Let’s Talk About: Cellulite — ODE Dermatology

Let’s Talk About: Cellulite

Time to embrace your lumps and bumps

Let’s Talk About: Cellulite

As seen on En Route

By Vira Anekboonyapirom

We all have it, we all hate it and we can all learn to love it.

Going through puberty was hard enough, but after it hits and being a woman to that, we’re already predisposed to cellulite, affecting 90% of women to 10% of men.

Dermatologist, Dr Shyamalar Gunatheesan tells us that “the cause of cellulite is unknown.” But some genetic factors like how we age, how we store fat and those of us with estrogen are predisposed to cellulite.

What is cellulite?

To put it plainly, cellulite is fat deposited beneath your skin.

But why it’s stored so evidently on our thighs is due to “the interaction of the vertically placed fibrous bands in our skin layer… these fibrous bands pull down towards our deeper connective tissue and muscles making the fat sandwiched between these layers protrude or bulge out of small pockets,” explains Dr Shyamalar.

“Do not let cellulite (something that all of us have skinny or fat) dictate how we feel about ourselves!”

How do we get cellulite?

While the cause of cellulite is unknown, we know that the following can be contributing causes:

    1. How we store fat can affect us
    2. Hormones like insulin, noradrenaline and thyroid hormones play a role
    3. Lifestyle factors like diet and smoking
    4. Estrogen makes us store fat
    5. Common areas of our body that have three layers of fat: saddlebags (aka back of thighs), buttocks, knees making them easy targets
    6. Aging and the reduction of collagen and elastin renewal, weakening the support structure of our skin

How can we reduce cellulite?

    1. Exercise
    2. Hydrate
    3. Eat a healthy organic, plant-protein rich diet
    4. Quit smoking
    5. Sleep a minimum of 8 hours a night
    6. Avoid sitting in one position for a long period of time
    7. Avoid tight-fitting elastic briefs as this might impair circulation
    8. Dry brushing to help stimulate lymphatic drainage, increase blood flow and optimise skin renewal to temporarily minimise the appearance
    9. Invest in retinol-based creams to improve skin elasticity
    10. Red light LED tools that are commonly used to reduce wrinkles can also be used across your target areas.

How to choose a cellulite cream?

While creams aren’t a permanent method of reducing cellulite, they absolutely can reduce the appearance by “temporarily dehydrating the fat cell, making it appear smaller,” confirms Dr Shyamalar.

If you do opt for a cream, Dr Shyamalar suggests looking for products that contain:

      • Caffeine helps by blocking the making of fats by the alpha receptors
      • Guarana helps by blocking the making of fats by the alpha receptors
      • Retinol as AHA’s and antioxidant-rich creams will help skin renewal and plump up collagen and elastin
      • L-Carnitine transports fats into the fat cell’s mitochondria to be used as energy
      • Aminophylline works by blocking the alpha receptors


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