Photography by Joseph M Suria/Freepik
How common it is, how it happens… and how to banish the ‘peel effect’, as well as you can
Ah, cellulite. It makes your butt look like a dimple orange peel. Anybody can develop this pesky skin situation: It appears when collagen fibres that bind fat to the skin stretch and tear, allowing fat cells to expand. Learn more about cellulite and your body, especially how to get rid of those annoying marks once and for all (or at least how to make them less noticeable).
Cellulite Is Not Fat
Let’s clear up the confusion: Cellulite is just bumps that are seen when fat is divided into tiny pockets in the skin, says board certified plastic surgeon Dr. Matthew Schulman. Interesting…
It’s More Common in Women Than in Men
Sad, but true. Women’s skin collagen is arranged in parallel rows (like pillars). This pattern lends itself to the compartmentalisation of fat, which makes those dimples visible, says Schulman. Men’s collagen, however, is arranged in an X-pattern. This creates only very small fat compartments and doesn’t allow for dimpling of the skin.
READ MORE: Can Caffeine Really Help Reduce Cellulite?
OTC Creams May Help
Keep your eyes peeled (get it?) for products that contain caffeine or retinol: Caffeine stimulates blood flow and temporarily shrinks fat cells, while retinol helps repair cells over time, says Dr Francesca Fusco, an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Experts suggest applying a cream with retinol first, followed by one with caffeine. Keep in mind, though, that these won’t actually get rid of cellulite, but can definitely help diminish the lumps and bumps.
Exercise Can Also Reduce the Appearance of Cellulite
Another great reason to get your sweat on! Sue Hitzmann, the founder of The MELT Method, suggests these foam rolling moves to help. Interval training also burns fat (making dimples less noticeable)—even after you’re done sweating, says Garson Grant, master trainer at Chelsea Piers in New York City. More of a yogi? Check out these yoga moves that help fight cellulite.
Losing Weight Doesn’t Make Cellulite Disappear
Yes, having more body fat ups your chances of having visible lumps and bumps. But even when you slim down, the tissue is still stretched and damaged, says Hitzman. Genes, inflammation, and hormonal imbalances all affect how much cellulite you have, says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City—so even if you drop kilos, that doesn’t mean you’ll totally eliminate the stuff. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.)
UV Rays Make Cellulite Worse
One more reason to load up on sunscreen: UV rays can damage collagen, which makes that ‘orange peel’ skin more noticeable (eek!). Remember to slather on SPF.