- Who is affected by cellulite and what are the grades?
- Causes of cellulite
- Overview of physical therapy and natural treatment options for cellulite
- Things to remember
Cellulite is a skin condition in which fat deposits accumulate beneath the skin, giving it a lumpy, dimpled look. It is most prominent in the hips and thighs and usually appears after puberty. This skin condition is also known as adiposis edematosa in the field of medicine and in colloquial language as cottage cheese skin, orange peel syndrome, hail damage, and the mattress phenomenon. This post features detailed information on how to get rid of cellulite naturally with home remedies, foods and other treatment options. Causes and types of cellulite are also described in the post.
Skin specialists say that cellulite affects up to 90% of women at least once in their lives.
Cellulite is divided into three categories (1):
Even though cellulite can affect both sexes, it is more prevalent among women, mostly because they are more likely to have fat deposits in particular areas and connective tissue.
Formation of cellulite explained
Cellulite, also known as gynoid lipodystrophy is believed to appear when subcutaneous adipose tissue enters into the reticular dermis underneath it, thereby giving the surface a dimpled appearance.
The irregular, lumpy, dimpled, orange peel like skin surface is a characteristic feature of cellulite and has been observed to appear in the abdomen, thighs, and hips in 90% of adult women. Cellulite is often confused with the infectious condition, cellulitis, which caused by bacteria but the two are not related.
Hormones, most likely play an important role in the appearance of cellulite. Many researchers hold the opinion that estrogen, noradrenaline, insulin, thyroid hormones, and prolactin are part of the cellulite development process.
Genetic factors also contribute towards cellulite development. Genes may make an individual more prone to development of cellulite, such as race, gender, slow metabolism, circulatory disorders and distribution of fat under the skin.
People who have unhealthy eating habits and consume too much fat and carbohydrates and too little fiber are at increased risk of developing cellulite.
Cellulite has been found to be more prevalent among smokers, people who do not exercise regularly and people who stand or sit in one position for a long duration of time.
Wearing tight clothing, such as underwear with too tight elastic may contribute towards the development of cellulite because too tight clothing restricts the flow of blood.
Cellulite is always to be treated by a licensed physician (dermatologist). In case of acute inflammation, antibiotics may be needed for treatment of this disorder. Chronic forms of cellulite may be treated with natural (home) remedies with prior consent of your doctor.
Unfortunately none of these therapeutic methods have been supported by proper scientific research, which means that you may try them, they may even work sometimes but you should not expect miracles.
People suffering from cellulite have tried every possible treatments, including pharmaceuticals (oral drugs and topical treatments), scrubs, compression garments (these apply pressure on arteries and improve blood and lymph flow, which helps reduce cellulite), eating a healthy diet (which may help break down the fat deposits in cells and prevent formation of cellulite), exercising, liposuction, laser treatments, etc.
Every person is different and there is no single miracle method to deal with cellulite.
Your best bet is to go and see your doctor, ask him/her for advice and help and try both medical and natural treatments, including lifestyle changes (exercising and healthy diet).
Here is an overview of natural ways to fight and/or prevent cellulite:
Foods that prevent and fight cellulite
Some cellulite-busting foods are described below:
Bananas are an excellent light snack for women affected by cellulite because they have high potassium to sodium ratio. Sodium (salt) elevates water retention linked with unpleasant cellulite. Potassium, on the other hand, has the opposite effect. Besides this, bananas are known to boost healthy blood flow in your body. A healthy flow of blood makes certain that skin cells are provided with all the nutrients that they require. Healthy blood circulation also expels the toxic substances that may be behind cellulite build-up.
You can take bananas as:
Do not eat banana chips if you have a problem of cellulite as they contain additional fats and sugar.
Even though it is not a food item, water has been included in this list because it’s the main part of an anti- cellulite diet. Water flushes out harmful toxins responsible for cellulite build-up. Besides, a dehydrated body may result in water retention as your system retains water to compensate, exacerbating the appearance of cellulite.
It expels toxins; fights water retention and aids in weight loss.
A high intake of water can help you lose weight in several ways. First of all, it provides no calories but it can increase the feeling of satiety and curb hunger. Dieticians have suggested that drinking large amounts of water, could in fact, burn calories.
This is because the body has to warm cold water to body temperature once it enters the body. This consumes energy or calories. Intake of two liters of cold water a day could burn almost sixty calories.
Also, adequate intake of water boosts renal function, for eliminating waste products. One of the main functions of the liver is to convert stored body fat into energy. If the liver is not busy in eliminating waste material, it can focus on mobilizing body fat.
3. Sunflower seeds
Sunflower seeds are packed with cellulite-busting nutrients. They are chock full of vitamin E, zinc, and potassium. They are an excellent source of selenium. One cup of sunflower seeds provides more than a third of the recommended daily intake.
