Ah, cellulite. Like your nosy aunt, it's annoying—but also a nearly unavoidable part of life. Anybody can develop this pesky skin situation: It appears when collagen fibers that bind fat to the skin stretch and tear, allowing fat cells to expand. Learn more about cellulite and your body, especially how to get rid of those annoying marks once and for all (or at least how to make them less noticeable).
Cellulite Is Not Fat
Don’t get the two confused: Cellulite is just the dimples and bumps that are seen when fat is divided into tiny pockets in the skin, says board certified plastic surgeon Dr Matthew Schulman. Interesting…
It's More Common In Women Than In Men
How unfair is this? Women's skin collagen is arranged in parallel rows, like pillars. This pattern lends itself to the compartmentalization of fat, which makes cellulite visible, says Schulman. Men's collagen, however, is arranged in an X-pattern. This creates only very small fat compartments and doesn’t allow for dimpling of the skin.
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OTC Creams May Help
Be on the lookout for products that have caffeine or retinol: Caffeine stimulates blood flow and temporarily shrinks fat cells, while retinol helps repair cells over time, says Dr Francesca Fusco, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Experts suggest applying a cream with retinol first, followed by one with caffeine. Keep in mind, though, that these won’t actually get rid of cellulite.
There Is A Cure!
Doctors have FDA-approved methods to get rid of cellulite—like Cellulaze—but these methods are typically costly (Cellulaze can set you back hundreds or thousands of dollars, depending on the size of the treatment area). The process takes about an hour, but the effects can last for years, say experts.
Exercise Can Also Reduce The Appearance Of Cellulite
It's true! Sue Hitzmann, the founder of The MELT Method, suggests these foam rolling moves to help. Interval training also burns fat (making cellulite less noticeable)—even after you're done sweating, says Garson Grant, master trainer at Chelsea Piers in New York City. More of a yogi? Check out these yoga moves that help fight cellulite.
Losing Weight Doesn't Make Cellulite Disappear
Yes, having more body fat ups your chances of having visible cellulite. But even when you slim down, the tissue is still stretched and damaged, says Hitzman. Genes, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances all affect how much cellulite you have, says Dr Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City—so even if you drop a ton of kilos, that doesn't mean you'll totally eliminate the stuff. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.)
UV Rays Worsen The Appearance Of Cellulite
One more reason to use sunscreen religiously: UV rays can damage collagen, making cellulite more noticeable. Remember to slather on that SPF!