unicaArticol publicat in "UNICA"

unicaWe Declare War on Cellulite!
by Bianca Brad

Who doesn’t like oranges? They are spicy, tasty and you can even make jelly out of the orange skin. It’s so good! Hm, I said “orange skin” and I automatically thought of cellulite! I’m sorry that the orange is compared to something that brings fear and despair among women, but the resemblance is there! What is cellulite actually? Why does it appear, why does it look like orange skin and how can it be controlled? It is difficult for me to approach this subject on only two pages. This is why I will deal only with the most important issues. Cellulite is not a disease. It is only a syndrome caused by a combination of factors, which I will analyze in the following paragraphs.
Further to research in the field it is known that women’s conjunctive tissue is different from men’s. Thus, in the case of men the fibers look like a grid and the tissue is less flexible (their skin is also thicker), while in the case of women they are laid in parallel, and the tissue is more elastic, which permits the accumulation of water and fat. This is due to the fact that a woman’s body needs these fat and water deposits during pregnancy. Lack of exercise leads to fat deposits which block the body’s vigour. At the same time, lymph is blocked, the metabolism slows down and does not permit the elimination of toxins, waste (the result of bad eating). The accumulation of these deposits lead to these lumps and dimples, and, in serious cases, knots which make the skin resemble the orange skin. It appears mostly on the hips, on the – let’s call it – tush, on the stomach and on the arms. Studies show that almost 90% of women are affected while only 1% of men. In the case of men, it appears generally on the stomach.

Cellulite has always existed, which is demonstrated by sculptures or, for instances, Rubens’ paintings and it shows that during those times it was not considered a flaw. The beauty ideal has changed and women are subject to this stress, desperately trying to obtain a perfect look, but this is hard to get when there is no such a thing as a 100% efficient method.

For a long time it was believed that only the fat have cellulite. False! Even thin women, and even sportswomen can be affected by this syndrome. This has nothing to do only with fat (!!) or age. It is true that the chance (better said the misfortune) of cellulite grows with the age, but 18 years old girls can have it, too! Hormones play the most important role in getting cellulite. I’m talking about estrogen, which is responsible (besides breeding) for the fat and water deposits – especially in the thighs and hips. If hormones are hard to control, let’s see what else we can do to stop, slow down cellulite.

The first and most important step towards getting a smooth skin is to start eating healthy, balanced food rich in vitamins and minerals. Generally, today’s diets are too salty (smoked products, preservatives which favour water retention), too sweet or too fat (no comment!!) and they are often accompanied by “pleasurable poisons” such as coffee, alcohol and tobacco (which slow down blood circulation). Besides all these, there are all sorts of medicines. It is clear that, in the end, the body no longer has the strength to process all these toxins and starts depositing them.

Not only the excess of weight favours cellulite, but also a sudden loss of weight caused by a drastic diet – which lead to “launching” the fibers of the conjunctive tissue. Lack of exercise leads to a bad blood circulation, slowing down digestion and fovouring the retention and depositing of waste.

What is the connection between stress and cellulite? In a calm person digestion, blood circulation and sleep function normally, but when somebody is subject to permanent stress, this balance is affected psychically and physically. People start eating too much, start using tobacco, alcohol and even medicines, and all these accelerate the ageing process and have a negative effect on the skin. Stress also has a negative influence on endocrine glands and therefore on the hormones. The adrenal glands are very affected and, under pressure, they produce adrenalin which disturb the water and salt depositing system.

