If cellulite puts a damper on your summer outfit daydreams, you’re certainly not alone. The vast majority of women - up to 90% - experience cellulite on some area of their body. While this skin condition doesn’t have any serious health implications, it may be bothersome to you and hinder your body confidence.
If you’ve been wondering what causes cellulite, how to prevent cellulite, or how to treat cellulite on your body, keep reading as we address what factors contribute to this common issue.
What Is Cellulite?
Dimples look adorable on babies and even on our cheeks, but move them just 30 degrees south (like onto the backs of the arms), and suddenly, they are unwelcome guests. First things first: cellulite is completely normal and very common. In fact, it’s estimated that between 9 in 10 adult women have cellulite on some part of their body.
Cellulite, put plainly, is excess fat that accumulates in a given area. However, having cellulite does not mean you are overweight.
You need body fat to survive and thrive, and that fat has to have a place to live. Fatty deposits on the backs of the arms, backs of the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen are normal, common, and in most cases, nothing that needs medical attention.
Unfortunately, fat cells aren’t known for being cosmetically attractive, which is probably how you found this article. Cellulite can detract from the smooth, tight skin we had when we were younger, as cellulite is generally more likely to appear with age as collagen production declines.
What Causes Cellulite?
Although having body fat doesn’t make you overweight, having more body fat usually causes you to have more cellulite. That means we need to figure out how much body fat is too much. A BMI calculator may help you determine whether your body fat percentages are too high, but keep in mind that it may be different for every person. The “healthy” range of body fat for women, for instance, is between 21% and 32%.
In addition to having more body fat, other causes of cellulite can be:
Skin type and texture
Extreme weight gain and/or loss
If you’ve got a few lumps you don’t love, there are some solutions you can consider that don’t involve invasive measures.
How To Get Rid of Cellulite
From creams to dry brushing, the market is ripe with cellulite treatments. Unfortunately, some of these cellulite reduction methods are more hype than help — but we’ll give you the scoop on some of the most popular treatments for cellulite and how effective cellulite treatments may be.
1. Cellulite Creams and Lotions
Who hasn’t been lured by the appeal of a cream that claims it will magically erase dimples on skin? Cellulite creams are usually formulated with caffeine, which may help reduce the amount of water in fat cells, causing them to appear smoother, but as soon as the cream wears off, the appearance of the cellulite returns. For this reason, cellulite creams, serums, and lotions are not an effective cellulite treatment.
2. Dry Brushing
This technique involves the use of soft-bristled brushes applied to the skin to stimulate blood flow and proper lymphatic drainage. An increase in blood flow to the areas where you most notice cellulite may plump the skin, giving it a more toned and tightened appearance.
Dry brushing is done with a body brush that may also have an exfoliating effect on the skin, leaving it looking more radiant, firm, and youthful in appearance. While dry brushing has many health benefits, like increased circulation and improved skin exfoliation, it has not been clinically proven to reduce cellulite.
3. Weight Loss
Plain, old-fashioned weight loss can be beneficial for decreasing the appearance of cellulite without invasive plastic surgery, like liposuction. However, it’s important to remember that this might cause some people to have cellulite that is more visible. If you lose a lot of weight, you could experience changes in your skin elasticity, which could cause a more dimpled or slack skin look.
If you’re interested in losing weight, make sure your doctor knows your plans so they can determine if weight loss is right for you. It’s also important to make sure you are focused on your total wellness by eating a healthy diet and getting plenty of exercise, rather than using crash diets or weight loss pills.
In a nutshell: weight loss may reduce cellulite, but be sure to lose weight in a healthy way as recommended by your doctor.
4. Laser Treatments
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons sometimes offer minimally invasive treatments that can help with the appearance of cellulite. One such treatment involves inserting a laser beneath the skin to break up the fibrous bands of connective tissue where cellulite forms. This can help reduce the appearance of cellulite and cause the skin texture to thicken.
The use of radiofrequency for the treatment of cellulite involves heating the cellulite in combination with massage therapy and laser treatments. This is more of an add-on treatment that your provider might suggest if you are already receiving other treatment options.
Can At-Home Treatments Help With the Look of Cellulite?
Luckily, the aesthetician-led team at NuFACE has created an at-home device that is painless, proven, and FDA-cleared to smooth dimples on the skin. To reduce the appearance of cellulite and feel more comfortable in your skin, consider using the NuFACE NuBODY® Body Toning Device.
What It Is
The NuBODY Body Toning Device is a handheld, microcurrent device that stimulates the skin by sending a low-level electrical current into the body that mimics the body’s own natural current. This has been proven to contour, tone, and firm skin in just 3 minutes per treatment area.
How To Use It
Using the NuBODY is easy. First, cleanse the area you plan to treat and pat dry. Apply a light mist of Supercharged IonPlex® Facial Mist to the area to hydrate the skin and prepare it for microcurrent treatment. This mist is packed with ingredients to safely hydrate skin without clogging pores and is safe for sensitive skin types.
Next, grab your activator and apply a thick layer to the skin that you plan to treat. NuFace Aqua Gel Activator is a hydrating topical gel that helps ensure proper microcurrent conduction. Be sure to only apply the activator gel to small areas and work in sections.
Lastly, power on the NuBODY device and glide it over the areas you want to treat. Use the NuBODY over dimpled skin for 3 minutes per treatment area, up to five days per week for the first 60 days.
After 60 days, you can reduce your collagen reduction treatments to two to three days per week or as needed. During your treatment, you can spritz Supercharged IonPlex® Facial Mist to the area to revitalize your Microcurrent Activator.
Sure, cellulite is normal, but if you’re uncomfortable with its appearance on your body, you’ve got options. Using the NuBODY Body Toning Device is a non-invasive way to help smooth the appearance of stubborn dimples on the arms, buttocks, abs, and thighs. So wear those shorts this summer, and feel confident.
Cellulite: What It Is, Causes & Treatment | My Cleveland Clinic.org
Cellulite - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic
Your Guide To Body Fat Percentage | Forbes Health
Cellulite treatments: What really works? | American Academy of Dermatology