Women are more prone to develop cellulite than men for three primary reasons:
- Hormonal changes that weaken the fibrous tissues surrounding fat cells and negatively affect the skin’s support structures. These effects are normally seen between the ages of 25-35, when women’s estrogen levels naturally decline. This causes a loss of blood vessel receptors in the thigh and hip regions, and less circulation means less nutrition to the area, which blunts collagen production (resulting in weaker skin and connective tissues). Menstrual cycles also play a role, because women’s bodies release an enzyme before that breaks down collagen.
- They naturally hold more fat than men, and particularly in the “stubborn” regions that are most affected by cellulite. Research has shown that females aren’t as good at oxidizing fat as men, and it’s possible that estrogen levels play a role as well.
- Their fat cells are distributed in vertical columns, which are more prone to bulging, whereas men are arranged in a denser, net-like pattern that is resistant to pitting.
Cellulite also gets worse with age. The fibrous connective tissues (septae as they’re known) stiffen and the skin loosens, making the “mattress look” becomes even more pronounced.
The following “cures” for cellulite don’t work:
- Cellulite shoes. These ridiculous looking sneakers will make walking a chore, causing you to wobble around like a drunk. What they won’t do, however, is help treat cellulite.
- Cellulite creams. These products contain various substances that are supposed to inhibit fat storage in the areas where cellulite is worst. Well, it’s BS–if we could only rub a cream on our body and inhibit fat storage. Instead, these creams usually just induce temporary swelling, which reduces the appearance of cellulite…until the effect wears off.
- Cellulite massage contraptions. These are supposed to “break up the fat cells” and while they may temporarily improve the appearance of the areas, they don’t deliver long-term results.
Reducing the appearance of cellulite requires that you do three things:
- Address the health of the connective tissues and the collagen in the skin. The weaker and stiffer these tissues are, and the looser the skin is, the more prominent cellulite becomes. By improving the health and elasticity of these tissues, you can reduce the visibility of the cellulite.
- Lose body fat. The more fat you have in the affected areas, the more exaggerated the cellulite will look. By losing fat, you’re taking the pressure off the surrounding tissues, which naturally reduces the severity of the pitting.
- Increase blood and lymph circulation. Poor circulation and lymph drainage (lymph is a substance your body uses to dispose of waste) can lead to inflammation and swelling, which directly aggravates the problem, and it also inhibits the reparation of the connective tissues and collagen that play vital roles in the appearance of the skin. If blood and lymph flow remain decreased for extended periods of time, hardened collagen bands can actually form around the fat globules, further worsening the cellulite and making it even harder to get rid of.
- Another cellulite-related benefit of weightlifting is that as your muscles grow, every area of your body naturally tightens, giving you a smoother, fuller look (and avoiding the dreaded “skinny fat” physique).
- Among omega-3’s many benefits are the fact that it stimulates collagen production and reduces inflammation, which can help with the reduction of cellulite.
- Acupuncture is a safe, natural way to help eliminate cellulite. Even though cellulite affects your outward appearance, it appears in the deeper layer of your skin. That’s why external treatments like topical creams or diet and exercise cannot effectively deal with the problem on their own. This is why acupuncture is an important part of the solution in the fight against cellulite. Acupuncture effects are nourishing connective tissues from within, cleanses and improves circulation, smooths and firms skin, and improves skin tone, focussing on problem areas, improves metabolic function, detoxifies tissues, relieves stress, promotes elimination of fat and cellulite, activates fluid circulation, helps to eliminate “orange peel” appearance.