WHAT IS CELLULITE?
Cellulite is the lumpy, bumpy, dimply fatty tissue that you and everyone else can see most commonly on hips, thighs, buttocks, lower back, lower abdomen and backs of the arms.
But what is it? What is happening under the skin? And why me?
Cellulite is a combination of things happening within the first few mm under the surface of the skin.
Fat storage sites under the skin are held in small compartments made of connective tissue, elastin and collagen. When these fat cells swell as they fill up with fat and toxins; the connective tissue compartment is supposed to be able to hold the fat cells in an organised compartment. Between the fat and the skin is a layer called the dermis that is supposed to be full and plump and spongy enough to hide any changes in the fat layers beneath.
Cellulite happens when the fat cells swell and the connective tissue compartment cannot contain the swelling fat cells and some of the bands snap under the pressure. This causes areas where the fat cells explode up and out of the compartment causing a bump on the skin surface; while the area where the connective tissue has lost elasticity but hasn’t snapped is still pinned down creating a trough or dimple.
WHAT CAUSES CELLULITE?
There are 2 main causes for cellulite
1. Fat cells over full
2. Weak dermal connective tissue, collagen and elastin
OVERFLOWING FAT CELLS
The fat cells in the areas associated with cellulite are particularly sensitive to the hormone estrogen. These fat cells can utilise estrogen very efficiently to hold onto fat and fluid and even make more estrogen to make more fat cells. This is a vicious cycle,the biochemical trap could have started with excessive fat cells or obesity; or from exposure to excessive estrogen from pollutants, plastics, genetics, contraceptive pills etc.
Did you know that cellulite is a side effect of having a period? Not fair I know. On a monthly cycle your body will tell immune cells to breakdown the collagen that holds the period in so that you can shed the endometrium and have a period. These immune cells work all over the body to break down collagen. This process will result in a monthly destruction of collagen all over your body including the dermal collagen that controls the fat cells under the skin, the collagen that plumps lips and keeps cheeks and chin up and tight.
Other forms of oxidative stress and inflammation like smoking, toxic exposure, excessive sugar consumption will also degrade collagen.
HOW TO DETOXIFY AND GET RID OF CELLULITE
EFFICIENT ESTROGEN ELIMINATION
– Brassica species and related plants contain compounds that can help to efficiently clear estrogen from the body so it is less likely to be reabsorbed and stored in fat cells. Broccoli, broccoli sprouts, kale, spinach, radish, watercress, cabbage and cauliflower
– B vitamins in particular folic acid, B12 and B6
– Fibre to hold and catch the toxins in the bowel for efficient elimination.
– Kelp and seaweed contains compounds that help to keep estrogen locked up in bowel for elimination and prevent reabsorption.
– Massage will improve blood flow and remove fluid and lymphatic congestion
– Dry skin brushing using a vegetable bristle brush of luffa
– Massage in topical body shaping serums that combine caffeine with other fat mobilising compounds like forskolin to improve circulation and help liberate the stored fat globules causing the swelling.
ANTIOXIDANTS TO PROTECT DERMAL COLLAGEN
– Turmeric, lycopene, green and white tea, rosehip, silybin / silymarin protect dermal connective tissue from becoming brittle and break too easily.
– Vitamin c and bioflavonoids rutin, quercetin, luteolin help to improve dermal collagen integrity.
– “You are what you eat” - so eat more collagen from green lipped mussel, chicken sternum / cartilage, tripe, and hydrolysed collagen supplements.