The evenings are getting longer, the sun is shining a little brighter, the smell of freshly cut grass hits us during our daily (two hour) exercise. Which only means one thing – Summer is fast approaching. With the onset of hotter months comes worry and stress over our body hang-ups and the dreaded C word. No for once, not COVID – but our age-old friend, cellulite.
Because of its bumpy or dimpled appearance, cellulite is often compared to the skin of an orange, giving it its infamous nickname ‘orange peel’. The dimples can vary from small, to scattered or more significant indentations on the hips, buttocks, back of thighs and abdomen – where cellulite is most common.
Most females know what cellulite looks like – after all up to 90% of us get it at some point in our lives, but the origin of these lumps and bumps is still widely up for debate. We see images of it in celebrity magazines and Instagram affecting women from a variety of ages, skin tones and lifestyles but besides being told to “quit smoking” or “buy a body brush” – what do we really know about cellulite?
Having treated hundreds of clients’ cellulite concerns for years now, Trish has seen the main triggers first hand. We decided to break down the origin of cellulite and its main causes – some of which may come as a surprise to you.
How cellulite forms
Men are less likely to experience what we know as cellulite, as their connective tissue tends to have a criss-cross structure. Because of this, the fat cells have nowhere to visibly protrude – hence, no bumpy appearance – lucky them!
For females however, our fat layer and the connective tissue are arranged vertically, which increases the chances of the fat layer protruding and lumps and bumps forming. There are a few things that can trigger this, but from our experience we now know there’s a predominant culprit for cellulite – and that’s hormones.
People can be regular gym goers, non-smokers and healthy eaters and still have lumps and bumps appear on their skin. Why? It may be because of a hormone imbalance. It isn’t widely known, but female hormones such as estrogen, insulin, prolactin, noradrenaline and thyroid hormones all have an impact on the hip and thigh region of the female body and thus, contribute to the development of cellulite.
Estrogen stimulates fibroblasts to make collagenase which acts on collagen and breaks it down – and so begin the cycle of cellulite formation. Higher levels of estrogen (or poor estrogen metabolism) causes low levels of collagen, and therefore, increases the appearance of cellulite. Women with cellulite may be experiencing estrogen dominance, which is an imbalance in the ratio between estrogen and progesterone.
Known as the ‘breast milk hormone’, prolactin decreases your ability to metabolize fat. High levels of prolactin force out the fat-burning hormones, testosterone and progesterone. This can impact a woman’s inability to lose weight while breastfeeding hence why cellulite becomes more visible during pregnancy and postpartum.
Our bodies release insulin every time we eat – even more so if our meals are containing a large amount of carbohydrates. If for some reason your body is unable to properly manage insulin e.g. insulin resistant or if you are not regularly active, insulin tends to convert carbohydrates into fat cells which are stored as triglycerides). The fat cells become bigger and push against each other – causing them to protrude.
‘Hypothyroidism’ occurs when the thyroid gland doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormones. These hormones are instrumental in regulating the metabolism, and can slow it down if there’s not enough produced. In turn, a low metabolic rate can put you at risk of cellulite development.
How can I fix hormonal induced cellulite?
- Have your thyroid and hormones checked to confirm whether or not you have an imbalance.
- Contraceptive pills impact your gut and hormone levels– speak to your doctor about your options.
- A healthy gut removes estrogen from the body through the bowel – look after your gut health by adhering to an anti-inflammatory, low carb diet.
- A detox every so often can help your body get rid itself of excess toxins and rapidly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Check out our amazing Digestive Tune-Up to get you on the road to a healthy gut.
Other factors to consider
Although hormones have a massive part to play in cellulite production that doesn’t mean we dismiss the more widely known causes – keeping these in moderation will help keep these at bay:
- Weight gain/weight loss – putting weight on too quickly or losing excessive weight rapidly.
- Poor circulation – circulatory disease.
- Nutritional habits.
- Harmful habits – alcohol consumption and smoking.
- Lifestyle – sedentary life, lack of rest and sleep.
How we can help
We have some fantastic treatment options available with our dedicated beauty salon team. One of which is Fat Cavitation – a painless, safe and non- invasive procedure that selectively targets and emulsifies fat cells, allowing them to be expelled through the urinary and lymphatic systems.
While in lockdown however, we can use this time to prep for the summer months and also prioritise our self-care. Our go-to products for home are DMK Body Sculpt Creme and DMK Hydra Louffa Bodywash. The sculpt cream works to assist in circulation, oxygenation and improve the lymphatic drainage system while helping to strengthen the skin’s connective tissue. Hydra Louffa cleanses the skin and exfoliates away dead cells on your body without causing the micro-traumas harsh, abrasive scrubs do. These are the perfect products to help you get post-lockdown ready.
Aside from treatments and products however, we recommend dry body brushing problem areas in circular motions, 2-3 times weekly. This not only increases blood flow to the area to oxygenate the skin, but also removes toxins to help make it smooth.
We’re still fully contactable in stage four, please get in touch today if you have any questions or concerns – our dedicated team would be delighted to help you start your skin journey.