As explained by Mayo Clinic, cellulite, also known as orange-peel skin due to its appearance and texture, is essentially a layer of fat underneath the skin. This deposit of fat is seen in the form of uneven, dimpled flesh on the thighs, buttocks, hips and stomach, especially in women. Cellulite is very common and perfectly natural, but if it bothers you, there are ways to treat it naturally to make it less noticeable.
Although the exact reason is not known, cellulite seems to affect women more than men. The harmless skin condition appears because of the interactivity between the connective tissue in the dermatological layer below the surface of the skin and the layer of fat that lies just underneath it.
According to an article on Medical News Today, the tissue in this layer has a criss-cross structure in men, while women have the fat cells and connective tissue structured vertically. This arrangement may explain why women are more susceptible to developing cellulite, with fat cells directly extending into the layer of skin, making uneven protrusions visible on the surface.
Causes of cellulite
According to Healthline, factors including age, genetics, oestrogen levels, tissue inflammation, poor circulation and lymphatic drainage, excess body fat, thinning and loose skin, loss of collagen, poor diet and an imbalance in the connective tissue and fat layer in a person’s body, can cause the lumpy appearance of cellulite on the skin.
Although not absolute, it seems that diet, hormones, lifestyle and genetics all contribute to the development of cellulite, or at least the tendency to have it.
But you need not worry as several natural remedies can help reduce cellulite. These include maintaining a healthy diet, an active lifestyle, dry brushing, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil skin massages. Other cosmetic treatments like laser, radio-frequency treatments, liposuction and retinol creams are also chosen by many. However, these treatments are usually expensive and may need to be repeated regularly.
Having said that, since every individual has a certain skin type and may react to products differently, it is advisable to consult a dermatologist before trying out any of the below-mentioned treatments.
Here are some ways to treat cellulite naturally
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a wonderful and multifaceted pantry item everyone should take advantage of. This natural product is loaded with important minerals like calcium, magnesium, and potassium that help promote blood circulation.
Along with the traditional benefits of ingesting apple cider vinegar for weight loss, it can also reduce the appearance of cellulite if applied to the skin topically. To do this, mix apple cider vinegar with water in a ratio of 1:2 and massage it on the affected areas to help flush out toxins. This also helps improve the lymphatic drainage around the cellulite-prone areas such as thighs and hips.
A massage with this mixture can work wonders on the skin and boost the production of collagen and oxygen supply.
Exfoliation through dry brushing
Another way to reduce the appearance of cellulite is exfoliation of the skin. Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and improves blood flow, leaving behind silky smooth skin. This method should be a part of everyone’s beauty routine since it is beneficial for the overall health of the skin and can reduce cellulite.
Take a semi-firm brush with a natural bristle and adjustable handle, and begin dry brushing your skin, ideally right before you take a shower. Do not wet the brush or the skin while doing so. This method comes with a slew of benefits, including getting rid of dead skin cells, opening up the pores, improving blood circulation and lymph flow.
Body brushing promotes tighter skin, cell renewal and aids the lymphatic system in releasing toxins and other fluids. The soothing and rhythmic movements of the brush can also help digestion and kidney function while giving you a glowy, smooth complexion. While brushing, follow an upwards direction only, starting from the feet, legs, arms and chest. Move the brush in an anticlockwise motion on your stomach.
You can also prepare a homemade scrub using ground coffee beans or brown sugar, olive oil and water to help alleviate the formation of cellulite and stretch marks.
A luxurious treatment offered by many renowned spas around the world, a seaweed scrub or wrap can be easily done at home as well to prevent cellulite. Seaweed is used in treating cellulite dimples since it is a natural exfoliant. It also removes dead cells, detoxifies the body, moisturises the skin and regenerates skin elasticity, while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and cellulite.
Seaweed is brimming with minerals, vitamins, iron, iodine and lipids that help detoxify and moisturise the skin effectively. The fatty acids, vitamin A and antioxidants in seaweed help enhance the appearance of the skin and contain anti-ageing properties, as per a study published in Advances in Botanical Research.
To make this exfoliating paste, mix three to four tablespoons of ground seaweed with some sea salt and extra-virgin olive oil or any essential oil. Gently massage the mixture on the affected areas for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off.
You can also opt for a warm seaweed wrap to sweat your skin and prevent cellulite formation. Add half a kilogram of powdered seaweed to 4 cups of boiling water and let it simmer for an hour or so. Take it off the heat and add 3 tablespoons of flour to thicken the mixture to a paste-like consistency.
Apply this warm paste all over your body and wrap it up with towels. Wash it off after letting it sit for an hour or two for a natural, at-home DIY spa treatment.
According to a study published by Cogent Medicine, juniper berry oil is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that minimise the appearance of cellulite, scars and marks.
Massaging this oil on the skin affected by cellulite, wrinkles and inflammation can encourage proper drainage of water in the lymphatic system. The oil can also boost the rejuvenation and detoxification of your skin tissue, thus reducing cellulite dimples and the uneven appearance of skin.
Sporting a deliciously spicy and woody aroma, juniper berries are a rage in alternative medicine given their potent antiseptic and antimicrobial characteristics. For best results, add carrier oils such as argan oil, avocado oil or jojoba oil to 10 to 12 drops of the juniper berry essential oil. Use this mixture to massage the areas affected by cellulite to get smooth and supple skin.
Due to its strong stimulatory properties, pregnant women and individuals suffering from kidney problems should strictly avoid using this essential oil.
Green tea is celebrated for its ability to aid in weight loss and boost overall health and metabolism. It is loaded with antioxidants and antibacterial properties that help the body detoxify and boost the production of collagen.
A powerful thermogenic, green tea aids fat loss, increases blood circulation and curbs fluid retention, making it an effective remedy to treat cellulite as per studies. Green tea, coupled with a healthy diet and exercise routine can help you shed those extra kilograms, get smoother, dimple-free skin.
Maintain a healthy diet and exercise routine
Hormones play a major role in the development of cellulite and many other issues, which makes it essential for you to maintain a healthy diet full of Omega-3 fatty acids, healthy fats and nutrients, cut down on smoking and caffeine, and exercise regularly.
To maintain harmony within your bodily system, it is important to prioritise sleep, avoid harmful chemicals, hydrate constantly, take vitamin and mineral supplements as advised by a dietitian and follow a hormone-balancing diet.
Regular 30-minute workouts such as yoga, swimming, cycling and weight training with kettlebells will help you burn stubborn fat and develop muscle, reducing the appearance of cellulite and other skin anomalies.
Apply retinol-rich creams
To reduce uneven skin and lumpy cellulite, you can incorporate retinol-based moisturisers and creams into your skin-care routine. Retinol helps to plump up your skin and make it firmer. It can thicken your skin’s outer layer, which will even out the bumps and dimples below it.
According to a research article by Harvard Health Publishing, retinoids help fade actinic keratosis spots, reduce pigmentation and boost the renewal of superficial skin cells. Retinol in creams can help minimise wrinkles, fine lines and cellulite by speeding up the production of collagen and new blood vessels in the skin.
Retinoids also aid in reducing age spots and smoothening dry patches on the skin. Use a product with 0.3 percent retinol and keep applying it for at least six months to see noticeable differences in the texture of your skin.
Hero and featured image courtesy Sora Shimazaki/Pexels
This story first appeared on Lifestyle Asia India.