The Truth About Cellulite: The Bad, The Good & The Ugly

The Bad

Magazines, videos, fashion shows: they all portray an unrealistic notion of how a person should look like. We see images of celebrities with not the slightest bit of imperfection on them and so we assume that most of them don’t even experience the physical challenges that regular people go through.

The truth is there is at least one skin condition that almost everyone is struggling with it, whether they’re famous or not, and that is cellulite.

We’ve become so accustomed to seeing celebrities portray a near-perfect appearance, that the moment we see them displaying even the slightest bit of cellulite, we are either shocked or relieved to discover that they are facing the same problems we are.

When did cellulite become such a disgraceful thing, though?

Back in the Victorian Age, it used to be associated with attractiveness, a higher social status, as well as prosperity. In fact, even before that, famous artists, such as Peter Paul Rubens, were showcasing noble men and women with a generous amount of cellulite.

This was typically the case of the upper class, which was displayed in nude paintings, showing how much they enjoyed their life by eating rich and fatty foods, being driven around and having servants tend to their every need.

In those days, cellulite was considered to be the mark of a certain social status and while it was not necessarily encouraged, it was certainly not associated with anything negative.

Today, however, the tables have turned dramatically in this regard. Even though most of us are affected by cellulite, we are ashamed to admit that we have it and shocked to discover that other people display it, as well.

The truth is that this skin condition affects 98% of the women, including actresses, singers and supermodels. When celebrities are being put to the wall for daring to display any type of physical flaw, most people are usually giddy with joy and use this opportunity to make themselves feel better about their own personal appearance.

If we were honest with ourselves, we would realize that part of this cult-like obsession for cellulite-free bodies has been created and perpetuated by the ordinary person and not necessarily by the media.

This is not to say that we have personally created this standard of glorified beauty, but we certainly allow ourselves to be exploited by it and even fall victim to our own fears and misconceptions.

When it comes to cellulite, perhaps one of the greatest ironies is that we’ve taken one of the most common human characteristics and turned it into an absolutely horrifying and negative thing, driving ourselves into an ongoing struggle for physical perfection, which we will most likely never achieve.

Women's beautiful legs on the beach
Women’s beautiful legs on the beach

What is cellulite anyway?

Known as the adiposis edematosa in the scientific world and orange peel in the common language, this skin condition appears when fat deposits start accumulating under the skin. As they make their way against the skin, the supporting tissue that connects the skin to muscles, bones and other such structures begins to pull down, thus creating the jelly-like appearance we’ve grown to associate with cellulite.

What are the causes?

While the exact causes have not yet been determined by scientists, it is generally believed to be associated with a few main factors:

  • Heredity (everything from poor circulation, weakness in the body tissues, as well as an increased sensitivity to hormones are said to fall under this category and contribute greatly to the formation of cellulite).
  • Weight gain is another main risk factor. While it is not necessarily the creator of cellulite, it can certainly exacerbate it, making it seem more noticeable than it actually is.
  • A sedentary lifestyle can also contribute to this condition. If you are the type of person that spends a vast amount of time behind your computer and perform little to no physical exercise, then you are also prone to developing cellulite, even if you are a thin or a normal weight person.
  • Aging is another associated risk factor. As we grow older, our skin tends to lose its elasticity, which makes it more difficult for our bodies to remain fully toned after a certain age, even if we exercise properly.
  • Last but not least, fluctuations in estrogen levels are also a common indicator of cellulite. Since this hormone is typically associated with various female characteristics, such as breast development and menstruation, the imbalances that we suffer during pregnancy or menopause can significantly weaken the female’s connective tissue, resulting in the development of cellulite.

There are also a number of controversial theories around this issue, suggesting that various types of medication, high stress levels and smoking can also impact our skin’s appearance.

The Good

Even though cellulite has no impact over our general health, it has been attributed some negative connotations lately, particularly in terms of aesthetics. Whether we want to admit it or not, we all want to be perceived as attractive and suffering from a skin condition, even something as common as cellulite, can have a significant impact over our social life.

The good news is that if you really want to take concrete action against cellulite, there are a multitude of ways through which you can achieve this.


If you want to steer clear of cellulite, there are a number of simple and cost-effective preventive methods which you can start applying today.

  • Exercising is definitely at the top of our list, since it has the capacity to burn fat very quickly, thus preventing the development of cellulite altogether. Not any type of physical activity will get you the desired results, though. It will need to be intense and last for a minimum one hour in order to eliminate all the extra fat deposits on your body. For this purpose, aerobics, jogging or cycling will most certainly do the trick.


