person pinching thigh for cellulite check

Is Cellulite Really a Big Deal?

What Is Cellulite?

Summer is here, and it is time to put on a swimsuit and head straight to the beach. However, many women struggle with body image and avoid bathing suits and short skirts because of the greatest enemy of womankind – cellulite.

Cellulite is just skin with dimples that are most often found on thighs and buttocks, and it is a big issue for a lot of people, especially women worldwide. Cellulite forms when the fatty tissue is pushed against the connective tissue, which makes the skin look dimply and uneven, creating a textured look of the skin.

Before we move on to the nitty-gritty of cellulite, it’s important to remember one thing. You are not alone. Some studies say that almost 90% of women suffer from cellulite no matter their age, weight, or height. Many women will avoid social activities, pool parties, going to the beach with friends and family and wearing skirts and shorts in the scorching heat just because they have a bit of cellulite.

It is entirely normal to have it, and we should all fight for acceptance before we go on to spend thousands of dollars on products and expensive cosmetic procedures. Self-love includes loving your cellulite as well and trust us; no one cares that you have it.

Now that we got that covered let’s move on the possible causes, treatment, as well as prevention methods.

What Causes Cellulite?

Brace yourself – dermatologists are yet to discover the exact cause of cellulite! There is no singular reason as to why cellulite may appear, that’s why you can see a mature, overweight woman with smooth thighs, and right next to her a 20-year-old girl with orange peel skin. There are no rules here. However, there are a few potential causes that we will discuss.

Hormones & Age

Thyroid hormones, estrogen, prolactin, noradrenaline, and insulin can all be responsible for the appearance of cellulite on the skin. Some theories state that, as women age, their estrogen levels decrease, which makes the circulation and blood flow to the connective tissue lower, causing cellulite.

Age

As people age, they have less oxygen in their cells, including skin cells. This means that collagen production decreases, which can enlarge the fat cells and make cellulite more visible. With age, the skin is less elastic and becomes thinner, which makes cellulite easier to see under the thin layer of the skin.

Diet & Lifestyle

Eating too much salt and carbohydrates can make one gain weight and have more fat deposits under the skin. People who eat little to no fiber also have a higher chance of having cellulite. Little to no exercise, smoking, and wearing tight clothing can also be a potential cause, as well as standing and sitting for prolonged periods of time.

Genetics

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, your genes are just not cooperating. Some people are genetically predisposed to having cellulite, and there is not much they can do to prevent or treat this issue. Therefore, as stated before, we must all strive for self-acceptance first, as well as self-love, before any treatments or procedures.

Treatments

Treating cellulite is tough. It can be very time-consuming, expensive, and sometimes just ineffective. However, there are several options you can explore if you are looking to reduce the appearance of “cottage cheese skin” as they call it, so let’s review some of them.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment is also known as a radio-frequency treatment, and it is usually quite useful when it comes to cellulite combat. One of the FDA approved treatments is called Cellulaze. During this treatment, a laser is put under the skin, and it basically shoots heat to liquify the fat cells. These treatments are usually quite expensive, but dermatologists say that effects can last to up to 6 months!

Cryolipolysis

Cryolipolysis is a procedure done with the dermatologist that consists of freezing the fat cells. Once frozen, they die, and your body gets rid of them naturally. Usually, people would go to this treatment for body sculpting. However, cellulite can also reduce once the fat cells are gone.

Subcision

Subcision is another FDA approved method of cellulite treatment, and it includes a dermatologist inserting a needle under your skin and breaks the fibrous tissue to smooth out the skin. This treatment is best applied to individual dimples, so it’s not the best for people with a lot of cellulite. The official name is Cellfina, and it can also be quite costly.

Vacuum Therapy

The vacuum pressure treatment consists of the doctor cutting the tight bands that cause cellulite and moving it up with the help of the vacuum

Weight loss

Losing weight can reduce the appearance of cellulite for most people. However, it will not eliminate the problem. If you build muscle, you can make your skin look smoother and firmer, and make cellulite less noticeable.

Cellulite Creams

Topical creams have certain ingredients that are supposed to help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some of them promote collagen production, stimulate the blood flow, as well as the lymphatic drainage. Some of the most common ingredients are topical caffeine and ivy extract. However, it is essential to note that these creams will only make the cellulite “appear” less prominent – they will not get rid of it. But, if you are looking forward to a short vacation in the sunshine, topical creams might be a great solution!

