Cellulite and orange peel skin is an annoying problem. Fortunately, they can be controlled with the right diet, exercise and some home remedies.
What is Cellulite?
Orange peel skin, also known as cellulite, is a non-inflammatory change in the subcutaneous fatty tissue that affects mostly women. Orange peel skin depends on genetic predisposition, but diet and lifestyle can influence the extent of its occurrence. Not only overweight people are affected by cellulite, but slim people also suffer from orange peel skin.
This skin change owes its name orange skin to the dimpled surface, which actually resembles the fruit. These elevations on the skin are nothing less than oversized fat cells that are no longer held in the subcutaneous tissue by the connective tissue. This causes other problems that favor the effect of orange peel skin: The large fat cells block the outflow of lymphatic fluid and blood, which causes water to be pressed into the surrounding connective tissue, causing additional swelling of the tissue here. Cellulite occurs particularly on the legs and buttocks because there is a lot of fatty tissue there.
What are the Causes of Cellulite?
Among the causes that sometimes favor the development of cellulite are, in addition to overweight and too little exercise, genetic predispositions. If the orange peel skin is very common in the family, this increases the probability of suffering from cellulite oneself. Connective tissue weakness, low blood pressure, circulatory disorders, venous diseases, and hormone changes are also possible causes. Cellulite is not a medical problem and affects the majority of women. Even slender women can develop orange peel skin if they have the appropriate preload and weak connective tissue. However, diet, just like sport and exercise, plays a major role in the extent of cellulite.
What is the difference between cellulite and cellulitis?
Many use the terms cellulite and cellulitis synonymously. But it is not quite as simple as that: while cellulite is a harmless, purely cosmetic problem, cellulitis is a skin disease caused by bacteria. cellulitis also does not predominantly affect women, but often occurs in men as well.
While cellulite is mainly visible on the buttocks and thighs, cellulitis often also occurs on the arms and can in principle affect any other part of the skin. Since cellulitis is not a harmless disease but can cause permanent damage to the skin, a doctor should clarify the clinical picture!
Why do mostly women get cellulite?
Mainly women get cellulite, whereas orange peel skin is a rarity among men. The reason: Women have a different distribution of fat and connective tissue than men. In the subcutis, the fatty tissue is distributed in all people in connective tissue chambers. These are larger in women and are arranged perpendicular to the skin. In addition, female skin is thinner than male skin. This means that even minimal fat pads in women are easily visible from the outside.
Nutrition plays a major role in cellulite
Basically, there is only one thing that helps to fight cellulite: the right diet. Sure, sports and massages don’t hurt, but if you really want to get rid of or reduce those unsightly dents on your thighs in the long term, then pay attention to your diet.
This is all the more important the older you get because as you get older, collagen production decreases and the skin’s elasticity decreases. At the same time, more metabolic waste products accumulate in the connective tissue – the cause of cellulite. The result: unsightly dents. But this does not have to be the case. You can fight cellulite if you follow a few dietary rules.
What should you eat to fight cellulite?
- Fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamin C: Vitamin C strengthens the connective tissue and catches free radicals that cause the skin to age prematurely. In addition to oranges, kiwis also contain a lot of vitamin C. Some vegetables are also good sources of vitamin C, such as peppers and tomatoes. Make sure, however, that you eat the vegetables raw. A vitamin C preparation from the drugstore or pharmacy can also help: some clinical studies have shown that vitamin C can also tighten the skin considerably in the form of pills or gels.
- Sea fish such as salmon or herring: salmon provides many healthy omega-3 fatty acids. Do not let the word “fat” put you off. These are essential fatty acids that give the skin more elasticity. Other fish such as mackerel or herring also contain a lot of omega-3 fats. Feel free to replace a few meat meals with fish.
- Water and unsweetened teas: If you suffer from cellulite, it is best to drink, drink, drink – preferably pure water or unsweetened teas and no sweetened lemonades or fruit juices. In this way, you ensure that nutrients reach the cells and pollutants are flushed out. Two to three liters a day should be enough.
- Eggs: If you want to get rid of cellulite, you should eat an egg for breakfast more often. Besides valuable protein, eggs contain the amino acids proline and lysine, which in turn are crucial for the formation of collagen, the main component of our connective tissue.
- Nuts: Nibbling is allowed, but please do not eat chocolate cookies, but rather nuts. These contain a lot of vitamin E in addition to protein. This contributes to cell protection and cell renewal. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fats. So if you do not like sea fish, you can achieve the same effect with nuts. Caution: Not all nuts are the same! You should avoid roasted or salted nuts, the salt they contain is more harmful. Always use unprocessed nuts.
