If you have cellulite, you have plenty of company. At least 80-90% of women have such unwanted dimpling on their thighs, hips, or tummies. This condition is not so affectionately referred to as cottage cheese or orange peel skin. Modern medicine offers little help against cellulite. In fact medically it is thought of as a normal cosmetic condition for women and not a real health problem. Attempts by doctors to explain the causes of cellulite are often complicated and unhelpful. Reasons could include anything from genetics to hormonal imbalance, dieting, female-specific skin structure, changes in metabolism, weak circulation, and even a high-stress lifestyle. Confusion about what cellulite really is has led to a booming industry of treatments for it, most of which do not work. The key for what to do about cellulite, therefore, hinges on understanding what is behind skin dimpling. This is the basis for making effective choices for reducing its occurrence.
What is Cellulite Really?
Dimpled skin is merely what cellulite looks like. What underlies the dimpling, however, is weak connective tissue. Healthy skin is supported by a network of strong collagen and flexible elastin that holds skin together and keeps it smooth and taut. Dimples form when small areas of weakness in this support structure allow tiny pockets of underlying fat to protrude into the tissue itself. These pockets of fat in the skin tissue cause the dimpling that results in cellulite. It doesn’t matter how much fat is under the skin. It only matters whether the skin is healthy and strong enough to prevent fat from protruding into it. This means that even slim women can develop cellulite. It also means that dieting and weight loss are unlikely to get rid of it, regardless of claims to the contrary by many popular cellulite treatment programs. Women are more predisposed to cellulite than men because women have thinner skin in areas where it occurs. Small pockets of fat in women’s skin simply have a greater impact on the appearance of dimpling.
Skin Care for Cellulite
Although it is nice to know what causes cellulite, how does that tell you what you can do about it? First off, you don’t have to see your doctor for cellulite drugs, since there aren’t any. Moreover, surgery will not correct the underlying problem. This includes liposuction, which is an expensive, potentially dangerous, and ineffective approach to treating cellulite. The challenge is finding a treatment that can inhibit the weakening of skin structure that allows fat deposits to protrude into it. This is where science comes to the rescue. In 2006 the International Journal of Cosmetic Science reviewed all the research on natural cellulite treatments known at that time. The star of the show turned out to be caffeine, with the primary herb of choice for this ingredient being green tea. Caffeine promotes the breakdown of fat under the skin when it is used in a cream. It only has this activity when applied to the skin, not when taken orally as in coffee or tea. Furthermore, extract of green tea inhibits two key enzymes that break down the structural components of connective tissue. This bonus effect comes from EGCG, the main antioxidant in green tea. Green tea’s double whammy of breaking down fat and, at the same time, inhibiting the breakdown of connective tissue points to this herb as the top ingredient in any herbal formula designed for reducing cellulite. Of course, green tea is just one of many herbs that promote skin health. The best skin care products offer mixtures of herbs that provide multiple avenues of help for having smooth, dimple-free skin. Herbs that enhance circulation, boost healing, and reduce inflammation are all valuable ingredients for a comprehensive cellulite cream. Some of the key herbs to look for in a cellulite formula, besides green tea, include ginseng, astragalus, and burdock root, among many others. The Cellulite Serum by Jadience Herbal Formulas is an excellent example of an all natural skin care product with an extensive list of herbs that work synergistically to strengthen skin structure and get rid of that unwanted cottage cheese look.