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With so many products on the market promising to drastically reduce the appearance of cellulite or remove it altogether, it's tempting to pick up a bottle and just hope that it takes away that uneven and dimpled surface of the skin. But, wait! Before investing your hard-earned cash in some overnight solution that sounds too good to be true, do a little homework first—and find out what really works when it comes to preventing and reducing the appearance of cellulite.
What Is Cellulite?
Cellulite is formed by fibrous connective cords that connect your skin to your underlying muscle. In between these cords are your fat cells, and as your fat cells accumulate, they push up against your skin, while at the same time, the connective cords pull down. This pulling and pushing under your skin creates an uneven surface or dimpling that has the texture of cottage cheese or an orange peel. Because cellulite is more concentrated in areas that have a higher fat content, most women have some degree of cellulite on their thighs, hips and rear, but it can also be found on the breasts, lower abdomen and upper arms.
Why Some Have More Cellulite Than Others
Many factors play a role in cellulite, including your sex. Although men can and do have cellulite, it's more common in women due to their genetic make-up and higher levels of body fat (compared with men). Age, weight and lifestyle also play a role. As you age and your skin becomes looser, you may notice more cellulite on your body—even if your weight or body fat percentage remains unchanged. Weight gain can also make cellulite more noticeable, as can being inactive, enduring high levels of stress and, according to the Mayo Clinic, using hormonal contraceptives.
However—and here's the kicker—lean individuals can still have cellulite. Much of cellulite is actually genetic, so if it tends to run in your family, you may be more likely to have it regardless.
Natural Ways to Treat Cellulite
So you have some cellulite. Is there anything you can do about it? The following healthy lifestyle habits have been shown to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.