"Cottage cheese" is something you like to pair with fruit, not something you want to decribe your body. Dr. David Bank gives us the medical scoop on smooth, cellulite-free skin.
It happens to the best of us: you wake up one morning sometime in your late 20's and all of a sudden, that beach body you used to have year-round begins to look less "summer time fine" and more like it went into hibernation for the winter and decided to never come back. Cellulite and stretch marks seem to make their debut around the same time, and while stretch marks are nearly impossible to reverse, there are a few things that you can do to combat cellulite.
Director at the Center for Dermatology, Cosmetic & Laser Surgery, Dr. David E. Bank states that "roughly 90% of women have cellulite," and it may even been genetic. Bank also states "Unfortunately, if your mom has it you probably will too." Luckily, not all hope is lost, even if your cellulite has been forecasted in your genetic stars. While there is no way to guarantee that you won't battle with cellulite, Bank recommends three things to make your skin look and feel firmer.
No surprise here, because cellulite is essentially isolated fat storages, exercise is beneficial in alleviating cellulite, but it won't solve the problem completely. In fact, Prevention advisor and Fitness & Research Director at Quincy College, Wayne Westcott, noted that losing body fat isn't the only way to lose cellulite; it may actually go deeper than that. "As women age, they lose muscle. As that muscle layer becomes thinner and weaker, and less firm, that overlying fat layer now doesn't have a stable base. The fat crinkles and wrinkles and goes in any direction because there is not a solid, smooth foundation underneath it." Wescott advises a two-fold attack plan—"strength train to get the muscles firm and strong, and lose excess body fat."
Dr. Bank advises that you "exfoliate 2-3 times per week to help increase blood flow in a particular area of the skin, which can help lessen the appearance of cellulite for a short amount of time." We recommend exfoliating with a dry brush before your shower, or exfoliating with a coffee scrub—or both (see recipe for D.I.Y. coffee scrub below.) Caffeine is chock-full of anti-oxidants and tightening agents which will lessen the appearance of cellulite over time. Here's a DIY recipe you can make at home.
Coffee Scrub Ingredients
- 1 Cup of coffee grounds
- 3 Tbsp Sea salt or sugar
- 6 Tbsp coconut oil
1 Empty food storage container or jar
Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and scoop in to a Tupperware or jar or your choice. Apply the scrub while in the shower using circular motions. Use three times a week for best results.
3. Deep Tissue Massage
No, this isn't the kind of massage that you book at Massage Envy. Bank recommends a process called "Endermologie" or "Silhouette," which is administered b a physician or physician's assistant and involves a medical vacuum with to rollers that use suction to provide a deep tissue massage to areas with cellulite. "The machine massages the extra fluid out of swollen fat cells," states Bank. The machine converts the shape of fat so that the skin lies smoothly. These deep tissue sessions cost around $100 per session and generally require a minimum or 14 performed twice a week.
For more information on dermatology and Dr. Bank's practice visit his website, here.