Dry Brushing

Another tried and tested technique is dry brushing. Basically, it involves using a brush with stiff bristles to brush against the skin and promote circulation. Dry brushing is supposed to boost the lymphatic system, but it has to be done every day and can be harsh on the skin.

Massage

At home or in a salon, massages can help break down the cellulite and make it look less daunting. Massages improve the lymphatic drainage, and they can stretch the cellulite tissue, making it seem less prominent.

Water

Drinking more water can help with cellulite combat since it keeps the body hydrated and removes the toxins. It can help with lymphatic flow and promote circulation, which are both essential when it comes to cellulite battle.

Self-Tanner

Self-tanners are cheap, effective, and can make you more confident than any other method. Just by tanning a bit, you can make the cellulite less prominent. Exfoliate, take an afternoon off, and get your tan on. By the end of it, your cellulite will be barely visible.

Fixing Cellulite With Exercise

Exercising can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and promote overall health, so you should definitely include it in your daily routine. Some of the most effective exercises for cellulite combat are:

  • Squats
  • Jump squats
  • Step-ups on a bench
  • Kickbacks for thighs and glutes
  • Side lunges
  • HIIT workouts
  • Bodyweight exercises

Cellulite Prevention

Preventing cellulite is sometimes impossible; however, if you can, do everything in your power to at least postpone the problem. As with any prevention method, it all starts with a proper, balanced diet.

Drink Enough Liquid

Water, green tea, nettle tea, and any unsweetened tea, in general, is excellent for fighting cellulite. Liquid will hydrate your body from the inside and make your skin look plump and tight.

Go Low-Sodium

If you eat a lot of salt, you retain water. When you retain a lot of water, your skin can have the orange peel look, and make the cellulite even more prominent. Therefore, cut down on the salt whenever you can. But, make sure that you don’t cut it out completely, as most salt is iodized, and iodine is crucial for thyroid health.

More Potassium

Potassium is incredible because it helps transport nutrients and oxygen to your cells. It can also promote waste excretion and cell reparation. So, eat plenty of bananas, apricots, potatoes, and ginger, as well as nuts and seeds, but in moderation.

More Vitamin C

Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which makes the skin look smooth and youthful, so get some oranges, lemons, bell peppers, and kiwis on your plate and have a feast.

Myths and Truths

Myth – Toxins Cause Cellulite

This is simply not true. The body can detox itself through liver and kidneys, and there is absolutely no need to ever go on detox diets, consume questionable pills, or pay a lot of money to detox professionals. Moreover, toxins cannot cause cellulite. Instead, cellulite occurs when the fat deposits push through the collagen fibers and to the skin. Nothing to do with toxins, just genetics, hormones, or even lack of exercise.

Myth – Only Overweight People Have Cellulite

Not true at all. People of all shapes and sizes have cellulite, and it has nothing to do with weight. However, excess weight can make it look more prominent, since the more fat you have under your skin, the more likely it is to push through the collagen layer. Even supermodels have cellulite, however, so this myth is busted.

Myth – Cardio Is the Best

Cardio is great for keeping the weight off. However, if you want really smooth and tight skin, you have to lift some weights and build muscle. Cardio alone can make your skin sag if you lose a lot of weight fast, so make sure to include strength training as well.

Truth – Women Have More Cellulite Than Men

The connective tissue in the female body is built linearly, and men’s connective tissue is created in the X shape, making it less likely for fat cells to push through. Also, women have thinner skin, which makes the cellulite more prominent.

Truth – It Gets Worse With Age

Unfortunately, as we age, so does our skin. We don’t produce collagen as well as before, and the skin gets thinner. This means that cellulite does, in fact, get worse with age. As we age, the circulation is not as good as it used to be, and women produce less estrogen, all of which can lead to uneven skin.

Truth – Exercise Can Help

Just by building muscle, you can reduce the appearance of cellulite, as fat cells won’t have as much space to expand and push on the skin. Exercise tightens the skin, making it look plumper and more youthful, so there is no excuse for skipping the gym.

Truth – Fillers Help

Skin fillers can fill out the dimples and make the skin look smoother. However, this method is only helpful for people with very little cellulite and only a few dimples.

Truth – A Permanent Solution Does Not Exist

Sadly, the world is yet to invent a definitive and permanent solution for cellulite combating. All of the treatments mentioned above can work for a certain period of time, but not forever. However, the future looks promising, and women around the world are keeping their fingers crossed for a solution.