11 Scientific Facts About the Very Real Struggle of Cellulite

celluliteGiven today's oh-so-body-positive climate, maybe it's time you finally embrace any cellulite you have instead of HATING it. And to do that, you better get an, er, leg up on the facts.

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We're not saying this list is going to make you suddenly love any orange-peel skin you have on your bod. But it might just empower you to feel a bit more cool with it.

1. Cellulite is normal. Yes, normal. Not rare. It's normal fat under the skin.

2. It runs in families. Your mom has ripply thighs? You probably will, too.

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3. You can't flush it away. Sigh. All the juice fasts in the world won't make you cellulite-free. That's because it's not caused by toxins in your body. Besides family genes, cellulite is influenced by hormones, and lack of exercise and muscle tone. (Although we're not pointing any fingers.)

4. Women are more prone to cellulite than men. Yep, the fairer sex has to contend with more bumps and ripples. Which seems highly unfair, since we also have periods. Apparently our collagen is arranged in rows, which makes it primo real estate for fat to pocket. Men's collagen lies in less fat-friendly "X" shapes.

5. Losing weight doesn't make cellulite disappear. Contrary to popular beliefs about cellulite, it IS true that a higher body weight ups your chances for having dimples and bumps, but they're not going to magically and completely disappear once you slim down.

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6. Age matters. Remember how we told you that hormones factor into cellulite? Well, your body produces less estrogen as you get older. And less estrogen = poorer circulation = a decrease in collagen production and MORE cellulite.

7. Exercise can help. Yoga and strength-training burn fat, build muscle, boost circulation -- all the things you need to shrink away that cellulite.

8. So can a massage. A 30- to 60-minute deep tissue massage can actually break up the fibrous connective tissue that causes skin to dimple. Just using a rolling pin may be enough to see a difference. The resulting smoothness can last up to a few months.

9. Liposuction ain't an option. True, it sucks out fat and shapes your body. But it's not a good treatment to get rid of cellulite.

10. Wearing a thong MIGHT make a difference. According to one theory, cellulite is a relatively new phenomenon that's only been around since the '70s or '80s. In part, because we're sitting more. (Uh, yeah.) AND because we're wearing really tight underwear that prevents good circulation in our legs and hips. So, thong it up, ladies.

11. So far, no anti-cellulite creams are proven to work. Your best option is Retin-A (tretinoin), which is only available as a prescription. But it works by thickening the skin so the cellulte is still there, just less noticeable. We say go for the rolling pin.

 

Image via © kzenon/iStock

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