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The 8 Most Common Causes of Cellulite and How to Get Rid of It

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Dimples… When we see them on a baby, they look cute.

But when we see similar skin irregularities on our thighs or behind, it’s quite a different story…

Often referred to as “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” due to its appearance, cellulite is one of the most unwelcome and most misunderstood conditions.

While cellulite is a problem encountered by both men and women, its appearance is considerably more frequent in women – Studies show that up to 90% of women will develop cellulite on their thighs and buttocks during their lifetime (compared to 10% of men).

Don’t let the photoshopped pages of fashion magazines fool you! Even “picture-perfect” Hollywood celebrities suffer from this unsightly condition (they just have teams of skin professionals and art directors helping them hide it!) 

Cellulite 101


Before we dive into your best options for minimizing and eliminating cellulite, it’s important that we first understand a little bit about what we’re dealing with.

There are basically three types of cellulite.

Soft Cellulite:

As its name implies, this type of cellulite is soft and spongy to the touch and gives the skin a bumpy appearance.

Often accompanied by varicose veins, soft cellulite is mostly present in areas where there is a build up of fat, such as upper arms and legs. This type of cellulite tends to increase with age or weight gain, and made worse lack of muscle tone. In general, improved circulation and skin tone will help, as will weight loss.

Affected areas: Thighs, abdomen, buttocks and arms.

Average age of onset: Common in women between 30 and 40.

Hard Cellulite:

Typically one of the first outward signs of cellulite, this type is more common in younger women, and is mostly found around the hips and upper thighs.

Indications of hard cellulite include the appearance of grainy or dimpled skin like orange peel that doesn’t move when the body is in motion.

Affected areas: The outer areas of the hips and thighs, and around the back and inside of the knees

Average age of onset: Starts as early as adolescence; without early treatment, hard cellulite may never be eliminated.

Edematous Cellulite:

This is the least common cellulite type and often the most difficult to treat. Typically, edematous cellulite forms as the result of poor circulation and significant fluid retention.

Mainly occurring in the legs, indications of this type of cellulite are skin that appears pasty and may be painful when touched.

Affected areas: Can affect thighs and knees, but most frequent in the lower legs, which lose definition.

Average age of onset: Around 20 to 30.

What Causes Cellulite?


Why do we get “cottage cheese” or “orange peel” thighs? Unfortunately, there’s no single answer. Possible causes of cellulite include hormonal changes, genetics, weight gain, etc, but here’s the kicker:

Many active and healthy women report that even with good diet and exercise, cellulite still occurs.

Though diet and lifestyle affect cellulite formation, a large part of cellulite is comprised of toxins and fat that build up in the body. Usually, cellulite can be attributed to a combination of factors and isn’t usually caused by just one.

Below are the 8 most common factors that cause cellulite:

1) Sitting at Your Desk All Day

If your work day is largely comprised of staring at a screen with little to no movement throughout the day, you could be at risk for a number of health challenges (cellulite being one of them). But small changes in behavior can go a long way. We recommend spending a certain portion of the day standing up at your desk, or simply taking small breaks to walk around your office.  

2) Lack of exercise:

By following a strength training and cardiovascular program, you’ll be able to lower your body fat as well as increase muscle tone, both of which can reduce the appearance of cellulite.

3) Genetics:

It might not matter how hard you try to prevent cellulite – There may come a point where you just have to accept that it’s the genetic card you were dealt. If your mother and grandmother had cellulite, you have a better than average chance of developing it.

4) Diet:

Poor eating habits (including the excess consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods) can contribute to the formation of cellulite because the toxins they produce get trapped in the fatty tissue.

5) Dehydration

As you know, the human body is composed of about 60 percent water, so it makes perfect sense that dehydration plays a big role in cellulite formation. Not getting enough water can cause toxic buildup in the fat cells that’s difficult for the body to metabolize (and contributes to the cottage cheese texture of cellulite.

6) A Leaky Gut

Small holes in the lining of the gut can cause undigested food particles to flow into the tight junctions of cells and tissues. This can be highly stressful and toxic to the body, and it will respond by grouping these toxins into insulated cellular pockets which ultimately compounds the appearance and amount of cellulite.

7) Stress

Stress can cause muscles to seize up with tension while also causing the connective tissue that covers that muscle to freeze. This can prevent proper waste elimination and purification, resulting in cellulite formation.

8) Tight Clothing

This one may be a little surprising… While compression-style leggings help us “suck it all in,”some tight fitting clothing can have the reverse effect if they cut off circulation. Limiting blood flow and can lead to the appearance of cellulite.

Can you get rid of cellulite?


Cellulite can certainly affect your confidence and self-esteem, but is it a life sentence?

