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March 2013

Banishing the Bumps of Cellulite
By Cheryl Fenton

It’s the bane of almost every body.
Ninety percent of all women have it—
even the really skinny ones.

Just the mention causes stress levels to rise with spring’s dress hems.

As we get closer to the warmer seasons of skin, there go layers of leggings and skinny jeans (AKA, safety nets against exposed skin). With that comes the potential display of lovely orange peel dimpling on butts and thighs.

Known mostly as a hereditary "gift," consider cellulite your destined bumpy road to walk. Thanks, mom. Fat deposits just below the surface cause this dimpled appearance, and an individual's genes are largely responsible for determining if and where you make get it.

Another explanation as to why you have cellulite but your BFF doesn’t could rest in how girly girl you are…literally. Hormones like estrogen play an important role in cellulite development, explaining why men are generally cellulite-free lucky bastards.

So is cellulite treatable? Not really. The bottom line is that it’s usually there to stay. But don't panic. There are ways to decrease its visibility. Start now with these tips and you’ll be ready for your April vacation to somewhere sunny.

{ } Stay hydrated. Well-hydrated skin looks smoother and suppler, masking the appearance of lumps. Stock up on water-rich foods, like fruits and vegetables. Choose ones that are vitamin C-rich (citrus, strawberries, red bell peppers, sweet potatoes and dark leafy green vegetables) and you're pulling double duty against collagen breakdown (lost elasticity can show signs of cellulite). Also nosh on healthy fats from avocados, walnuts, almonds, seeds, salmon and flax.

{ } To have a great butt, you have to get off your butt. It’s known that cellulite may be more prevalent in those with an unhealthy lifestyle (think smokers, sedentary lives, drinkers). Although thin people aren’t immune, obese people are more prone. A good strength-training program (combined with fat-burning cardio) increases your chances of maintaining lean muscle as you get older, reducing your chances of increasing fat cell size.

{ } For a good cellulite fight, you’ll need some knead. Massage helps increase circulation, draining toxins for smoother skin. The result is temporary, so the more it’s pushed through with regular massage, the better. Since time and cash sometimes prohibits us from frequenting a luxury spa, take things into your own hands with the brand new Fatgirlslim Lean Machine Body Contouring System by Bliss Spa ($145). This is a strange (but useful) small contraption that uses vacuum-assisted massage to visibly reduce the appearance of cellulite. Use it on your legs, butt and abs. Just lather on the included Fatgirlslim lotion (it’s the same stuff they have in their spa), set the suction level and away you (and the cellulite) go. If you want to keep it simple, try the Sephora Cellulite Massager ($16), which you just massage over your skin in the shower to improve circulation and break up fat deposits.

{ } Far from delivering long-term miracles, at-home cellulite creams can increase circulation, hydrating and swelling skin for temporary tightness. Look for ingredients like blood-boosting caffeine, ginseng and green tea. One of the top creams for your bottom is Body Strategist+ by comfort zone, an entire system of intense patches, creams and night action lotions. Another fave is the Vichy's CelluDestock. With high caffeine (5%) and Lipocidine content, it should decrease cellulite in four weeks. Whichever one you choose, apply your cream in the morning and night for the highest effectiveness. You can also make your own DIY coffee cellulite fighter—strong, ground coffee rubbed in circles on dampened cellulite areas for one minute then rinsed.

{ } If you don't feel like lathering on lotions, try the new Wacoal iPant capri legging ($85). This über-thin undergarment is embedded with caffeine and Vitamin E microcapsules for all-day smoothing of trouble spots (it lasts up to 100 wears - hopefully getting you through several seasons). You’re supposed to wear it eight hours a day for 28 days—doable since the fabric isn’t uncomfortable but is a little tight.

In the end, keep life balanced between diet, exercise and a little pampering and only then can you put cellulite behind you.

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