have a different distribution of fat, muscle and connective tissues than men, making it more likely. Most importantly, in men, fat cells and connective tissues have a criss-cross structure, whilst women's are arranged vertically, making it easier for fat cells to protrude through.
What causes cellulite?
Although the exact cause of cellulite is unknown, it's thought that lifestyle, genes and age have a lot to do with it. Discover the causes below so you can start taking preventative steps against them.
We've all heard the skincare brands going on about collagen, but does anyone really know what it is? Collagen is a protein fibre that helps to give the skin structure, strength and elasticity, making it appear 'plumped' and youthful.
As we age, collagen production decreases, and the skin starts to sag. This makes it much easier for fat cells to protrude through the connective tissues, producing cellulite.
2. Poor circulation
Poor circulation can cause a whole host of problems, but one you probably wouldn't have expected is cellulite.
When circulation is poor, every part of the body suffers as a result. It's our blood that gets oxygen and essential nutrients to our body parts - if blood flow slows, nutrients are reduced, and the skin's connective tissues may be weakened, increasing the likelihood of cellulite.
3. Family history
Just as you got those gorgeous green eyes from your Grandmother, it could've been her that gave you your cellulite legs too.
Cellulite, like many things, can run in the family, but that's not to say it's impossible to prevent or reduce - there are many easy home remedies to reduce its appearance, of which we'll discuss later on.
Inflammation can be caused be many things, not just injury. It's thought to worsen the appearance of cellulite as it causes fat cells to retain fluid, toxins, and enlarge. Inflammation can also contribute to poor circulation.
As cellulite involves fat cells pushing through the skin tissue, weight gain will usually make things worse.
However, weight loss isn't always the answer. If you're already a healthy size, it's unlikely your body fat has anything to do with the appearance of cellulite and is down to other issues such as genes, inflammation or diet.
6. The hormone Estrogen
Estrogen levels are affected by loads of things, from puberty to pregnancy, and as levels increase, they can make cellulite more likely. Estrogen can contribute to fat gain, reduce collagen, plump up fatty tissues and affect circulation - all things that can contribute to cellulite.
How to prevent cellulite
Everyone is different and unfortunately, there's no magic formula when it comes to preventing cellulite. There are, however, numerous thing we can all do to avoid encouraging the appearance of cellulite.
1. Healthy diet
A healthy diet is the first solution for most things, so it's no surprise it can have a tremendous effect on cellulite too.
What to eat
A diet rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and a good balance and variety of all the food groups will provide the body and skin with all it needs. This will encourage the production of collagen and connective tissues, which should help fight against cellulite.
Healthy fats, which can be obtained from nuts, seeds and oily fish are especially important, as they contribute to blood circulation.
What not to eat
As with most 'healthy diets' simple, processed carbs should be avoided. Foods such as doughnuts, cakes, fast food and sweets will cause insulin levels to increase which can promote fat formation - bad news for your smooth skin.
You should also try to limit your salt intake. A diet high in sodium encourages fluid retention, making cellulite look even worse.
You may know exercise is good for you, but how much are you doing? It's recommended we get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity a week to keep our bodies and minds healthy and strong.
If you're not convinced, it may interest you to know that working out can also really help with reducing the appearance of cellulite. Cardiovascular exercise, such as running, swimming and walking will help increase circulation and burn body fat, whilst weight training will strengthen muscles underneath cellulite, which will help make it less prominent.
As cellulite is often most common on the thighs and buttocks, lower body strength training including squats, lunges and step-ups can be extremely helpful.
Yoga and Zumba are also a good way of combining both cardiovascular and strength training if you're looking for something gentler.
3. Cut out toxins
The lymphatic system is responsible for getting rid of waste in the body, so when you fill it with toxins, such as nicotine, drugs, alcohol and even those found in non-organic food, it has a lot to take care of.
This holds it back from working on its usual jobs, such as breaking down fat cells, which helps to keep cellulite under control.
4. Stay hydrated
Hydration's key to many things and smooth, cellulite-free skin is no exception.
8-10 glasses of water a day will help to plump up the skin and limit the appearance of protruding fat cells.
Home remedies for cellulite
Besides altering your lifestyle, there are certain home remedies that can be used to diminish the appearance of that 'orange peel' skin naturall. Give these a try and see what the power of nature can do for your skin today.
As we've already discussed, one of the contributing factors to cellulite is poor circulation. Massages not only feel great, but they're wonderful for improving blood flow and also the appearance of cellulite.
