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.
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 do…
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 Tzenichristos.
Eating too much can reduce the amount of collagen in the body, which can lead to premature ageing and sagging of the skin.
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,’ says Georgios.
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.
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