Cellulite is the bane of many women's existence. And many may be searching for products that can help get rid of the dreaded dimples.
Beauty and wellness contributor Dayle Haddon provided some tips on The Early Show Tuesday that might help women erase the cellulite from their lives.
A majority of women have cellulite regardless of shape, size and age. Haddon explains it appears when a collection of fat cells gets trapped in the connective tissue below the skin, causing its surface to pucker. Heredity plays a large part in determining if you will develop cellulite, Haddon says. Smoking and sun exposure worsen it because it damages the layers of skin over time, making them thinner and less elastic.
Haddon says more women have cellulite than men because they have thinner skin and it shows more clearly.
Cellulite also shows more in people with lighter skin tones. Gaining weight, which makes our fat pockets enlarge, exaggerates cellulite's appearance.
Haddon says a healthy diet and exercise is key when trying to get rid of cellulite. Estrogen is what causes fat cells to stick together, contributing to the dimpled appearance of cellulite. An hour of exercise a day may help diminish cellulite by lowering estrogen levels.
Many women go to different extremes to get rid of cellulite — surgery, deep massage, roller techniques, wraps, injections, pills and potions. These treatments can cost up to thousands of dollars and there is still no guarantee that the cellulite will disappear.
The reality, Haddon says, is an anti-cellulite cream, spray or soap is not going to totally get rid of cellulite. She says it can help mask cellulite temporarily. Individual studies show that there are some products that have enough retinol and the right type of concentration (different ingredients) to make the skin a bit firmer and more solid so that the fat does not pop through as much. These products alone will not change the fat underneath the skin, according to Haddon, but it may improve the appearance of cellulite.
There a number of products that claim to help eliminate the appearance of cellulite (none say they will get rid of cellulite completely).
Haddon advises to buy a variety of products, apply twice a day and give it at least 8 weeks to see results. Choosing which product is best is an individual decision, she says. Results depend on the individual.
Here are the products demonstrated by Haddon, according to their key ingredients:
Retinol is used in Retin-A, which is said to improve wrinkles and acne. The same theory is applied to cellulite. It exfoliates the skin and it helps build the collagen so
that, in theory, would make the skin look firmer. Haddon says Retinol is supposed to work by being able to penetrate the skin, exfoliate it and increase collagen production, which makes the skin thicker and hides the dimpling fat.
- RoC Retinol Actif Pur, $20
The Retinol product uses a pure and active form of Vitamin A to help make skin visibly firm, smooth and more even, says the company. Other active ingredients are caffeine and ruscus (a plant extract).
The RoC Retinol Actif Pur is clinically proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite by 23 percent in only four weeks and 39 percent in eight weeks. Improvements continue with prolonged usage, according to RoC.
- Neutrogena Anti-Cellulite Treatment, $19
Retinol is the active ingredient in this gel, which has been shown to improve elasticity, says Neutrogena. The formula also combines seaweed extract and caffeine to reduce the appearance of cellulite, leaving the skin looking smoother and less dimpled.
The formula works deep within the skin's surface to improve skin elasticity and reduce its bumpy appearance, according to Neutrogena. The company says the product is proven to reduce the appearance of cellulite within eight weeks and continue to improve it with prolonged use.
Haddon recommends massaging the treatment into the skin twice daily on desired areas for noticeably smoother, less dimpled skin.
Caffeine is in almost every cellulite-reducing product that shows any benefit, says Haddon, because it helps blood flow to the skin and works like a diuretic. It flushes you out, in other words. Haddon says caffeine is a highly effective extract that drains the fatty cells. In removing moisture from the skin, it firms it temporarily. Presumably it increases the blood flow to the dimpled area so it will make your skin look firmer.
- L'Oreal Body Expertise Perfectslim Anti-Cellulite Body Gel, $19.99
Formulated with a complex of ginko and caffeine, which contains Par-Elastyl, the protein helps improve the skin's firmness day after day, says L'Oreal.
For optimal results, apply once or twice a day on target areas, directs Haddon. A home spa massage technique increases blood flow and absorption to the areas with cellulite.
Skin may appear smoother after a week use of the gel, says Haddon. It hydrates skin for improved elasticity, firmed and toned within 8 days and visibly reduces appearance of dimpled skin within four weeks, according to L'Oreal.
- Shiseido Body Creator, $50
The lightweight gel was introduced in the United States this past March. The combination of caffeine and a sense-stimulating fragrance (spices and grapefruit) are said to trigger the sympathetic nerves to increase the production of a protein that aids in the fat burning.
Shiseido says its product absorbs instantly, leaving skin feeling silky and its clinical study showed that test subjects' thigh measurements shrunk by an average of half an inch after four weeks of use.
Haddon says this product can be used once or twice a day by massaging a generous amount of the gel over problem spots, working in upward strokes until it is completely absorbed.
Haddon says seaweed is often used for slimming or firming the skin. It is used to firm up the contours and to fight cellulite.
- Bliss Seaweed Cellulite Soap, $12
Bliss says the seaweed soap can be used for slimming, soothing and scrubbing. By scrubbing, Haddon says, it increases the circulation trampling of traces of fat in the body. She explains the soap's seaweed is known for its firming and toning abilities, the glycerin moisturizes and sweet almond is good for softening.
Special Formula Products
- Clarins Body Lift Advanced Cellulite Control, $49
Haddon says this is a best seller in creams. The formula triggers cells to unlock and release store fat, according to Clarins. Increasing the elimination of fluid and fat via the circulation means that the body has more energy and feels lighter, explains Haddon.
The product's geranium smoothes and tightens the overlaying skin so that cellulite looks significantly better after four weeks says Clarins. Geranium also helps to activate the release of fat.
Haddon says to massage the cream once to twice a day, beginning at the ankles and working up to the hips. This technique, she says, reinforces contouring and slimming effects.
- Christian Dior Bikini Minceur Body Contour and Refining Essence Spray, $48
The lightly scented spray uses a "Lipodiet Process," which is said to decrease the number of fat cells you have and inhibit the formation of new ones. Once a day, generously spritz dimpled areas with the spray, then allow it to absorb for about 3 minutes before getting dressed.
- Sisley Phyto-Sculptural, $136
The light gel contains the extract bitter orange petal, which is said to increase one of the body's natural fat-burning substances, as well as other botanicals said to improve skin's texture.
Sisley says extract of soy, green tea, red wine and essential oils help tone and firm the skin, which becomes softer and visibly smoother. The corn germ oil is a nourishing emollient, says Sisley, leaving the skin soft and soothed. The company says the product offers rapid results in 15 days, and they instruct to use it daily - morning and night. As a maintenance program use all year long concentrating on target areas.