As fat cells expand and change, they can push against connective tissues beneath your skin, creating a dimpled look. This is a completely natural process that affects around 90% of all women, usually appearing around the bum, thighs, hips and belly. Cellulite is not an indication of being overweight and so it can affect people of all different sizes, generally your genetics determine if you’re more prone to cellulite or not – which is bad news for some people.
The good news is, there are loads of ways to manage and reduce your cellulite ranging across all budgets and lifestyles – so there’s something for everyone. We’re going to explore the best ways to get rid of cellulite so you can get clued in on getting smoother, healthier skin.
Let’s get back to basics, water. Everyone knows how essential water is for everyday life, but did you know it can actually help to flush out toxins that cause cellulite? It’s true! Water is your body’s natural way of detoxing, and a hydrated body is a healthy body, meaning it will be able to prevent the formation of cellulite easier whilst everything is working as it should be. It will also help to maintain the elasticity of your skin – dry skin will show more dimples so it’s best to stay hydrated to avoid this.
The daily recommended intake for women is 2.7 litres, and men need about 3.7 litres daily. That’s fresh water only. Drinks like tea and coffee don’t count towards this total and can actually dehydrate you if there’s enough caffeine in them. Focus on pure h2O for the best cellulite-reducing effects.
Cellulite oils and creams
Moving on from drinking water, purchasing yourself a good quality oil or cream designed specifically to break down cellulite is going to be your next easiest method.
Cellulite oils and creams work by including ingredients that increase blood circulation to the affected areas and tighten the skin simultaneously. This works to flush out and breakdown the cellulite and toxins that can cause cellulite whilst firming up your skin so it appears tighter and smoother.
Hydrating ingredients are also commonly found in these oils and creams because, as we mentioned above, dehydrated skin shows cellulite far easier. Look out for these ingredients when you’re searching for an effective cellulite cream or oil:
- Caffeine – Improves blood vessel dilation, blood flow, skin tightening, and reduces water retention
- Guarana – 5 times more powerful than caffeine at increasing blood flow and energising/tightening your skin
- Bladderwrack seaweed – Helps to rid your body of salt and water so it decreases fluid buildup (which is the main culprit of cellulite), also stimulates blood circulation
- Shea butter, coconut oil, jojoba oil, argan oil – Super moisturising ingredients
You can also try a caffeine body scrub which will exfoliate the skin, encourage healthy blood flow and temporarily reduce the look of your cellulite. These kinds of scrubs are generally pretty affordable but if you’re wanting a budget version, you could try a DIY coffee scrub of your own mixed with essential oils of your choosing.
Self-tanner is a great option when you’re wanting to reduce the look of your cellulite quickly. The darker your skin is, the more you’ll notice you can’t see your dimples. So get out that tanning mitt and your favourite self-tanner for a quick fix.
This is a bit more of an investment than the options above, but you can find many good cellulite massagers for a super low price – sometimes the basics work best when it comes to massaging your cellulite away.
Most cellulite massagers will have an array of rubber, hard plastic or wooden nodules that you massage over the affected areas a couple times a day. These nodules will help to break up the fatty deposits underneath your skin that make up your cellulite and improve blood circulation to give your skin a smoother look and feel.
Some cellulite massagers will also have bristles that brush and exfoliate the skin to encourage newer, healthier skin cells to the surface to decrease the appearance of your lumps and bumps. Massagers can range from just a few dollars to a few hundred dollars and you can get all different types – rubber, wood, hard plastic, electric massagers, there’s so many different kinds to suit every budget.
It’s all about consistency with these massagers, make sure you’re doing it morning and night for best results and team it with a good quality cellulite cream or oil for boosted effectiveness.
Change up your diet
Water isn’t the only thing you can put into your body to make it a cellulite-fighting machine. There are plenty of delicious foods you can eat that will help you reduce your cellulite from the inside out. Here’s a few of the best options:
Darker berries like blueberries and blackberries are packed full of antioxidants which attack cell-damaging free radicals that can help form cellulite. These antioxidants will also reduce inflammation, which could be making your cellulite appear worse than it actually is.
As an added bonus, the vitamin C in berries stimulates the collagen production in your skin to keep it looking tight and smooth. Opt for raw berries when fighting your cellulite as cooked berries are less beneficial for you.
Capsaicin found in chilli will clear inflammation and gently warm your body to speed up your metabolism and aid in burning off the fatty deposits that make up your cellulite. A warmer body also means better blood flow, which in turn means you’ll be able to flush out cellulite-causing toxins and fats much easier.
Tuna, mackerel, salmon, sardines, and almost every kind of oily fish will provide you with a healthy dose of omega-3 essential fatty acids which will reduce your appetite, improve blood flow, flush out toxins, fight inflammation, and repair damaged tissues and fibres in your skin. Aim for two servings of oily fish a week for best results.
Speaking of omega-3’s, nuts are a delicious and healthy snack that have the added benefit of helping your skin retain water to make sure it’s looking smooth and plump and slowing down the skin’s aging process with anti-inflammatory properties.
