Cellulite -- every woman’s worst nightmare come summer when it is time to show off those gams.
Cellulite are those lumps of fat under the skin that have been called every nasty name in the book, from orange peels to cottage cheese. Cellulite usually develops on the thighs, buttocks and lower abdomen, giving those body parts a less-than-J-Lo look. Since the warmer months are just around the corner, you are probably dreaming of showing off your body in a bikini, frolicking on the beach with heads turning your way. So now its time to tackle that situation you have been hiding under jeans and sweaters all summer.
Facing the Mirror
So you have cellulite. Don’t despair -- about 85 percent of women at all heights and weights do, we just don't all have a makeup artist and Photoshop team. The good news is, you're not totally stuck with it. By understanding how cellulite seems to appear out of nowhere, you’ll know how to combat those bumps and keep more from forming.
If you ever wondered who gets chosen by the cruel hand of fate for cellulite, it’s a combination of genetic disposition, aging and poor lifestyle habits. If your mother has cellulite, chances are you'll develop it, too. A sedentary life, smoking, drinking, and eating too much sodium- and fat-laden foods only increases cellulite formation. Aside from impacting your metabolism, yo-yo dieting can lead to the development of cellulite, as the continual gaining and losing of weight affects the skin's elasticity. A loss of elasticity and suppleness goes down to the connective tissues found beneath the skin. When they begin to sag, the subcutaneous fats stored underneath the dermis push themselves outward and become visible as rolls of adipose tissue. Aging also makes cellulite more visible.
How to Get Rid of It
Time to get your pen and paper. Regular exercise is one of the best ways to keep cellulite at bay. Exercise not only helps you maintain a healthy weight and toned muscles, but it also improves blood circulation, all contributing to healthy skin and connective tissues. Be sure eat sensibly and drink plenty of water.
Creams and lotions all formulated with bump-busting ingredients are also available. They reduce the skin’s indentation and roughness and lifts inches off the problem areas for firmer, more smooth skin. When shopping for one, look for the following ingredients that set these formulas apart from regular body lotion:
Bromelain -- An enzyme derived from pineapple used to treat skin inflammations. Bromelain promotes protein digestion and the elimination of fibrin build-up in the blood vessels for better blood circulation.
Ivy -- Whether it’s the common ivy (hedera helix) or ground ivy (glechoma hederacea), the saponins found in ivy protect blood vessels, reducing their permeability and promoting lymphatic drainage. By strengthening the vascular system, they force the fats back into the bloodstream to be eliminated or used as energy.
Caffeine and other methylxanthines -- These include theobromine, aminophylline and theophylline, substances found to reduce fat formation and promote fat breakdown, thus decreasing the appearance of cellulite and improving skin tonicity.
Retinol and carnitine -- Combined, these ingredients have a synergistic effect that triggers keratinocyte production to increase skin's thickness and delivering a burning effect on the subcutaneous fats responsible for cellulite.
Bladderwrack -- This seaweed has long been used to melt away fat. Adding it to bath water or applying topically reduces the appearance of “dimples” in the skin as it's thought to absorb the fat directly from the skin.
There are slew of other natural components for reducing stubborn cellulite, including rosemary, wheat germ oil, jojoba oil, cinnamon, and cayenne. Anti-cellulite creams and lotions may contain a combination of them for a multiplied effect. But perseverance is key to getting results. Here are a few more tips:
Exfoliate the skin regularly to remove any dead skin cells for better absorption.
Massage the skin before and during application to promote blood circulation.
Apply both in the morning and at night (in accordance with the individual product's instructions) for best results.
Keep at it and look out, J-Lo, there's a new hot bottom in town!