Here's What You Can (and Can't) Actually Do About Cellulite
We know how you feel. Cellulite can go to hell...ulite.
Pretttty much, right? Yeah, we feel the same way. Those little bumps on the back of our legs, our arms, or maybe our stomach. For some of us, it's been decades. For others, it's more of a "since when has the been there!?" situation. But for everyone, it's the same: we don't want it.
So What Exactly is Cellulite?
As many of us know all too well, cellulite is the skin that appears dimpled, usually on the thighs and the hips. It's also fairly common for it to show up on your booty and your stomach.
Cellulite is not actually extra fat (yay?). What it actually is, is cells fat cells pressing up against the skin (boo). When the fat cells push against the connective tissue in the skin, the skin above that tissue starts to pucker up and create dimples.
The cause is less clear. We get cellulite when those fat cells expand, but they can expand for several reasons.
What Causes Cellulite?
First off, let's start by saying: up to 98 percent of ALL women have cellulite. Those magazines and Instagram photos? They're lying.
- Genetics: Yes, unfortunately you can be genetically predisposed to having more visible cellulite than others. Some skin has weaker connective tissue, and light skin makes cellulite more visible. However, you may also win the genetic lottery, and have a genetic likelihood toward smoother skin.
- Aging: Yep, when you're older, you produce less estrogen. Estrogen keeps our blood vessels flowing more smoothly, and when we have less of it, our circulation is poorer. This means that our collagen production breaks down, and connective tissue is included in the mix.
- Diet: If you have an unhealthy diet, you're upping the chances of cellulite appearing on your body. Staying hydrated can really kick cellulite in the butt - it helps to keep you hydrated and strengthen your connective tissue.
- Exercise: Or, lack thereof. Not exercising puts you at risk for developing cellulite much more easily. Without regularly working out your connective tissues, they will become weak, allowing fat cells to push through.
What You CAN'T Do About It
You will read some places that you can do nothing about cellulite at all (womp, womp.) Well, that's not entirely true (hurrah!)
While there's no catch-all cure for the bumps and lumps, it's not a completely hopeless fight. Most doctors agree that no, there is no permanent fix when it comes to the cellulite battle.
Creams, while popular, have never been scientifically proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Some can encourage skin thickening or improved collagen production, but even if they produce results, they haven't been shown to have long-lasting effects.
What You CAN Do About It
Don't give up just yet. There's a whole number of things you can do to demolish those dimples.
Plant Based Diet
Remember what we said about staying hydrated? Yep, keep doing that to prevent cellulite from rearing its head. But you can also increase the amount of water you take in through the food you eat. Bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes, along with many other fruits and veggies not only make your chances of cellulite showing up decrease, they can make you healthier in general.
While cellulite is completely harmless, it can take a toll on self-esteem. Subcision is a minor surgical procedure that can reduce the appearance of cellulite for up to two years (see, no permanent.)
A needle is inserted under the skin in order to release the fat cells from the connective tissues. This procedure can be fairly expensive, but has been shown to result in a reduction of the appearance of cellulite on the skin.
There are many different types of laser treatments for cellulite, but they virtually all work in the same manner: a small laser is directed at the skin, and works to break up the bands beneath the skin that are being bunched up by fat cells. This also helps to thicken the skin, which can lead to a lessening of the bumps.
Run a marathon, finish an iron man, get an Olympic medal - you still might have cellulite. However, cellulite has been shown to become less noticeable with weight loss, so if you're overweight, shedding a few extra pounds could be the key to smoother skin.
Considering the fact that 98% of women have cellulite, we might have to rethink a little bit of the stigma. Why are we so unforgiving of our bodies, when cellulite is actually just about as coming as having two eyes, a mouth, and a nose? Let's work hard to stay healthy, but if a little cellulite still remains, just remember: it's normal, and you're beautiful.
Wear Great Leggings
Yep, you know we couldn't go without saying this. So we've all got cellulite. Let's cellu-brate, eh? Throw on a pair of your absolute favorite leggings and remember you're the bombshell that you are.