Cellulite seems to be one of those problems that plagues many women these days. Based on the number of times remedies for cellulite appear in women’s magazines and websites, I’m guessing that this is also a problem we still haven’t solved.
Most sources agree that the dimpled appearance of cellulite occurs due to problems/imbalance in the connective tissue and fat in a person’s body but there are many theories about what may cause this imbalance. It seems that hormones, diet, lifestyle and genetics all play a role but are not absolutes. While those who are overweight tend to have a higher chance of getting cellulite, many thin women complain of it as well.
Below are natural remedies I’ve either tried myself or had trusted sources recommend. They should all help balance the connective tissue/fat in the body and address the many possible causes. Either way, these things are beneficial for other reasons too so they are worth a try!
1. Dry Brushing
This is one remedy that there may not be any scientific evidence that it works but that there is a lot of anecdotal support for. Either way, it feels great and helps stimulate blood and lymph flow in the body.
“How often: Dry skin brushing effectively opens up the pores on your skin. This is something you can — and should — be doing daily, even twice a day. Your skin should be dry, so the ideal time is in the shower before you turn on the water. Just a reminder, don’t get the brush wet.
Direction: You should only brush towards the heart. Making long sweeps, avoid back and forth, scrubbing and circular motions. Start at your feet, moving up the legs on both sides, then work from the arms toward your chest. On your stomach, direct the brush counterclockwise. And, don’t brush too hard: Skin should be stimulated and invigorated but not irritated or red.
Type of brush: The bristles should be natural, not synthetic, and preferably vegetable-derived. The bristles themselves should be somewhat stiff, though not too hard. Look for one that has an attachable handle for hard-to-reach spots, if necessary.
Benefits: In addition to sloughing away dry skin on areas like knees, elbows and ankles, body brushing promotes tighter skin, cell renewal and blood flow. This also helps the lymphatic system release toxins and aids in digestion and kidney function. You’ll also notice a glowy, smooth complexion. We love it because it’s one of the easiest, cheapest and most effective things we can do for promoting healthy skin.”
It seems that a natural bristle semi-firm brush with a handle is best and I keep mine in the shower to use daily right before showering. Here is a tutorial video that explains the specifics:
2. Consuming Gelatin
According to Nourishing Traditions and much of the information I’ve read from the Weston A. Price foundation, there are various health benefits to Gelatin, including:
- Gelatin supports skin, hair and nail growth
- It is good for joints and can help joint recovery
- Can help tighten loose skin (like the kind you get after having four babies in five years…)
- Can improve digestion since it naturally binds to water and helps food move more easily though the digestive track
- Rumored to help improve cellulite
- Great source of dietary collagen (side note: collagen is too large to be absorbed by the skin, so those skin creams are pretty useless… get it internally and use coconut oil for lotion!)
- Source of protein (though not a spectacular one) but its specific amino acids can help build muscle.
Gelatin is largely composed of the amino acids glycine and proline, which many people don’t consume in adequate amounts as they are found in the bones, fibrous tissues and organs of animals and as a population, we don’t consume these parts as much anymore. These amino acids are needed not only for proper skin, hair and nail growth, but for optimal immune function and weight regulation!
One theory is that the decline of gelatin containing foods in our diets has led to an increase in cellulite as we don’t have the needed building blocks for healthy connective tissue. Either way, it is another remedy that is good for other reasons and worth a try.
3. Myofascial Massage
One theory is that: “Cellulite forms in the superficial fascia, a layer of connective tissue below the skin that contains fat cells. Superficial fascia is fibrous and due to inactivity, injuries, and improper exercise, adhesions (scar tissue) in the fascia can form contributing to the bunched-up or rippled look of the skin. Not only does the superficial fascia become more fibrous, thickened and coarse, less flexible, but it can also adhere to underlying structures that it normally slides over.”
Some therapists are able to perform a type of massage called myofascial massage or myofascial release, which smoothes this layer of connective tissue and can apparently also help with some types of muscle and joint problems that are related to imbalances in the fascia.
For those of us who don’t have access to regular massage, it seems that using a deep tissue foam roller regularly can greatly help as well.
4. Coffee Scrub
Coffee scrubs can be beneficial in reducing cellulite as well. The massage and exfoliation benefits skin by stimulating blood/lymph flow and the caffeine in the coffee has a tightening effect. Pinterest is speckled with accounts of coffee scrubs and wraps working for reducing cellulite and loose skin, and like the other remedies, it is at least worth a try. If nothing else, coffee smells great and this scrub will exfoliate skin:
You will need:
- 1/4 cup coffee grounds
- 3 tablespoons sugar or brown sugar
- 2-3 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil
What to do:
Combine the ingredients to create a paste-like consistency (note that it will harden if cooled if you are using unrefined coconut oil). Store in a glass jar.
Massage in to skin for several minutes using firm pressure and wash as usual. Use 2-3 times a week. Results should be visible within a couple of weeks.
Kettlebells are one of my favorite ways to workout and they are especially good for the hips/thighs/buttocks/stomach areas (don’t believe me? do one kettlebell workout and let me know how your thighs feel the next day!)
Increasing blood flow to these areas can help remove cellulite and kettlebells are one of the most effective ways to build muscle and burn fat (both which help minimize the appearance of cellulite)
Another theory is that consumption of the wrong kinds of fats leads to an imbalance of the fatty acids that the body needs for smooth skin and tissue. There is some evidence that consuming enough Omega-3 fatty acids and fat soluble vitamins will help reduce cellulite over time. Either way, Omega-3s and fat soluble vitamins are important for many other functions in the body, so it won’t hurt to try it!
Personally, I take fermented cod liver oil daily for skin health (and for many other reasons).
7. Detox Baths
I love detox baths because they are relaxing, but yet another theory proclaims that toxin build-up in skin and fat tissues lead to cellulite. I couldn’t find any scientific evidence to back the toxin claim, but detox baths can be relaxing and great for the skin in other ways, so they are worth a try!
8. Moisturize Naturally
Just as detox baths may help remove toxins that can lead to skin problems (and maybe cellulite), constantly adding toxins back to the skin in the form of chemical-laden beauty products probably doesn’t help much! If you haven’t already, try using natural options for skin care and moisturizing. Simple coconut oil will work as an all-purpose moisturizer, but if you want to get a little more sophisticated, these are a few of my favorite recipes:
- Perfect Silk Lotion Bars
- 3-Ingredient Lotion Bars
- Homemade Luxurious Lotion
9. Balance Hormones
It seems that many sources agree that hormones play a large part in cellulite formation (one reason that women typically get it and men don’t) and that working toward proper hormone balance can help reduce cellulite. Even if it doesn’t get rid of cellulite, balancing hormones helps in so many other ways that it is worth working on!