Fighting cellulite

Published by Sarah Horrocks
Published on 29 January 2008

Cellulite is every woman's bête noire. It's a nasty form of fat stored just inderneath the skin where it forms dimples and gives your skin that dreaded orange peel effect. It often appears on the thighs and buttocks, but can also set in on the stomach and arms. Cellulite is diet-resistant and affects all women, fat and thin; hence the scientific interest in seeking solutions. Here's our lowdown on the battle against orange peel.

Cellulite is every woman's bête noire. It's a nasty form of fat stored just inderneath the skin where it forms dimples and gives your skin that dreaded orange peel effect. It often appears on the thighs and buttocks, but can also set in on the stomach and arms. Cellulite is diet-resistant and affects all women, fat and thin; hence the scientific interest in seeking solutions. Here's our lowdown on the battle against orange peel.

Mechanised treatment
Endermology or Cellu M6 is a palpate and roll massage machine. It works by gripping a fold of skin and massaging it with a palpating, rolling action to relaunch cellular exchange, accelerate the elimination of waste and boost fat circulation.
Pressotherapy is lymphatic drainage with a special pulsed air machine. You wear a pair of boots over your legs that start at the feet and come up to the thighs, and these are gradually filled with air from bottom to top. The action activates lymphatic and venous circulation.

Medical and surgical tretament
Mesotherapy involves injecting anti-cellilute products underneath the skin. It's used to treat circulatory problems and widespread cellulite.
Liposuction performed under anaesthetic sucks out excess fat from underneath the skin. It only works on some types of cellulite and isn't great at getting rid of the orange peel effect.

Electrotherapy and ultrasonolipolysis
These methods, currently under development, use electronic currents, ultrasound or infra-red technology applied either through electrodes or using special apparatus placed over the skin.
They are supposed to increase the temperature of tissue, increase cell permeability of adipocytes (fats) and break down fibrous tissues in the hypodermis, breaking fat down into free fatty acids for natural metabolism.

Slimming cream
Slimming creams are getting more and more advanced. They contain a mix of astringents (draining ingredients) to combat water retention and unblock tissue, fat burners (caffeine) and skin-smoothing ingredients. They work on three levels, reducing swelling, reducing the number and volume of adipocytes (fats) and improving the skin's appearance. Massage them into your skin, working upwards with palpate and roll movements to aid draining.

Hydrotherapy
Lymphatic aquadrainage is a form of underwater exercise that strengthens the postural muscles (which have 4 times more effect on venous blood flow than superficial muscles).
Hydromassage baths and jet showers put pressure along the length of the muscles in order to stimulate lymphatic and venous blood flow.
Submarine jet massage has even more powerful draining effects than manual lymphatic drainage, using the power of water on the body.

Food supplements
Tablets, capsules and herbal teas can help in the battle against cellulite:
- drinking astringent teas helps the body unblock tissue (mate, chicory, java, horse chestnut, red vine, cherry stones and meadowsweet).
- fat burners such as CLA (conjugated linoleic acid), green coffee and green tea activate the combustion and evacuation of fat.

More good habits…
- A healthy diet. Obviously being overweight doesn't help matters, but repeated dieting also makes the body store fat. And cut down on pre-prepared dishes, cheese and fatty meat, salt, cooked fat, fried food, refined simple carbs such as white bread and foods containing the phosphoprotein casein (found in milk, yoghurt and cheese). Go for lean meat, oily fish, fresh or dried fruit and veg, and wholegrain rice.
- Exercise. Research has proved that exercising your muscles helps combat orange peel by strengthening both deep and superficial muscles and improving blood flow.

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