Cellulite is the medical term for lumpy, dimpled flesh that appears primarily on the thighs, buttocks, hips and stomach. Around 80 percent of women over 20-years-old will get cellulite. It happens when fat pushes through the connective tissue beneath the skin, causing a rippled appearance.
Women are more prone to cellulite because of the structure of their connective tissue; men’s connective tissue forms a crisscross pattern whereas women’s appears as vertical columns and, along with having thinner skin, these columns allow more space for fat to push through to the skin’s surface.
Unhealthy eating, smoking and drinking can promote cellulite, but it can also be down to factors beyond our control such as genetics or hormonal imbalances. Although there isn’t a permanent solution to banishing the orange peel effect, massagers can do wonders to improve it and there are many kinds, from electric to manual, depending on your preference and spending allowance.
Cosmetic physician Sarah Tonks, who runs The Lovely Clinic in Knightsbridge, said: “Massagers will speed up the circulation which will improve the appearance of the skin. They are fine to use but watch your underwear; if the underwear is too tight then it will slow the lymphatic drainage and make it appear worse.
Cellulite is not dangerous but it can be a sign of hormonal imbalance which could be potentially an issue; oestrogen dominance is a bad thing. To try and prevent cellulite I’d recommend an anti inflammatory diet, do HIIT exercise classes to boost testosterone, try dry brushing to enhance circulation, hormonal replacement therapy, mesotherapy (tiny injections of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids) or carboxytherapy (tiny injections of carbon dioxide).”
These massagers were tested on women aged between 20 and 60-years-old, and, alongside a regulated diet, showed a 50 per cent improvement in the overall texture of the skin. Pregnant women, people with heart conditions or who use blood thinners, or have any type of skin condition from varicose veins to eczema are not advised to use such massagers.
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Developed in the UK, at first glance this dainty contraption doesn’t have the same physical presence as some of the massagers on the market, but do not be fooled. After using the device three times a week for a month, there was a noticeable difference in the texture and tone. Assome! has three functions – ultrasonic technology for cellulite reduction, radiofrequency for firming and slimming and LED light for evening skin tone.
Apply one of the three supplied oils to your bum, add the ultrasonic absorption gel directly onto the massager, press the function you want and then glide over each buttock for five minutes (it turns itself off after that amount of time). Each of the three functions has a high and low setting. We would recommend starting low for a week before moving onto high, as there is a warming sensation inside your buttock after using the device that most people will find unusual, but it disappears after around 15 minutes. The shape slots neatly between the fingers, making it easy to use not just on the buttocks but on any part of the body.
Founded by leading experts in medical esthetics, this is Sensica’s one and only cellulite machine, using patented Lipotherm RF technology with manual massage. Using RF allows us to reach the collagen fibres in the dermis, as well as the hypodermis and subcutaneous fat. Recommended use before you see results is two months, but we used it with the base gel for 20 minutes on each area once a week for a month and saw a noticeable difference in elasticity, with the skin feeling tighter, plumper and slightly less dimpled.
There are three heat settings – we would test beforehand, but then use the highest one for best results. The device gently vibrates on contact with the area and after around the 10 minute mark the device begins to warm the skin, which feels pleasant. They also have inbuilt heat sensors to make sure skin isn’t burned. The only downside is it needs to be connected to a plug source, so let’s hope you have one near your sofa as 20 minutes plus is quite a while to be hanging around without something to watch on TV.
Founded by former beauty editor Kate Shapland, Legology is a brand for anyone who wants to improve their legs the organic way. There are just two parts to the kit – the cellu-lite oil, a blend of 14 oils which has a calming aromatherapy scent and a circu-lite cup. The brand recommends using this any time you feel bloated, but for cellulite reduction, we’d advise using after showering every day for a month.
Massage the oil over the legs, then take the cup, squeeze together, place on the skin and then release so there is a suction. Pull the cup upwards, towards the heart in straight lines. It might look like just a little cup, but do not be deceived; you can feel the burn. The cup actually increases blood flow and stimulates lymphatic drainage – skin actually looked more vibrant in colour, felt tighter and slightly smoother after just a month of use.
This isn’t for everyone — people with extremely sensitive skin might find the sucking sensation too uncomfortable. It also isn’t for the lazier people among us, as it will require a bit of elbow grease to get results.
Created in California by an aesthetician, this kit, which also comes in a stylish grey travel case, is one of the more expensive kits on the list, but it works with the efficiency you would expect from a product of this price. This is an FDA-cleared microcurrent body device with four metal spheres to get down into the layers of the skin and really smooth out those lumps and bumps.
