Now that some lockdown restrictions have been lifted and
we’re able to get out and about more, you may be thinking about showing off
more skin as the weather brightens up again.
But if you’re worried that weeks of comfort eating and
sitting around has had a negative effect on your body, then here’s what you can
What is cellulite?
Cellulite is extremely common,
in fact, 93% of women will experience it to some degree during their lives. ‘It
is the result of lax skin being pulled down over fat pockets towards the deeper
layers of skin by connective tissue fibres,’ says Dr Edwin Anthony, aesthetic
doctor and skin expert.
‘You can’t get rid of cellulite but you can certainly
improve its visual appearance.’
As well as being one of the biggest risk factors in many
life-threatening diseases, smoking has been shown to reduce blood vessel flow
and to weaken collagen, so connective tissues can become damaged more easily,
which means the underlying fat (cellulite) will show through.
Have lots of water
Staying hydrated by drinking water and eating food with a
heavy water content (eg: cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and celery) helps to keep
your skin looking plump and your connective tissue strong and supple, which can
reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Have hot and cold showers…
On your legs! ‘Alternating hot and cold water constricts and
dilates blood vessels, respectively, producing a powerful blood vessel-pumping
effect,’ says Georgios.
‘Skin itself reacts in much the same way, and the
overall metabolism is boosted by the cold water
via a process called thermogenesis.’ You can start with hot or cold for 30
seconds to 2 minutes, then switch and repeat five times.
Lose the sugar
You guessed it, those tasty pastries, desserts, cocktails,
fizzy drinks etc are not going to help you get tight, toned legs. In fact,
‘sugar is the number one cause of cellulite today,’ says cellulite expert Georgios
Eating too much can reduce the amount of collagen in the
body, which can lead to premature ageing and sagging of the skin.
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Inactivity is the biggest cause of loose
skin. If you’re spending more time sitting around the house, get up at least
every hour and power walk on your daily outing.
‘There are no specific exercises for cellulite, but there
are certain types of exercise which are better than others,’ says Georgios. In
a nutshell, the more vigorous the exercise, the better. ‘
The higher your heart rate or the more you are out of
breath, the more calories you burn – and the more you shrink cellulite.’
Polyphenols in coffee and tea are effective against
cellulite. If you choose decaf you can drink as much as you like, rather than
loading up on caffeine from coffee and tea.
Eat oranges, lemons and grapefruit
While the skin of these fruits may resemble the look of your
legs, they are rich in vitamin C which boosts collagen production to keep
connective tissues strong.
Use a cellulite cream
Some cellulite creams do work, if they contain the right
ingredients. ‘Several plant extracts and nutrients are proven to help fight
multiple aspects of cellulite, including horse chestnut extract, gotu kola
extract, caffeine, coleus extract, turmeric extract and green tea extract,’
Vigorous massaging (while applying the cream) can also help
to reduce the appearance of cellulite. ‘The effect is most often temporary but
regular massages can help to keep it under control,’ advises Dr Edwin.