When we read about the causes of cellulite, we usually see words like hormones, fat, and genetics. But what we really should be discussing is connective tissue. As the name implies, CT connects, surrounds, and protects our bones and organs. It’s made up of collagenous fibers, ground substance and cells, and fiber elastics. With age and environmental exposure its integrity begins to deteriorate, particularly the collagenous fibers aka collagen. Recently Organic Hudson Valley Magazine published one of my recipes for an anti-aging, anti-cellulite scrub. As many of you know, I already beauty and fashion write for the publication, and I was thrilled when they asked me to start sharing natural beauty DIYS with their readers. If you want to learn more about the science of cellulite and anti-aging, please check out the article (linked above). While I won’t go into everything that is included in it here, I will share that if you want to improve your skin’s appearance, you must get serious about fighting free radicals.
Free radicals cause cell damage. We come in contact with them via our environment and food. That’s why it’s important to detox and ingest antioxidants. Antioxidants are like kryptonite to free radicals. They not only destroy them but repair the damage they have caused.
Great. Now Tell Me How to Get Rid of Cellulite.
While there’s no permanent fix for cellulite, you can reduce its appearance and ward it off. Along with doing exercises that help maintain muscle (think squats, lunges and other forms of resistant training), you can perform dry brushing and feed your skin topically with ingredients that boost your connective tissue’s health.
Dry brushing is the practice of brushing the skin. It’s exfoliating and promotes detox by way of the lymphatic system, similar to massage. Pick a brush with natural bristles and on dry skin, gently but firmly, brush in an upward motion, beginning with your feet. You can also brush in a circular motion.
Brushing increases blood flow circulation. Often when we’re toxic, our natural detox systems (such as our skin) can’t perform effectively. By dry brushing, you’re helping your body heal itself by flushing out the bad stuff.
In terms of skin food, I did a lot of research to develop a scrub that can aids in cellulite reduction. Caffeine has been revered by beauty experts because it dehydrates cells, making them appear less puffy (aka dimply). But as I was tinkering in my DIY kitchen, I knew that wouldn’t be enough for real results. Like I said, you have to fight free radicals, not just depuff. That’s how I came across green tea. Green tea, matcha specifically, is not only high in caffeine but it’s loaded with antioxidants!
Matcha is huge in the beauty world right now and rightfully so. It’s incredible! Along with it’s anti-aging, depuffing power, it’s also anti-inflammatory. Some holistic experts believe that when our body is inflamed (this can be caused by stress, our diet, our environment), our body holds on to toxins, making it susceptible to disease and more prone to hold on to fat.
Once I learned the skin benefits of matcha, I knew I had to include it in this multipurpose scrub. I used sugar as an exfoliant because it’s gentle enough to be used on the face, as well as the body. Some alternatives, like salt, can be harsh on the face.
To soften and moisturize I opted for virgin coconut oil. Not only does it smell delicious (like sugar cookies!), it’s high in fatty acids which are great for skin integrity. And of course, I had to add a few drops of Rosemary Essential oil. Like dry brushing, it promotes blood circulation and ups the effectiveness of the scrub.
I perform dry brushing followed by a scrub three times a week. When I apply the scrub I take my time to massage and kneed it into my skin. I’ve found this method to be better than just dry brushing alone. Remember, always move upward towards your lymph nodes -never downward. In fact, if you want any extra anti-cellulite tip, when you’re washing your body, use upward strokes. Even your face. Pressure and gravity are not your friend. When it comes to beauty, up is almost always the way to go.
I’ve seen such an improvement since starting this beauty ritual. If you give it a try, please let me know. Take a photo of your scrub and tag me (@theupstateedit) and @ohvmagazine. I’d love to see your creations. In the meantime, what do you do to banish cellulite or practice self care?
Hudson Valley based writer.