- Legumes: With legumes, you kill two birds with one stone. On the one hand, they strengthen the connective tissue cells and on the other hand, they work successfully against inflammations that weaken the connective tissue.
Which foods should you avoid?
- Pizza and pasta: Maybe you are crying out inside, but pizza and pasta are pure poison for the connective tissue. Taut tissue must be well supplied with blood. However, the high-fat content of a pizza and all the white flour in pasta prevent good blood circulation and acidifies your body. So hands off, even if it is difficult. After all: wholemeal pasta is allowed!
- White flour: White flour contains nothing but empty calories – nutrition experts agree on that. Your body loves to convert white flour into fat and deposits it bit by bit on your bottom and thighs. Spread white bread and other products with lots of white flour, preferably completely out of your diet and your cellulite will gradually disappear.
- Lemonade and sodas: Drinks that are heavily sugared or sweetened with sweeteners ruin the elasticity of the connective tissue. If you want to fight cellulite, then do without them and anything that has large amounts of sugar.
- Sweets: Speaking of sodas – sugar is generally bad for cellulite. Too much of the white gold has a negative effect on the elasticity of the skin and connective tissue. Of course, you don’t have to do without sweets completely, but maybe you can replace one or two jelly babies with a grape.
- Salty food: You should avoid salty food if possible. Cured meat or sausage can contain a lot of sodium salt. Ready meals or frozen foods are also often saltier than you think, not to mention fast food… And the salt in them, unfortunately, leads to water retention in the connective tissue on the stomach and thighs, which unnecessarily aggravates your orange peel skin. So pay attention to how much salt you take in, instead, you can use herbs or pepper instead, your skin will thank you! Also, avoid hidden salt traps like cottage cheese or barbecue and soy sauces.
Checklist: Nutrition that helps to prevent cellulite
The causes of cellulite are deposits in the connective tissue caused by an incorrect diet, which leads to hyperacidity of the body, as well as lack of exercise. You can easily combat acidity by eating the right diet for cellulite, which consists mainly of basic foods. This includes the following measures:
- Replace sweet drinks with water and drink plenty of it.
- Eat more fruit, vegetables, and salads.
- Consume high-quality vegetable oils instead of animal fat.
- Reduce your meat consumption and eat more fish instead.
- Use salt and sugar sparingly, rather use herbs for seasoning
- Sport helps against cellulite
In addition to nutrition, your physical fitness also plays a very important role in the (re)formation of orange peel skin: Sport is good against cellulite in many ways. On the one hand, it helps to strengthen the connective tissue between skin and muscles. On the other hand, regular exercise also reduces stress and burns the fat pads on your stomach and thighs. The skin on your problem areas becomes much firmer and smoother.
The bad news first: There is no such thing as the perfect sport against orange peel skin. But that also means that any kind of sport is good against cellulite, as long as you start sweating and burn a few excess calories. Nevertheless, there are some particularly effective sports:
Sports that can help against cellulite:
- Swimming: You train almost all the muscles of your body, especially the areas where cellulite is a problem. In order to achieve a quick effect, you should train in cool water, which additionally stimulates the blood circulation of the skin. Three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes.
- Yoga: Another sport that demands almost all muscle groups: Alternating between tension and relaxation, stretching and loosening, yoga is the key to fighting your orange peel skin – and on top of that, you get a free workout against everyday stress. Again, several yoga sessions per week are recommended.
- Strength training: Training in the gym builds up muscles very quickly and effectively, which in turn strengthens your connective tissue. It is best to get advice in the gym on how much training you need to achieve your goal.
- Endurance sports: running, cycling, or cross-country skiing: Classic endurance sports often do not use all muscle groups, which is why they are not always optimal. In contrast to the gym or swimming pool, however, the classic endurance sports can be done by anyone because the necessary sports equipment is already available and no additional costs are incurred. Doing sports four times a week for one hour is often possible.
How your lifestyle influences the cellulite:
Smoking and alcohol weaken your connective tissue
It is now well known that smoking and alcohol consumption is unhealthy. How much alcohol you drink or how many cigarettes you smoke also has a great influence on your skin texture. Alcohol floats up the connective tissue and makes your orange peel skin even worse. Nicotine is a strong cell poison that inhibits blood circulation and damages the skin cells just like all other body cells. It is therefore best to avoid alcohol and cigarettes altogether, or at least limit your consumption considerably. If not for your skin, then for the rest of your body.
Stress can make cellulite worse
Stress at work, in relationships, or in the family can also exacerbate cellulite. When stress is too much and too long, the body stores fat in the connective tissue to build up reserves. In this way, your orange peel skin gets worse. So make sure that stress is reduced and there are sufficient recovery phases.