Secondly, they are a good source of vitamin B6, with one cup giving 35% of the recommended daily intake. Not only is Vitamin B6 vital for optimum absorption of zinc from the intestines, but it also has some anti- cellulite qualities of its own. It plays an integral role in the metabolism of proteins and makes connective tissue stronger (weak connective tissue is one of the main factors that worsen cellulite).
It acts as a natural diuretic and flushes out excess water, eliminating bloating that makes cellulite more prominent. When including sunflower seeds into your cellulite busting dietary regimen, remember that they should be consumed in moderate amounts as they contain a lot of calories.
4. Chili and cayenne peppers
Cayenne peppers and chili are superb foods for fighting cellulite. Chili is a rich source of vitamins B6, C, E, and potassium. One tablespoon of chili can provide 14% of required daily intake of vitamin B6.
Cayenne peppers and chili also help in weight loss.
Studies show that capsaicin, the main active substance in cayenne and chili peppers, boosts heat production of the body (thermogenesis), thus increasing the rate at which the body burns calories.
One research found that capsaicin present in hot chilies could elevate the resting metabolic rate by up to 25%. The influence on the resting metabolic rate peaked at 70 to 80 minutes after the consumption of capsaicin and continued for up to four hours. Furthermore, studies suggest that capsaicin suppresses appetite and thus decreases the amount of calories consumed during meals.
In one group, half of the subjects were given tomato juice mixed with chili powder, while half of the subjects drank it plain. Those who were given the tomato juice with capsaicin consumed 18% fewer calories on average.
5. Ginger root
Ginger root is known to have been used in ancient Chinese medicine as early as 400 B.C and it is one of the oldest spices in the world. Even though it is best known for powers to cure a cold, ginger root is also a great anti-cellulite spice. Ginger root can curb appetite and boost metabolism and thus help in weight loss.
It also aids digestion and increases healthy blood flow, which can help get rid of cellulite. Fresh ginger is the most effective form of ginger and is easily available throughout the year in grocery stores and supermarkets.
6. Brazil nuts
Brazil nuts are the best dietary source of selenium in nature. A single Brazil nut can provide more than the recommended daily intake. The selenium present in Brazil nuts is an effective weapon against cellulite and it improves the overall appearance of skin due to the role in plays in defending the body from antioxidants. Furthermore, Brazil nuts are a rich source of potassium and vitamin E. It is important to remember, though, that Brazil nuts like most other nuts are high in calories, and therefore they should be taken in moderate amounts.
Egg whites should definitely be a part of your anti-cellulite diet. They are an excellent source of proteins but are very low in fats and calories.
Eggs whites are loaded with cellulite-fighting minerals and protein.
The egg yolk, however, is quite high in fat, calories, and cholesterol. But it is still a good idea to include some egg yolk in your breakfast omelet as it is a concentrated source of many essential nutrients and minerals, such as iodine, iron, zinc, and vitamins A, B12, D and E.
Besides being a rich source of dietary protein and a variety of vitamins and minerals, eggs can aid in weight loss. Research carried out at the California Centre for Obesity in America found that including eggs in your daily diet could reduce the calorie intake throughout the rest of the day by more than 500 calories. This is because eggs can increase the feeling of satiety and decrease appetite.
Barley is an excellent food item for combating cellulite and excess weight. It is low in calories and has the lowest Glycemic Index (GI) rating among all the common grains. Grains which have a high Glycemic Index (GI) rating are rapidly metabolized by the body and causes a rapid elevation in blood glucose levels which signals the pancreas to secrete large amounts of insulin. Insulin is vital for the body as it utilizes glucose for production of energy, but excess production of insulin causes storage of fat in the body.
On the other hand, grains having a low glycemic index such as barley take a lot of time to digest and cause only a slow and small elevation in the blood glucose and insulin levels. Furthermore, barley can curb cravings — that result in fat build-up— as they give a slow and steady energy supply.
Rosemary increases circulation and this trait makes it beneficial in the treatment of cellulite. Rosemary is also believed to aid in the digestion of fats and it also fights antioxidants and harmful substances. As its active ingredient, rosemary contains rosmarinic acid. It is a plant polyphenol that helps in shielding tissues from free radical damage. Rosemary also contains ursolic acid which assists in collagen and elastin synthesis, makes the capillaries stronger and combats free radical damage. Rosemary is used to in flavoring roast meats, fish, tomato sauces, and fruits, particularly oranges.
Kale is well known for its health benefits. This nutritional powerhouse is chock full of cellulite fighting minerals such as vitamin C, calcium, and potassium. It is low in the calcium-inhibiting oxalic acid which decreases the amount of calcium your body can absorb from many other vegetables. Besides being high in nutrients, kale is very low in calories and fat. Get a good kale oriented cookbook to learn how to include kale to your anti-cellulite diet.
