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Skin
Skin Health

Preventing and Treating Cellulite

When perusing through the shelves of anti-aging skin care products, you’ll probably notice that a significant number of them are dedicated to helping you get rid of cellulite. Although it isn’t harmful, cellulite is one of the most stubborn and embarrassing aesthetic issues to correct and, unfortunately, it only gets worse with age.

There are dozens of anti-aging skin care products on the market that promise to get rid of cellulite, but they’re often not all they’re cracked up to be. You first have to get to the root of what cellulite is and why it happens in order to determine which anti-aging skin care treatments will actually work to diminish the unsightly dimpling.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is primarily seen in women and found around the hips, waist, thighs, and buttocks. It happens when fat is deposited into pockets just under the skin’s surface. The collagen fibers that normally connect the fat to the skin break down or are stretched too far, so the fat bulges out and pushes against the connective tissue, causing dimples in the surface of your skin. That’s why cellulite is sometimes referred to as “orange peel syndrome” or “cottage cheese skin.” It doesn’t pose any harm to your health, but it can be pretty unattractive to look at.

Cellulite can also be credited to decreasing estrogen levels. As your estrogen drops with age, your circulation decreases as well, which means you’re getting less oxygen and nutrients in that area. At the same time, your fat cells are getting bigger and as they start to push through the depleting collagen fibers, that’s when you see cellulite bumps.

There are a few factors known to contribute to the condition, including hormones, genetic predisposition, poor diet and lifestyle choices, and even your clothing.

Keep reading to find out how you can prevent cellulite.

Preventing Cellulite

Cellulite prevention is relatively easier than treatment, and luckily, there are a few different things you can do on your end.

*Get active:Cellulite is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle—women who lead active lifestyles have less cellulite than those who are constantly sitting at a desk or in front of the TV. When you’re active, you burn more calories and thus cut down the fat. Less excess fat means less fatty deposits.

*Reconsider your clothing: Notice that cellulite often lurks in the area where your underwear lines are? Undergarments with snug elastics can actually constrict blood flow in your buttocks and thighs, encouraging cellulite to form. Thongs are a great alternative, or at least opt for more loose fitting bottoms. As a general rule for preventing cellulite, avoid wearing clothing items with tight bands.

*Eat a healthy diet: The consistent intake of well-balanced meals makes you less prone to developing cellulite. That means cutting foods that are high in fat and sugar from your anti-aging diet, including frozen, processed, and fast foods. Instead, fill your anti-aging diet with whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other natural, whole foods that provide you with more nutrients than unhealthy fats.

*Quit smoking: Cellulite is more common among people who smoke. Although smoking doesn’t necessarily cause cellulite, it does make it worse. Collagen levels naturally drop with age, but smoking breaks down collagen in your body even faster, and since collagen is one of the major structural components of your skin, you need it to maintain firmness. Less collagen means a weaker dermis, which makes for more visible cellulite.

If you are already dealing with cellulite, the next page covers some of the different treatment options you can try.

Treating Cellulite

There are a few different treatments available that provide somewhat of a temporary fix, so long as you use them consistently. There are topical creams that claim to get rid of cellulite, but there’s no scientific backing to them because they don’t address the underlying issues of repairing connective tissue, improving collagen production, or reducing the underlying fat. Specific anti-aging skin care products might be a good temporary fix, but unfortunately, there are currently no anti-aging skin care products that will permanently eliminate cellulite.

You can go a step further and opt for surgery or fillers to help break down fat to get rid of cellulite, but this is also a temporary solution as they don’t prevent more dimples from appearing and can be costly and time-consuming. Liposuction has also been shown to be ineffective to get rid of cellulite because, while it does remove fat deposits in the body, it targets the deeper fat, not the fat under the skin’s surface that’s causing the cellulite. In fact, many doctors will tell you that liposuction can actually make cellulite worse.

A third option to get rid of cellulite is a lymphatic massage, which will temporarily drain excess fluids from your system. However, like this is also a very a temporary fix because it doesn’t address the underlying issue—a good massage can help to improve the appearance of cellulite for a day or two at the most.

Because there’s nothing that can permanently get rid of cellulite once it’s surfaced, the best means of reducing its severity and avoiding it altogether is by wearing non-restrictive clothing and leading a healthy, active lifestyle. Don’t give the fat a chance to settle and you won’t have to deal with the headache of cottage cheese thighs later on.

Samira Zia Rehman is a beauty advisor and writer who has been working the Toronto circuit for almost 10 years. She is certified by the Canadian Cosmetic Careers Association, and since 2007, she has been working as a Cosmetician and skin care specialist at one of Canada’s leading drugstores. Her experience has allowed her to witness, first-hand, a wide array of cosmetic and aesthetic issues that many aging women struggle with. Through her experience, she’s been able to successfully help treat and advise her loyal client base, many of whom are women between the ages of 30 and 65. Samira has built a solid reputation in the beauty industry through her breadth of knowledge and honest recommendations.

This article originally appeared on Agein.com.