I had a dream that chocolate was diet food and cellulite was sexy….then I woke up. But, I do still think about how cellulite is really a secondary sex characteristic. It often starts around puberty because there is an estrogen connection and it can even fluctuate with monthly cycles. Since, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, 90 percent of all women experience cellulite to some degree; it’s no wonder that there is a demand to get rid of it. Hopeful that something as simple as a massage could give me Cameron Diaz legs, I asked Scottsdale plastic surgeon, Dr. Sean Lille what really helps and what is hype. Here is a breakdown from least effective to most effective:
- Temporary: As counterproductive as it sounds, plumping the skin to fill in the space where the connective tissue pulls down, temporarily reduces the appearance of cellulite. Why? Because women have septae or vertical bands of tough connective tissue that pull down on skin causing existing fat pockets to bulge upward sort of like a mattress. The coils of a mattress are like a woman’s septae. (Men, unfairly, have septae arranged in a diagonal crosshatch pattern which make men exempt.) Although, not scientifically proven to work, pneumatic massage, heat therapy, ultrasound, magnetic therapy and endermolgie all have a physical or mechanical method that may help plump up the indentions.
- Creams: If you happen to have the budget to drown your butt and thighs in retinols, these topical formulations might help. Since retinioids, retinols and topical peptides are expensive, they aren’t found in body creams but they are found in facial creams. These products help build up collagen production, but since the skin on the body is thicker than the face, the products effectiveness is limited. You will find anti-cellulite creams with ingredients like caffeine, menthol or mint. Caffeine penetrates the skin easily and increases microcirculation but the effect is very temporary. By the time you walk out of the bathroom the effect may be gone.
- Machines: According to information presented at a recent American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery meeting, Velashape is effective and can reduce cellulite. It works using a combination of radio frequency, infrared light energy, plus vacuum and mechanical massage. It takes at least 4 treatments to see results. The results are not proven to be permanent.
- New procedures for long lasting results: Groundbreaking new technology, VaserSmooth and Cellulaze are the only one-time treatment options available that treats the core problem of cellulite by releasing the fibrous bands on connective tissue and emulsifying fat cells that cause the appearance of cellulite. While VaserSmooth uses ultrasonic energy and Cellulaze utilizes laser energy, they both use probes that selectively break up fatty tissue and the surgeon uses the edge of the probe to remove individual septae (mattress coil indentions.) Dr. Sean Lille, the first surgeon in the valley to perform VaserSmooth, says the procedure is not for everyone and patient selection is important. Hmmm…why do I always fall into the- “not for you” category? Booking my massage now!
And remember, “Beauty without virtue, is like a rose without a scent!”