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Simple steps you can take to reduce the appearance of cellulite
Let’s talk about Cellulite. The dreaded dimpled, lumpy, ‘orange peel’ skin we all know and hate. In fact, a whopping nine in ten women will experience it at some point in their lives. With warmer weather on its way and the resurrection of bikinis and bottom skimming shorts sure to follow, we share our top tips on how you can firm and tone skin for perfect pins and a peachy posterior this summer.
What causes cellulite?
More common in women than men, cellulite affects up to 90% of post-adolescent females to varying degrees, with its severity influenced by factors including genetics, age, body fat, hormones and thickness of skin. It does tend to be more prevalent in those who already have excess fat, but it does affect slim people too.
Up until recently, fat and fat alone was labelled the culprit in those cellulite-shaming pics we were endlessly treated to in the press. However, it is now more generally accepted that cellulite is the result of an accumulation of excess fluid and toxins that actually acts to distort the fat cells and connective tissue (called ‘septae’) that surrounds them, especially in the areas of the body that have a high density of fat cells such as the thighs, upper arms and abdomen.
As we age, circulation also becomes poorer which means that oxygen delivery to these areas decreases, leading to reduced fat metabolism. Collagen production is poorer, skin tone suffers and toxin clearance is also less efficient. Add this to the fact that our skin thins with age and guess what? Cellulite becomes more visible.
How can you get rid of cellulite?
Though physiologically it’s impossible to ever fully get rid of cellulite there are some simple ways you can improve its appearance, and still one of the least well-known causes of cellulite is poor lymphatic health – so taking better care of yours could hold the key.
Lymph vessels carry and excrete away the toxins in our system via the liver and kidneys, helping our immune system keep us healthy. Yet unlike blood vessels which have the heart to pump the blood around our body, our lymphatic system relies on movement to keep it flowing.
When our lymphatic system gets blocked or overrun through lack of activity, stress, illness, or toxic overload, it can lead to a range of issues, including tissue swelling, poor skin tone, excess weight, and cellulite.
So here are our top five tips on how you can love your lymph and help diminish that dimpled skin in the process:
Get active – Inactive lifestyles are by far the biggest culprit for poor lymphatic health, poor skin tone and loose skin. Unsurprisingly the unprecedented lockdowns we have faced as a result of the COVID pandemic has restricted many of us from getting out and doing even the simplest of daily activities that help us to move more. In fact, recent research by Body Ballancer suggests that 69 percent of British adults are currently leading a completely sedentary lifestyle, spending an average of 11 hours and 12 mins of the waking day either sitting or lying down. If you’re finding yourself more sedentary than usual, we recommend getting up at least every hour, and power walking when you take your daily exercise outings.
By far the best exercise to combat cellulite is cardio. Cellulite doesn’t discriminate, whether you’re a size 8 or 18, yet you’ll rarely see a professional athlete suffer the dreaded curse. Interval training is by far the best form of exercise for cellulite, with short bursts of high intensity exercise said to be much more effective than low intensity exercise for a longer period of time. Running is an obvious choice for interval exercise, but swimming and cycling can be very effective too. You can also find lots of great HIIT (high intensity interval training) workouts online that are easy to do at home. Take a look at this handy guide from Women’s Health
Stay hydrated – Yes, this seems to be the answer to all ills, but when it comes to the lymphatic system it cannot be underestimated. Our study found that one in ten adults do not drink any water in an average day, relying solely on tea, coffee, or carbonated drinks to keep them hydrated.
As lymphatic fluid is made up of 96% water, even mild to moderate dehydration can have a significant effect, causing stagnation and congestion.
The same can be said for cellulite. The cellulite under your skin traps toxins – which can accumulate if you have an unhealthy lifestyle, regardless of your shape or size. To keep cellulite at bay, it’s important to drink your recommended daily allowance. And remember, we are already dehydrated when we feel thirsty so try not to wait until then to reach for the water bottle.
Surrender the sugar – Sadly those delicious cocktails, cans of fizz and chocolate are a sure fire way to take you in the opposite direction of those sought after tight and toned legs. In fact, according to cellulite expert Georgios Tzenichristos sugar is the number one cause of cellulite today.
Worryingly, our recent study found that more than half (59 percent) are consuming high sugar, processed or fried foods on a daily basis.
Eating too much can reduce the amount of collagen in the body, which can lead to premature ageing and sagging of the skin. Avoid adding to the detoxifying burden of your lymphatic system by avoiding sugary, processed additive-laden foods, fizzy drinks and confectionery.
Brush it better – Dry skin brushing is a great way to boost circulation and release toxins by stimulating the tiny lymphatic vessels that sit just below the skin. Although introducing body brushing into your everyday routine might seem like a lot of effort when it’s hard enough to get into the habit of moisturising daily, the benefits really do speak for themselves.
Best done first thing in the morning before showering, begin with the soles of the feet and brush with upward strokes as you move up the legs and towards the heart. Use the same method on your upper body, beginning with the hands up your arms. The routine should take you no more than 5-10 minutes. For best results, look to repeat 3-5 times a week.
The magic of massage – Regular Body Ballancer® massages boost circulation and bring healthy oxygenated blood to the treated areas. This helps to effectively break down the build up of cellulite, reducing volume and slimming, firming and smoothing affected skin. The Body Ballancer is available to purchase for home use. To find out more click here.
Or why not try Illuminate Skin Clinic’s new Illuminate Cellulite Legacy Treatment? Launching this month, the treatment features ground-breaking skin tightening Venus Legacy treatments alongside Body Ballancer massages, and an Exuviance UK Body Tone Firming product. You’ll be bikini and beach ready in no time.