Natural cellulite treatments

As the weather warms, we turn our attention to natural cellulite treatments and bare-legged beauty preparation for the holidays. Cellulite is caused by an excess of fat combined with a sluggish lymphatic system. Fluid retention in our fat cells breaks down the collagen and elastin fibres that keep our skin nice and smooth. It starts around puberty and is linked to oestrogen, which is why it mostly affects women. It can grow worse with increasing body fat and poor circulation. As cellulite develops, it slows our circulation even more, making the condition worse.

Boosting the lymphatic system is our first beauty basic here. Lymph flow relies on body movements, such as deep breathing and muscle contraction, and exercise is a great way to help tackle both fat loss and cellulite. Walk, climb stairs, squat and lunge wherever possible throughout the day to get hips and legs moving more energetically – especially if you sit down for most of the day.

What to eat to reduce cellulite

Liz Earle Wellbeing natural cellulite cures
Photo: Liz Earle’s Skin Secrets book

In terms of diet, it’s vital to drink more water if you want to cut down on cellulite. Aim to drink six to eight large glasses of pure water a day. Avoid drinking too much alcohol and coffee (one or two cups a day is fine), as an excess can overly tax the liver, which has to process waste matter out of the body. If we eat more ‘cleanly’, our liver can process the less healthy foods and drink in our diet more effectively. This includes those that might be contributing to cellulite.

Instead of fizzy drinks packed with sugar and artificial chemical additives, make your own by adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or a few fresh cucumber slices and a sprig of mint to a glass of sparkling water.

Include more naturally diuretic foods. Salads of dark green leaves (such as rocket, lambs lettuce, dandelion leaves and watercress) with fennel, cucumber and fresh parsley. These can all help cleanse the system.

You can also help reduce the appearance of cellulite with some simple steps in your beauty regime, including homemade scrubs and oils made with everyday ingredients such as coffee grounds and cooking oil.

Three steps to tackle cellulite

Before your shower

Choose a natural bristle body brush that’s stiff enough to create friction but not so hard as to scratch your skin. Work from the soles of your feet up your legs in smooth, long strokes.  Work the brush strokes upwards – toward your heart – as this helps stimulate the lymphatic system as well as give blood circulation a boost. Liz loves these Hydréa Body Brushes from Oliver Bonas.

During your shower

Create a simple caffeine body scrub to apply during your shower. Use up leftover coffee grounds from a cafetière or coffee machine, mixed with a little light cooking oil, such as grapeseed oil, light sunflower oil or almond oil (extra virgin olive oil is too thick and sticky for this). You only need about six tablespoons of coffee grounds to one tablespoon of light oil to make enough for a couple of treatments. To use, shower as usual, then stay in the shower but turn the water off. Take a couple of minutes to massage the coffee grounds into hips and thighs. This is a bit messy, so hose down the shower afterwards to remove all traces of coffee and take care as the oil can make the shower tray slippery. Step out of the shower and gently pat the skin dry. Tip: use first thing in the morning for an energising coffee aroma!

After your shower

Make an essential oil massage blend to apply to your warm, damp skin. Adding two or three drops of skin-toning essential oils (such as lemon and juniper) to an eggcup full of grapeseed or almond oil. Warm the oil between your palms and apply this deliciously-scented blend to problem-prone areas in smooth strokes. Take a few moments to pinch the dimpled skin to encourage increased blood flow before smoothing the skin, working upwards towards the heart. Liz especially likes the Tisserand range of organic essential oils, like their Lemon Organic Essential Oil.

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Wellbeing Wisdom

  • It’s vital to drink more water if you want to cut down on cellulite – aim to drink six to eight large glasses of pure water a day
  • When body brushing work the strokes upwards – toward your heart – as this helps stimulate the lymphatic system