Do you have uneven, lumpy skin on your hips, thighs or buttocks? Don’t panic or let this play with your confidence. It may just be a sign of cellulite. This occurs when the skin overlying certain areas of fat is pulled downward to the deeper tissues by connective tissue bands, creating an uneven surface.
After almost two years of the Covid-19 pandemic that has tested us mentally and physically, it is understandable that many of us might not be feeling good about ourselves at the moment. Yet, having cellulite is 100 per cent normal, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having it. Studies say that over 90 per cent of women report having patches of cellulite, most commonly found on the hips, abdomen, buttocks, breast and thighs.
Some women are more predisposed to it than others. The amount of cellulite you have and how noticeable it is can be based on your genes, body fat percentage and age. The thickness of your skin also affects the appearance of cellulite. People of all body types and weights can get cellulite.
In addition to cellulite creams and exfoliating scrubs, there are some simple ways to lose cellulite and tighten your skin at home:
Dry skin brushing: Make dry body brushing a part of your morning routine. This technique is said to improve the blood circulation, stimulate blood and lymph flow, remove dead skin cells and stimulate new cell growth. It can also support detoxification and stimulate your nervous system.
Use a natural plant loofah or a large, soft-bristled brush to gently smooth dry skin for up to five minutes. You can start at the feet and move your way up. Use long fluid strokes or circular motions. This is best done before a shower.
Coffee scrub: Caffeine can dehydrate fat cells so they deflate, which then makes your cellulite look less obvious. It can also stimulate the tissues, while scrubbing increases the circulation, tightening and plumping up the skin.
You can use coffee grounds on their own or mix them with coconut oil, olive oil or sugar. Gently rub the grounds over the affected area for a few minutes. You can also try leaving the mixture on your skin for 10 minutes before rinsing it off. Scrubbing coffee grounds on the affected part of your body like the legs reduces the appearance of cellulite because coffee grounds contain antioxidants. They can further increase collagen production, too.
Exercise regularly: Exercise can help you reduce body fat. Cellulite forms when extra fat gets formed on your thighs, underarms and others parts of the body, and it is also associated with the loss of the skin’s elasticity and poor blood circulation. Doing some exercise will help you to burn fat and tone and define your muscles. Choose an exercise programme that combines aerobic and strength training.
Oiling: This is a great technique when you want to remove cellulite. Oiling improves the blood circulation and relaxes the body. Add one drop of juniper oil to some olive oil and massage this mixture on the affected area in a circular motion. The best time is the morning and before a workout. You can also add anti-inflammatory coconut oil to the massage as it hydrates and aids the detox treatment.
Avoid tight clothes: Make sure you wear loose and comfortable clothes most of the time. The habit of wearing tight clothes to enhance your figure actually works against you if you want to eliminate cellulite. The blood circulation gets impaired due to tight undergarments and other clothing, and this increases the chances of gaining cellulite.
A healthy lifestyle: Eat healthy food and consume fewer calories. Keep an eye on your weight according to your height and age. Watch your sodium intake and eat plenty of fibre and wholegrain foods. Load up on fruits and vegetables as well.
Dehydration can make cellulite more noticeable. So, enjoy some lemon with cayenne pepper in it. Mix a small amount of both in a glass of water and drink it three times a day. Lemon juice can keep you hydrated and reduce the retention of water in your body, as well as preventing the chances of cellulite.
*A version of this article appears in print in the 4 November, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly