Skin Conditions, Weight loss, Women's Health | November 6, 2016 | Author: Naturopath
Are dimply thighs preventing you from wearing shorts this summer? You’re not the only one. Cellulite is a common condition that affects up to 90% of women at some point in their life. Although it is not harmful in any way, for most women it is a cosmetic concern that affects their self-esteem and confidence.
Before you spend a fortune on dream creams and invasive surgical procedures, learn how you can reduce the appearance of cellulite using natural treatments that are low-cost and have proven efficacy.
Cellulite is normal fat beneath the skin’s surface and it usually occurs on the thighs and bottom.
These deposits of fat push up against connective tissue, causing it to pucker. The resulting “mottled” or “orange peel” appearance can contribute to what many women believe to be aesthetically displeasing.
Having cellulite doesn’t mean that you are overweight. Slender, healthy people can also suffer from this problem. However, cellulite is more likely to occur in overweight individuals and losing weight may reduce its appearance. Cellulite is more common in women than men. It’s also hereditary, so if other women in your family have cellulite, there’s a good chance you will too.
Hydration is the key: Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of filtered water daily to flush out toxins and keep the skin hydrated.
Herbal teas such as green tea can also be beneficial to increase metabolism, act as an antioxidant and diuretic.
Reduce sugar and salt: Sugar is stored in fat cells and causes them to expand while salt allows the body to retain fluid in the body.
Eat foods low in these ingredients, especially processed foods that tend to have high concentrations.
Eat Right: Eat a diet rich in antioxidants, healthy fats, lean proteins, wholegrains and fibre. Aim for 7-8 serves of fresh vegetables and 2-3 serves of fruit daily.
Exercise: Daily aerobic exercise helps to keep you at a healthy BMI and keep total body fat within healthy range. Exercise also increases circulation and sluggish lymphatics which are factors that contribute to the formation of cellulite. Tone lean muscle by doing strength training and target troublesome spots.
Chokeberry juice: One study found that the consumption of 100mls for 90 days significantly reduced subcutaneous tissue, dermal thickness as well as oedema in all the participants suffering from cellulite.
Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA): When taken as a supplement this has been found to reduce body fat levels, decrease subcutaneous fat thickness and increase collagen levels. CLA is naturally found in meat and dairy products derived from grass-fed cows, sheep and goats. It is best to eat natural sources of this fatty acid by eating grass fed fresh milk, yoghurt, cheese and lean protein.
Collagen: This important anti-ageing nutrient has been shown to improve the appearance of cellulite if taken regularly over a period of 6 months. Alternatively collagen is naturally found in high amounts in bone broths. Dark green, red and orange fruits and vegetables contain high amounts of vitamin C, vitamin A and antioxidants which also help to boost collagen levels.
There are an abundance of beauty products claiming to be successful in treating cellulite. Creams with proven efficacy include the following:
Caffeine: Caffeine creams that often contain other methylxanthines have a lipophilic effect, smoothing and tightening the skin. An alternative to using a caffeine cream is to rub ground coffee on the body as a scrub.
Bromelain: This enzyme, naturally found in pineapples, is great for reducing inflammation and dissolving gatherings of cellular tissue. It has the ability to dissolve fibrinogen which holds the unwanted formations of cellulite tissue together.
Gotu Kola: This amazing herb can be taken internally or used externally. It has been proven to reduce cellulite by acting as an anti-inflammatory, increasing draining and improving microcirculation. It also normalises the metabolism occurring in the cells of connective tissue.
Vitamin A has been shown to improve the dermal content and architecture of collagen in skin. When combined with caffeine in a cream it was also found to reduce the dimpled appearance of cellulite.
Darker skin helps to reduce the appearance of bumpy skin so why not invest in a good fake tan. Although not therapeutic at all in treating cellulite it can help in giving you the right amount of confidence to bare your skin for a day at the beach. Whether you use a self-tanner at home or get a spray tan, it doesn’t matter.
Regular exercise and reducing total body fat are important aspects of diminishing the appearance of cellulite. It is also important to stay well hydrated and to eat a balanced, healthy diet. Creams containing caffeine, gotu cola, vitamin A and enzymes all have proven efficacy in treating cellulite.
Even if you are doing all the right things nothing is going to make cellulite completely disappear. So here’s an idea - embrace it! Slip on that bathing suit and enjoy a sunny day knowing that the vast majority of women have dimply thighs too.
Loberbauer-Purer E, et al. Can alternating lower body negative and positive pressure during exercise alter regional body fat distribution or skin appearance? Eur J Appl Physiol. 2012 May;112(5):1861-71
Savikin K, et al. Dietary supplementation with polyphenol-rich chokeberry juice improves skin morphology in cellulite. J Med Food. 2014 May;17(5):582-7
Schunck M, et al. Dietary supplementation with specific collagen peptides has a body mass index-dependant beneficial effect on cellulite morphology. J Med Food. 2015 Dec;18(12):1340-8
Bylka W, et al. Centella asiatica in cosmetology. Postepy Dermatol Alergol. 2013 Feb; 30(1):46-49
Byun SY, Kwon SH. Efficacy of slimming cream containing 3.5% water-soluable caffeine and xanthenes for the treatment of cellulite: clinical study and literature review. Ann Dermatol. 2015 Jun;27(3):243-249