How many times have you tried anti-cellulite creams that promised miraculous results, only to be left disappointed? If you’re reading this blog post, you’re likely no stranger to the world of cellulite treatments that claim to offer quick fixes. Yet, like with many things in life, there are no magical shortcuts. Understanding what cellulite is and why it forms is an important first step before finding the right solution for you.
What is Cellulite?
Cellulite refers to the dimpled and lumpy appearance of the skin – most commonly found on the thighs and buttocks, but it can also be found on the breasts, lower abdomen, and upper arms. This ultimately stubborn skin concern is often described as having a cottage cheese or orange peel skin texture. It is also called the mattress phenomenon due to its looks resembling a mattress.
Cellulite occurs when underlying fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin, creating a bumpy texture. Despite being harmless, it still affects the confidence of many, often causing frustration. Cellulite can affect anyone, but it is more common in females due to the different distribution of fat, muscle, and connective tissue. In females, the fat cells and connective tissue are arranged vertically, while in men, this tissue has a criss-cross structure, making it less likely for fat cells to push through. Almost all women will get cellulite at some point in their lives – according to research, 80-90% of women aged 20 and over may experience cellulite. On the contrary, only 10% of men have cellulite.
Cellulite Grades: How Severe is Your Cellulite?
Cellulite can vary from mild to severe – you can see mild cellulite only if you pinch your skin in an area where you have cellulite, such as your thighs. Severe cellulite makes the skin appear rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys. To be precise, there are 4 grades of cellulite:
Grade 1: Cellulite is visible only when pinching or squeezing the skin. It is also known as edematous cellulite, as it results from poor blood circulation, which worsens with fluid retention.
Grade 2: Cellulite is visible in a standing position. It is also known as adipose or “soft” cellulite.
Grade 3: Cellulite is visible in any position. The skin tends to get hardened, like a solid block. It happens due to the thickening of the septa that trap the fat nodules. It is also known as fibrous or “hard” cellulite.
Grade 4: The most advanced stage features deep and extensive dimpling that can be painful and significantly affect the skin’s texture and appearance. It is also known as more advanced fibrous cellulite.
What Causes Cellulite?
Cellulite formation can be influenced by many factors (or their combination), including genetics, hormonal changes, lifestyle, and body composition. Determining the factor that affects you the most will help you choose the right approach – treating cellulite topically is not enough; addressing the underlying cause is essential. Here’s a closer look at these factors:
Genetics plays a significant role in determining your predisposition to cellulite. If your family members have cellulite, you may also be more likely to develop it. While you can’t fight genetics, this learning can help you accept your body the way it is while focusing on other contributing factors that you can actually manage.
Poor lifestyle choices, including a sedentary lifestyle, a high-fat diet, smoking, and excessive alcohol consumption, all contribute to cellulite formation. Sedentary habits and a lack of regular physical activities lead to the accumulation of fat and decreased muscle tone, making cellulite more prominent. Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can disrupt blood flow and collagen production, further weakening the skin’s structure. Finally, eating too much food that is low in fiber and high in fat, carbohydrates, and salt also increases the appearance of cellulite.
Hormonal fluctuations, such as those during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause, can influence the development and severity of cellulite. Estrogen, the “female hormone,” significantly impacts the female body’s structure and function. While its key responsibilities are regulating the menstrual cycle, maintaining bone density, and supporting reproductive health, it also influences the distribution of fat in the body. Estrogen encourages the body to build up and store fat, which worsens cellulite (while testosterone, the male hormone, burns fat). When estrogen levels fluctuate, fat accumulates in the hips, thighs, and buttocks, the most common areas where cellulite is found. Estrogen can also weaken collagen fibers in connective tissue, especially as collagen fibers tend to lose elasticity as we age. This makes it easier for the fat cells to go through weakened tissues, creating the characteristic dimples. If you have been diagnosed with high estrogen levels, healthy lifestyle changes can have a positive effect on helping decrease them naturally. Reducing stress in your life, ditching caffeine, losing excess body fat, and eating a healthy diet are some of the key natural ways to balance estrogen levels.
Body fat distribution and muscle tone also impact the visibility of cellulite. A higher percentage of body fat and reduced muscle tone increase the chance of cellulite appearance, making it more noticeable. Regular exercise helps build muscle and reduce fat levels.
How to Reduce Cellulite?
Considering the factors that cause cellulite, which always needs to be addressed first, several strategies can help reduce its appearance and boost skin health.
Adopting a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, proteins, and whole grains helps maintain a healthy weight and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Avoiding excessive sugar, salt, and processed foods is also crucial.
Staying well-hydrated improves skin elasticity and reduces the prominence of cellulite. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
Regular physical activity, including both cardiovascular exercises and strength training, helps tone muscles, improve blood circulation, and reduce the appearance of cellulite. Focus on exercises that target problem areas like the thighs and buttocks.
Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol consumption can improve skin health and overall well-being, and help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
There are many over-the-counter creams and serums that claim to reduce cellulite. While their effectiveness varies, they may help improve skin texture and firmness when used together with a healthy lifestyle. We recommend SUPERCHARGED™ Firming Body Serum, a lightweight body serum that targets cellulite by helping to break down fat cells that lead to dimpled skin. This serum helps nourish the skin and reduce the look of cellulite with an antioxidant powerhouse of firming peach resin, toning caffeine, moisturizing squalane, allantoin, panthenol, and a repairing HA complex. Developed specifically for use with BEAR™ 2 body, this serum is conductive and essential to get the most out of your microcurrent body toning treatments.
Medical procedures such as laser therapy, radiofrequency, and subcision can be considered for more significant cellulite reduction. However, with innovative technologies being more available than ever, there are now non-invasive at-home treatments for cellulite. One of these options is microcurrent therapy, a treatment that uses low-level electrical current to stimulate muscle contractions and improve circulation in targeted areas. It works by sending small pulses of electricity through your skin’s surface, targeting deep layers where fat cells reside. If you decide to try microcurrent therapy, we recommend BEAR™ 2 body, the world’s most powerful body toning device. Featuring 2 revolutionary types of microcurrent, patented Anti-Shock System™, and T-Sonic™ massage, BEAR™ 2 body improves the look of cellulite by boosting lymphatic drainage to help target the fluid that accumulates in collagen pockets and distribute the fat deposits. It’s clinically proven to improve skin firmness and elasticity in just 1 week.