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Health & Wellbeing / Claire Blackmore

The Body Experts: What Exactly Is Cellulite?

Ah, our old friend cellulite. It’s nowhere to be seen when you’re young, but then BOOM, puberty hits and with that whirlwind of hormones comes lumpy legs and bums. Thanks a bunch Mother Nature.

We spend the next phase of our lives covering it up, using creams, buffers and cling film (don’t ask) in a bid to get rid of the dimples – until we realise it doesn’t really matter and we’re just fine as we are.

So, what exactly is ‘orange peel’ anyways? And if we *do* want to rid ourselves of it forever, how do we blast it into oblivion? Today, we get advice from Dr Gary Goldfaden, dermatologist and founder of Goldfaden MD.

What is cellulite?

It is literally just the uneven surface of fat stored beneath your skin. It appears when the collagen that binds the fat to the skin stretches and tears, meaning that your fat cells then expand. It’s bumpy because it pushes against your connective tissue, causing your skin to pucker up into those pesky dimples.

Dr Goldfaden says that exercise is extremely beneficial when fighting cellulite due to the increase in circulation. “Sweating increases circulation and flushes salt and excess fluids from the body, giving the skin a tighter, smoother appearance,” he says.

So, why do I have it?

Cellulite can be caused by so many different factors – not doing enough exercise, smoking, eating fatty foods, dieting too hard or too much, hormones (oestrogen can initiate and aggravate cellulite) and also changes in your metabolism. It is often hereditary too, so it’s pretty likely your family members also suffer. Basically it’s NBD and super common!

Does cellulite mean I’m unhealthy or overweight?

Studies have shown that 95% of women have some form of cellulite somewhere on their body, supermodels included! Cellulite is not a medical condition and nothing to worry about. However if you are concerned about the appearance of it, opting for a healthier lifestyle could make it less noticeable.

“A healthy diet full of essential fatty acids, leafy green vegetables and fruit is the best defense against cellulite. Also pour yourself a cup of bone broth. Bone broth is high in collagen, protein and Glucosamine, which all help to keep joints healthy, strengthen the immune system and fight cellulite,” says Dr Goldfaden.

How can I improve the appearance of cellulite?

“Products that contain caffeine may also be beneficial for smoothing out the appearance of cellulite. Try introducing dry brushing into your daily regimen. Dry brushing skin removes dead skin cells and increases circulation. This may help to breakdown stubborn cellulite and prevent the production of more,” suggests Dr Goldfaden.

If you work in an office, take a walk at lunch to keep yourself moving. Cut down on refined and processed foods, also sweeteners and additives. Basically scrap the ready meals and start cooking from scratch. Remember, cellulite forms in areas with low circulation so it’s hard to kill off (dammit). That’s why exercise is key as it gets your blood pumping. Lastly, if you try cellulite creams, look for those that contain centella asiatica – the wonder ingredient that gives skin extra elasticity, oxidises fat cells and increases blood circulation.

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