It is estimated that over 85% of women over the age of 21 are afflicted with cellulite. I have even read that the number could be even higher at 98%! Cellulite is 100% normal for women, yet men rarely develop it. It is one of the most common, and yet widely complained about, aesthetic conditions for women. This is an article I have been wanting to write for awhile, but I also knew it would take a lot of research. There is so much information out there, but I wanted to find the best tips. I went on a quest to find out: what are some of the best things that can help reduce cellulite? And after scouring as many studies that I could find, I have narrowed down my top tips on reducing cellulite without medical procedures.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite is a very common, harmless skin condition that causes lumpy, dimpled flesh on the thighs, hips, buttocks and abdomen. You may have heard of cellulite described as orange-peel skin, cottage-cheese skin, dimpled skin, hail damage, and the mattress phenomenon. Cellulite forms when fat cells beneath your skin (which, everyone has, regardless of what you eat or how frequently you exercise) push up against your skin’s connective tissues, causing your skin to dimple or pucker.
Cellulite can affect both men and women, but it is more common in females, due to the different distributions of fat, muscle, and connective tissue. Predisposing factors include increased fatty tissue, increased age, female gender, heredity, and race. Many factors contribute to the development of cellulite including disrupted lymphatic drainage and circulation, long term inflammation, thinning of the epidermis, increased fatty tissue, and estrogen.
Can You Get Rid of Cellulite?
I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but nothing you do at home can eliminate cellulite. I don’t have all bad news though. There are things that you can do to help reduce the appearance of it.
Let’s first look at some things that may affect the appearance of cellulite:
- A slow metabolism increases the amount or severity of cellulite.
- If you are not exercising regularly, your cellulite might increase.
- If you are not drinking enough water, your skin will become dehydrated and depleted and can make cellulite more visible.
- A restricted diet might not provide you with the nutrients you need to keep your body and skin healthy. In addition, some fad diets can also provide you with too much sodium and unhealthy fats.
- Although cellulite also occurs in women who are considered ‘thin’, a reduction in total body fat often reduces the appearance of cellulite.
- If you are pregnant or have had a baby – pregnancy changes the hormone levels in our bodies, and can, therefore, affect the fat distribution in our bodies.
- As we age, our hormones change and also the amount of collagen we produce. This might result in increased appearance of cellulite.
My Top Tips on Reducing Cellulite
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Drinking enough water really does help with so many things, but yet most of us don’t seem to drink enough. Myself included! Skin cells, like the rest of the body’s cells, need water to function. Hydration is really important for improving circulation, and keeps your skin healthy and plump. Water also helps the skin maintain a plump appearance.
How much water should you drink each day? It’s a simple question with no easy answer. The U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine determined that an adequate daily fluid intake for women is about 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters. So drink your water-I’m talking to myself too 😉
Some research does suggest that certain bioactive collagen peptide supplements may have a positive effect in some people.
In a 2015 study, researchers separated 105 female participants aged 24–50 with moderate cellulite into two groups. One group took 2.5 grams (g) of specific bioactive collagen peptides daily for 6 months. The other group took a placebo.
The results of the study demonstrated that a regular ingestion of bioactive collagen peptide supplements over a period of 6 months led to a clear improvement of the skin appearance in women suffering from moderate cellulite. Based on the current data, it can be concluded that a long-term therapy with orally administered BCP leads to an improvement of cellulite and has a positive impact on skin health.
Collagen is a structural protein (long chain of amino acids) found in our bodies. It is the most abundant protein in the body and has a unique amino acid profile. As such, collagen is a major component of bones, skin, muscles, tendons and ligaments. It provides structure to these areas and functions to hold all these things together. Many people think of it as a “glue” and actually the word collagen comes from the Greek word “kola”, which means glue. There are different types of collagen, but I, II, III are the major types and each can function in different aspects of the body. Primarily, collagen types I and III are grouped together because they are the most abundant and have similar functions. They are best for skin, hair, bone and muscle health. Studies have shown collagen peptides provide numerous beneficial effects on skin by helping to promote skin elasticity, thickness and hydration.
Not all collagen is created equal and hydrolyzed collagen has been broken down into smaller amino acid chains or segments known as collagen peptides. This process improves absorption and bioavailability of the collagen for the building blocks of our bodies.
