What Causes Cellulite? Why It Happens & How to Prevent It

what causes cellulite

Cellulite, which we sometimes call "orange-peel skin" or "cottage cheese skin," presents as that distinct dimpled texture on our bodies. Frustrating as it is, it affects almost all women at some stage in life. 

Although we often associate cellulite with body fat and weight gain, that's not the only cause. Cellulite can be caused by a wide range of factors — some of which can be prevented! So, let's take a deep dive into the causes of cellulite and some tips for preventing and treating this pesky skin blemish.  


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What Exactly is Cellulite?

Cellulite is a term many of us are familiar with, but not everyone understands its true nature. It's that dimpled appearance on the skin, often found on the thighs, buttocks, and abdomen. Cellulite occurs when a layer of fat deposits push through the connective tissue beneath the skin.

Contrary to popular belief, cellulite isn't a sign of poor health or lack of skin care. In fact, it's a natural occurrence that affects many, regardless of body type or fitness level. Genetics, hormones, and age can all influence its development. While it's more prevalent in women due to the distribution of fat, muscle, and connective tissue, men can experience it as well. 


bad cellulite


9 Common Causes of Cellulite


1. Genetic Factors

Our genes play a significant role in determining whether we develop cellulite. Specific genes are responsible for the distribution of fat, skin thickness, and the strength of the connective tissues.

If your mother or grandmother had cellulite, there's a higher likelihood that you might experience it too. While we can't change our genetic makeup, understanding its influence can help us approach cellulite with a more informed perspective.


2. Hormonal Changes

Hormones, particularly estrogen, play a pivotal role in the formation of cellulite. As women approach menopause, estrogen production decreases, leading to a reduction in blood flow to the connective tissues.

This can result in lower collagen production, making the skin thinner and allowing fat cells to become more visible. Other hormones like insulin and catecholamines can also influence cellulite development.


3. Lifestyle and Diet

A sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet can contribute to the appearance of cellulite. Here are the top culprits:  

  • Unhealthy fats and sugars. Diets high in unhealthy fats can increase fat storage in the body. Additionally, processed foods and sugars can lead to skin inflammation and weaken the collagen in the skin, making cellulite more visible.
  • Lack of fibre. Diets low in fibre can slow down the body's ability to detoxify, leading to more toxins in the body, which can worsen cellulite.
  • Dehydration. Consuming too little water can make the existing cellulite more conspicuous. Dehydration can lead to thinner skin and a more pronounced appearance of the underlying fat.
  • Physical inactivity. A sedentary lifestyle can lead to weakened muscle tone and increased fat accumulation—both factors that can enhance the visibility of cellulite.
  • Smoking. Smoking can impair blood flow and weaken the formation of collagen. This can cause the skin to become more elastic, making cellulite more pronounced. 


causes cellulite


4. Age and Skin Thickness

As we age, our skin naturally becomes thinner, and its elasticity decreases. This reduction in thickness and elasticity can make the underlying fat cells more pronounced, leading to the appearance of cellulite.

While ageing is a natural process, maintaining good skincare practices can help in preserving skin's natural elasticity for longer.


5. Poor Circulation

Reduced blood flow in certain areas of the body can exacerbate the appearance of cellulite. When circulation is compromised, the skin doesn't receive the necessary nutrients, leading to a weakening of the connective tissue.

This allows fat cells to push through more easily, creating that dimpled texture. Ensuring good circulation through activities like massage or dry brushing can help in alleviating this cause.


6. Weight Fluctuations

Rapid weight gain or loss can influence the appearance of cellulite. Weight gain can stretch the skin, making cellulite more noticeable, while rapid weight loss can make skin more lax, allowing cellulite to appear more easily.

Maintaining a stable weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help in managing cellulite.


cellulite causes


7. Tight Clothing

Wearing tight clothing, especially around the buttocks and thighs, can limit blood flow, leading to the formation of cellulite.

For instance, tight elastic underwear can limit circulation, potentially leading to an increase in cellulite. Opting for looser clothing and ensuring proper blood flow can help in reducing the risk.


