When my pool opened a few weeks ago, I donned my swimsuit, grabbed my towel and was headed for the door when I spotted my reflection in the mirror. A closer inspection revealed that thanks to some recent weight gain and a lifestyle that could be charitable described as sedentary, my cellulite was back with a vengeance. Great.
According to Prevention magazine, “Despite what you’ve heard about trapped toxins or poor circulation being to blame, cellulite is one thing — fat.’
“It just looks different because of how it’s arranged. Everyone has strands of connective tissue that separate fat cells into compartments and connect fat tissue to skin. In women, these fibers form a honeycomblike pattern, so any increase of fat in a given area tends to bulge. You don’t see cellulite in men because their fibers run in a horizontal, criss-cross pattern that prevents bulging or dimpling.” (Ed. Note: Lucky bastards.)
I whole heartedly accept that the only thing that will significantly reduce the amount of cellulite on my legs is eat healthy and exercise. But, while I may have been lazy about my anti-cellulite routine in recent months, there are some things you can do to minimize its appearance.
Dry Brushing. Using a dry bristle brush to massage your thighs improves circulation and plumps skin. Firmer, thicker skin reduces the cottage cheese look. And dry brushing also helps keep your lymphatic system happy. I initially bought a long-handled dry brush, but switched to a palm-brush, which is easier to control.
Firming Cream. If you’re hoping for a miracle product, don’t waste your time. But creams and gels that contain caffeine and hyaluronic acid can improve circulation and disguise cellulite for a few hours.
My favorite product is Shiseido Body Creator Aromatic Body-Sculpting Concentrate ($38). It’s off the market, but you can still find it on Amazon. If you’d like something available from a department store, the FatGirl line from Bliss is popular. And if you need a drugstore alternative, Nivea Q10 Firming Gel is a good choice.
Saran Wrap. Fighting cellulite requires that I reach into my bag of pageant-girl tricks. To improve the efficacy of your firming cream, take a hot shower (to open the pores), dry brush your thighs, hips, tush and stomach and apply your firming cream. Then, grap a roll of Saran wrap and some Scotch tape.
Wrap each thigh in Saran and tape down the ends to hold it in place. You should wrap the area snugly, but not so tightly that you hinder circulation. I have no idea why this works, but it does.
Self-Tanner. As my former pageant coach so cruelly put it, “Tan fat looks better than white fat.” But self-tanner does help conceal cellulite, especially if you contour it to deflect attention to the firmer areas on the side and front. This is a trick Victoria’s Secret models use. The CHS-endorsed self-tanner brand is and always will be, St. Tropez mousse.
Surgical Options. If you’re in need of a more serious intervention, Cellulaze is a new cosmetic procedure that can help you banish cellulite. I’m not there yet, but if you are, you can learn more here.