The best products, treatments and techniques to help you get rid of cellulite
Do you ever wish you could get rid of cellulite? Well, you're not alone. Unfortunately, 90 per cent of women will develop the dreaded dimples some time after puberty. We can’t help it; it’s in our genes.
“Women are prone to cellulite because of the way our bodies store fat in the subcutaneous layers,” explains cosmetic physician Dr Gabrielle Caswell. “While men store fat in a way that doesn’t lend itself to ‘pouching out’, women store it in chambers that tend to bulge, suppress lymphatic drainage and eventually produce lumps that are visible from the outside.
“That’s why even slim size eights get cellulite. It’s a natural part of being a woman. We need to stop thinking of it as an imperfection.”
It's a positive message. Though, natural or not, it's unlikely that most of us will ever learn to love our ‘orange peel’. Or stop trying to banish it for bikini season.
RELATED: How to get rid of cellulite
Trimming down and toning up
To the frustration of dieting gym junkies everywhere, inch loss doesn’t guarantee lump loss. “You often see women without an ounce of excess fat with cellulite,” emphasises Caswell. But that’s no excuse to be a couch potato.
Caswell explains: “Being overweight can increase the severity of cellulite, so weight management helps. Exercise will not get rid of cellulite completely, but it does assist lymphatic drainage and circulation. Toning up can also help [disguise] the lumps.”
“I also often recommend a low GI [glycaemic index] diet.”
Gadgets and gizmos
Because gruelling workouts aren’t guaranteed to help, the new focus is on working smarter, not harder…
Hypoxi Body Shaping
The theory: Vacuum pressure draws blood to the zones where cellulite stacks up and blasts the fat away. One apparatus, the Vacunaut, is like a wetsuit worn around the midriff to target the tummy and hips while you exercise lightly on a treadmill. The L250 is a dome that boosts circulation and lymphatic drainage in the lower body as you lay on your back and pedal. Hypoxi is also said to improve skin texture as increased bloodflow delivers extra nutrients.
The verdict: "I've used the L250 on my bottom cellulite 13 times. After the fifth session I started to see a reduction – my partner also said I had 'lost some bumps'. After nine sessions there was more considerable improvement. My skin is now smoother… I'm ecstatic with the results so far. I'll continue for probably another month until all my cellulite disappears." - Sue Forbes, reader
The investment: The recommended 12 sessions over one month cost $540. Maintenance sessions are then $55 each.
Visit hypoxibodyshaping.com.au or call 1300 HYPOXI for locations.
VibroGym (whole body vibration)
The theory: You hold a low-sweat set of poses as a vibrating platform stimulates your muscles to contract very quickly, providing the benefits of a 60 to 90-minute workout in one 15-minute wobble. Reported benefits include an increase in muscle strength, metabolic rate and weight loss as well as a decrease in cellulite. “Holding squats, lunges, pilates clams and targeted movements will help tone problem areas,” says exercise physiologist and VibroGym’s master trainer, Taryn Polovin. “And the warm-up vibration massage on glutes and thighs stimulates lymphatic drainage.”
The verdict: “Although it’s almost lazy on my part, I can feel the Vibrogym giving me a good workout. I love that it crams an hour’s slog in the gym into an easily scheduled 15 minutes and, after only a few sessions, I feel stronger and see subtle improvements in shape. I’ve not noticed much in the way of cellulite smoothing just yet, but the results so far definitely encourage me to stick with it.” – Tracey, beautyheaven editor.
The investment: To start, two to three sessions a week for one month is recommended. Sessions start at around $15 and can be purchased in packages at a reduced cost. You can buy home VibroGym $6500.
Find out more about the Vibrogym at www.vibrogym.com.au or call 1300 887 763 for fitness locations.
The theory: A therapist rolls a small, motorised head, called a Keymodule, all over your body, concentrating a deep massage on the peskiest lumps and bumps. The gentle lifting and rolling stimulates the venous and lymphatic system, helping to expel toxins while stimulating fibroblasts (the cells of your connective tissues) to produce increased amounts of collagen and elastin. The upshot: a reduction in fatty deposits, toxins and fluids plus a firming of the skin that works to diminish the appearance of dastardly dimples. It requires commitment, however – significant results might not show until the eighth treatment.
The verdict: Dr Caswell uses Endermologie in her practice. “I’ve seen some great results," she says. "The real basis of cellulite reduction is lymphatic drainage and this does it very effectively. It’s like having eight hours of massage in 35 minutes.”
The investment: Courses of 10 35-minute sessions are recommended at $120 each. Maintenance sessions can also be bought separately.
Visit www.endermologie.com.au for more information or call 1300 368 688 for your closest treatment centre.
DIY cellulite control
To get your circulation and lymphatic system pumping at home, Dr Caswell also recommends Japanese body brushing.
Massage specialist Susie Prichard-Casey uses the technique in her Lovely Legs treatment ($170) and says it’s crucial you do more than exfoliate. “The bristles are firm and may need getting used to, but you can't just skim the skin's surface," she instructs.
"On dry skin, start at your soles and work up your legs in short, vigorous strokes, then repeat on your arms and abdomen. Do not brush your face and be gentler on areas with capillary damage."
Try: Bodecare Detox FSC Dry Body Brush ($42, bodecare.com)
“Self-massage is important to maintaining results from any other anti-cellulite treatment,” highlights Prichard-Casey: “It boosts bloodflow and the removal of toxins and fluid in stagnant areas.” She advises the following three techniques be used in conjunction:
Kneading: Hold your fingers together, curve your hand and use the outer blade to push upward in a scooping action. Start at your foot and work up your legs, toward your heart.
Knuckling: Hold you hand up and bend your fingers without making a fist. Use the flat surface (the middle section of your fingers) to massage upward in a firm sliding movement.
Skin rolling: Lay your hand flat on your body with fingers together, apart from the thumb. Then, as you apply downward pressure, squeeze your thumb toward your hand, rolling the skin in between.
Product tip: Also try Manicare Cellulite Bristle Brush ($12.99) in the shower.
Creams, lotions and potions
“Creams may provide temporary skin plumping that masks the appearance of cellulite,” says Dr Caswell, but she doubts that they can penetrate fat cells and actually shift deposits. They may also improve the external skin texture and some claim to boost circulation.
SCULPTT PPC Cream & Cellulite Smoother contains ingredients including PPC to help break dow fat deposits and firm the skin.
Pevonia Botanica Smooth & Tone Body-Svelt Cream ($144, pevonia.com.au) features green tea and green coffee to stimulate and smooth the skin.
DMK Body Sculpting claims a thermogenisis (causing the body to produce heat) effect to promote circulation.
Know a great technique, product or treatment for dealing with the dreaded C-word?