10 ways beat to c ellulite
You may think cellulite is a purely Irish affliction, caused by inclement weather and inactivity – but 70 per cent of women worldwide have it, including Kate Moss and Tyra Banks. Nikki Walsh discovers the top ways to shift it...
What do Penélope Cruz, Jennifer Lopez and Amber Valetta all have in common? They use Lipomassage by Edermologie — the only cellulite treatment approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. Therapists use a computerdriven massaging head on the skin to break down fatty tissue. It’s more relaxing than it sounds: the treatment was devised as a therapeutic massage.
Clients wear special body suits, and sessions last from anything from 35 to 55 minutes. It can take six to eight sessions to see results, up to 16 to get rid of it completely. It is best performed twice weekly, in conjunction with a healthy eating and regular exercise plan. Check it out at Nuala Woulfe’s Serenity Day Spa in Sandycove, Dublin, from € 80; visit nualawoulfe. ie/ index.php/ thebody-collection/ body-lifting-and-toning-options.
Regular cardiovascular exercise will help improve your circulation, remove excess fluid and tone muscles, so you will look trimmer, and your skin will look smoother, regardless of cellulite. ‘Cellulite is one of the hardest things to get rid of,’ admits personal trainer Milena Byrne, ‘but it is possible.’
Milena likes to put her clients on the Performer Pilates Machine, a device that allows people to work very precisely to develop good alignment, core strength and flexibility. ‘It’s a more dynamic system than mat work,’ says Milena. ‘It works the whole body, creating resistance, which is good for the muscles. The pumping action eliminates toxins, and the deep breathing we teach people brings oxygenated blood into the body, which improves skin tone, and makes the whole body more alkaline. This really helps to aid the body’s detoxification process.’ Just two sessions per week will improve muscle tone and help breakdown cellulite deposits. Check it out at Platinum Pilates at platinumpilates.ie.
Skin brushing might seem old hat, but according to new research it’s one of the best – and cheapest – ways to reduce cellulite. Stimulating circulation and boosting lymphatic drainage, it increases cell renewal and blood flow, aiding digestion, improving kidney function and clearing the complexion. And as it sloughs away dead skin, it’s perfect for keeping dry Irish skins smooth. For best results brush at least once a day, on dry skin using a natural brush. Make long sweeps towards your heart; do not move back and forth or in circular motions. On your stomach direct the brush anticlockwise. Don’t brush too hard: skin shouldn’t be irritated or red.
Roll with it
There are more fun ways to get rid of that unsightly orange peel. In his book, Bums, Tums & Bingo Wings ( Hachette Books Ireland) top Dublin fitness trainer Karl Henry recommends a good old-fashioned deep- tissue massage to break down stubborn cellulite.
‘The best way to get this done is by a good, strong and firm masseuse,’ writes Karl, ‘but you can get your partner to work on your legs using a rolling pin, literally rolling the affected skin, which helps to get this fat moving. Use some oils on the skin first to take away the pain. Combine this with plenty of water in your diet, add a little lemon, and you will help to flush the released fat out of your system.’
Considering that cellulite is much more likely to affect women then men, it’s the very least your other half can do for his lady…
The cellulite-busting ingredient of choice for celebrities? Algae. Certain kinds have cellulite-fighting properties including vitamins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants. Researchers love Guam’s Anti- Cellulite Mud, (guambeautymud.com) although you will have to wrap yourself in clingfilm for 45 minutes to get results. Better still, opt for a spa treatment with an algae-based cream. At Aghadoe Heights Spa in
Killarney, the Biodroga Anti- Cellulite Peel Off Pack contains a rich brown marine algae that activates microcirculation and stimulates the metabolism, resulting in silky smooth skin. Check out aghadoeheights.com.
Ireland’s fitness experts agree — we Irish don’t drink enough water. Two litres a day flushes out your system, aiding your digestion, eliminating bloat, increasing your energy levels, improving your concentration and keeping your skin clear, smooth and supple. Start the day with a cup of hot water and lemon — a great detoxifier — and keep a bottle of water at your desk. Drink diluted fruit juices and add ice to alcoholic drinks. Beware caffeine-loaded drinks, which can make you more dehyrated. Try green tea — Chinese women rarely suffer from water retention, because their national tipple contains an ingredient called theobromine, which stimulates the release of stored fats.
Do cellulite creams really work? Talk to the experts, and they will tell you that while they might reduce the appearance of cellulite, they won’t get rid of it completely. But get a cream with the right ingredients and use it in conjunction with a healthy- eating regime and regular exercise, and it is possible to get results. The key ingredients to look for are retinol — which increases collagen production, making skin thicker and hiding the dimpling fat — and caffeine, which, once absorbed into the skin, speeds up the rate at which the body processes fat and drains fluid from fatty tissue. Try an anti-cellulite cream such as Mama Mio’s Shrink to Fit Cellulite Cream (€42, beautyboutique.ie). How you apply your cream will make a difference, too: apply it at night, when your internal drainage system works at a faster rate, prepping the skin with a brush or scrub. Work the cream in quickly using brisk, firm movements. Apply all over the affected area, starting at the ankle and moving up to your thighs.
Try the lunge
If you’re pressed for time, you need one essential move: the lunge. A favourite with Reese Witherspoon and Angelina Jolie, it builds lean muscle in your bum and thighs, the most cellulite-prone zones. To perform the lunge, stand up comfortably. Step ahead with one foot and lean forward till your knee reaches a 90-degree angle and your rear knee is parallel to the ground. Return to the starting position. Keep your back in a neutral position but don’t flatten the curve of your lower back or arch it in the other direction. Make sure your knee does not go beyond your toes and that it stays centred over your foot. Don’t let the knee roll inward or outward. Smooth controlled movements are best.
If all else fails, slap on your fake tan, which will not only mask unsightly cellulite but give you a sleeker silhouette. For a slimming effect, try applying a shimmer over the front and back of your thighs, along your shins, and down to your feet.
Watch what you eat
There isn’t an exercise system in the world that will get rid of cellulite if you aren’t following a decent diet. And while we Irish aren’t more prone to cellulite than any other race, we are more likely to stock up on junk foods than our European counterparts. ‘We tend to be carb-focused,’ says Milena Byrne, ‘and we eat a lot of sugar and processed foods that allow us to hold onto fat.’ So what should we eating? A diet high in lean protein, olive oil, wholegrains and fresh fruit and vegetables. Packed with albumin, protein absorbs excess fluid, leaving you with smoother skin. Excess salt, on the other hand, will make you look puffy. Fresh fruit and veg contain high doses of vitamin C, which fights collagen breakdown for tighter tissue. The essential fatty acids in fish and olive oil, meanwhile, stop cells clumping together, which can compound cellulite.