One of the most-talked-about benefits of dry brushing is a reduction in cellulite. I couldn’t support this this with any scientific evidence, but it could be that it hasn’t been widely studied. Dry brushing improves skin appearance by removing the top layers of the skin through weakening the lipids that bond them together, thus removing dull and dead skin cells and revealing healthy skin cells. Having increased circulation from dry brushing will cause your capillaries widen, causing an increased amount of blood flow in the area, which can cause a temporary plumping up of the skin, which may make your cellulite appear less visible. Give it a try and see if you feel the benefits.
Dry brushing is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. You take a body brush with firm, natural bristles and use it to gently massage your body in an upward motion.
You can dry-brush at any time of day, but it’s recommended doing it right before you shower. After your shower you can apply a moisturizer for maximum absorption.
Lotions & Treatments
There are plenty of topical creams on the market claiming to soothe and smooth bumpy body skin. Even though creams and lotions aren’t going to make your cellulite disappear overnight, they may help smooth and tighten your skin. It’s important to look for ingredients known for just that.
My pick: Lumière de Vie Sculpting Crème
This luxurious body crème uses Lipout™* technology to help reduce the appearance of unwanted dimpling on thighs, tummy, arms and booty. Formulated to support skin elasticity and firmness while drenching the skin in moisture. Enriched with shea butter, aloe and caffeine this velvety smooth treatment melts into skin leaving behind a subtly sweet tropical scent for ultimate refreshment.
Lipout™ is a micro-algae (Tisochrysis lutea) standardized for xanthophylls and rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids that activates the browning function of adipocytes to sculpt the body and reduces cellulite appearance with improved firmness and elasticity.
A study published in the medical journal Cogent Medicine, looked specifically at the effects of fascia manipulation on cellulite in adult women. Fascial manipulation is a type of manual massage treatment typically employed for pain relief. Fascia are vertical bands of connective tissue that attach to the underside of the skin. The facia bands encase pockets of fat and as the bands stretch, you’re left with the bumpy appearance of cellulite on the surface of the skin.
The study concluded that regular use of a personal fascial manipulation massage tool, which is a low-cost alternative to invasive surgeries and luxury creams, can be effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite.
So be sure to deeply massage your Lumière de Vie Sculpting Crème into your skin.
Caffeine is being increasingly used in cosmetics due to its high biological activity and ability to penetrate the skin barrier. As for a cosmetic purpose, caffeine is used as an active compound in anti-cellulite products because it prevents excessive accumulation of fat in cells. This alkaloid stimulates the degradation of fats during lipolysis through inhibition of the phosphodiesterase activity. Caffeine has potent antioxidant properties. It helps protect cells against the UV radiation and slows down the process of photoaging of the skin. Moreover, caffeine contained in cosmetics increases the microcirculation of blood in the skin.
In this small study, researchers found that applying water-soluble caffeine twice daily has the ability to penetrate the dermis, reducing the appearance of cellulite within six weeks.
Coffee Body Scrub
I have read a lot about using a coffee scrub on your areas with cellulite. The coffee will exfoliate the skin leaving it smooth, the coconut oil will soften and moisturize the skin, while the caffeine will penetrate into the skin.
You can make your own caffeine body scrub by mixing:
- 1 c coffee grounds
- 6 tbsp coconut oil-liquid or solid melted in microwave
- 3 tbsp sea salt or sugar
Mix the above ingredients well and place in a waterproof jar or container.
OPTIONAL: Before getting in the shower, use your dry brush to exfoliate and stimulate blood flow. Brush lightly in a circular motion on any problem areas, or all over your body to reap the full benefits of dry brushing.
In the shower, apply your scrub to areas with cellulite. Massage the scrub onto skin in a circular motion before rinsing. Repeat every time you shower for best results.
Note: I would only recommend using this on your body. Coconut oil can be comedogenic and so I wouldn’t use on the face.
Yes, we know that any size of person can have cellulite, and that even though this has to do with fat cells, it’s not directly related to a person’s weight. However, research does suggest that improved muscle definition and weight loss in the area can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. The thought is, increasing muscle tone, which can diminish the bumpy appearance of fat cells, and can make the area appear firmer and smoother.
Thigh exercises including squats and lunges are great but also some cardio workouts like jogging, walking, swimming, cycling and dancing may help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
You are what you eat. According to a 2016 study, diets high in fats, salt, and carbohydrates may contribute to cellulite because fats can increase inflammation, salts can encourage water retention, and carbs can help break down collagen. Instead of following the latest fad diet, implement healthy lasting changes to your eating habits. Include vegetables, fruit, fiber, lean protein and healthy fats.
Do you have any to add? I’d LOVE to hear from you!
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.