What Causes Cellulite?

Brittany Kline
By: Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor  |  Brittany Kline

If you have cellulite, you are not alone. Up to 90% of all women suffer from this condition. While science has yet to find a “miracle” cure, the more you know about why cellulite occurs in the first place, the easier it is to get rid of it.

What is Cellulite?

Cellulite is characterized by an uneven “cottage cheese” texture of the skin, which is due to bumps and dimples of excess fat. What happens is that fat cells accumulate unevenly within the fibrous frame of your skin and clump together to create an uneven texture. This most commonly occurs on the thighs and buttocks. Some medical professionals also attribute the appearance of cellulite to a loss in skin elasticity.

Comparison between smooth skin and skin affected by cellulite.

The Causes of Cellulite

Now that you know what cellulite is, the next step is to figure out what causes it. Believe it or not, the main cause of cellulite is a genetic one. This means that whether you are fat or thin, young or old, you may fall victim to cellulite if it runs in your family. Sometimes, predicting your vulnerability to cellulite is as easy as looking at your mother or grandmother.

Cellulite can also be linked to hormones. Although women and men both can get cellulite, women overwhelmingly suffer from cellulite more than men do, which has led doctors to point some of the blame at estrogen. So if you are on the pill, if you drink heavily, or if you have recently had a baby, you may experience an estrogen surge, which may make you more likely to develop cellulite.

Furthermore, there are certain lifestyle habits which may encourage cellulite development. Many of the most common habits are:

  • A lack of exercise – If you do not exercise enough, your body will be more likely to store the stubborn type of fat which contributes to cellulite and is harder to burn off. 
  • Crash Diets – If your body believes that you are starving, it will eat its own muscle and work harder to store fat, which is the exact opposite of what you want! Additionally, the fat it saves will be stubborn, cellulite-friendly fat.
  • A poor diet – A diet full of saturated fats, excess sugar, and over-processed food will trigger physical changes in your body that store fat and encourage cellulite development.
  • Certain medications – Pills such as diuretics, sleeping pills, allergy medications, and even birth control pills can dehydrate you and decrease your circulation, both of which encourage the development of cellulite.
  • Chronic dehydration – Chronic dehydration can lead to a whole host of problems, including cellulite.
  • Smoking – Over time, smoking decreases circulation and damages connective tissue, which makes cellulite more prominent.
  • Sedentary lifestyle – A sedentary lifestyle leads to a hardening of connective tissue, which makes cellulite harder to get rid of.

As time marches on, so will your cellulite woes. The subcutaneous layer of the skin thins with age, making it easier to see any uneven distribution of fat which may be hiding beneath the surface.

So there you have it. Making positive lifestyle changes can be a powerful first step in eliminating cellulite from your body, but if you are still having trouble, there are numerous treatments which can give you an advantage. Click here to learn more.

Brittany Kline
Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor
We sent Brittany to venture across the world in search of discovering basically the world's best products and then bringing those back to you. She has documented all her research so you can receive the most vital information and latest innovations in beauty.

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