You’re not fat, you’ve just got wa­ter re­ten­tion – we’ve all heard this be­fore, but that doesn’t mean we have to live with it. Ex­perts weigh in on how to deal. By Li Ying Lim.

Harper’s Bazaar (Malaysia) - - The Beauty Bazaar -

“If wa­ter re­ten­tion continues over a long pe­riod, it may progress to cel­lulite.” – Dr. Anna Hoo

When your jaw­line ap­pears a lit­tle rounder and your waist­line puffier, there is ac­tu­ally more to it than meets the eye. “Wa­ter re­ten­tion can be hered­i­tary, or caused by a poor diet lack­ing in vi­ta­mins and very high in salt, or even by in­suf­fi­cient wa­ter,” ex­plains Jenny Yap, train­ing man­ager of L’Oc­c­i­tane. “But hormonal changes can also play a ma­jor role.”

Dr. Anna Hoo agrees. “The prob­lem may have a se­vere un­der­ly­ing cause such as heart, liver or kid­ney dis­ease, but of­ten it’s due to hormonal im­bal­ance,” re­veals the cer­ti­fied aes­thetic med­i­cal prac­ti­tioner and founder of the Anna Hoo Clinic. “Hormonal wa­ter stag­na­tion is gen­er­ally in ar­eas pre­dis­posed to fat, like the ab­domen, thighs, and rear.” Wa­ter re­ten­tion is caused by edema, in which ac­cu­mu­lated fluid leads to ab­nor­mal swelling. “You can eas­ily tell with this test: Press your thumb on the front of your shin for a cou­ple of sec­onds. If a vis­i­ble im­pres­sion per­sists, it’s edema.

“Due to dys­func­tional circulation as fluid stag­nates, tox­ins that al­ter cell me­tab­o­lism are re­leased, re­duc­ing sup­ply of oxy­gen and nu­tri­ents to the af­fected area. If wa­ter re­ten­tion continues over a long pe­riod, it may progress to cel­lulite.”

While creams can help, in­sta-laser treat­ments may be more ef­fec­tive. Dr. Hoo treats her pa­tients with Trilipo tech­nol­ogy. “It com­bines TriLipo ra­dio-fre­quency and TriLipo Dy­namic Mus­cle Ac­ti­va­tion to deliver non-in­va­sive fat re­moval and lym­phatic drainage. This re­moves fat de­posits and cel­lulite, tight­ens skin, and re­duces wrin­kles.” Ex­er­cis­ing is the most ba­sic tech­nique to re­duce cel­lulite and wa­ter re­ten­tion, but a life­style change is vi­tal. “Habits like smok­ing, drink­ing al­co­hol, overeat­ing, ex­ces­sive cof­fee in­take, wear­ing tight cloth­ing and high heels, and low phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity are best kept to a min­i­mum,” notes Dr. Hoo.

For those who are anti-work­out, there is some­thing you can do at home: “Acu­pres­sure helps im­prove circulation through­out the body. Once that in­creases, mus­cles are re­laxed, ab­sorp­tion of prod­ucts in­creases, and tox­ins can be re­moved,” shares Yap, who sug­gests com­bin­ing this holis­tic rou­tine with the L’Oc­c­i­tane Al­mond Body Firm­ing Care Collection. “The acu­pres­sure can be per­formed twice a day while ap­ply­ing the prod­uct. Use firm fin­ger pres­sure at least three times on each point. In­hale deeply as you press and ex­hale upon re­lease.”

Dr. Hoo says: “It is im­por­tant to eat healthily. Eat plenty of fruits and veg­eta­bles, es­pe­cially those rich in vi­ta­min C, to pro­tect blood ves­sels. Do in­gest a good amount of fi­bre, which re­duces risk of con­sti­pa­tion. And drink at least two litres of wa­ter a day to flush out tox­ins.”

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