Besides what I have already mentioned, here are a few other factors which favour cellulite:

- birth control pills, due to the surplus of hormones

- sun baths – the tan looks good but leads to a rapid ageing of the skin, which loses its elasticity

- smoking – nicotine narrows blood vessels and blocks the irrigation of tissues

- posture – crossing one’s legs or a “hunchback” posture leads to a poor blood circulation

- too tight clothing or too high heels also block blood circulation

In the first phase, cellulite can only be detected when touching the skin, i.e. the “orange skin” appears only when squeezing skin between the fingers. In the advanced phase, cellulite is noticeable when muscles are relaxed, in the areas “lined” with fat. The most serious phase is when cellulite can be seen with the naked eye. Clearly, if you start your attack while it is still in the first phase, cellulite will be easier to defeat. Even at a later stage, don’t despair! Be strong and stick to a healthy diet, as well as a minimum of exercise and you will notice the improvement of your skin.

Therefore, the golden rules in the fight against cellulite are a balanced diet, exercise and other methods, which I will now briefly review.

Let’s start with the diet. Cellulite’s worst enemy is potassium, which helps eliminating water and salt. Foods rich in potassium are: bananas, potatoes, mushrooms, spinach, white beans, peas, lentils, watermelon, kiwis, apricots, pineapples, apples, almonds, sunflower seeds, chestnuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, goose meat, mutton, dry code, smoked salmon, trout, etc. The combination of these foods is very important, because some of them have a high fat content!

- Give up salami and sausages, smoked products and those types of cheese with a high salt content

- Choose margarine instead of butter

- Drink a lot of water, ideally 3 l/day, minimum 1.5 l/day – it accelerates the elimination of toxins

- If you crave sweets eat sweet fruit such as peaches and grapes instead of chocolate. Fructose is much healthier than sugar.

- Drink a nettle leaf or birch tree infusion in the morning on an empty stomach. It helps detoxifying.

- Drink a glass of warm water before any meal. An Ayurveda trick.

If you can change your diet – even though it is hard to give up hazelnut chocolate, hamburgers and delicious sauces – the real tragedy begins when it comes to exercise, isn’t it? The most used excuse is “I don’t have the time”, followed by “I’m not in the mood” and “I’m lazy”!

It is very hard, indeed, I know it from my own experience. I use these excuses a lot, but I understood and I hope and ask you to do it, too, that exercise helps you get not only a good muscular tonus, but also a psychic one, because during physical activity the body produces endorphins, the “happiness hormones”. I’m talking from my own experience. If you are tired or upset, exercise and you will see how good you will feel. Ideally, you should do aerobics, swim, jog or ride your bicycle. Too complicated? Then give up the elevator, walk as much and as often as you can, and do a few special exercises at home. It is very important to do them correctly and work the deepest muscles, strengthening, thus, the conjunctive tissue. If you use weights incorrectly, you will work the upper layer of muscles, which will accentuate the “orange skin” look. Be very careful with breathing. You should breath calmly and regularly!

Besides a healthy diet and exercise, it is important to take care of your body, pamper it with creams, baths and massages, which help the maintenance and embellishing process.

Brush your body daily with a special brush or a sponge, with smooth, circular motions, always starting with the right foot, from the knee upwards towards the heart. Peel weekly. Further to rubbing, the skin will be better irrigated, the pores will be open and the cream or lotion will work deeper. After showering, rub your hips and “tush” with a sachet filled with ice cubes. This will accelerate tissue irrigation. A lot of lotions and creams against cellulite were released on the market. Apply some daily on the affected areas, massaging smoothly. If you can, use algae based products. These are the most successful (70%) against cellulite. Spoil yourself (and relax) once a week with a bath with ethereal oils such as: 2 drops of rosemary oil, 2 drops of sage, 1 drop of juniper, 4 drops of fennel oil. Besides these solutions, at anyone’s hand, there is also acupuncture, liposuction, laser treatment, electric massage and pills. All these require, indeed, time, medical supervision and a lot of money.

Is it difficult, complicated and boring? Conquer your laziness, think that you are doing yourselves a favour and most importantly, love your body, love yourselves. Don’t forget that beauty means attitude, style, elegance, personality, harmony, aura, spirit! And most importantly, think yourselves beautiful!

Panic strikes
Cellulite spreads?
“Unica” advises
And cellulite … melts away!