Can You Really Get Rid Of Cellulite?

Cellulite. Cottage cheese. Orange peel. Dimpled skin. Whatever you want to call it, the concept was not introduced to American women until 1968. Vogue published a piece in April of that year called "Cellulite: The Fat You Could Not Lose Before," per Refinery29. As a paper published in the Menopause Review noted, cellulite was not even defined until 1922 by French doctors. In effect, the wide-spread concern for the "condition" is relatively new. Cellulite treatments are now a billion-dollar industry targeting post-adolescent women.

Contrary to popular belief and marketing ploys, cellulite is not a different type of fat that you can eliminate with the right product. It is simply body fat pushing through connective tissue. Researchers believe that it occurs more often in women than men because female sex hormones affect the thickness of connective tissue (via Advances in Dermatology and Allergology). Indeed, an evidence-based review published in the American Journal of Clinical Dermatology states that 80 to 90 percent of post-adolescent women have cellulite.

Cellulite does not respond to topical or invasive treatments

Neither topical nor invasive treatments have proved to be very effective in reducing the appearance of cellulite. The American Journal of Clinical Dermatology review found that laser and radio-frequency therapies are not very promising for cellulite reduction.

In addition, no topical cellulite cream can claim to eliminate cellulite completely (via Medical News Today). Rather, companies will claim that their products reduce its appearance. Ingredients such as caffeine and retinol supposedly work by increasing blood flow, firming the skin, and boosting collagen production to make the skin thicker. However, these results are only temporary. Some treatments, especially retinol, can even cause redness and peeling by drying out the skin.

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but cellulite is natural and has no negative effects on a person's health. Women need a certain amount of body fat in order to menstruate, strengthen bones, and prevent premature aging of the skin, as explained by the Better Health Channel. If you really want to reduce the appearance of cellulite, certain forms of exercise, such as strength training, can help. Just remember that learning to love your body as it is can improve your mental health and save you money on expensive treatments.