Everything you wanted to know about cellulite
From what it is, to how to get rid of it
Hands up if you’ve ever stood under the harsh light of a swimsuit change room and wished you could smooth out just a few of those stubborn lumps and bumps? Yep, us too. While healthy eating and exercise have long been touted as the best way to tackle cellulite, there are plenty of other smart ways to deal with it, starting with this simple advice from leading experts.
Q: What is cellulite anyway?
A: “Essentially, cellulite is noticeable, irregular deposits of fat around the hips, thighs and buttocks,” explains Dr Anita Patel from the Australasian College of Dermatologists. “Bands of fibrous tissues attach the skin layer to the muscle layer and fat cells lie in between each one, creating that lumpy appearance.” And as a result, as most of us know, it’s notoriously difficult to shift.
Q: So does every woman get it?
A: Pretty much. But a slower metabolism or extra weight makes it more likely. “It’s more common in Caucasian than Asian or African skin, and it usually appears after puberty,” explains Dr Patel. “Cellulite is more common in women than men because estrogen plays a major role in its development,” she adds.
Q: Can I diminish dimples at home?
A: While no topical treatment has been proven to smooth cellulite permanently, creams containing caffeine or caffeine-like stimulants such as theophylline can have an effect, says Dr Patel. “Caffeine is a diuretic, which helps eliminate trapped tissue fluids, smoothing out the skin,” adds Emma Hobson from the International Dermal Institute.
Try a topical gel or cream containing caffeine like Priori Body Shaping Complex with 0.5% CoffeeBerry extract. Use a body scrub like frank body original body scrub or a soft bristle brush like The Body Shop Cactus Brush prior to applying products to remove dead skin cells, boost circulation and help lymphatic drainage. The only catch? According to Dr Patel, while the effects are noticeable, they’ll only last a short time.
Q: What about high-tech options?
A: You can target trouble spots with Lipomassage, which uses mechanical stimulation to help increase the elimination of fat cells. The use of heat in radio frequency treatments helps to break down fat cells, regenerate collagen and strengthen elastin. “Radio frequency can produce a discernible difference in cellulite, improved skin tightening and contour but the effects aren’t permanent,”
Dr Patel says. Another high-tech option, Cryolipolysis or CoolSculpting, is an hour-long procedure that freezes fat cells, which are then naturally eliminated from the body, reducing the appearance of cellulite.
Melinda is a beauty and travel writer, content creator, podcaster and mama. She has penned prose for the likes of Vogue, Women’s Health, Harper’s Bazaar, Mindfood, nine.com.au and body & soul. Melinda loves trying out pretty things, talking to talented people and travelling to picturesque places then telling everybody all about it with witty words. She keeps a journal, drinks ten cups of tea most days and listens to seventies disco in the car.