Dimples may be cute on babies — and Brad Pitt — but not so much on your body post-bikini season. With the warmer weather fast approaching, it’s hard not to think about having to bare your wobbly bits. We went straight to Toronto-based dermatologist Dr. Lisa Kellett, www.dlkonavenue.com, for the lowdown on the top five questions about cellulite.
Question #1: What is cellulite?
The first rule of combat is ‘know thy enemy’. So, what the heck is that lumpy stuff anyway? As Dr. Lisa Kellett explains, "cellulite histologically (under the microscope) is the same fat found on the rest of the body. Cellulite refers to a distinctive appearance of fat through the skin with an irregular texture. It can be found predominantly in certain areas such as the hips, thighs and buttocks."
Question #2: What causes cellulite?
"Cellulite is caused by fat distribution," Dr. Kellett says. "Genetics plays a significant role but there is no evidence-based medicine to support that dehydration, poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, stress and taking certain medications [such as the birth control pill] as causes of cellulite."
Question #3: What’s the most common myth about cellulite?
There are plenty of many misconceptions about cellulite. One of the most popular, says Dr. Kellett, is that ‘Skinny supermodels don’t have cellulite!’ Not true, "anyone can have it," she says. And we’ve all seen the proof in those unfortunate tabloid pics of cottage-cheese afflicted Kate Moss and Paris Hilton. Cellulite can happen to gals of any shape or size.
Question #4: How can I get rid of it?
The bottom line is you can’t — sorry! "There is no cure," Dr. Kellett says. But just because you can’t make it go away, doesn’t mean you can’t make it better. Changes in your lifestyle can help lessen the appearance of cellulite.
• Getting off the couch: Daily exercise tones muscles and underlying tissues.
• Giving yourself a buff: Gently exfoliation with a dry loofah increases circulation and gives
skin a healthy glow.
• Drinking more H²O: Proper hydration can have a big impact on the look of your skin.
Cellulite creams and treatments on the next page …
Question #5: Why are cellulite treatments and creams so popular?
Both professional and DIY treatments can help create the look of smoother skin, which is all we’re really after in the first place. At the spa, you can opt for non-surgical, non-invasive body contouring treatments. "There are many devices available, for example VelaSmooth, that propose to reduce the appearance of cellulite," reveals Dr. Kellett. "The only device soon to be available in Canada that has been proven to actually liquefy fat is the UltraShape, available only in physician’s offices," she says. Alternatively, you can go the at-home route with topical treatments, such as creams and gels. Active ingredients like caffeine temporarily plump up the skin, creating a more toned surface. Try L’Oréal Paris Perfect Slim Patch, $25, two to three times a week. When used with a toning cream it allows you to target problem areas for maximum firming results.
For the latest in fashion, beauty and culture, sign up to receive ELLE's daily newsletter.