Eating whole grains will give you a dose of fibre in your diet that will help to keep everything regular, digestion-wise. If you’re digesting your food optimally it means you’re less likely to be forming cellulite as your body is flushing out fats efficiently. Additionally, foods like brown rice and pasta contain an extra boost of antioxidants but also keep you fuller for longer to help you avoid unnecessary snacking and weight gain.
Many seeds are packed full of vitamins and minerals that nourish and strengthen the connective tissue that’s strained when cellulite forms. They also have diuretic properties which reduce excess water retention and bloating in the body to keep you looking and feeling slimmer. Sunflower seeds are a great option for these specific benefits whilst seeds like flax seeds will give you another great source of omega-3’s but also contain lignans, helping to balance your estrogen levels which would otherwise play a big part in forming cellulite.
Similar to berries, it’s the darker greens that you want to be looking out for when banishing your cellulite. Leafy, dark greens like spinach and kale are a perfect example – packed with magnesium, vitamins A and C, you’ll have younger looking skin, an improved immune system and more efficient digestion which all aid in reducing the look of cellulite.
The humble broccoli contains alpha lipoic acid (works as an antioxidant), vitamin C, sulforaphane for boosting metabolism and indole-3-carbinol to support the healthy detoxing of estrogen (helps form cellulite if not balanced).
And asparagus is another great option. It’s low in calories, stimulates blood circulation, has anti-inflammatory properties and is excellent for helping the body remove nasty toxins. Get some more greens on your fork if you’re serious about fighting cellulite.
What foods to avoid
- White bread – Foods with refined carbs cause inflammation of your fat cells, making them swell and expand as they retain fluids and toxins – the perfect recipe for cellulite formation. Sticking to wholegrains will help you avoid this.
- Canned soup – Soups bought at the supermarket are usually full of added sugar and salt. If you’re a fan of soup and don’t want to cut it out, you can try some home-made recipes with wholegrains, veggies and nourishing broth-based soups.
- Processed meats and cheeses – High sodium foods like sausages, deli meats, some of your favourite cheeses, and most processed foods will increase water retention in your body and make your cellulite appear worse than it is.
- Cottage cheese – Cottage cheese is another food that’s full of salt, so it’s best to steer clear of cottage cheese to avoid your skin resembling it.
- Cake – Sugar, sugar, sugar. The ingredient that makes cake so sweet will actually break down collagen in your skin and promote weight gain. We know this will be a hard one, but your cellulite will thank you for cutting down on cake.
- Pizza, burgers and other fatty foods – High-fat foods prevent your blood from flowing as efficiently as possible. Less circulation means more cellulite, so cut out the fast food as much as possible.
Exercise the right way
Exercise is a really effective and totally free way of reducing the look and occurence of cellulite all over your body, but only if you do it right! Cardio is excellent for fat loss but not so great at toning your muscles, which is what your goal needs to be. Toned, strong muscles will give your fatty layer a smooth foundation to sit on and therefore reduce the look of your uneven cellulite. A mix of cardio and high intensity interval training (HIIT) is perfect for this.
HIIT is a kind of strength training that aims to challenge the muscles in your body by utilizing a 20-30 minute workout consisting of short bursts of intense exercise interspersed with shorter rest periods. This raises your metabolic rate through the roof for hours after you finish, meaning that even when you’re done you’ll continue to burn fat and build muscle. Below are some of the best exercises for cellulite:
- Lunge variations (standard, side, curtsy, reverse, etc.)
- Squats with a heel raise
- Sumo squats
- Jump squats
- Wall sits
- Glute bridge variations (standard, single-leg, weighted, etc.)
- Kick backs
- Jumping jacks
Aim for 2-3 HIIT sessions and a couple cardio sessions a week for the best cellulite-banishing results.
If you’re a bit more impatient and after something a little more drastic, you could consider laser therapy. There are cosmetic procedures like Cellulaze where lasers will literally melt the fat forming your cellulite and sever the fibrous bands that pull on the skin and create the dimpled look. Results generally last a year or so and you’ll only have a downtime of a few days.
A similar effect can also be achieved by using tiny blades or needles to pierce through the skin, cutting the fibrous bands to allow new tissue to form and plump out the lumps and bumps. Generally, results from these kinds of methods will last a couple years, but the procedure itself is very invasive and bruising will occur.
If you’re wanting something a little less invasive, you could try a technique that involves heating the skin to improve collagen production and blood flow. All of these procedures must be completed by professionals and can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, with some pretty serious side effects.
We’d suggest considering and trying some of the previously mentioned lifestyle changes before thinking about getting a cosmetic procedure done – but it’s totally up to you in the end!
Cellulite affects the majority of the female population, and because of this there are many, many different ways to combat it. From massagers to cosmetic procedures, there’s a method or product out there that will help you reduce the look of your dimpled skin and make way for smoother, plumper thighs, bum and legs. Experiment with different options to see what works best for you, but remember, consistency is key when it comes to cellulite.
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