The Truth About Cellulite

June 5th, 2008

The truth about cellulite, what is it? Over the past 10 years or so of my career and here at Joanna Vargas Skin Care, I have noticed that most women are concerned with a lot of the same issues. Cellulite is one of the most repeated concerns women have voiced.

The word “cellulite” was first recorded in a French medical journal about 150 years ago. Cellulite was then believed to be a disease. Although the medical community has since abandoned that idea, most women I know would refute that conclusion.

One of the biggest misconceptions about cellulite is that it occurs due to weight gain. In fact, cellulite is actually a skin problem and it occurs due to damaged skin, not fat. Did any of you know that? I’m not sure that even some so-called experts know that. I’ll say it again: cellulite develops on a woman’s body because of her skin, NOT FAT! The truth is, even very thin women can and do have cellulite. All my thin clients with cellulite will attest to that.

Cellulite is obviously not a simple one dimensional problem. There are various contributing factors, however, the main issues are found in the skin: its structure, elasticity and thickness. In women, the connective tissue lies up and down, parallel to itself, with fat cells lying below it.

It actually has large spaces in between, which makes it very easy for fat cells below to push up towards the surface of the skin. Ironically, fat cells do not push toward the surface of the skin if you gain weight. In fact, it is only able to push up toward the surface when the thickness and elasticity of the skin are diminished due to skin damage.

Then the fatty deposits are trapped within the connective tissue, causing the dimpled, puckered look we all despise. The cause of the loss of thickness and elasticity is collagen and elastin breaking down. Want to know why guys don’t have cellulite as much as women? Men’s connective tissue actually fits very close together in a criss-cross pattern, thus preventing the fat from pushing up towards the surface of the skin.

Elastin and collagen diminish with age in everyone. But external factors play a part as well. The environment, one’s diet, sun exposure and lifestyle also play a big part. How can we prevent the skin from losing elasticity and thickness? The body must be assisted in producing collagen and elastin.

Nutritionally, one can eat a diet rich in foods we know aid the body in its production of these essential proteins. Eggs are rich in amino acids, which help produce collagen. Cucumber and spinach strengthen the skin with silica and lecithin respectively. Pineapple is anti-inflammatory, it helps fight water retention, and aids in the healing of damaged collagen fibers.

Also its very high in vitamin C. Eat pears to detox from pollutants and stimulate the lymphatic system. Oranges are excellent sources of vitamin C and contain bioflavonoids, which help circulation and strengthen capillaries. Broccoli contains alpha lipoic acid, which helps prevent the destruction of collagen from sugar. You get the idea.

Externally, one can do a few things at home for the skin on the body. Exfoliation is essential- the slight abrasion will trigger the skin’s healing mechanism which helps the production of collagen and elastin.

Also using a hydrating cream to feed the skin all the nutrients it needs to replenish the damage that occurs from our environment. Therapeutically, there are many things we can do here in the salon that would be a tremendous help, so just ask me!

In handling cellulite or any other skin problem the best thing I can recommend is prevention from the start. Obviously we are all going to age, but there are so many wonderful things available to us to slow down the signs, why not take advantage of them?

As always I look forward to seeing you at Joanna Vargas Skin Care Sanctuary, home of the best facial in New York City so call and make your appointments NOW at 212/949.2350. And please Like my Facebook Page