Several celebrities and Hollywood stars swear by asparagus to banish bloating and water retention.
If you are putting together an anti-cellulite diet, asparagus is a good option to add to your shopping list. It makes veins and capillaries stronger and controls blood pressure. Owing to its high amount of potassium and the amino acid asparagine, it also acts as a diuretic, which is a great benefit as the accumulation of fluid may aggravate the appearance of cellulite. The cherry on top is that asparagus contains inulin. Inulin is a type of carbohydrate which boosts the efficiency of the gut.
Garlic has been used as a cure for a vast range of ailments since ancient times. Studies have shown that garlic boosts cardiovascular health, treats and prevents cancer, and controls high blood pressure. Research also shows that garlic can help you avoid weight gain and aids in weight loss. In a laboratory study, rats that were given a high sugar diet put on less weight when they were given garlic as well. These therapeutic effects of garlic are thought to arise from its ability to break down fat stores in the body and to amp up metabolism.
The wholesome nutritional value of broccoli makes it a great food for fighting cellulite: First of all, it contains alpha lipoic acid which helps avoid the hardening of collagen. Second, broccoli is a rich source of vitamin C and a great source of dietary fiber. Last, of all, broccoli is an ideal dairy-free source of cellulite-fighting calcium. Even though your body can only make use of about 60% of the calcium in broccoli that is still a good amount.
14. Green tea
Nutritionists say that the catechins present in green tea can impede breakdown of collagen. Besides this, catechins have been known to help in weight loss. The benefits of green tea catechins in our body are thought to stem from the ability of green tea catechins to boost energy expenditure and fat break down. To increase the release of catechins, opt for loose tea leaves instead of tea bags and allow the tea steep for a few minutes.
15. Dandelion greens
If you can grow accustomed to their unpleasant flavor, these unsung nutritional gems can be a great help in treating cellulite. Dandelion greens have been known for their diuretic and detoxifying properties—both of which are beneficial if you have cellulite. What’s more, unlike many other diuretic substances which diminish anti-cellulite potassium in the body, dandelion leaves will not reduce the potassium level in the body because they are a rich source of this important mineral. Dandelion greens are also a very good source of vitamin C and vitamin E.
You can add fresh dandelion leaves to a green salad or prepare an herbal tea from them. If their taste is too bitter for you, dandelion supplements are also available in many medical stores and health stores.
16. Brussels sprouts
Eating Brussels sprouts may reduce collagen breakdown.
Adding plenty of cruciferous vegetables into your diet, such as Brussels sprouts, is an effective way to combat cellulite. A substance called indole-3-carbinol (I3C) is present in Brussels sprouts, which after being ingested forms di-indolyl methane (DIM).
DIM facilitates some liver enzymes in blocking the production of 16-OH estrogens, detrimental substances that also cause collagen breakdown. In addition to I3C, Brussels sprouts are a source of other anti-cellulite nutrients such as vitamin C.
Watercress leaves are a great cellulite-fighting food. Watercress is extremely low in calories, but is a rich source of vitamin C.
Watercress is also chock full of calcium which has been known to promote weight loss. It contains only a small amount of oxalic acid, a substance that can block the uptake of calcium from many other plants foods. Furthermore, the little peppery leaves of water cress are a low -calorie source of potassium. Watercress is available in markets and stores all through the year.
There are lots of home remedies, which may help you get rid of cellulite. However you should not expect miracles as there are no studies confirming efficacy of these remedies.
In case of doubts ask your doctor for advice.
1. Coffee scrub or wrap
Coffee scrub and coffee wrap are deemed as effective home remedies for treating cellulite and rightly so. Coarse coffee grounds act as excellent exfoliating agent when rubbed over skin and remove dead skin cells to rejuvenate your skin. Coffee also tightens skin cells and prevents it from sagging.
How to make a coffee scrub for cellulite?
Use of coffee scrub also boosts breakdown of fat molecules and removes fat and toxins from your skin to treat and prevent cellulite.
How to make a coffee and sugar scrub for cellulite relief?
You will need:
You can also prepare a coffee wrap using olive oil and coffee.
How to make a coffee wrap with olive oil for cellulite?
You will need:
2. Dry brushing
Dry brushing is one of the most effective home remedies for getting rid of cellulite. Some pepole claim that it can be extremely helpful.
When a dry brush is rubbed over dry skin, it helps tighten the epidermal skin cells and also helps break up the toxic molecules that constitute cellulite.
It also acts as an exfoliating agent and sloughs off the dead skin cells and helps to stimulate blood circulation and lymphatic flow in the body.
