Cellulite: Although the name sounds like a serious condition, the reality is far from frightening. In the last decades, we’ve become inundated with beauty ideals shown through advertising, magazines and social media. One of the great myths to result from this phenomenon is the idea that cellulite is “bad,” when in fact it’s completely harmless. This leads to many people trying to figure out how to get rid of cellulite, even going to extreme measures to do so.
What is cellulite?
Cellulite, also known as adiposis edematosa, is a type of skin dimpling that’s often present on the upper thighs (especially on the back of the thighs), the buttocks and the lower abdomen. This phenomenon occurs when fat deposits protrude through the tissue beneath the skin, creating a slightly lumpy texture.
Sometimes called “orange-peel skin” due to its texture and appearance, cellulite is present among the majority of women but is less common among men. Why’s that? It’s because men’s tissue beneath the skin has a criss-cross structure, which effectively masks the appearance of the fat cells — women’s tissue is vertical which exposes the fat cells significantly more, leading to cellulite.
Between 85-98 percent of women have cellulite on their bodies; athletes, ballerinas supermodels and figure skaters have it. If it’s so common, and nothing to be afraid of, then why does it seem to have such a bad reputation? First, let’s try to understand where it comes from.
What causes cellulite?
This is where things get a little fuzzy, and that’s because scientists are still puzzled about exactly what causes cellulite. Several factors come into play, including age, genetics, fat distribution in the body, metabolism, ethnicity and a person’s level of circulation.
Leading a healthier lifestyle may reduce the appearance of cellulite, however, given the prevalence of cellulite in the vast majority of women (including those who are very active), it may not be a deciding factor in if someone has cellulite or not. When it comes to causes, theories abound. Researchers found that people who eat more fat, carbohydrates and salt are likely to have higher amounts of cellulite and found that it’s more prevalent in smokers.
The levels of cellulite differ from person to person and also in degrees of severity.
Grade one: Between one and four “depressions” or dimples, with a similar appearance to that of orange skin.
Grade two: This ranges between five and nine depressions.
Grade three: This is the most severe level of cellulite with at least 10 or more deep depressions.
As we mentioned above, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about having cellulite. It’s simply a matter of aesthetics.
How to get rid of cellulite: Real talk
If you search online about how to get rid of cellulite, you’re likely to come across any number of methods for its removal. From special brushes and creams that claim to dull their appearance to laser removals, the industry for removing cellulite is growing more abundant than ever.
The truth is: Cellulite is just a fact of life for most of us, and before asking yourself how to get rid of cellulite, perhaps try to focus on accepting your cellulite. It can take time, even years, to accept the physical attributes of your body. But believe us, that acceptance can make a difference in your mood and confidence levels. Almost everyone has a part of their body that they feel self-conscious about. For some it’s their nose, others the cellulite on the back of their legs. It’s all part of our shared human experience and you’re not alone.
Most of the treatments that claim to eliminate cellulite on the market today are expensive and ineffective. If you’re willing to shell out thousands of dollars, you may be able to get treatments that last up to a year, but that means maintenance for years to come. Much cheaper, on the other hand, is getting used to cellulite and realizing that it’s common, it’s not dangerous and it’s present on even the most sculpted athletes, even Olympians.
OK, we know, self-acceptance is easier said than done. So, if you want to try and reduce cellulite naturally in the meantime, give these tips a try:
Weight train. It’s well-known that weight training can burn calories and improve your metabolism, which can lead to fat loss and may reduce the level of cellulite on the body.
Stay hydrated. Start drinking water as soon as you wake up in the morning and keep sipping throughout the day for supple skin. Water helps flush out toxins, which is good for the skin and may help out with cellulite, too.
Dry brushing. This method consists of rubbing the body with plant loofah or a body brush to remove dead skin cells, stimulate cell growth and help detoxify the body — results vary here, so take this idea with a grain of salt.
Coffee grounds. Rub the affected area with coffee grounds — some claim that the coffee tightens the skin and encourages new cell growth.
Healthy fats. Get more omega-3s in your diet, which may improve the skin. Plus, consuming the right kind of fats is good for the body, so it can’t hurt!
Speaking of self acceptance...Learn about our take on the Body Positivity Movement here.
Working out may help
If you’re concerned about how to get rid of your cellulite, we understand the worry. Once again, we want to reassure you that there is nothing abnormal or unhealthy about having cellulite. If anything, it only makes you human. And, if you happen to be among the 10-15 percent of women that don’t have cellulite, that’s also OK. Having it and not having it is entirely harmless.
For a boost of confidence, working out can make a world of difference. Even a quick 10 or 15-minute workout can get your blood pumping and endorphins revved up, leaving you with an accomplished feeling that has us feeling excited about our next session. Sign up for 8fit Pro and start reaping the benefits of efficient HIIT workouts and yoga classes.