Cellulite started for me by the time I entered high school. Back then, I had one small patch of it. I was so desperate to get my smooth right outer thigh back that I began using a caffeine-rich formula from the drugstore, which did absolutely nothing except make me more neurotic about it!
I entered a period of not caring about cellulite altogether in mid-to-late twenties, including eating rich, fatty, greasy foods at restaurants, covering up in looser jeans, and not working out much for three years.
But since that time, I’ve started to take a closer look at my thighs, and have decided the cellulite has gone far enough! Here are the twelve things that I do on a regular basis to ensure that my cellulite doesn’t get — or look — any worse.
1.) Dry Brushing Before the Shower
Many people who advocate dry brushing claim it exfoliates the skin, increases circulation, and helps to rid your body of cellulite through removal of toxins. The theory is that it enhances the lymphatic system: About 33% of your body’s toxins are excreted through the skin, and dry brushing helps to unclog pores and excrete toxins that become trapped in the skin.
I’ll be honest with you, though. I don’t think dry brushing is a miracle because it can get rid of toxins or enhance the lymphatic system. What dry brushing can do is temporarily cause the skin to swell, which gets rid of some of the uneven dimpling effect of cellulite. The temporary swelling gives the appearance of smooth skin for a few hours.
Dry brushing can also exfoliate the skin, increasing cell turnover, which in turn makes the skin firmer over time. This does not eliminate the lumpy-bumpy tissue underneath, but makes it less visible.
To dry brush, before getting in the shower, take a soft, natural bristle brush. Move in gentle circles from your ankles to your hips, from your wrists to your shoulders, and on your stomach and back. Generally, it takes 5-10 minutes for it to work, or 10-15 minutes for a thorough dry brushing treatment. Then hop in the shower and rinse.
My favorite is the ViaBuff Cleansing Brush; it has four different levels of exfoliation, for different skin types. For cellulite, I prefer the roughest one, which is white. I use it before getting in the shower, and I’ve noticed a significant difference.
2.) Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap for During Shower
I like Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap because it contains alpha hydroxy acids. I love AHAs because they have been shown to stimulate collagen production over time (Dermatologic Surgery, 1998), resulting in thicker, firmer skin, and less visible cellulite.
Grapefruit is a source of glycolic acid, which is the smallest of the alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs). It therefore penetrates the skin most easily. Glycolic acid has been shown to increase collagen production, fibroblast proliferation, and cell turnover rates with regular use over time. (Dermatologic Surgery). Though it may initially make the skin thinner, it will increase the skin’s thickness over the course of about 4-6 weeks of regular use.
Glycolic acid also acts as a natural supply of hyaluronic acid, which can hold 1000 times its weight in water, thus making glycolic acid a humectant (Skin Therapy Letters). Though Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap also contains sodium lauryl sulfate, I still use it, because the hydrating action supercedes the drying sulfate.
For best results, I rub in Mario Badescu AHA Botanical Body Soap for at least a minute before rinsing, to make sure the glycolic acid can penetrate the skin.
3.) Elemis Camellia Oil for Immediately After Bath or Shower
Victoria Beckham swore camellia oil got rid of her stretch marks after pregnancy.
But unlike some celebrity endorsements you may hear, this one has a lot of science behind it. Camellia oil is known to increase collagen production and hydration within the skin (Ethnobiology, 2007). This would reduce the appearance of both stretch marks and cellulite.
Specifically, camellia oil was found to stimulate collagen production by two mechanisms:
- One, camellia oil activates a gene promoter in human skin cells called COL1A2, which starts the production of collagen type I.
- Two, camellia oil prevents the breakdown of collagen by inhibiting matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-1, an enzyme that breaks down collagen. That’s pretty awesome.
Add in the fact that camellia oil-treated skin had less transepidermal water loss (TEWL) than non-treated skin 1-2 hours after treatment, and you’ve got yourself a quality product that may actually strengthen and hydrate the skin. Cellulite, be gone!
4.) FutureDerm Vitamin CE Serum for AM
Let’s be honest. Any vitamin CE serum with at least 15% vitamin C and 1% vitamin E will suffice.
First, vitamin C and vitamin E together may also prevent skin from a loss of firmness, wrinkling, and hyperpigmentation (Clinics in Dermatology, 1996).
Secondly, vitamin C and vitamin E have been shown in studies to protect against UV damage, as vitamin C has been reported to boost UVA protection, whereas vitamin E provides a boost of UVB protection. Together, applying a vitamin CE serum underneath a sunscreen boosts your UVA/UVB protection, which may keep skin firmer and smoother over time. This is not a cure for cellulite, but it helps keep the skin taut and firm over top.
5.) Sunscreen for AM
UV damage is associated with many of the signs of aging, including fine lines, wrinkles, loss of elasticity, sallowness, and dryness (New England Journal of Medicine). All of these make the skin appear thinner, rougher, and less even — leading cellulite to look more visible.
That’s why it is important to look for a good broad-spectrum sunscreen any time cellulite-affected areas are going to be exposed to sunlight. Remember to choose a formula with a high UVA rating, marked by PA+++ or PA++++, as well as a high UVB rating, designated by an SPF of at least 30.
6.) Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup Before Going Out
When all else fails, cover it up!
The secret to this “magical” leg makeup is silicones like cyclopentasiloxane.
Cyclopentasiloxane is a light and thin silicone. You notice a good bit of slip and easy application with it, but the glorious part is, it will fill in bumps, creases, and lines. You can also build it on the skin with multiple layers. It creates a beautiful canvas.
One caveat: I have noticed it will rub off. So if you are wearing white, you might want to skip this altogether.
7.) Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate for Before/After Workout
Look, I know some of you are going to think I am off of my rocker for recommending a cream that promises to take off inches.
But I don’t like Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate because I think it takes off inches, removes cellulite, or sculpts better lines.
Instead, the first reason I like Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate because it contains aromatic spices that may stimulate the circulation. Crataegus monogina flower extract has been long used in Chinese medicine to increase the circulation by relaxing blood vessels (The American Journal of Chinese Medicine), whereas Houttuynia cordata extract is a known antioxidant that may prevent fat deposits from being deposited by inhibiting the absorption of fatty acids and glycerol (Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology).
Second, I like Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate because it contains caffeine. Caffeine that can temporarily dehydrate skin cells, making the skin appear smoother. It may also inhibit a compound known as phosphodiesterase, which in turn activates fat-breakdown triggers known as ß-adrenergic receptors. These receptors perform lipolysis by breaking down triglycerides into glycerol and fatty acid components (Dermatologic Surgery).
Third, my favorite part of Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate is that it smells like an awesome mix of grapefruit, black pepper, and exotic spice. It’s truly an aromatic treat I associate with going out for a workout!
In theory, exercise keeps cellulite at bay. Stress hormones build up throughout your day, and can keep your circulation from delivering key nutrients and oxygen to the skin (Beautiful Skin). Exercise can lower these stress hormones and help bring more nutrients to the skin (Wellness Resource Center), which should theoretically reduce levels of cellulite.
Cellulite is also correlated with stress because it can cause hormonal imbalances in the body and overeating in some individuals (The Mayo Clinic).
Truthfully, however, there are no studies showing that selective exercise of a region can get rid of or prevent cellulite (Journal of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery). Keeping body fat percentages low also does not help, as cellulite has less to do with the amount of fat in your body and more to do with the distribution and placement of that fat (Simple Skin Beauty).
But I will say from personal experience that my own cellulite is a lot less noticeable (and I develop a whole lot less of it!) when I am exercising!
Again, there are no studies that show meditation can prevent cellulite.
But in my personal experience, meditating helps me stay calm. I firmly believe that meditation keeps my stress hormone levels low, which in turn allows my circulation to improve. I personally believe this removes cellulite.
10.) When all else fails, consider a radiofrequency or ultrasound laser treatment.
Radiofrequency lasers feature a form of electrical energy waves (radiofrequency waves) that are easily absorbed by the body. They work by sending low frequency waves through your skin cells, which cause a sort of friction that makes them grow warmer and subsequently shrink. These types of lasers will gradually shrink the connective tissue between your skin and muscle, giving the fat cells a less constricted area in which to disperse themselves (Refractec.com). It is available from VelaShape™, amongst others.
Ultrasound lasers work a little differently. Instead of shrinking fat cells, ultrasound lasers use heat to cut out the vertical septae in the skin that cause dimples. This cutting with heat is called thermal subcision. These types of lasers will gradually cut out the thick fibrous septae that create dimples in your skin, giving the fat cells more freedom to move around (Cosmetic Surgery Times). It is available from Cellulaze™, amongst others.
I recommend the following for cellulite:
- Dry brushing before a shower with ViaBuff
- AHA cleanser during bath or shower (rub in for at least a minute)
- Camellia oil after a bath or shower
- Vitamin CE Serum on all exposed areas, before sunscreen
- Sunscreen on all exposed areas
- Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body Sculpting Concentrate
- Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs Leg Makeup before going out
- As a last resort, consider a laser treatment, either with radiofrequency VelaShape™ or ultrasound Cellulaze™.
What do you think about this post? Let me know in Comments!