Treatments to Get Rid of Cellulite
There’s nothing so injurious to one’s amour-propre as catching a glimpse of one’s cellulite-dimpled backside bulging out of a swimsuit. But fear not, more helpful tips are on the way. Last week I explained what, precisely, cellulite is, explored its likely causes and suggested ways of reducing it with diet and exercise. This week, I’ll delve further into detoxification, topical treatments and finally, professional help for persistent cellulite.
Once you’ve cleaned up your diet and implemented an exercise program, it’s time to grapple with cellulite using advanced detoxification techniques. As I pointed out last week, toxin overload and hormonal imbalance play major roles in the formation of cellulite.
Modern diets, with their surfeit of Omega-6 fatty acids and toxic additives, can damage the endocrine system, leading to hormonal disturbances. Xenoestrogens found in the food and water supply can also disrupt hormonal balance, creating a preponderance of estrogen to progesterone (known as “estrogen dominance”).
In addition to improving your diet, you can lighten your toxin load by doing the following:
Dry brushing: Dry skin brushing should be done daily, as it promotes both blood and lymphatic circulation. Invest in a good natural brush and use long, sweeping upward strokes towards the heart. Start at the feet and work your way up the legs, then from the arms toward your chest. Use counterclockwise brushstrokes on the stomach. Brush vigorously but don’t press so hard that you irritate your skin.
Dry brushing does more than just exfoliate dry, flaky skin. Its benefits include firmer skin, cell renewal and improved lymphatic flow to release toxins.
Detox baths: After dry brushing, try a natural detox bath to further flush out toxins. A good one to try (courtesy of Wellness Mama):
Salt Detox Bath Recipe
- 1/4 cup sea salt or Himalayan salt
- 1/4 cup Epsom salt
- 1/4 cup baking soda
- 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
- Favorite essential oil if desired (I use 10 drops of peppermint or lavender)
Dissolve salt, Epsom salt and baking soda in boiling water in a quart size jar and set aside. Fill tub with warm/hot water and add apple cider vinegar. Pour salt mixture in and add essential oils if using. Soak in bath for 30 minutes (or as long as desired).
Professional massages can hasten results; I urge you to try lymphatic, myofascial massage or traditional Chinese cupping. These techniques all energize sluggish lymph flow and improve skin elasticity. Myofascial massage smooths and relaxes the connective tissue known as fascia (where cellulite pockets typically form). Try a combination of all three methods, which is offered at the Washington Institute of Natural Healing. Their Lypossage treatment is specifically designed to combat cellulite.
Topical treatments, when used in conjunction with internal detox and diet, can help reduce the appearance of cellulite. There is no shortage of cellulite creams on the market, but be sure to pick one that contains some or all of the following:
Licorice root: Glycyrrhetinic acid is derived from licorice root; it is a powerful substance that fights stress-induced fat deposition that results from excessive cortisol (the stress hormone) production.
Gotu kola: This herb strengthens collagen fibers and stimulates circulation. It also maintains the flexibility of sub-dermal connective tissue and promotes collagen synthesis.
Horse chestnut: Extract of horse chestnut contains saponin aescin, which tones the skin, decreases swelling, promotes microcirculation and reduces capillary leakage.
Butcher’s broom: With its high content of the flavonoid rutin, butcher’s broom improves microcirculation and decreases capillary permeability. Like horse chestnut, it reduces inflammation and swelling and is often used to treat varicose and spider veins.
Gingko biloba: Full of antioxidants, gingko biloba oxidizes fat cells below the skin’s surface and boosts sluggish blood and lymph circulation by strengthening the veins.
Caffeine: Don’t toss out those coffee grounds! Caffeine combats cellulite by removing excess fluid build-up and stimulating the fat cells to release fat into the bloodstream where it is metabolized by the body. Caffeine also firms the skin to make cellulite less obvious. Try this fantastic DIY anti-cellulite coffee scrub.
If, even after scrupulously following these tips, your cellulite is still driving you to distraction, you might want to consider a non-surgical cellulite treatment known as Cavitational Ultrasound (or Cavi-Lipo, the brand name of the device used). Much less invasive than liposuction surgery, Cavi-Lipo actually uses ultrasound waves to destroy fat cells by breaking down their cell membranes, causing them to implode and disintegrate. As a result, it becomes difficult for fat cells to return to the same area. Additional benefits include minimal discomfort and no bruising or downtime.