It’s unsightly, embarrassing, and downright ugly. It’s cellulite, and if you have this problem, you’re definitely not alone. According to surveys, the vast majority of women – about 85% – have some amount of cellulite. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just overweight and obese women who are affected by cellulite. Women with healthy body weights and even thin women have to deal with it too. Unfortunately, the problem usually worsens with age, so just ignoring cellulite and hoping it will go away is not an option. If you want to count yourself among the lucky 15% of women who are cellulite-free, you have to take steps to address the issue. Denial will only allow the problem to get worse.
While there isn’t a consensus on the exact cause of cellulite, most experts agree that the answer lies in the capillaries located in the subcutaneous tissue. When blood and lymph circulation in the capillaries is adequate, cellulite is usually absent. In women with cellulite, this circulation is slowed down and impeded by something. Just what this something is isn’t known, but there are several theories.
Some doctors speculate that cellulite is due to a combination of heredity and hormonal irregularities. Consider what Amy Newburger, M.D. and world-renowned dermatologist has to say: “Cellulite is hereditary, so much so that the indications of who will get it, and to what degree, are present almost from birth.” She goes on to explain that the number of septa bands found in an infant’s skin, which can be determined from a skin biopsy, can help predict whether an individual will develop cellulite.
Another theory is that cellulite is mainly the result of weight gain. Supporters of this explanation say that the fat cells in the mesoderm swell as a result of weight gain. This places stress on the nearby connective tissue, which compromises circulation in the capillaries.
Finally, there is a strong connection between cellulite development and age. Cellulite often becomes more noticeable over time as connective tissue gets thicker and skin becomes thinner. Damages to the circulatory system, which nourishes skin cells and lymph vessels, make cellulite more visible as the years go by. In addition to skin and connective tissue changes, increases in body fat are also linked to cellulite. After a woman reaches adulthood, it’s estimated that she replaces 5 pounds of muscle with 15 pounds of fat about every 10 years. Fat is softer than muscle, and therefore is not able to keep skin as firm. It also takes up more space, resulting in the characteristic skin bulge that is cellulite.
To further complicate matters, doctors say, the circulatory system that feeds our skin cells and lymph vessels can become damaged over time, allowing cellulite to become more apparent. There are two main reasons this phenomenon occurs, firstly, as the body ages, the basic constructive tissue changes. The strands of connective tissue thicken with age, and the skin gets thinner. Secondly, and more importantly, the average woman loses 5 pounds of muscle and replaces it with about 15 pounds of fat every decade of her adult life. Because fat is exceptionally soft, it doesn’t keep the skin taut and firm like muscle does. Fat tends to take up more space, causing the bulge in the skin known as cellulite.
What Cellulite Products Work Best?
While there are expensive and high-tech procedures designed to help women deal with cellulite, many want a more affordable, easier solution. For these women, there are a variety of lotions and creams specially formulated to combat cellulite. There is also evidence to suggest that topical products are effective. A study published in Dermatologic Surgery found that some creams actually lowered the number of fat cells in the skin and produced visible results in a matter of weeks. Dr. Newburger also seems to agree that high quality cellulite products can produce results, saying, “Cellulite creams work great to pull fluids out of the spaces between cells and induce lipolysis — fat burning in the layer just below the skin’s surface.” In addition to melting fat, cellulite creams also boost circulation and help remove fluid and toxins. Using a great cellulite cream can help many women conquer the age-old problem of cellulite and regain their confidence.
Some cellulite products currently available do a fantastic job of dramatically reducing the appearance of cellulite. There are over 150 products available on the market that are used to decrease cellulite. When choosing a product, you should look for ingredients that will reduce the appearance of cellulite; have a delivery system that insures the active ingredients will get to the target area as Dr. Newburger said; contain high quality ingredients; and have the ability to improve skin texture and firmness.
The skin specialist consulted during our research all agree that cellulite creams should be targeted to a specific area and are best applied after a hot bath/shower or vigorous exercise, when the skin is still moist and warm. The specialists also provided some additional useful tips that contribute to lasting results in reducing cellulite as follows:
- Watch your diet.
- Incorporate fresh and natural foods into your diet.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.
- Limit the consumption of caffeine and alcohol.
- Avoid high fat foods.
- Get plenty of fiber.
- Quit or cut down on smoking.
- Avoid medications not necessary to health and well being.
- Get plenty of exercise