Cellulite: What It Is and How to Minimize It

Cellulite—that cosmetic problem that’s unacceptable to most post-adolescent women (and some men)—largely occurs in the thighs and buttocks, but it can also be found on the breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms. Cellulite is quite challenging to get rid of once it’s there, but the good news is there is a number of therapies, foods and products to help.

Cellulite occurs when a presence of excess subcutaneous fat bulges into the dermis. It creates an orange peel or cottage cheese appearance just under the skin. If your cellulite is mild you’ll see it only if you pinch an area of skin where it exists such as your thighs. If the cellulite is more severe it makes the skin look rumpled and bumpy with areas of peaks and valleys.

There are a number of reasons and causes for cellulite in women.

• Cellulite is actually one way the female body has of maximizing subcutaneous fat retention in order to ensure adequate caloric availability for pregnancy and lactation.

• It also seems to increase with age especially as the body’s collagen decreases and skin loses elasticity.

“Women develop cellulite because they have weaker connective tissue and larger fat cells, due to the effect of female hormones,” says cellulite specialist Georgios Tzenichristos of Lipo Therapeia Clinic in the United Kingdom.

In other words, women have larger fat cells than men because women’s bodies are designed to carry babies and nurse them with the help of back-up food reserves in those fat globules.

When their larger fat cells push the skin upwards and there is less collagen present to offer resistance to the pressure of the fat, we have the appearance of cellulite.

• Genetics also play a role in whether or not you have cellulite and so does a sedentary unhealthy lifestyle.

Many factors are involved in successfully reducing the appearance of orange peel thighs and cottage cheese buttocks and arms. Some of these include:

Improving microcirculation

Finding ways to support your microcirculatory system helps nutrition travel through the blood to all parts of the body thereby strengthening skin and preventing fat cells from pushing through. These may include exercise of just about any kind, acupuncture, massage therapy, laser therapy, far infrared sauna, and ingesting warming, detoxifying and purifying herbs.

Boosting collagen synthesis

Stronger, more elastic skin created when we encourage the synthesis of collagen in the body prevents fat cells from pushing through the skin.

Drainage of lymph

Lymph is a colorless fluid containing white blood cells which bathes the tissues and drains of waste and bacteria. It runs through the vast lymphatic system of the body into the bloodstream. When we assist the lymph to drain, it minimizes the appearance of cellulite by reducing the amount of fluid that presses up against the cross-hatched fibers beneath the skin. At Beyond Body, we offer leading lymphatic drainage treatments with the Biorhythmic Drainer device.

Weight loss/management

Fat globules are shown to retract out of the dermis with weight loss, however this is not nearly as successful in obese subjects.

Increased physical activity

Engaging in exercise especially weight-bearing exercise increases thermogenesis–the body’s rate of burning calories and fat. The muscle tissue you build will also help decrease the appearance of cellulite.


Massage may assist to decrease tissue edema with positive effects right down to the cellular level.

Consuming epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) Matcha green tea is a supreme source of the catechin, EGCG. Matcha increases fat burning thermogenesis and boosts metabolism. To demonstrate the potency of matcha, there are only a handful of foods that contain catechins. Matcha has six times the amount found in goji berries, sixty times the amount found in spinach and seventeen times the amount found in blueberries.

Consuming collagen boosting foods and calories of high quality

Vegetables, berries, herbs and lean protein will help boost collagen. (Vegetables also help reduce inflammation which can worsen cellulite.) Refrain from smoking and drink alcohol in moderation.

Turner, Elle. “These Are the Medical Reasons Why Women Get Cellulite.” Glamour UK, Glamour UK, 3 Sept. 2019, www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/why-you-get-cellulite.

AV; Rawlings. “Cellulite and Its Treatment.” International Journal of Cosmetic Science, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18489274/.

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Alexandra Khamsi, Owner & Therapist MSG000463

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