Fortunately, the answer is, “no” — there are a couple of things you can do to minimize and eliminate its appearance.

Below are the top 3 most effective ways to make cellulite run screaming for its mother.

1) Consistent Exercise

As with anything important, consistency is key. But for cellulite elimination, so too is the specific type of exercise you perform.

Slow and low impact types of cardiovascular exercise alone will not make much of an impact. To get rid of cellulite, you’ll have to incorporate strength training into your workouts to increase muscle tone (while decreasing body fat).

We recommend a workout program that puts a lot of emphasis on the lower body, and a minimum cadence of strength training twice per week, performing different exercises on both days.

Examples of great glutes and thighs exercises include:

  • Hamstring curls
  • Step-ups onto a flat exercise bench
  • Lunges (walking lunges, stationary lunges, etc)
  • Squats
  • Stiff-legged deadlifts
  • Hyperextensions

Aim for 12 to 15 reps on each exercise, and do three different exercises on each of your lower body days.

2) Eat Your Way to Less Cellulite

First things first – Simply losing weight won’t eliminate all cellulite. Translation: Do not (repeat, DO NOT) attempt any sort of crash diet. This will cause your body to hold onto the fat and may even worsen the appearance of cellulite.

Your best bet is to add the right, cellulite-reducing foods and drinks into your diet. Paired with proper excise, it is possible to munch your way to a smoother-looking body with these nutritious picks.

Here are our top 10 cellulite fighting foods:

Green Tea

Green tea speeds up metabolism which inhibits fat absorption and aids glucose regulation, which makes it a great choice for anyone seeking to improve their health. To boot, it contains an ingredient called theobromine, which stimulates the release of stored fats in the body.


The omega-3 fatty acids also in salmon “reduce appetite and low-level inflammation and repair and strengthen skin tissue and fibers


Each broccoli floret contains a cocktail of beauty-boosting vitamins and minerals. Specifically, its rich in alpha lipoic acid which can prevent collagen in the body from hardening (thereby stopping cellulite where it starts.)

Apple Cider Vinegar

If you’re put off by the taste, try adding a cup of apple cider vinegar (organic with the mother) to a cup of water and a squeeze of lemon. This wonderfood acts as a digestive tonic, helping eliminate harmful bacteria in the intestines, flush out toxins and relieve water retention around the thighs and stomach – all of which helps to reduce the appearance of cellulite.


Other than genetics, some of the most common causes of cellulite are the toxins we consume. These toxins reduce our skin’s elasticity and slow the circulation, preventing our bodies from properly detoxifying. To aid our body’s natural detox process and help to flush toxins, drinking plenty of water is essential!


Many celebrities swear by eating asparagus before appearing on the red carpet because of its fantastic anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also great for flushing out pesky toxins that can lead to cellulite, as it stimulates blood circulation.


Eating antioxidant-rich berries, such as raspberries, blueberries or blackberries, is a particularly good way of helping your body get rid of toxins. Sprinkle a handful over your cereal in the morning, or enjoy as part of a low fat smoothie.


Garlic is well-known for helping to lower blood cholesterol, as well as being a great immune system booster and a natural antibiotic. This not only improves the general health of the body, but also aids blood circulation, helping the body to flush out toxins and battle against cellulite.


This super fruit gets its beautiful ruby red colour from a particularly potent antioxidant called lycopene. This constituant not only helps to improve blood circulation (which can smooth the appearance of cellulite), but can also protect against heart disease. Win win!


Looking to improve your skin and slim down? Get to know spinach. It’s high in vitamin A, which aids in the production of collagen – a protein that strengthens, smoothes and plumps out the skin (reducing the appearance of cellulite.)

3) Technology to the rescue

Even with proper diet and exercise, sometimes you need a little extra help to speed along your results. At Veritas Backstage, we are proud to offer our clients access to leading edge technology that can, over a series of treatments, eliminate pesky cellulite and tighten/brighten the appearance of your skin.

Our non-invasive Venus body shaping system is powered by innovative technology that quite literally melts fat cells. Using a combination of radio frequency and pulsed electro magnetic fields, our device break down fat under your skin.

To boot, the treatment boosts collagen production which, as previously mentioned, strengthens, smoothes and plumps out the skin.

This results are smoother, tighter skin and a houdini-like disappearance of cellulite. This is a zero downtime procedure (can be performed on your lunch break), and results last about 3–4 months.


At Veritas Backstage, our beauty specialists have over 30 years of combined experience in advanced skin care, body contouring, cellulite reduction, and a track record of 5-star customer service.

If you’d like to determine if our cellulite elimination treatment is right for you, contact us today at 800-954-7590 or request a consultation by booking online.

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