8. Stress

Chronic stress can lead to an increase in the production of catecholamines, hormones that have been linked to the development of cellulite. High levels of these hormones can affect blood flow and increase fat storage, both of which can contribute to the appearance of cellulite.

Managing stress through relaxation techniques, exercise, and proper sleep can be beneficial. 


9. Environmental Factors

Our environment plays a more significant role in our skin's health than we might realise. Prolonged exposure to pollutants, UV rays, and even extreme weather conditions can weaken the skin's protective barrier and reduce its elasticity.

Over time, this environmental damage can make the skin more susceptible to the appearance of cellulite. Pollutants can also lead to toxin accumulation in the body, which can further exacerbate cellulite formation.

It's essential to protect the skin from harmful environmental factors by using sunscreen, wearing protective clothing, and regularly detoxifying the body to reduce the impact of these external stressors.


Why is Cellulite More Common in Women?

The anatomy of our connective tissue plays a pivotal role. Women's fibrous bands run vertically, creating spaces that allow fat cells to protrude easily. Conversely, men's connective bands have a criss-crossed tissue pattern, which offers better resistance to the outward push of fat cells.

Additionally, women's hormonal milieu, especially oestrogen fluctuations, can influence collagen production, weakening the skin's structure over time.


Can Cellulite be Prevented?

While genetics and hormonal factors can make you predisposed to cellulite, lifestyle choices can sway its onset and severity. Regular exercise, maintaining a balanced diet, maintaining a healthy weight, staying hydrated, and avoiding smoking are preventive measures.

These choices promote healthy skin, efficient fat metabolism, and robust connective tissues—all essential to minimizing the risk and appearance of cellulite.



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Tips to Keep Cellulite at Bay


Adopt a Balanced Diet

A healthy diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can strengthen the skin's connective tissue, making it harder for fat cells to push through. Incorporate foods high in vitamin C, E, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Limiting the intake of processed foods, sugars, and excessive salt can also help in reducing fluid retention, which can exacerbate cellulite. 


Engage in Regular Exercise

Physical activity, especially strength training and aerobic exercises, can improve blood circulation and help in reducing fat deposits.

Toning muscles in areas prone to cellulite, like thighs and buttocks, can make the skin appear smoother.


causes of cellulite


Stay Hydrated

Drinking ample water is essential for overall health and can help improve skin elasticity. Hydrated skin appears smoother and can mask the appearance of cellulite.

Additionally, water helps in flushing out toxins that can accumulate and affect skin health.


Moisturise and Massage

Regularly moisturising the skin can improve its texture and elasticity. Massaging areas with cellulite can stimulate blood flow, hydrate skin, reduce fluid build-up, and distribute the fat cells more evenly.

Products containing caffeine or retinol can be particularly effective as they can tighten the skin and make cellulite less visible.

With MotherSage Anti-Cellulite Gel, you can maximise the benefits of your moisturising routine with skin-firming and toning ingredients like CBD and a patented Iso-Slim Complex.

Try MotherSage Anti-Cellulite Gel >


Avoid Smoking

Smoking can reduce blood flow and weaken the skin's connective tissue. This can make the underlying fat cells more pronounced, leading to the appearance of cellulite. Quitting smoking not only benefits skin health but overall well-being.


Wear Loose Clothing

As mentioned earlier, tight clothing can restrict blood flow, especially around the thighs and buttocks. Opting for more relaxed fits can prevent the constriction of blood vessels and reduce the risk of cellulite formation.


Treatments and Remedies for Cellulite 

There are a few treatments that can help you get rid of cellulite and which will ultimately help you win your battle against cellulite if used in conjunction with a healthy living regimen.

Of course, we're naturally a little biased towards our own award-winning anti-cellulite cream and we hope you'll find it as useful as our many happy customers do!

While there is no overnight solution for cellulite, adopting a combination of proven treatments and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can significantly reduce its appearance.

We encourage you to explore the potential benefits of our anti-cellulite cream, which has received accolades for its effectiveness. Embrace the journey towards smoother, more toned skin with optimism and patience.


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