It can be a real knock to our self-confidence when we look in the mirror and see cellulite on our legs. But the fact of the matter is that everyone has cellulite… Unless you’re an airbrushed model on a magazine cover, that is! There are a thousand products available that all claim to get rid of cellulite. But why do we have it? Is it even possible to get rid of? We’ll tell you everything you need to know.
What causes it?
Women tend to get cellulite much more than men do – in fact, cellulite is as much a feminine trait as having breasts or having wide hips. It is a completely natural, biological factor. When we hit puberty, our estrogen levels increase, and we build fat in our hips, thighs, and abdomen, which sits in a layer underneath the skin’s surface. When the fat pokes through the supportive connective tissue between the skin’s surface and the fat layer, it becomes visible on the skin’s surface. Depending on the strength of the connective layer between the fat and the outer layer of skin, the fat can poke through and become more or less visible, and this is what causes the cellulite to form.
Cellulite is not linked to your weight or BMI in any way. Slim women have it, overweight women have it, and so does every single body shape under the sun. Men can have cellulite too, but for the most part, they don’t. This is because their supportive connective tissue is structured differently, and keeps the fat more protected beneath the skin’s surface. Annoying, right?
Cellulite can also be caused by changes to the hormones in our bodies. When estrogen levels decrease in the body, blood flow to the skin’s connective tissue also decreases, causing collagen production to decrease, and weakening the tissue. Our estrogen levels decrease as women approach menopause, so an increase in visibility of cellulite is a totally natural and scientific part of the aging process and nothing to worry about.
So, how can we get rid of it?
There are a lot of products that boast their anti-cellulite effects, but very few of them have any proven long term effects, the same goes for anti-cellulite massages. These solutions can temporarily help your body to push the layer of fat deeper underneath the connective tissue, reducing the appearance of cellulite, but at the end of the day the fat usually ends up settling back in its original place.
For real anti-cellulite action, you can use products that stimulate collagen production. Collagen is the primary component of ligaments, skin, and muscles. By stimulating collagen synthesis, the conjunctive tissue between the skin’s surface and the fat later will be strengthened, reducing the appearance of cellulite. And as a little bonus, increasing collagen production also has great anti-aging effects! 😉
One of the best things you can do in order to reduce the appearance of cellulite is simply to look after your body and skin. Eat a balanced diet, rich in foods that stimulate collagen production, like dark green vegetables, almonds, berries, avocado, carrots, pumpkin seeds, and tomatoes. Exercising won’t do you any harm either, targeting the muscles on the inside and back of your thighs, and your glutes.
In short, cellulite is part of all of our lives and is nothing to worry about – it’s totally natural, and we’re all in the same boat. The best advice we can give you is to try and accept yourself just as you are.
This post is also available in french.