By Sharon Gnatt Epel
Now that summer is just around the corner, you may be trying on swimsuits, and wondering what you can do about those dimpled bumps and lumps that have taken residence on your legs and rear end. Cellulite, often referred to as “cottage cheese” skin, is an unattractive visual condition caused by fat cells globbing together in the dermis (the middle layer of the skin), and collectively pulling on the skin’s connective tissue. This creates a dimpled surface, and is most often seen on the derriere, thighs, and back of the legs. Getting rid of cellulite seems to be at the forefront of many women’s summer beauty issues.
While cellulite may be eliminated or greatly reduced through expensive surgical and laser procedures (be aware that traditional liposuction will not correct this condition), there are simple inexpensive things you can do at home to minimize and reduce its appearance, all by yourself!
Here are several suggestions:
• Brush your skin. If you are not familiar with skin brushing, now is a good time to acquaint yourself with this practice. Daily dry brushing with a loofa or natural plant fiber pad can stimulate a stagnant lymphatic system, increase blood flow, slough off dead cells and increase cellular growth and turnover rate. The best time to brush your skin is right before you bathe or shower. Be sure to follow up with a cool rinse to further tone your skin, and moisturize while your skin is still damp with an essential oil blend created specifically for the purpose of reducing cellulite.
• Stop smoking and cut down on your alcohol consumption. Detoxing your body can be enormously helpful to reducing cellulite. A product I like to use is the detox foot pads carried by many health food stores. These pads contain a combination of Chinese herbs and botanicals that help draw out toxins. I apply mine at night, and always feel better the next morning. You will need to wash your feet well afterwards, to get rid of the funky smell that accumulates on the pad, but it is well worth the extra few minutes added to your morning routine.
• Avoid yo-yo dieting. Frequent fluctuations in weight can stress the skin’s connective fibers and aggravate cellulite. Enough said.
• Some dietary supplements are thought to help repair trauma to the skin. Glucosamine is one nutrient that is often used in connection with cellulite treatments. Be sure to check with your naturopath to figure out the proper dosage for your body weight and type.
• Stay away from junk food! This includes processed foods, saturated fats, diet soda, synthetic preservatives and artificial anything. Too much salt or sugar in your diet can cause you to retain fluids in addition to creating a slew of other health-related problems further down the line.
• Embrace a healthy diet that includes plenty of greens, fresh fruit, veggies and organic protein. Try to stay away from produce that has been conventionally grown using toxic agricultural chemicals.
• Increase your water consumption. Drinking clean, filtered water stimulates the body’s metabolic processes and is a natural diuretic. Be sure to drink 2 glasses of water for each glass of caffeinated tea or coffee that you consume, to avoid dehydration.
• Last but not least, get out there and exercise! Exercise stimulates circulation, brain function, burns calories, and releases endorphins that make you feel alert and vibrant!
By incorporating these suggestions into a healthy lifestyle, you can improve your chances for cellulite-free skin, and help prevent the deterioration of your body’s connective tissues as you age.
– Sharon Gnatt Epel is the CEO/Founder, La Isha Natural & Organic Skincare.