Home remedy against cellulite
As with all other common problems, there are of course some home remedies for cellulite, most of which you already have at home:
Coffee against cellulite
The bean not only has an invigorating effect as a drink but also does good for the skin when used externally. Either you mix a coffee peeling or you put on coffee wraps.
Coffee Peeling: Strong against orange peel skin!
You can do a coffee peeling yourself easily and cheaply. Simply mix a few tablespoons of coffee grounds from the coffee filter with coconut oil or shower gel and rub your legs and the rest of your body with it every day. The beauty treatment is most effective if you shower the skin cold afterward. The more coffee grounds you use in relation to the shower gel or coconut oil, the stronger the anti-cellulite peeling.
Wrap with coffee against cellulite
If you like, you can also make a detoxifying coffee wrap in addition to or instead of the coffee peeling. You should do this about once a week over a period of one or two months to see results. To do this, dip kitchen paper in lukewarm coffee and wrap it around your thighs. This is best done in the bathtub or shower to avoid stains. Then wrap the coffee-soaked paper towel in cling film to keep the coffee warm and everything in place. After 30 minutes, remove the coffee wrap, shower your legs, and then treat them to a moisturizing lotion.
Mustard oil stimulates blood circulation, which is very good for cellulite per se. If the blood circulation in the flabby tissue is improved, the water deposits under the skin are removed more quickly and your skin looks firmer. No wonder that mustard oil has long been used in Ayurveda cures.
By the way, it develops its effect even better in combination with a massage. Mix the mustard oil with other circulation-promoting oils, such as jojoba oil or wheat germ oil, and citrus oils are also excellent. You can then warm the mixture slightly in a pot (don’t let it get too hot!) and then massage it into your thighs and bottom with circular movements.
Hot and cold showers
Alternate showers are also a boon to your connective tissue. Here the elasticity of the vessels is trained and the immune system is strengthened. Always start with warm water on the outside of the lower legs and then switch to cold water two or three times. Work your way slowly up to the thighs and buttocks and always stop with cold water.
Massages can relieve cellulite
To achieve success in the fight against cellulite dents, it is important that the lymphatic return is stimulated by the massage. For this purpose, you can either use manual massages or massage equipment. The oil you use should have the best possible lubricating effect so that the massage can be carried out for a long time without becoming painful. To achieve a good result, you should spend at least ten minutes a day on the massage. Especially preparations containing vitamin A and vitamin E can additionally tighten the skin.
How a cellulite massage works
The classic plucking massage in the fight against cellulite: To do this, take small rolls of skin on your thighs or buttocks between your index finger and thumb and gently pull them upwards as if you wanted to pinch yourself. Alternatively, massage your thighs with your hands in circular movements towards the heart to stimulate the blood circulation and prevent fluid deposits.
What are cellulite brushes good for?
Special cellulite massage brushes are also available in stores. If you don’t feel like plucking, you can use one of these brushes – the effect is the same. Even with a cellulite brush you stimulate the circulation and strengthen the connective tissue in the problem areas.
This is the right way to brush:
- Better in the morning than in the evening, because the massage stimulates the circulation and wakes you up
- Always towards the heart! You support the natural blood flow
- Better before showering, because moist skin is more prone to injury when brushing
- Do not brush over injuries, because the coarse bristles can reopen the wound
- Spare sensitive skin areas in order not to over-irritate the skin there!
When nothing helps: How to conceal orange peel skin and cellulite
The hot season is high season for short skirts and tight shorts. But sometimes the legs do not show their best side. Cellulite and spider veins have spread over the winter and you don’t have the time now to deal with the dents with lengthy workouts, a change of diet, and expensive creams. You want to look good now. So your orange peel skin has to become invisible somehow – and it works!
- Shave thoroughly! The small leg hairs may be inconspicuous and almost invisible, but they still become small shadows and make your legs look more uneven than they actually are. Spider veins are increased and cellulite dents appear deeper than they actually are.
- Special make-up for the legs can help to cover deep blue veins and redness and make the legs look smoother. At the drugstore, you can get camouflage make-up specially formulated to your skin tone to cover cellulite. A clever alternative is a shine spray. The reflected light gives your legs a silky shimmer and distracts from the dents.
- Tanned skin: on pale legs, the orange peel skin is shown to its best advantage. A long sunbath on the beach, a visit to a solarium, or – if time is not enough – a standard self-tanner can help. However, before applying the tinted cream, you should peel off the legs so that the artificial tan is evenly distributed on the skin.
- Discreet tights: If you would like to show more leg at an evening event, you can also go for very thin, skin-colored tights. Like a second skin, they cover the problem zones and feign flawless skin. A small downer: nylon tights do not harmonize as well with open shoes or peep-toes.