The Skinny on Cellulite

It’s still beach season for another month and while there’s not much you can do at this point to change your body, knowledge is power, ladies.

What’s always baffled me is how I’ll see a perfectly skinny girl with a thigh full of cellulite. So, I decided to ask the experts – does cellulite discriminate? I think it’s time we have a serious conversation and dispell those cellulite rumors once and for all. Who knows, perhaps by next summer you’ll be “cottage cheese” free!

Keep reading for fitness expert, Joe Dowdell (he’s worked with celebs like Natalie Portman, Eva Mendes, Anne Hathaway, and Claire Danes – not bad bodies all around) and dermatologist, Dr. Elizabeth Tanzi (who has served as a consulting dermatologist for L’Oreal to assist in advanced skin care product development) exclusive insight and tips:

BEAUTY BANTER: How do you get cellulite? Is it genetic as I’ve been lead to believe? 
JOE DOWDELL: Yes, genetics play huge role, but you can help diminish the possibility of cellulite occurring, especially if you know that your family is predisposed to it.  Make sure you are eating clean, free range, grass fed, organic, unprocessed, hormone and pesticide free food sources.   Build a diet around lots of lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, berries and lots of good fats (i.e., nuts and seeds) and in particular, make sure you get enough Omega 3 Essential Fatty acids via Fish Oil supplements.
DR. TANZI: Cellulite affects upwards of 90% of women after puberty.  Genetics is part of it, but also weight, exercise and hormone fluctuations are involved too.
BB: What exactly IS cellulite? 
DR. TANZI: Cellulite is the combination of fat pockets that get caught between fibrous (firm) bands under the skin. The fat gets squeezed by the bands and puckers up under the skin that leads to the “cottage cheese” appearance. It’s definitely worsened by female hormones which is why women are affected much more than men.
BB: Do food choices make a difference? if yes, what types of foods increase cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL: The less sugar and processed foods that you eat, the less negative hormonal impact you will place on your body, making it less likely that you will store excess fat.
DR. TANZI: Food choices are only important if they cause you to gain weight. Although even skinny women can have cellulite, it’s much more noticeable in women who are overweight.

BB: Are there foods that decrease cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL:  Fish Oil supplement is a big step in the right direction. In addition, it has been hypothesized that following these same strategies will reduce the incidence of varicose veins.
BB: What is the most effective way of treating cellulite? 
DR. TANZI: There is no permanent treatment for cellulite, only treatments that can offer long-term (months) improvement after a series of treatments. In my opinion the best treatments are Velashape and Thermage. The cost of treatment can range from $500 to several thousand dollars depending on the areas of desired treatment.
BB: Are there any workouts or treatments that can help diminish the appearance of cellulite?
JOE DOWDELL: Yes, a combination of total body strength training and energy system training (i.e., high intensity intervals and/or aerobic intervals ) will help increase lean muscle mass and decrease body fat, which will definitely affect the appearance on cellulite. It should be noted that there are plenty of skinny models that have a ton of cellulite, mainly because they are “skinny fat,” and are often misguided by the desire to be thin at all costs via calorie restricted diets, minimal protein intake, an overabundance of poor carbohydrates choices and very little strength training rather than trying to be lean and fit. Big, big mistake!!! As for magic creams or solutions, keep walking past those bottles and boxes at your local drug store, save your money, buy a gym membership and eat well.
BB: How can you treat cellulite from home?
DR. TANZI: Topical creams that contain caffeine or aminophylline will work temporarily, but they must be used every day to see the results.
BB: Are there certain products that you would recommend for cellulite reduction or are these products on the market just gimmicks?
DR. TANZI: Many of the products are gimmicks, there is no way that you can “massage” cellulite away. There is a reason why there are hundreds on products for cellulite on the market – because none of them work very effectively.
BB: Does everyone have cellulite? Is it inevitable that we will get it at some point in our lives?
DR. TANZI: Yes, most women will deal with cellulite at some point. In fact, it’s more normal to have cellulite than not, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up trying to make it look better!

Losing weight may help reduce the overall appearance of cellulite. Have you considered using Sensa to reach your weight loss goals?

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  1. Alyssa
    August 3, 2011

    Thank you for doing an article on this subject. There is so much misinformation when it comes to cellulite, a girl just doesn’t know what to believe! I am a 20 year old dancer who weighs 105 pounds and I struggle with cellulite on my thighs and buttocks. I recently gave up eating sugar, wheat, and dairy so hopefully that will help!

    Thanks again!

  2. Danielle
    August 11, 2011

    I also tried another very efficient technology called Endermologie by a brand called LPG. I got incredible results in 10 sessions, of course with my diet and some sport, but still. It was painless and non agressive. Have you heard of it?

  3. Jana
    September 29, 2011

    Can you do a post on good cellulite cream, please

  4. Deborah
    October 15, 2011

    I don’t believe products are not effective. But creams wont work magically on their own. You have to work out + drink a lot of water + avoid things that you know that are bad for you + apply creams everyday. I’ve seen a difference doing that so far. You really have to fight against it, but great post!

  5. Marjorie
    December 23, 2012

    Thank you for an excellent article! it’s greatly appreciated. I’m ready to be done with this cellulite!!

  6. Teen19
    March 1, 2013

    I started taking fish oil pills about 3 weeks ago & it’s working along with cellulite cream. I’ve also gave up pop & started drinking water with lemon.

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  8. CatMom
    June 7, 2013

    If I had only known that glycolic acid cures cellulite!! After looking for several glyolic masks to try on my cellulite, I finally chose the Lady Soma Antioxidant Berry Mask. The product is suppose to be used for the face, but I have been putting the masque on my cellulite.

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