Ok ladies, let’s talk about it! Yep, I have it. Just like 9/10 of you.
What makes a woman (or man) truly sexy is not the absence of cellulite or being perfectly proportioned. Being comfortable and confident in your own skin, regardless of your shape, size or tan, is the sexiest thing you can wear.
Research information from the National Institute of Health says “Cellulite is a clinical state stirring up a lot of controversy. There is explicitly no effective method of getting rid of this disease.” Yikes, ‘DISEASE’?! The article goes on to state that “Cellulite is more and more often treated as illness, since as the definition of World Health Organization demonstrates, it more and more often negatively influences a mental state of both women and men”.
Meaning, the real ‘dis-ease’ of cellulite is our mental attitude toward it!
WHAT IS CELLULITE?
The uneven appearance of skin caused by bands of connective tissue pulling on our layer of body fat in uneven ways. 90% of women have it, and women have it more than men because women carry a higher percentage of body fat so we can bear children.
The 2 biggest factors affecting the development of cellulite are CIRCULATION and HORMONES. Other contributors are your family genetics (how your body organizes fatty tissue) and your eating habits.
Estrogen is responsible for organizing fatty tissue, the main contributor to the development of cellulite. During peri-menopause and menopause, decreasing estrogen levels can increase production of cellulite. Lower estrogen affects micro-circulation and decreased production of collagen + elastin fibers which affects skin appearance and thickness so underlying cellulite is more visible.
Stress (including lack of sleep) causes an imbalance in the nervous system and fires up our ‘fight-or-flight protection mechanisms. When we are fight-or-flight, our body begins releasing more norepinephrine, affecting hormone balance negatively.
Birth control pills and other hormone therapies affect the balance of estrogen / progesterone. Keeping hormones in delicate balance with the help of your physician is key to overall endocrine health and will also support reducing the development of cellulite.
Insulin is a hormone that manages the way the body processes fats and sugars, and detoxifies the cells. Eating habits as they relate to cellulite are not about the quantity of food intake, but the quality of food intake. Consuming a diet of high carbohydrates and fats affects insulin levels. Toxic waste in our cells creates inflammation. Toxic foods are processed foods containing preservatives, alcohol, sugar, soda, and high salt content.
Circulation, as it relates to blood supply to the skin, is affected directly by hormones, especially estrogen (the same reason for decreased production of collagen and elastin). As estrogen levels drop with age, circulation is affected.
An active lifestyle will positively impact circulation. Building muscle through weight training will improve the appearance of smooth muscle and skin, and will increase production of testosterone, which also naturally decreases with age and needs some help to maintain balanced levels.
Other ways to improve circulation are dry brushing skin, and fascia blasting. Fascia blasting boosts production of collagen and strengthens bands of connective tissue. Lack of circulation, systemic inflammation, scarring or trauma can create tighter stiffer connective tissue. An added bonus of fascia blasting is increased mobility and muscle recovery because of the increased blood flow. You can research the various fascia blasting tools on the market and try them for yourself, though they can be uncomfortable to use as they can increase nerve sensitivity.
Compression clothing (ie. yoga pants, shapewear) disrupts circulation which also affects appearance and development of cellulite. High heels, worn often, interrupt the return of blood to the heart through calves. Pumping your calves (heel raises), elevating legs above heart level and wearing non-compression clothing all support healthier circulation.
The cosmetic and dermatology industry is constantly looking for new therapies to reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Cosmetics containing flavonoids, antioxidants, tannins and saponins present in Arnica are helpful. The intake of plant compounds caffeine, guayana extra, xanthine (coffee, green tea and Paraguayan tea) also have some positive benefits, as do supplements containing caffeine, vitamin B1, B5, B9 and B12.
Topical cosmetic treatments containing hyaluronic acid, vitamin A and E, urea, amino acids and hydroxacids can also add moisture to the skin and improve it.
Dermatalogical treatments lymphatic drainage, endermologie, Velasmooth, etc. have some proven success, but as the National Institute of Health reports: “Regularly applied treatments made with the help of apparatus, provide satisfactory, but short-lived, effects. Gentle massage with elements of aromatherapy is peculiarly recommended for women in the menopausal period, since added oils not only work favorably on the state of the skin, but also improve the psychological condition.”
Again, our way of thinking about cellulite is the biggest treatment available. If dimples on the face can be ‘adorable’ and envied, why not the dimples on your butt?