Cellulite: What It Is & How To Lessen Its Appearance

Cellulite: What It Is & How To Lessen Its Appearance

Up to 90% of women have, or will have, cellulite at some point in their lives, and although common, it can have a significant impact on your confidence. While you’re unlikely to get rid of it altogether, there are ways to improve its appearance and stop it from getting worse. Here, three experts explain all…

First, It’s Incredibly Common 

“First things first, cellulite is incredibly common – no matter your size or shape,” says Dr Edwin Anthony, aesthetic doctor and founder of eaclinic.co.uk. “It can affect anyone with varying degrees of severity. Cellulite is often the result of lax skin (loss of elasticity) which causes fat pockets to rise to the surface, becoming more visible as the connective tissue fibres break down.” Elemis co-founder and skincare expert, Noella Gabriel agrees: “It’s a combination of your lifestyle, dehydration and a lack of balance between salt and potassium in the body, too. Slow circulation contributes, as can a lack of a home care routine.” 

Genetics Play A Part 

“There is some evidence to suggest that cellulite is more common in certain families,” explains Dr Benji Dhillon of the Define Clinic. “This is because some of us naturally retain surface fat in set areas – around the pelvis, bum and hips – and this often gets passed down genetically.” Dr Edwin adds: “Unfortunately, your DNA is likely to predetermine how likely you are to get cellulite, but other factors contribute, too, hence why it’s so common among women.” 

Your Contraceptive Pill Matters

“Genetics are a key cause, but hormones follow closely behind,” explains Dr Benji. “Cellulite is closely linked to oestrogen (the female sex hormone), which explains why women are more prone to cellulite than men. Oestrogen also plays a role in increasing the amount of fat in women, typically around the thighs and buttocks from puberty onwards, and an individual’s hormone levels can be affected by external factors, including the contraceptive pill. It’s also worth noting that cellulite can appear more visible depending what stage you’re at in your menstrual cycle. This is because, as hormone levels increase, chambers of fat under the skin get bigger and lead to a more prominent appearance overall.”

Smoking Doesn’t Help

“Smoking is one of the worst habits for cellulite,” explains Dr Benji. “It breaks down collagen production, further weakening the skin, and allows cellulite to push through. Lack of water consumption is an issue, too. Try to drink at least two litres a day to rehydrate from the inside out. This is useful because dry skin can appear loose, worsening the appearance of cellulite. It’s important to keep your diet healthy and sensible, too, by reducing sugar and refined carbohydrates.” 

Your Body Care Regime Counts

“There is nothing wrong with cellulite, but if it’s affecting your confidence, a consistent routine can minimise its appearance,” says Noella. “Products can help to reduce the appearance of dimpling over time, but above all, they promote a more refined, even-looking surface. The key, is to follow a set technique when you are applying these products. For starters, you need to massage formulas deeply into the skin using hands and fingertips in large, circular movements. Apply to areas that are prone to cellulite, such as the thighs, stomach and the backs of the arms. Secondly, get pinching. This will stimulate your circulation by squeezing the skin between your fingers and thumb, moving across any areas of concern. Finally, try knuckling the area you’re concerned with. This involves firmly pounding the area with a closed fist, using the flat of your knuckles to go over the cellulite as many times as you like. Stick to this daily and you’ll notice a significant change to the appearance of your skin.” 

Certain Exercises Could Help

“It’s a myth that it can get rid of cellulite entirely, but regular exercise can prevent or reduce its appearance,” adds Dr Edwin. “Try anything that reduces fat from the body in general. This includes HIIT (high intensity interval training) and strength training – both of which improve musculature and blood circulation, in turn boosting the appearance of cellulite.”

There Are Some Quick Fixes

“We’ve spoken about products, but body brushing is a useful technique,” adds Noella. “It can help you shed up to one pound of waste and toxins (yes, really) from your skin every single day. It’s also an extremely useful tool for encouraging cellulite deposits to disperse, and for decongesting all the systems of the body. When you begin to body brush, start at your feet and sweep upwards in long, light and brisk movements, always moving towards the heart. This type of motion encourages the return of blood to the heart and boosts lymphatic flow. Certain areas require special care, including your abdomen and thighs – brush in circular, clockwise motions. The whole process won’t take you longer than five minutes, but the results last for a long time if you persist daily.” 

Finally, Remember You Can’t Get Rid Of It Completely

“It’s worth knowing from the off that you can’t get rid of it entirely, but you can improve its visual appearance with treatments, expertise and a healthier lifestyle,” says Dr Edwin. “If it’s really getting you down, or you find none of the above has helped, there are many non-invasive treatments on the market, including radio frequency, like BodyFX and manual lymphatic massage. Other treatments include Cellulase (laser) and the newer, effective CelluTite by InMode, which combines both radio frequency to contract and tighten the tissue and to cut through the fibres which cause the dimpling. Whichever you choose, do your research, and always seek out an experienced practitioner before going any further.”

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