  • Aside from exercising, the best way to avoid cellulite is to have regular full-body massages targeting your risk areas. If you have the necessary financial means, find a good spa and go pamper yourself at least twice a week.


This will not only prevent the fat deposits from creasing your skin, but it will also bring you some much-needed after-work relaxation. If, however, you’re on a low budget and starting on expensive wellness treatments is not in the cards, then you can easily watch an online tutorial and give yourself a home massage.


  • Brushing your skin with a loofah sponge is also an excellent way to maintain your skin toned and cellulite-free. This helps the body by stimulating the lymph and blood flow, and is incredibly effective in eliminating the dead skin cells from the surface.


  • Last but not least, try to consume as little alcoholic beverages and cigarettes as possible, as these contain toxins which will not only cause cellulite, but it will also wreak havoc on your kidneys and liver.


The reason why these toxins are precursory to the formation of cellulite is because they weaken our body’s ability to get rid of waste products, which makes our skin more vulnerable to developing this condition.


Nevertheless, if you haven’t taken any of the above steps and you now find yourself unable to wear your favorite dresses, there are a number of methods you can apply in order to improve your skin’s appearance and get back in touch with your self-assured persona.

  • Homemade remedies

While there are various professional techniques available nowadays guaranteed to remove cellulite (which we will explore further on), it may be a good idea to leave your credit card intact for now and try your luck first with some very effective homemade remedies.

Detox baths are one of the easiest solutions in this regard. Try filling your tub with some warm water and then add ¼ cup of sea salt, Epsom salt, baking soda and 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is a natural remedy for bloating and cellulite. If you add some essential oils to the mix, you will also obtain a wonderful anti-stress remedy, guaranteed to chase all the negativity out of your day.

Green tea can basically perform miracles when it comes to your skin’s appearance, since it speeds up the metabolism and helps eliminate fat by cutting the production of those nasty fat-absorbing enzymes. Try replacing your morning coffee with green tea and within a few weeks you should already see some results.

As it turns out, tomatoes are also an effective way of fighting cellulite, since they contain a huge amount of lycopene, which helps strengthen the collagen and keep your skin toned. Try squashing a few tomatoes and then rub them on the affected areas. Repeat this process 2-3 times a week and within a month your skin’s appearance should start improving significantly.

  • If, however, none of these solutions worked for you or you have a big social event coming up and you just can’t take the risk of looking less than perfect, there are a number of professional solutions available that will help you in this endeavor.


Endermologie is one of the most common cellulite-removal procedures out there and it’s being performed at many different spas. It uses a rolling suction device that kneads the skin in order to boost circulation and stimulate the production of collagen. This usually requires about six sessions and it can cost anywhere between $50-150. If you think the results will last forever, though, I’m afraid I will have to burst your bubble and tell you that these will only be effective for a few months.


  • Laser treatments are also a good option for getting rid of that cottage cheese appearance. The FDA has already green-lighted a device that melts the fat through laser energy, by stimulating collagen production and breaking up the fibrous bands that exist under the skin.


  • Mesotherapy is a cellulite-removing technique that is widely practiced in France and which is definitely not for every pocket. It works by injecting various types of medication into the mesoderm, the connective tissue and the layer of fat from under the skin, causing the underlying fat pockets to melt.



If all these methods seem too complicated and you’ve decided that removing cellulite simply isn’t worth the effort, but you still want to look your best when you’re out in public, then there are a few simple techniques through which you can successfully mask your cellulite and give your skin a natural, healthy appearance.

  • Wearing pantyhose is one of the oldest tricks in the book when it comes to hiding cellulite. Go for a pair of tight, dark-colored pantyhose when you have a special occasion and your legs should look flawless no matter what.
  • Sunless tanning lotions can also help you mask those unaesthetic dimples by giving your legs a darker skin tone and focusing the attention away from the trouble areas.

The Ugly

The ugly or should I say the frustrating part about cellulite is that trying to avoid it is a lifelong challenge and without a constant and disciplined routine, we will always be hiding those rich and lazy life staples.

The human body was not created perfect, nor will it ever be and the sooner we come to terms with this fact, the sooner we can let go of our self-inflicted anxieties and start living our lives to the fullest.

In fact, if we all valued and took care of our souls and minds as much as we did about our physical appearance, then all this cauldron of insecurities would quickly dissipate and discover that the best cellulite treatment we need is to simply love and appreciate ourselves exactly the way we are.

While each person has their own individual standard of beauty, one has to wonder whether all these beauty-enhancement methods we keep inventing will serve for or against us on the long run.  Will we continue to adapt to an increasingly higher standard of attractiveness or will we skip all these steps and finally learn to embrace ourselves?