Massages will also help stimulate the lymphatic system and kick it into action, helping to break down fat cells and eliminate toxins.
One of the most popular ways of massaging the body at home is dry brushing. Dry brushing is exactly what it says on the tin - using a firm brush in small circular motions on the skin. It's recommended you dry brush three times a week before showering or bathing, and follow with moisturiser for best results.
2. Apple cider vinegar
If you've read our beauty benefits of apple cider vinegar, you'll already know just how amazing this natural product can be, and its effects on cellulite are no exception.
Apple cider vinegar contains minerals such as magnesium, calcium and potassium that promote circulation. Apply a solution of 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water to affected areas to improve the supply of oxygen, removal of toxins and production of collagen.
One of the reasons dry brushing is though to be so successful at treating cellulite is because it also works to exfoliate the skin, making it appear smoother.
Exfoliation is important for general skin health and appearance as it removes dead skin cells whilst also stimulating blood flow. It should be a part of everyone's general beauty routine, especially if you suffer from cellulite.
Whilst there are many different exfoliators available, one of the most popular methods is using coffee grounds. Not only does it act as a scrub but also stimulates dilation, plus it also contains antioxidants which could help with toxin removal.
If that weren't enough, it will also save you spending money on expensive products!
To make your own, mix 1/4 cup ground coffee with 2 tbsp hot water. Leave for 10 minutes until a paste is formed then mix in 2 tbsp olive oil. Apply to wet skin in circular motions for 2-4 minutes before rinsing and patting dry.
TOP TIP: Always moisturise after exfoliating to nourish new skin cells.
4. Green tea
We've all heard green tea is healthy, but did you also know it could help you to reduce the appearance of cellulite?
Green tea is renowned for its ability to aid in weight loss and also improve overall health. It's full of antioxidants which help to rid the body of toxins, and is also a powerful thermogenic, meaning it speeds up the metabolism of fat cells.
Some might say this one is cheating, but if you're willing to try anything to reduce the appearance of cellulite, self-tanning is definitely worth a go.
Self-tan can't promise to actually get rid of cellulite, but it will improve its appearance. It will help to even out skin tone and disguise lumps and bumps, drastically reducing the prominence of your dimpled skin.
Treatments for cellulite
As with most things, there are more drastic measures that can be taken to get rid of cellulite. Unlike home remedies for cellulite, professional treatments guarantee results that are often fairly long-lasting too.
However, as with most cosmetic procedures, cellulite treatments can be extremely costly and time-consuming - they're a big commitment that shouldn't be taken lightly!
We hope our article has shown you there's so much more to cellulite than weight alone, and although liposuction may help reduce cellulite in those who are significantly overweight, it's unlikely to reduce the appearance or severity of cellulite. Remember: many cellulite causes are out of our control.
Liposuction may reduce your body fat and go some way to improve the skin's appearance, but in most cases, further treatment is needed to achieve the desired results.
Cellfina is clinically proven to improve the appearance of cellulite. Just one 45-60 minute treatment provides results that last for three years, so if you want a more permanent solution, this could be it.
It's minimally invasive, using a needle-sized device to treat the connective bands that pull down the skin and create dimpling on the skin's surface.
If the thought of needles makes you shiver, it could be worth checking out Velashape. Velashape is a non-invasive treatment carried out using a handheld device.
It uses infrared and other technologies to heat up the fat cells and their surroundings to break them down. The process also stimulates collagen production, so you can expect to see smoother, plumper skin over time.
If you've got a big budget, Cellulaze is another option worth considering. Much like Cellfina, it's a minimally invasive procedure that uses a very small tube to laser underneath the skin, increasing its thickness and also releasing fibrous bands.
Although more expensive than Cellfina, it's not entirely clear whether it's better or even as effective.
5. Cellulite creams
Last but not least, if you have a small budget, tight schedule and don't want to delve into serious cosmetic procedures, cellulite creams could be your best bet.
Most cellulite creams are designed to improve the appearance of cellulite, not remove it - something to bear in mind before you cough up the cash.
Head to Best Advisers for a list of the best ones to invest in for quick results.
Cellulite - the takeaway
Although this article is all about how to get rid of cellulite, we want to emphasise there is absolutely no need to worry about cellulite at all. It's perfectly natural, especially for women, and you should never be ashamed of it.
Remember, we're all beautiful, and after all, dimples are meant to be cute!
We hope we've filled you with all the information you need. What home remedies for cellulite will you be trying first?