Cellulite. If you just thought of somewhere on your own body with cellulite, you are not alone. Based on a study done by Scientific American, cellulite affects about 90% of women and 10% of men. While it is extremely common, only a handful of us really know what it is, why we have it, and how to get rid of it.
Most commonly seen on our thighs, stomach, and buttocks, cellulite is a deposit of fat underneath the skin. It is caused by poor circulation and poor connective tissue. Basically, our bodies can’t move this fat on its own so it gets stored underneath the skin. As we age, our estrogen production slows. Estrogen is one of the leading hormones that help circulation. With decreased circulation we get less oxygen and nutrition to the cellulite prone area, and with that we see a decrease in collagen production. Collagen provides natural plumping of the skin and it is the main protein in connective tissue (it is why children and young adults have “baby faces”).
As a society, we have become less active (especially compared to our ancient ancestors who had to hunt and gather for food). This is one of the main reasons researchers and doctors believe cellulite has become so common. Women tend to have more fat than men, hence why we see cellulite more prevalent in women. Women also produce more estrogen which produces fat, whereas testosterone (men’s leading hormone) breaks down fat. This, mixed with a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, stress, and age is the perfect cocktail for cellulite.
Ok, so how do you get rid of it? In most cases, yes, you can fix it (side note, there are medical conditions that can cause weight gain so consult with a doctor to find the best treatment for you)! You might have seen or heard caffeine or coffee scrubs help. In theory, yes because caffeine increases blood flow. However you would need to have your skin absorb A LOT of caffeine to see significant results. Since cellulite is technically classified as a skin condition, there are skin care ingredients that can actually help with the appearance of cellulite!
Retinol is great for turning over skin cells fast and helps thicken the skin, thus resulting in less visible cellulite. Make sure your retinol cream or serum has at least .3% retinol in it for it to be beneficial. This process will definitely take time-around 6 months of constant use- to be able to see changes. Retinol is very strong, especially on dry and sensitive skin, so do a patch test to see how your skin reacts. Skin is different thicknesses all over your body so you could possibly have a reaction in one place, but be fine in another. Retinol will also make you extremely sensitive to the sun, so it is best to use it in the fall and winter months, and avoid direct sun exposure! Dry brushing is also a great way to help boost circulation to help remove toxins and fat from out underneath the skin and can be done at home!