What to do about cellulite

Mon, 08/15/2022 - 06:36

What is cellulite? We all know cellulite as the appearance of dimpled skin predominantly on the stomach, thighs, and booty. It occurs when subcutaneous fat (body fat under the skin as opposed to between the organs, visceral, or in the organs, ectopic) pushes up against our connective tissue – the fibrous bands connecting your skin to the underlying muscle.

This is a cosmetic condition that is extremely common. In fact, 80 to 90 percent of women who have been through puberty have some cellulite.

What causes cellulite? We aren’t entirely sure, but there is strong evidence to suggests it has to do with hormones and genetics. And contrary to popular belief, cellulite doesn’t occur because of toxins or because you are unfit. That’s ridiculous and totally untrue.

What can I do about it?! You can take great care of yourself by reducing excess body fat, maintaining lean muscle, and supporting your body’s natural collagen production via routine fitness and strength training, a common sense healthy diet with clean foods (really limit the processed junk), water, sleep, and possibly a collagen supplement if you wanna go the extra mile.  And, collagen helps with many things so even if it isn’t a cellulite cure it can only help the appearance of hair, skin, and nails in general.

That said, I do all the above and STILL have cellulite. I have at every age. I workout. Eat great. Drink my water. Get my sleep. And regularly take my collagen. So, now what? Not a heck of a lot. This is because all healthy women should have some subcutaneous body fat and you can’t change the texture of your connective tissue.

Maybe you are wondering about lasers, vacuums, creams, dry brushing? Let’s address them one by one.

  • Massage and or dry brushing. No massage will change your connective tissue. And even though it may help with lymphatic drainage and water retention to plump up the skin – it’s temporary and would only give a very slight difference to the appearance of cellulite if any. That said, it’s a healthy thing to do so have at it if you can afford it, but don’t expect a cellulite miracle.
  • Acoustic wave therapy to break up cellulite with sound waves. Again, if you think about this literally – what sound wave is going to change the direction of your fibrous tissue that connects the skin to the muscle? None. Skip this for cellulite treatments. Waste of money.
  • Laser treatment to help thicken the skin. The idea here is that if you could thicken your skin the appearance of cellulite would lessen. I have pretty thick skin (literally and figuratively) and I still have cellulite. This one is painful and expensive. I know because I have personally tried it and no change. Learn from my mistakes here and don’t waste the money or the time on lasers for cellulite.
  • Liposuction to remove fat. Again, this is expensive and won’t help. You simply can’t remove every bit of subcutaneous fat. And lipo can bring problems of its own with scarring and deformation where the procedure is done. This procedure should be done only by an absolute pro and only for problem pockets of stubborn fat like saddle bags (not cellulite).
  • Mesotherapy. This is when a needle injects drugs into the cellulite. This one is a no go. No injection is going to change your connective tissue.
  • Subcision, in which a needle inserted under the skin breaks up tough bands causing cellulite. This would seem like it would make sense, right? This is an absolute NO. It’s called pickle forking and I have seen this in real time. What it does it create loose saggy skin. Don’t even think of messing with this one. Dangerous, painful, expensive, and only makes the appearance worse.
  • Creams and lotions containing caffeine or 0.3% retinol. This can be healthy for skin overall if the creams don’t have tons of chemicals in them, but again they won’t reduce cellulite.
  • Vacuum-assisted precise tissue release to cut tissue and fill out dimpled skin. Total baloney.
  • Radiofrequency, ultrasound, infrared light or radial pulses to heat skin. I want to tell you this will work. There is some evidence to suggest it can tighten skin, but again the connective tissue problem remains the same. If you have loose skin you can try these procedures for that, but there are many fit young women with tight skin that still have cellulite.

And as I mentioned above, the best you can do is take care of your skin, maintain a healthy amount of muscle mass, keep your body fat percentage healthy, hydrate and supplement with collagen and antioxidants to support the health of your skin.

The bottom line is that no one is perfect. Perfect is boring anyway. The key is to be healthy – everyone can have that – including those of us with cellulite.