Cottage cheese. Hail damage. Bum bumps. Cellulite plagues 90% of women from puberty onwards, but don't panic – it needn't ruin your summer plans, or make you put those pretty hot pants back in the cupboard. Instead follow these tips and tricks to make your orange peel thighs look peachier in no time.
You brush your hair daily, why not your skin too?
Just before you turn on the shower use an Eco Tools Loofah Bath Sponge (R22.99) to make sweeping, long, circular motions upwards over your thighs, hips and butt. This stimulates blood and lymph flow, removes dead skin and encourages new cell growth – all of which help to reduce cellulite. An extra bonus: daily brushing strengthens your digestive and immune systems! End with a cool rinse and hydrating moisturiser like Nivea Firming Cream (R54.99).
Planning to wear a satin dress tonight? Try these!
If your diet and workout regime has been lacking and you need smoother thighs fast, a caffeinated cellulite cream like Anesi Soin du Corps Firming Objective (R539) is your NBF – see it as invisible control underwear. How does it work? Caffeine temporarily eliminates water in the connective tissue, helps break down fat and stimulates lymphatic drainage to reduce the puffiness of cellulite. First, ensure that the cream will penetrate well by using an exfoliator like The Body Shop Chocomania Body Scrub (R115). Then, suggests spa guru Marcia Kilgore, use a body butter like Vaseline Healthy Even Tone Body Cream (R31.99) to help move blood through lymph points in the groin and behind the knees. Finally, make like a super enthusiastic masseuse and work the caffeine cream in. “Friction warms the skin, making it more receptive,” says dermatologist Dr Ranella Hirsch.
Free and proven to work for everyone!
While slathering on cream in front of the TV may sound more appealing, exercise is the best way to fight dimples relatively fast. A recent study found 75% of women who did just 20 minutes of cardio and strength training three days a week saw a dramatic reduction in dimpling after two months. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and a dumb bell in each hand. Take a big step forward with your right foot, lower into the lunge and put your hands on the floor. Then stand up, pressing off your heel, and bring the weights up to your armpits with your elbows out. Do three sets of 20 reps on each leg three times a week and you should see a change in as little as a month – worth getting sweaty for!
The technical options – they may be pricy, but some medical procedures have been shown to drastically minimise cellulite.
While liposuction can actually increase the appearance of cellulite, revolutionary techniques can zap those pesky dimples. One innovative procedure, carboxytherapy, works by injecting small amounts of carbon dioxide into affected areas. The gas makes the body believe there’s an oxygen deficit, so it increases blood flow and growth factors to the area thus stimulating collagen and breaking down fat. There are minimal side effects but you’ll need four 30-minute treatments (around R800 each) to see good results.
Another way to fight dimples: laser treatments like TriPollar and i-Lipo Laser. After making a small incision, your doctor will insert a laser probe under your skin and this heats and melts fat, slicing through the web-like connective tissue that causes cellulite in the first place. These treatments strengthen the dermis and inhibit future fat production, reducing the chances of cellulite returning. Dermatologist Dr Bruce Katz conducted a clinical laser trial and found that, “For 80% of subjects cellulite completely disappeared, for the rest there was a 90% improvement.” Now those are good statistics! However, swelling and bruising can last up to two weeks and a single treatment will set you back around R550, so make sure you’ve exhausted other options first. Visit bodyrenewal.co.za.
The bikini worthy option.
Once the sun comes out, a fake tan can cover all manner of sins. Know how your LBD makes you look smaller than that pastel bridesmaid’s dress? Well the same reasoning goes for cellulite: darker skin hides the lumps. “Exfoliate first with a gentle body scrub to even out the skin surface,” says Jimmy Coco, the self tan expert for Victoria’s Secret shows (see, even supermodels need help!). Then apply scent-free moisturiser, paying special attention to your knees and ankles. Wearing rubber gloves, apply the self-tan in a circular motion to avoid streaks. Nervous you’ll still end up looking blotchy? TRY St Tropez Everyday Perfect Legs (R395) – its bronze tint allows you to check your handiwork (and avoid stripes) as you go. Our final tip: apply a shimmery bronzer down the centre of your legs to make them look longer and leaner.