Why that cellulite 'cure' could be doing you a fat lot of good
Prudence Wade asks an expert for the lowdown on some of the most popular treatments
There are so many weird and wonderful cellulite ‘cures’ flying around, it’s difficult to know if any of them actually work.
Cellulite, for those lucky enough not to know, is bulging fat cells between fibrous tissue that look like dimples on your skin. It’s most commonly seen on areas with the least circulation, like the thighs or bottom.
There’s absolutely no shame in cellulite but, considering it affects 85% of UK women over 20, it’s perhaps no surprise many are keen to reduce these dimples as much as possible.
However, Christopher Zachary, professor of dermatology at the University of California, Irvine, says: “There exists little evidence that the great majority of treatments touted as being useful for the treatment of cellulite are valid.”
Here are his opinions on some of the most popular cellulite treatments on offer.
Dry brushing is by far the most widely known method for tackling cellulite. The idea behind it is that daily body brushing, in circular motions, exfoliates the skin to smooth the surface and boosts circulation to help eliminate toxins.
Some beauty experts also recommend massaging areas with cellulite, in the belief that it loosens up areas of fat that have become trapped.
However, Zachary dismisses dry brushing, along with other popular methods such as body scrubs made out of coffee beans as “pure nonsense”.
And he places no scientific stock in the massage theory, insisting: “The concept of loosening trapped fat cells has no meaning. All fat cells are trapped or organised within their basic structure.”
So next time you reach for the dry brush, remember, it might not quite be worth all that time and effort.
Cellulaze laser treatment is a procedure where a laser’s energy is used to break up tough bands of tissue beneath the skin. It is these bands that cause us to see cellulite.
In Zachary’s opinion, this is a fairly effective solution. He says: “This is a relatively intensive procedure compared with many others and might only provide modest results... although one might see a reduction in the appearance of cellulite. However, some dimpling usually returns.”
Zachary calls it one of the more extreme cellulite treatments, requiring several sessions to achieve a reduction.
Cellfina is a vacuum-assisted device which a dermatologist uses to insert a needle underneath the skin to break up these tough bands we’ve mentioned.
Zachary says: “This process is called subcision and is currently the best method for reducing deeper, more obvious cellulite.”
For Zachary, this is one of the more effective procedures for eliminating cellulite. He says that it can last for two years, possibly beyond and as such is one of the longer-term remedies.
Acoustic wave therapy
With this method, acoustic pulses vibrate your tissue to firm up and smooth skin.
Zachary says: “This treatment might provide temporary improvement in the appearance of cellulite. However, several sessions are needed to see a reduction and this is never permanent.”