Getting rid of cellulite is one of the most common body goals for women. With our legs (and arms) on display all year round in Singapore we tend to focus more on keeping them toned and cellulite free than other countries with a cooler season.
First of all, what is cellulite: Cellulite is made of fat, waste materials and excess fluid that are compressed under the skin. The fat cells blow up like balloons and push through the layers of the skin, which then create this dimpled appearance on the surface.
You can find cellulite on your legs, bum, arms and belly. Why, because these parts of our body have a high-fat retention combined with a lower blood circulation, so the toxins and excess fluids are not easily carried away by the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
Technically this is how cellulite looks like from the inside (we all know how it looks like from the outside, no need for a picture!)
Working in this industry and being a woman myself I hear a lot of misleading information about cellulite, so much that I really needed to dismiss those myths and establish a few TRUTHS. It might be the opposite of what your anti-cellulite cream says, but if you are finally ready to know the real deal, hear me out:
TRUTH 1: (Almost) everyone has some
All we can see in the media is ladies with slim toned legs so we tend to think this is the norm. WRONG! Truth is, it is extremely common to have cellulite –90% of us have it after puberty –however, mainstream media or social media is still not addressing the issue and most people just hide / filter it (except Ashley Graham– good job girl!). There is still a stigma about cellulite and we are all guilty about it. The more we will see real women’s bodies the more we will forget about these unreachable body expectations.
How come we are still hiding cellulite in a world where plus-size models are common and Barbie is now a happy curvy doll? Well, our friends from the marketing department are not ready to let this one go. Why? When you know that 90% of women have cellulite, and we are half of the population on earth, that makes it a HUGE market for creams, fitness and torture devices and they are not ready to give up their piece of the cake yet!
In short, minds and understanding is changing (slowly) about cellulite. Try to practice self-love and remember everyone has some – you’re not alone!
TRUTH 2: Men are less likely to have cellulite (sigh)
I know, as if having our periods and being more prone to stretch marks were not enough, men are also less likely to have cellulite! (only 10% of them)
As females, we have higher levels of oestrogen, which fat cells respond to differently than male hormones. As we age, oestrogen rises and skin will get thinner and looser, making it more likely to show. After reading a fair few Shape articles I also figured out that our looser connective tissues are also the reason why we are more prone to cellulite: Dr. Lolis explains. “Imagine men’s connective tissue like mesh on a screen door—it’s harder for fat to get through—while women’s connective tissue isn’t as tightly formed, leaving more spaces for the fat to bulge through.”
Great, so technically, we are wired to have cellulite thanks to our hormones and the shape of our connective tissues. Anything else?
TRUTH 3: Cellulite is not linked to your weight
Yes that’s right, having cellulite has pretty much nothing to do with your weight. I mean 90% of us have it and we are not all overweight right? Cellulite is created by fat cells in the skin expanding and this is different from the fat you have under the skin. Yes, even skinny ladies can have cellulite!
Being overweight will increase the appearance of cellulite as the extra fat is stretching the skin, making the fat pockets more visible on the skin surface, but there is no guaranty that the cellulite will fully disappear when you lose the extra kilos as other factors like hormones, genes and lifestyle come into play. Getting rid of cellulite should not be the only motivation to lose weight or you might get disappointed. Have realistic expectations.
I will explain a few ways you can reduce the appearance, stay with me, not all hope is lost!
TRUTH 4: Creams don’t work – stop buying them
Sorry but there is no way applying a cream, even a 99$ cream, will get rid of cellulite. Cellulite is worsened by hormone imbalances, bad circulation, thinning skin, lifestyle choices, and I am pretty sure no cream can help with those issues so stop buying them and do the things that really work!
TRUTH 5: There is no forever cure
Once again, sorry to crush your dreams here but there is no way to get rid of cellulite once and for all. If you go to an aesthetic salon and they tell you after a few 100$ sessions you will be forever cellulite free, keep walking and head straight for our pools J
Save yourself the disappointment (and the sometimes really painful practices!) as even if some methods do reduce cellulite, if you do not control all the elements that created cellulite in the first place, new cellulite can come back as soon as you stop what you were doing.
Ok now that we are fully depressed, I can announce that YOU CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. There are ways to reduce the aspect of cellulite.
TRUTH 6: Exercising can reduce the appearance of cellulite
I know you don’t like this one but yes exercise has been proven to reduce cellulite. Two reasons why:
- As you reduce body fat while building more muscle, the “fat pockets” get smaller and less visible
- While exercising (especially in the water) you promote lymphatic drainage and decrease fluid accumulation in areas where you have cellulite, which will make your skin appear smoother! The water massage happening during an aqua cycling session has been proven scientifically to reduce cellulite, so here is another reason to dive into something new with us!
With a regular exercise routine, your body will eventually look firmer and tighter, reducing the obvious appearance of cellulite but do not be fooled, if you stop exercising the cellulite will be back! Exercise needs to become part of your lifestyle, it definitely helps, but it has to be combined with a healthy lifestyle as a whole, including what you put into your body.
TRUTH 7: Cellulite is also lifestyle-related
If you want to reduce the aspect of cellulite significantly you will also have to
- Stop smoking: that’s right! On top of the obvious health detriments, smoking also dehydrates you and can “reduce blood vessel flow and weaken and disrupt the formation of collagen, allowing for the connective tissue to become stretched and damaged more easily and for underlying fat to show through.” (Health.com)
- Stop wearing tight jeans/underwear: it slows the fluid circulation which might lead to more cellulite.
- Drink a LOT more (WATER!): let’s aim for 2 litres a day in Singapore – once you stay hydrated you retain less water, get rid of waste faster and easier as well as keep your connective tissue strong and hydrated.
- Avoid eating really salted / sweet/fatty foods. Try to eat as many leafy greens as possible and fruits/veggies containing a high-water content.
- Stop sitting that much: Yep the more you are sitting on that bum, the more you restrict that blood flow!
- If you have a real issue with cellulite you can also have a look at the medicines and oral contraceptives you are taking: they affect your hormones balances which then can make you more prone to cellulite.
TRUTH 8: You can reduce the appearance of cellulite at home
- Try to do anything that would activate/boost your blow flow: scrubs, cold showers, massage…By stimulating your circulation, you will be able to get rid of extra waste and fluid stuck between the different layers of your skin, encouraging a smoother appearance over time.
- Try coffee scrubs: they can help in two ways: they stimulate lymphatic drainage and caffeine temporarily tightens the skin, making the cellulite less visible for a while. There are a lot of coffee scrubs available in the shops and you can even make yours at home!
- Try Foam rolling: Some say that foam rolling can reduce the appearance of cellulite in some cases but you will have to commit to 5-10min a day EVERYDAY and let’s be honest that’s a lot of work. The great news is, this will also have a very positive effect on your muscles and flexibility!
- Try to walk around more, especially in the water!
I wished there was a miracle cure I could reveal in this article, but if there was one, we would ALL know about it by now!
I just have some very simple and easy steps for you: eat well, move around and especially in the water, and stay hydrated – this is not new but I can guarantee that’s the only way it will work! If you make changes to be healthier, your body will definitely follow you!
Do you have fitness and health subjects you would like to know more about? Please write to us at here and I will try to help out!