We pop them like Smarties, but paracetamol and ibuprofen are difficult for the liver to process. “If you make the liver’s job harder, it reduces the lymphatic system’s ability to get rid of waste,” warns A-list cosmetic doctor Michael Prager, who has a London clinic. “So when your liver is trying to break down painkillers, it can’t work on your fat cells. In fact, your liver is storing toxins in your cellulite instead.” Next time you feel a headache coming on, try one of the new roll-on remedies, such as Aveda Stress-Fix Pure-Fume Rollerball, £22 or This Works Deep Sleep Stress Less, £12.
2. City Life
High-flying Parisians have much more cellulite than the relaxed country folk of Bordeaux, new LipoSmooth research has found. It’s backed up by a study in the Journal Of The European Academy Of Dermatology and Venerology, which proved that a stressful lifestyle can increase adrenaline, a hormone linked to cellulite. How? Stress making your body seize up, constricting circulation so cellulite accumulates. But you can live in the city without sacrificing your skin, says Dr Prager: “Meditating can make you look an estimated 12 years younger, as it counteracts the daily stress.” Try Headspace, the free app that helps you practice mindfulness on the go.
3. Eating The Wrong Salad
If your salad is packed in a plastic box, the health benefits are compromised. “The plastic often contains hormone-disrupting chemicals, called xenoestrogens, which leach into your food,” warns homeopath Margo Marrone, founder of The Organic Pharmacy. “These act as artificial oestrogen in your body, causing fat cells to swell.” Health-conscious chains such as Planet Organic and Whole Foods sell salads in cardboard boxes, or pack your own in a stainless-steel tiffin box. For extra anti-puckering power, add brassicas such as broccoli and cabbage to your salad, as these are believed to reduce oestrogen levels, according to a new study from the University of Massachusetts.
4. Drinking The Wrong Water
The same plastic-dodging logic applies to water, so always drink it from a glass. Water is a key player in the cellulite fight, so get it right: Temperature: Drink it warm, as cold drinks solidify fats from just-eaten food, so they’re harder for the body to digest. Quality: “Select bottled water with a low dry-residue content,” advises Legology founder and cellulite expert Kate Shapland. “Dry residue is the description for unidentified elements in the water, so a high percentage means you could be overloading on toxins.” Bottled water should have less than 50mg dry residue per litre; Spa Reine has the lowest levels. pH: Boosting the alkaline in your body lowers the acidic toxins that cause cellulite. Add lemon to water, as it becomes alkaline during the digestive process.
5. Cheap Protein
Organic meat may cost twice as much as non-organic, but it’s worth investing in your body. “Non-organic livestock is pumped with hormones, antibiotics and growth stimulants- harmful foreign toxins which your body doesn’t know how to get rid of,” explains Dalton Wong, founder of Twenty Two Training. No prizes for guessing where those toxins are stored. “What’s more, a protein-heavy diet requires extra fibre to shift it through your system. Few Atkins enthusiasts eat enough wholegrains and vegetables to balance out their meat intake, and the waste is locked into your cellulite.”
6. Giving Up Caffeine
You probably know that excess caffeine- that’s more than two cups of tea or coffee a day- overstimulates your nervous system, which triggers the production of cortisol, a fat-storing hormone. The extra caffeine found in chocolate, energy drinks and green tea only makes it worse. Though forgoing your daily latte can reduce cellulite, new research proves you need caffeine in your beauty products. When applied directly to the skin, the active ingredient accelerates fat breakdown, while encouraging localised circulation to drain fluid between fat cells.
7. Your Office Chair
It seems a seat is orange peel’s BFF. A recent study from Tel Aviv University found that the pressure on your buttocks from sitting down all day actually makes your bottom more prone to cellulite- whatever your size. “Contrary to muscle and bone tissue, which get weaker with disuse, fat deposits in fat cells expanded by as much as 50% when they experienced sustained pressure,” explains researcher Professor Amit Gefen. So, even if you’re slim, cellulite can still creep up on you. Kate adds: “Crossing your legs and sitting on the edge of your seat impede lymph flow, which is essential for breaking down cellulite.” Uncross your legs and relax for a lump-free behind.
Words by Kate Faithfull-Williams
There’s nothing more frustrating than doing all the right things without getting the right result. Especially when you’re sweating yourself silly in the gym and saying ‘no thanks’ to chocolate, yet you’re still cursed with cellulite.
90% of us bear the toxic fat that gives our thighs and bottoms a lumpy texture. And 100% of us would prefer we didn’t, so we doggedly follow the decades-old expert advice for smooth skin: drink water, cut out coffee, body brush and go to the gym. With limited success. Now things have changed. This summer, the world’s top minds in skin science have produced a raft of research into the hidden causes of cellulite. Click through the gallery above to discover all…