The guide book indicates clearly the seven areas that can be treated, each for no more than five minutes. Once the device is charged and gel primer is applied, choose an intensity between one and three to begin. Glide the device in an upward motion until you hear a beep and start again from the bottom. The device, which is well-designed as a handle, can also be held on stubborn areas for 2 to 3 beeps.
Just make sure you’ve shaved the area you want to target beforehand, as the device reacts with hairs and creates quite an uncomfortable tingling sensation. It automatically turns off after five minutes, so no need to use a timer, and can be used five days a week. After a month there were signs of slimming and smoothing, particularly on stubborn, fatty leg pockets.
Smooth has created a great machine for anyone who needs some help battling cellulite without the hefty price tag. This slimming device comes with a suction cup for an added boost to the lymphatic drainage process. Slotting easily into your palm, this device is simple to use everywhere from legs to face, back and abdomen. There are only two intensity settings, so for the legs and buttocks the high intensity is manageable but for more sensitive areas, you may want to use the lower setting.
The device needs to be plugged into a power socket, which makes using a little bit tricker if you wanted to move around. It works even better if you apply a cellulite cream or oil before gliding over each problematic area for 10 to 20 minutes every day. Unlike the hi-tech options on the list, this machine will need to be used for longer for optimum results. But the advantage is, as it just uses mechanised rollers, there is no immediate dangers of overusing this device.
Wellbox, made by French skin experts, provides the most expensive slimming device on the list, but the price tag reflects its versatility. It uses the same technology as the LPG endermologie treatment performed in salons, a market in which Wellbox is a leader. This product uses vacuum suction and rollers to knead the skin, without requiring the use of a cream.
With five nozzles and 26 functions, you can do everything from face-sculpting to knee-slimming, but for cellulite, use nozzle 3 on function 1 with a high power-setting (we recommend the highest setting if your skin isn’t sensitive) and glide the roller up and down thighs and buttocks. It doesn’t hurt, even on the highest setting.
After using this device for three minutes on each body part, every couple of days over two months, there was a thigh size reduction of 2cm and a textural difference when we pinched the skin, as many of the lumps had disappeared.
Operating the machine takes a little getting used to, especially as you work out the most efficient way to use the roller, but once you’ve found a rhythm there will be no stopping you.
A global leader in aesthetic devices for home use, Silk’n is the brand behind the silhouette, which is great for anyone who isn’t a fan of the vacuum and roller suction mechanism – this one operates using heat.
Its USP is using HT (home tightening) technology: a combination of bipolar radio-frequency energy, to firm the deeper layers down to 10mm, and LED light energy to rejuvenate the skin and infrared heat technology to improve the texture. Apply the slider gel before using the device and use for 20 minutes on each affected area. The warming sensation is actually really relaxing and there are three settings: low, medium and high.
Opt for the one that you can stand the most. Don’t worry, the device is fitted with a thermal sensor so if it measures over 41 degrees, it will stop emitting heat.
We used it every day and, although there was no significant reduction in thigh or buttock size, we definitely noticed a smoother appearance within two months. The only downfall is you will run out of slider gel quite quickly, so be prepared to buy another after three weeks of use.
For anyone who prefers doing things manually, and is on a budget, bodylift, by skincare expert Sarah Chapman, is the one for you.
This massager differs from other rollers on the market thanks to its specially designed 12 rolling heads and 72 massage nodules, which energise the lymphatic drainage system, helping to stop fat swelling and causing cellulite. Unlike some rollers, which can tire out the biceps, this clever push-and-pull rolling device slots around calves, thighs, arms and buttocks with very little effort.
For the best results, use every day for at least half an hour on each leg and buttock (easy enough to do while watching a TV drama) for a couple of months. You can use with a cellulite cream but it is not imperative as it functions well by itself.
However, with a cream, you do notice a quicker improvement in texture, feeling lighter and more defined.
For a device that is easy and enjoyable to use and won’t totally break the bank, Assome! is our favourite. With three functions you can choose exactly what concern you want to work on, yhe lingering warming sensation becomes quite comforting and the skin does improve in tone and texture. However if you’re looking for something much more affordable, compact and actually quite enjoyable once you get into the swing of it, the Legology leg detox kit is the one. The potent oil smells fantastic and leaves no sticky residue while the cup has a satisfying massage feeling, and gives an instant lift to the legs before a night out, too.
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