Open just about any women’s magazine, go to any cosmetic counter, and look in any drug store, and you’ll find anti-cellulite creams that promise to reduce the spongy, dimply, cottage cheese-looking skin that causes distress to so many women. Neutrogena conducted a study and found that 70 percent of women have cellulite and that is why there is such a demand for these promising products. Women have thinner skin than men and that is why it appears to haunt them more.
The products tout caffeine, retinol and the antioxidant DMAE as the special ingredients that help reduce the appearance of cellulite, which first surfaces on the hips, thighs and buttocks of millions of women during adolescence. Though excess weight and a lack of exercise can contribute to the problem, even thin women grapple with it.
Dr. Oz says there are myths that are untrue-you cannot get rid of cellulite, only help diminish the appearance. Also, cellulite is not just in overweight women, but in most women. Cellulite can get worse as we get older. Age and hormones can weaken the skin’s protective breaks of connective tissue causing cellulite to poke thru the fibers. Oz took two women and used just retinol and caffeine creams and could see a difference in appearance. He was adamant that you cannot make it go away.
Dr. Oz recommends the following to reduce the appearance of cellulite by re-building the collagen in your skin.
- Seaweed treatments–Homemade seaweed masks and scrubs are an effective, inexpensive way to treat cellulite. A natural exfoliate, seaweed can help stimulate circulation and flush toxins, which helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite. Powdered seaweed is the perfect base for an at-home body scrub and can be mixed with clay, lime juice and honey to create a moisturizing spa-grade treatment.
- Cook with tomato paste–Tomato paste contains high doses of lycopene, more than what you would get by eating a fresh tomato. Studies have shown that this antioxidant may help reduce UV-induced sun damage, as well as help prevent collagen breakdown. By preserving collagen in your skin, you are keeping a healthy thick top layer of skin overlying your fat layer, which reduces the out-pouching of underlying fat cells, making cellulite less visible.
- Stay hydrated-Drinking 8 to 10 glasses of water every day will help you stay hydrated and help plump the skin, making it look less dimpled. Foods with higher water content can also improve skin hydration. Fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly melons, cucumbers and leafy greens, are high in water content and low in calories which will aid in weigh control and, thus, fat stores.
- Relaxing regularly with a cup of tea- Studies suggest that certain hormones, particularly insulin and cortisol (which rises with stress), change the way that fat cells function. Interestingly, a family of molecules called catechins, found in green and white teas, decrease fat cell insulin resistance. So when you are on edge, take five minutes to sit quietly and have a cup of tea.
- Dry brush your skin-Using a brush made with fairly stiff, natural fibers, brush your skin upward toward the heart in long sweeps. This buffs away dead skin, boosts circulation and helps lymphatic drainage, plumping the skin and reducing the appearance of cellulite. For best results, brush dry skin for about five minutes before your morning shower.
- Add flaxseed to your diet-Flaxseed helps support estrogen levels and collagen growth. Collagen is the main component of connective tissue; by strengthening the skin, it can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Sprinkle two tablespoons each day on oatmeal, cereal or yogurt, or you can eat the seeds alone.
“Cellulite is a common complaint among my patients. Everyone wants an easy answer for it…but there is no magic cream,” explained Dr. Francesca Fusco, of Wexler Dermatology in NYC. “Imagine a five-pound block of fat—it’s yellow and bumpy. If you put rubber bands around it, pockets of fat will rise up—that’s cellulite. The science behind [anti-cellulite creams] is they cause a swelling or tightening of skin to make it look less bumpy and lumpy.” Cellulite is little pockets of fat under the skin and any cellulite product is temporary according to Fusco.
Photo courtesy of bing.com