Do you have cellulite? You’re not alone! As many as 98% of females past the age of puberty display some degree of cellulite. So, what causes the unflattering orange peel look we ask and can it be eliminated or its appearance reduced? Dr Rupert Crithchley, Founder of VIVA Skin & VIVA Medi Clinics, gives us the lowdown and myths to be aware of in the pursuit of flawlessly smooth skin!
So what is it? Cellulite is essentially fat pushing up against the fibrous connective tissue under your skin. It typically develops after puberty, with oestrogen, genetics, gender and distribution of fat all thought to be significant players.Myth 1: Miracle creams can cure cellulite
When it comes to cellulite, there is no miracle cure! Topical creams and lotions don't penetrate deep enough in to this deep tissue layer, so any improvement seen will simply be down to skin hydration and a temporary plumping effect.
Myth 2: Losing weight = losing cellulite
Weight loss may improve cellulite, but not always. Additionally, if weight loss is extreme, reducing your calorie intake too much can actually exacerbate the appearance of cellulite.
Myth 3: Only overweight people get cellulite
Even supermodels and professional athletes have cellulite - it doesn't discriminate against any body type! Even those with a very low fat percentage have it as it’s more to do with the connective tissue and lack of muscle tone.
Myth 4: Cellulite only affects older women
While it’s true that age does cause the connective tissue fibres to weaken, other factors such as smoking, weight change and stress can also weaken them too.
So is there anything that actually works to reduce the appearance?
Exercise! Muscles are important for providing a firm foundation and preventing fat from displaying under the skin. Target your lower body muscles with strength and bodyweight training and try to incorporate toning pilates and yoga sessions in to your fitness regime.
Eat Right! Avoid processed meats, cheeses, fizzy drinks and anything with added salt, sugar or artificial sweeteners. Try to incorporate a variety of skin-strengthening foods into your regular diet including avocados, spinach, carrots, oily fish, tomatoes and berries.
Hydrate! By increasing your H2o intake your body will flush out toxins and keep your skin and tissues hydrated and healthy.
In summation, cellulite is completely normal and it's more abnormal if you don't have it! However, if its appearance is affecting you, I recommend regular exercise, a healthy diet plus a generous dose of self-reassurance that you share this with the vast majority of women on the planet!