Here’s how to use dry brushing as a remedy for cellulite:
There is another optional step that you can follow after dry brushing. Apply coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil as moisturizers. After you finish your shower after dry brushing your skin and your skin pores are still open, rub on some moisturizing oil. You sre advised to apply oil especially after taking a hot bath because hot water extracts all moisture out of your skin, making it too dry.
3. Juniper oil
Cellulite appears when fat and toxins accumulate under your skin. There are many ways to detoxify your skin and use of juniper oil is a particularly effective one.
This oil has excellent detoxifying properties. It not only flushes out the toxin build-up in your skin but also helps alleviate fluid retention that is beneficial for reducing cellulite.
You will need:
4. Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is chock full of beneficial minerals such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium, that will help you in your fight against cellulite.
These minerals help detoxify your body and expel out toxic substances.
Apple cider vinegar also helps alleviate water retention around your stomach and thighs and these are the areas commonly affected by cellulite.
As being overweight is one of the major reasons behind cellulite, apple cider vinegar treats cellulite by helping you shed those extra pounds.
How to use apple cider vinegar for cellulite removal?
Here are some other ways to use apple cider vinegar for cellulite.
Option 1 - topical application
Option 2 - solution to be drunk
5. Seaweed detoxifying massage
A healthy blood circulation ensures that lymph flows smoothly in your body and does not give rise to cellulite.
Seaweed is a natural ingredient that not only an excellent exfoliating agent but also detoxifies and expels harmful toxins out of your body. These beneficial traits of seaweed may help remove cellulite.
You will need:
6. Detox baths
Detox baths are great as stress relievers and where cellulite removal is concerned, these baths help treat and prevent cellulite build-up in the skin.
They also prevent fat molecules from gathering under the skin so that you do not get cellulite at the first place.
But if you do have cellulite, detox baths are effective in reducing the already built up toxins from underneath your skin.
You can use sea salts well as seaweed in such baths.
You will require:
7. Green clay
Various medical conditions are treated by using mud therapies.
Green clay is a popular remedy for skin related afflictions and problems.
It has very good adsorbing traits so it can remove the impurities from your body; it is also useful for removal of cellulite.
Green clay also gives blood and lymph circulation a boost, so it is essential for removing and preventing fat accumulation beneath skin which leads to cellulite.
It is also an excellent exfoliating agent and all these qualities of green clay make it an ideal remedy for cellulite removal too.
You will need:
8. Tangerine essential oil
Tangerine essential oil promotes healthy blood circulation which prevents formation of fat and lymph deposits under the skin.
It also helps break down fat cells and thus decreases cellulite pockets present under your skin. It is a detoxifying agent and helps in removing toxins and impurities from your skin to help you get rid of cellulite.
How to use tangerine oil to get rid of cellulite:
Option 1 - for topical application:
You will need:
Option 2 - for oral administration:
You will need:
You might be unaware of the toxins that enter your system while you enjoy your tasty packaged fatty foods, junk foods and refined sugars as well as the harmful chemicals, pollutants, pesticides etc. that you constantly inhale.
These harmful substances accumulate in form of fats and result in cellulite pockets.
Therefore the cellulite deposits are full of toxins and you need to eliminate these toxic substances first.
Tomatoes have a substance called lycopene present in them, it is a compound that prevents breakdown of collagen in the skin cells and protects it from toxic fat deposits.
You will need:
How to prepare tomato paste?
This remedy may be very effective for treatment of cellulite.
Prevention is always better than cure, so try preventing development of cellulite in the first place.
Eat a healthy, balanced diet and do regular exercise. Besides other harmful diseases, a sedentary lifestyle can also make your appearance unpleasant through cellulite.
Natural remedies are economical and have very few side effects.
Their ingredients are easily available.
Cellulite on female hips
However, adopt necessary precautions and use every remedy in moderation and only with prior consent of your physician.
If you notice allergic reaction from any food item, avoid it.
If cellulite does not go away, do not take any medicine by yourself and do not go on a fat diet.
Consult your dermatologist and follow his advice.
Wear loose, thin garments that do not restrict blood flow especially to your abdominal area.
After taking a sea weed or sea salt bath, use a moisturizer that suits your skin so that your skin does not become too dry.
Your physical health should be your main concern so do not stress over cosmetic appearance and do not let cellulite disturb your peace of mind.
If you feel that you are experiencing any adverse effects from some remedy, consult your doctor and stop using that remedy at once.
|Written by:||Michal Vilímovský (EN)|
|Education:||Medical student, 3rd Faculty of Medicine, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic|
See numbered references in the article
|Published:||November 4, 2016 7:55 AM|
|Next scheduled update:||November 4, 2018 7:55 AM|