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What is Cellulite, and How Do You Get Rid of it?

Did you know that a whopping 90% of women will experience cellulite at some point in their lives? This can be as a teen or at any point in adulthood, and occurs even in the fittest, most toned of women. So if you have it, don’t worry - it’s completely normal! But what exactly is cellulite, what anti-cellulite treatments are there, and, for the love of God, can you actually get rid of it? Let’s take a look…

What is cellulite?

Cellulite, sometimes referred to as orange peel or cottage cheese (sorry if you’re eating either of those right now), is where the skin - generally around the hips, thighs and bum - creates a rippled effect. This dimpled appearance happens when fat cells accumulate and push against the surface of the skin. While some men experience cellulite, it’s much more common in women. Typical!

Interestingly, cellulite isn’t connected to weight - anyone can have it, size 6 or size 26 - but rather with skin, and it can also be down to genetics. So dashing out to the salad bar isn’t going to help.

What makes cellulite worse?

For a long time, it was thought that cellulite was caused by toxins, but this is actually just a myth. In reality, it’s worsened by too many carbs or too much salt, smoking and a lack of exercise. It also often becomes worse as we age, when our skin starts to lose elasticity (joy!).

So, how do you get rid of cellulite? That’s the question on the lips of billions of women around the world. Unfortunately, there’s no one miracle product that will do the job, but let’s take a look at the different types of cellulite treatments out there…

Caffeine for cellulite

I know, I know - we’re always being told that we should cut down on our caffeine consumption if we want great skin. So, why am I even talking about it? Well, it turns out that applying a caffeine moisturiser or scrub to the problem area can actually be an effective cellulite treatment, leading to improved, brighter, firmer skin (YESSS!).

So, why is this? Well, caffeine stimulates and dehydrates fat cells and helps break them down, leading to lymph fluid drainage (could that sound any more disgusting?), improved circulation and tightened skin.

Sounds great, huh? But don’t expect immediate results. Caffeine can take a while to make a noticeable difference, so, before you rush out to load up on caffeine-based products, let’s take a look at some of the other options for reducing cellulite.

Retinol for cellulite

Retinol is the buzzword in skincare at the moment, with claims that it can reduce the appearance of sun damage and ageing. But can it actually reduce signs of cellulite? Apparently so.

By applying retinol to the area every day, as an anti-cellulite treatment, you’ll likely see a difference within about 6 months. This is because the retinol works on thickening the skin, which, essentially, makes the cellulite less visible. So, it doesn’t get rid of it altogether, but rather masks it. And, honestly, anything that reduces its appearance is a bonus, right?

Dry brushing for cellulite

The dry brush method has been around for years, and many people swear by it. So, what is it that it supposedly does?

Well, by brushing the cellulite-affected area with a dry brush, we increase circulation and allow for increased blood flow. This helps with lymphatic drainage (there’s that lovely term again), leaving the skin looking plumper, and cellulite looking less obvious. To see a real difference, dry brushing should be done every day after showering and before moisturising.

Dry brushing is not suitable for people with dry skin or eczema, so if you suffer with either of these things, steer clear.

Endermologie for cellulite

Ok, so this is an exciting one! Why? Because, aside from the fact that you are given a body stocking to wear (glam, I know), Endermologie - an FDA-approved, non-invasive cellulite treatment - basically requires you to lie down for an hour while a practitioner does a deep massage on the cellulite-affected areas. Let me just say that again: you get to lie down for an hour while someone massages your cellulite away.

Of course, Endermologie isn’t a magic solution, and it actually takes a good few sessions before you’ll notice a real difference. And at approximately £60 per treatment, it could be an expensive option, but anything that’s pain-free, requires no downtime and involves lying down while someone reduces the appearance of your cellulite has got to be a good thing.

So, there you have it. There is no magic cure for cellulite (I know, I’m sorry), but cutting out (or at least down on) salt, smoking and carbs, and increasing exercise, will help make a difference. Trying one of the treatments above may result in you seeing a reduction in the appearance of cellulite, but trying a combination will most likely help. But don’t expect it to happen over night. It takes dedication and realistic expectations.

Looking for a skin pro? You've come to the right place. Glowday lists thousands of skin experts, all safe and medically qualified. Find one in your area now.

Endermologie is a registered trademark

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