What causes cellulite and how to prevent it and treat it

By Emma – on in Beauty
It affects more women than you might think. Here's all there is to know about cellulite.

Practically no woman can escape it, even if she works out four times a week and follows a balanced and healthy diet. Cellulite, those dreaded lumps that appear on thighs, butts and abdomens has always been an annoyance for many. In a world where everyone online looks flawless, seeing those imperfections in the mirror can cause many women to feel self-conscious and discouraged about their bodies. However, it is very important to remember that around 98% of women deal with this fat cell problem. It doesn’t matter if you are skinny or curvy, chances are you have at least some cellulite somewhere on your body. Keep reading to find out what exactly causes cellulite and the prevention and treatments you can follow to avoid too many lumps on your body.


What causes cellulite?

Cellulite is simple: fat cells find themselves stuck under the epidermis, which creates the dreaded lumps, bumps and dimples we see behind our legs for example. Women are mostly affected by this skin formation because of the distribution of fat and muscle but some men deal with it too. One of the main reasons men are less affected by it is because their skin tissue has a criss-cross structure and women have a vertical one. Most health professionals will agree that it is caused by the interaction between the tissues in the dermatological layer and the layer of fat under it. The main reasons for cellulite to appear are genetic and hormonal but other factors such as lack of exercise, bad eating habits, not enough water, puberty, smoking, pregnancy can cause cellulite.


How can you prevent it?

It’s hard to actually “prevent” cellulite from appearing since it is mainly hereditary and isn’t even linked to your weight. For example, the picture above shows Hilary Duff’s backside, which has cellulite but we all know she isn’t overweight. However, there are a few straightforward tips that can help prevent cellulite:

  1. Regular exercise
  2. Healthy eating habits
  3. Lots of water
  4. Wearing looser clothes (to help with blood flow around your legs)
  5. Taking cold showers

Treatments to help eliminate cellulite

As per usual, a diet low in fat, sugar and salt, more exercise, sufficient hydration, not smoking and other health factors contribute to eliminating cellulite. Temporary treatments like creams, gels and massages can help but you can’t expect incredible, body-changing results. You can find these firming, toning and smoothing cellulite products at your local pharmacy or in beauty salons but even though they might reduce the appearance of dimples, they won’t eliminate them forever.

At-home massages that promote blood flow can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite. Massage your skin in circular motions and apply a small pressure to help reduce water retention.

If you’re looking for something a little more drastic and professional, you can try endermologie or a lipomassage, a type of deep massage that minimizes the lumps of fat cells stuck together under your skin. Radiofrequency is another option that works by stimulating collagen production to firm the skin.


There you have it, the annoying dimples behind your thighs have finally been explained. So, unless cellulite really makes you self-conscious, i.e. you can’t leave the house wearing shorts or a short skirt, we suggest you embrace the lumps and bumps and remind yourself that this skin formation is an issue for 98% of women, no matter their weight. If Hilary Duff and Ashley Graham can deal with it, so can you.

Cover photo: Zami . | Unsplash