Nature makes us store fat in our hips and thighs, because these areas are supposed to be our energy reserve during pregnancy and lactation. During birth, estrogen is also responsible for breaking down the collagen in the cervix to allow the passage of the baby. So, we have an entire body area (hips and thighs) that is prone to hypertrophy (enlarged fat cells) and collagen breakdown. And the worst part is that you don't actually have to get pregnant for this to happen; it's an ongoing process that starts at puberty and may continue even after menopause.
This phenomenon creates a vicious cycle, because enlarged fat cells increase estrogen production and
estrogen leads to the formation of new fat cells. So, your fat cells become larger and larger, which causes parts of the dermis to break down, allowing the fat cells to protrude towards the superficial layers of the skin.The whole situation becomes even worse due to congestion and fluid retention.
Let's now see all the things we need to address in order to eliminate cellulite:
- Reduce the action of estrogen
- Lower body fat percentage
- Strengthen the skin's structure
- Fight water retention
Reduce the action of estrogenEstrogen IS THE MAIN culprit in cellulite development. If you find a way to reduce the action of estrogen on your lower body's fat stores, you will be able to eliminate the root cause of cellulite.
This is not only a matter of lowering your overall estrogen levels, but also of changing the balance between estrogen and other hormones, like progesterone and testosterone.
Now, how do you safely lower your overall estrogen levels? The answer is phytoestrogens.
I know that you may believe that phytoestrogens are supposed to increase your estrogen levels, right? Well, the matter is a little bit more complicated than that.
Inside the cells of your body there are estrogen receptors that are activated by this hormone. If you are a premenopausal woman, then usually these receptors become "occupied" by your endogenous estrogen. Now, phytoestrogens compete with endogenous estrogen for the same receptors. So,by consuming more foods that are rich in phytoestrogens you will be able to replace a stronger form of estrogen with a weaker form of estrogen.
To make things even more complicated,there is another class of estrogen receptors called estrogen-receptor-related receptors that is only activated by xenoestrogens, like pesticides. These xenoestrogens are considered to be endocrine disruptors that interfere with the normal metabolism of the body.
To recap, you need to start eating foods rich in phytoestrogen, like flaxseeds and avoid anything that contains pesticides.
Lower body fat percentageThe larger the fat cells, the more they poke through your connective tissue. By losing some fat, your fat cells will become smaller and won't "herniate" as much through the skin. Another essential step towards eliminating cellulite is to build some muscle by doing resistance workouts. This muscle mass will reduce dimpling because it will allow the skin to lay more smoothly.
Is there another way to reduce the size of the fat cells? Yes, there is, but it's temporary! I'm sure you already know that most anti-cellulite creams contain caffeine. Caffeine belongs to methylxanthines, which are phosphodiesterase inhibitors. Caffeine works by activating the beta-adrenergic receptors, which causes the fat to break down into glycerol and fatty acid components. Caffeine may also work by dehydrating the fat cells.
Strengthen the skin's structureTo make your skin act like young skin again and become more resilient you need to increase collagen, elastin, hyaluronic acid and decrease MMP. This can be done either orally or topically. Topical treatments are faster and more effective. Take for example, a substance that increases collagen production, like Vitamin C.Applying Vitamin C topically is actually 20 times more effective than ingesting it.
To increase collagen you need to use substances like retinol, vitamin c, lactic acid and glycolic acid.
For elastine you need vitamin A, dill seed extract and ginger essential oil.
To increase hyaluronic acid you need N-acetyl glucosamine, centella asiatica, lactic acid, niacinamide,vitamin C, soy isoflavones and vitamin A.
To decrease MMP try white and green tea extracts and Butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) extract.
Some supplements that can strengthen the skin are gelatin, vitamin c and Pycnogenol.
Let me add that white tea is one of the best collagen and elastin boosters.
You see there are 2 types of skin aging — internal and external.External aging occurs due to factors such as sunlight exposure, pollution and smoking.Internal aging occurs due to a variety of factors, like the production of free radicals and certain enzymes inside your body. These enzymes, called elastase and collagenase, can cause damage to the skin and make it loose and saggy.
In a 2009 study, white tea was proven to be the extract with the most potent anti-elastase and anti-collagenase properties, among 21 different species of plants. In fact, white tea inhibited elastase by 89% and collagenase by 87%. Surprisingly, this result was achieved with a very low daily oral dose!
Your overall diet is also very important. Sugar, for example, has an almost "toxic effect" on your body. When digested in large amounts, sugar can cause dysfunction in your cellular and hormonal system. Sugar causes glycation. The sugar found in your bloodstream attaches itself to proteins, and forms new molecules called AGEs (advanced glycation end products). And do you know which proteins, in particular, are most prone to glycation? You guessed it, collagen and elastin. There is even a term for it, the sugar sag!