It’s a beauty concern that plagues 90 per cent of women’s lives – no matter your size or shape. Essentially, cellulite is a disorder of fat cells caused by poor lymphatic drainage & poor circulation, worsened by inflammatory responses. Poor drainage means that fat cells become congested and surrounded by toxins. Then they store more and more fat. More fat means less circulation, so tissue becomes deprived of nutrients and in turn creates thick fibres around the fat cells to stop them from growing. These thick fibres pull the tissue beneath the skin – leading to the lumpy appearance that cellulite is known for. While there is no ‘cure’, that doesn’t mean there aren’t steps you can take to visibly reduce the appearance of dimpled skin, or prevent it from getting worse. Read our simple tips that attack cellulite from 3 angles by improving circulation & lymphatic drainage, decreasing the size of fat cells, and calming inflammation. These steps can easily be incorporated into your beauty regime – and will have you saying hello to tighter, firmer, and smoother skin in time for bikini season.
1. DRY SKIN BRUSHING
Before each bath or shower, stroke a body brush gently from feet to the top of thighs to circulate trapped fluid and deliver nutrients and oxygen to cells. Earth Therapeutics Tampico Skin Brush, $9.
2. LIGHT CARDIO
Make it a habit to walk or cycle for 30-60 minutes every day to stimulate lymphatic drainage and help burn stubborn fat cells.
After working out, take the time to stretch to return muscles to original length, and reduce water retention. Exercise classes like pilates and yoga improve cellulite by allowing lymph (fluid containing white blood cells) flow to move easier through fatty areas and flush toxins.
4. TAKE A BATH
Trainer James Duigan, whose clientele includes supermodels Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson, says that Rosie swears by taking baths with added Epsom salts before a big swimwear shoot. Add one to two cups of Epsom salts (available at drugstores) to your bath to draw out toxins and help speed up weight loss. Try Dr. Teal’s Sleep Epsom Salt Lavender Soaking Solution, $5.99
5. SKIP THE SUGAR!
While you’ve all heard that sugar is bad for your waistline, you may not know exactly why: the hormone insulin is responsible for how your body makes and stores fat. It also provokes inflammation (which also is the biggest cause of aging!) The more sugar we eat – whether it’s fruit, pasta, bread, rice or potatoes – our cells become more resistant to insulin, so the body makes more. High insulin means more fat is stored, in this case on our thighs and butt, and more inflammation takes place so that fat cells become even harder to destroy. It’s a vicious cycle. Try Mulberry Leaf Extract, which helps slow the entry of sugar into the blood so insulin levels do not spike: New Nordic Mulberry Zuccarin, $25.99.
6. FIGHT INFLAMMATION
Try to pack as many anti-oxidants into your diet to counteract the negative impact that inflammatory responses have on the body: try brightly-colored fruits and vegetables, green tea and spices like cinnamon and turmeric. Try: Natrol The Ultimate Anti-Oxidant Formula, Capsules, $11.25.
While it may seem counterintuitive to load up on water when you’re fighting fluid retention, hydrating your body with 2 litres of still, cool water every day will help flush out unwanted toxins.
8. GET YOUR CAFFEINE KICK
A jolt of caffeine isn’t just for your energy levels – studies show that it encourages fat cells to unload their contents. Try celeb fave NIP+FAB Cellulite Fix, $17.95, which uses a caffeine and Indian forskolin enriched complex to activate fat breakdown, promote the removal of toxins and improve firmness of skin.
9. PROFESSIONAL TREATMENTS
Want more results? Consider getting zapped with some radiofrequency, rated as the most effective treatment for cellulite. The waves heat up the tissue, causing the fat cells to use energy to cool down. This stimulates the skin to tighten up and regain its elasticity. SmoothShapes, a new treatment that liquefies fat through light and laser energy and then forces it to be expelled through the lymph system, has also been gaining a lot of buzz for its results.
10. FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT!
Even supermodels have a little help. In 2009, VS Angel Selita Ebanks revealed it takes an hour, maybe longer, to apply body makeup to the girls before a show: “It’s all about creating the illusion of this amazing body. People don’t realize that there are about 20 layers of makeup on my butt alone.”