It’s been a rather bumpy relationship. We’ve had our ups and downs. But still, you’re always there and never just want to let go. No matter how hard I try I can’t escape you.
If only we were talking about messy hookups and rocky relationships. But no, we’re talking about cellulite. Compared to cellulite, romantic relationships are fairly simple. Yes, they make you cry until your tear ducts dry out, curse enough to shame a truck driver, and in the worst of times, gorge on an entire pint of Ben and Jerry’s Rocky Road. Ultimately you can leave a bad boyfriend behind, but you can’t leave yourself behind. Your dimpled backside is here to stay…or is it?
Cellulite afflicts over 90 percent of women: marathon runners, size-zero toothpicks and even celebrities begrudge the lumps and bumps. From a size 2 Kat: “I trained for the Boston Marathon last spring and was the lowest weight I’ve ever been and still had cellulite. I was running over 60 miles a week and it was still there!” to size 12 Kathryn at Simmons College, “Ahh, the fated cottage cheese legs.” Even Lo Bosworth, reality TV star of MTV’s The Hills, confesses: “I have cellulite – most women do. It’s more common than people think.”
Cellulite afflicts so many women, from collegiettes ™ to celebrities, because “it is not a fat problem, it's a skin problem,” says Hollywood dermatologist Howard Murad, MD, author of The Cellulite Solution. “It has nothing to do with what you weigh, or how much weight you lose." Our fat is organized into chambers that are separated by strands of connective tissue. When fat pushes through the bands, you get puckering and bulging. “Think of how a mattress looks – that’s cellulite,” says Heidi Waldorf, M.D., Director of Laser and Cosmetic Dermatology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City.
Who gets it?
Cellulite is far more common in gals than guys for a number of reasons. The connective tissue that makes up men’s skin is arranged in criss-cross bands that restrain fat more evenly than the vertical column tissue arrangement found in females. When there are too many fat cells or when the connective tissue is weakened and thinned, fat can push through the bands and create the orange-peel appearance of cellulite.
Thanks to estrogen, women also have more fat reserves and thinner connective tissue, both of which make us more predisposed to cellulite than are men. In other words, thanks to the winning combination of genetics and hormones, a svelte female can have cellulite and a sumo-sized male can have smooth and supple skin.
What to Do?
It’s a frustrating journey but getting rid of your cellulite is possible. Want to kiss that cellulite goodbye? Be sure to stay well hydrated (which, by the way, always makes you look better!), eat a variety of fruits and vegetables (Vitamin C is famous for repairing and rebuilding collagen while strengthening connective tissue), stay away from refined carbs and sugar (put that cookie down!), and exercise a lot (you’ll be burning fat and ultimately, reducing the appearance of your cellulite).
For some of us, even for the most active, a sensible diet and healthy exercise routine may decrease the dimples, but not entirely eliminate them. There are lotions, creams and treatments that can stimulate cell circulation, melt fat, and move fluid and toxins out. “The key is to penetrate the skin’s surface and generate cell growth,” says Murad. From the most budget-friendly to those that break the bank, here are a selection of the options: