Cellulite is a common skin condition that can affect anyone regardless of size or shape.
Put simply, it occurs as a result of the accumulation of fat deposits underneath the skin which cause lumpy irregularities mainly over the buttocks, thighs and stomach.
Whilst cellulite is common mainly among women, it can also affect some men also.
When fat cells build up between connective tissues, it pulls on and protrudes through different areas of the dermis layer of skin, causing those unwanted dimples.
Although cellulite is not harmful, it can be unsightly and may cause self-consciousness, but the good news is, there are several things you can do to reduce its appearance.
Here we reveal the main causes of cellulite and share six recommended self care tips for dealing with this common condition.
What Causes Cellulite?
The main known factors that are known to contribute to the formation of cellulite are the following:
- Genetics - Whilst genetics are commonly blamed as a factor, the reality is that any genetic predisposition is usually due to 'handed down' lifestyle habits from one generation to the next, but this is a cycle that can be broken.
- Hormones - Hormonal changes, disruption and imbalances can also play a role in the development of cellulite. The most common hormones that play a role are estrogen, insulin and thyroid, although the effects can be managed with certain lifestyle adjustments.
- Diet - A diet high in saturated fat, processed sugars, chemical preservatives and refined carbohydrates can all contribute greatly to the formation of cellulite, because they cause fluid retention and the body to store toxins and waste.
- Lifestyle Factors - Stress, alcohol, smoking and a sedentary lifestyle are all examples of lifestyle factors that can easily contribute to the development of cellulite and they should be minimised, if not avoided
- Age - As we age, a natural phenomenon is that the skin loses elasticity and becomes thinner, which can make cellulite more noticeable.
- Poor circulation - Poor circulation can lead to a buildup of toxins and fluid in the body, which can contribute to the formation of cellulite.
Whilst there is no specific medical cure for cellulite, there are definitely lifestyle factors that can assist greatly in the reduction of cellulite.
Let's discuss these here now...
1. Regular Exercise
Exercise is one of the most effective ways to reduce cellulite, but that doesn't mean you need to run a marathon or go crazy in the gym.
That said, the right types of regular exercise definitely helps to tone and firm the muscles and burn body fat, which can make the skin look smoother and less lumpy.
Additionally, exercise is great for boosting circulation and encouraging lymphatic drainage, which is a key to lowering fluid retention and the appearance of cellulite.
Rather than focus on one single exercise, it's best to do a regular workout routine that combines both aerobic exercises and strength training.
Aerobic activities help you burn fat, while strength exercises build muscle tone which helps with overall skin elasticity.
Some good exercises for combining and intertwining into your weekly exercise routine, include a combination of circuit training, pilates, cycling, swimming, light jogging, hiking and weight training. Choose a level that works for you, your level of fitness and your goals.
2. Eat A Clean Diet
It should go without saying that a healthy diet is an important factor in reducing body fat and cellulite.
A diet that is low in processed food, saturated fat, refined sugars and chemical preservatives is a crucial step for reducing your toxic load, which is vital for reducing fatty deposits and cellulite.
Particular food categories to avoid include:
- Processed meats and 'factory farmed' dairy products
- Frozen meals and fatty takeaway foods
- Cookies, cakes, energy bars and confectionary
- Refined grain products such as white pasta, white bread and packaged breakfast cereals
- Hydrogenated vegetable seed oils such as canola, safflower, corn and cottonseed
- Sodas and sports drinks made with food colourings.
On the positive side, a diet rich in fresh, locally sourced whole food will give your body the nutrients and natural fibres it needs to help 'flush out' unwanted waste which otherwise accumulates and leads to fatty deposits in the body.
Also, the antioxidants in fresh vegetables and seasonal fruits protect the skin from damage and even can help promote healthy collagen production.
Be sure to incorporate plenty of good fats in your diet, such as avocados, raw nuts and extra virgin olive oil.
And finally - if you're not vegetarian - when it comes to animal products, choose organic, pasture-raised meats; and dairy products from small micro farms that have not been homogenised and which are free of pesticides, chemicals and genetically modified organisms.
3. Drink Plenty Of Water
Drinking enough water each day is vital for maintaining healthy skin, but it can also help to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
When the body is dehydrated it can lead to fluid retention, which can make cellulite look more prominent.
Additionally, by staying hydrated you will help your body to transport waste efficiently, and thereby reduce the accumulation of fatty deposits and cellulite.
Be sure to drink at least 2 litres of clean, filtered water every single day as a minimum. If you're particularly active or if you perspire a lot when exercising, aim for 1 litre per 22 kilograms of body weight as an optimal guide.
Learn more about the vital importance of water in our blog: 10 dis-eases water can help you avoid.
4. Dry Brushing & Exfoliation
Dry brushing and exfoliation are techniques that stimulate circulation, lymphatic drainage and promote healthy cell renewal.
When you dry brush or exfoliate, you effectively open up the pores on your skin's surface, which assists the release of dead skin cells and healthy blood flow to the area.
The benefits of brushing and rubbing is mostly smoother skin texture and tone, which can help make your cellulite less obvious and promote healthy cell renewal.
If you're looking for a 100% natural exfoliate product, try our handcrafted Renew Salt Scrub available here in our store at tolmanselfcare.com
5. Therapeutic Massage
Regular therapeutic massage can help reduce cellulite because it promotes lymphatic drainage and blood circulation throughout the body.
Deep tissue massage does not need to be painful or uncomfortable and will boost circulation in the affected tissues, allowing the excess fat to be reabsorbed normally.
When combined with the other suggested tips shared here, therapeutic massage is an effective tool that can help reduce cellulite, not to mention the other body maintenance benefits.
All major cities and towns have local massage therapists that you can schedule a treatment with from time to time.
6. Infra-Red Saunas
Infra-Red saunas offer many amazing health benefits, and one of the greatest, is that they increase circulation and heat the body's tissues.
The infrared heat waves gently warm and penetrate deep into the body, helping to break down fat cells. It works by activating the release of fatty deposits in the connective tissue underneath the skin.
In addition, exposure to light at red and near-infrared wavelengths encourages the body to detoxify and get rid of fat as well as to rebuild collagen connective tissue.
Collagen is a known key to helping skin elasticity, which of course reduces the accumulation of fatty deposits and appearance of cellulite.
Learn more about the incredible health benefits of infra red saunas here in our blog: 5 Ways Infra Red Saunas Boost Your Health
The Main Take Away
Cellulite is a fairly common condition that in itself is not harmful, however it can be reduced with some adjustments to lifestyle and self care routine.
Whilst certain cosmetic treatments claim to target cellulite, as always, it is best to apply a more natural, common-sense, causative approach.
If cellulite is a concern for you, start by doing the right types of exercise, eating a clean diet and drinking plenty of water each day.
Next, include one or two of the suggestions shared with you here consistently as part of your self care routine, and you'll likely soon notice a significant reduction in the appearance of cellulite.
Some final food for thought...
Realise that being healthy and happy is much more important than stressing out about parts of your body you cannot change or fix. So long as you're taking good care of yourself and you're in good health, that's the most thing. Nobody has the perfect body or shape and any changes you make to yours will never define your overall beauty or worth.
Tolman Self Care.