For many people, cellulite is an enemy to be destroyed. Is it really possible to destroy cellulite? Many so-called treatments for cellulite aim to either delay the aging process or make the underlying collagen in the skin firmer. On the surface, these treatments may seem to be effective, but the problem, if cellulite can really be called a problem, is more much deeper than the surface layer of skin.

What causes cellulite?

To put it simply, cellulite is a visible layer of body fat. In the body, layers of skin, fat, and muscle tissues are packed one on top of the other. In the thighs, arms, and buttocks, where cellulite often forms, a layer of fat lies underneath a layer of collagen fiber. Collagen is often mentioned in anti-aging moisturizer commercials because this layer of protein fiber found throughout the skin gives the skin its elastic properties. While the ability to stretch and snap back is great for delicate facial skin, it is a large part of the reason why cellulite forms. When there is more fat underneath the collagen then the collagen can hold back, globules of fat push tightly against the collagen, causing those pesky dimples known as cellulite to form.

There is a common misnomer that the presence of cellulite implies obesity, but that is largely incorrect. Cellulite can occur regardless of the percentage of body fat a person has. Of course, a large amount of fat is more difficult for the collagen to hold back, but the real culprit for visible cellulite is weak collagen.

Why Some Cures Don’t Work

There are plenty of creams, DIY hacks, and natural remedies that claim to erase cellulite, but are these claims sound? The following cellulite remedies are at best a quick fix, and here’s why:

Cucumbers and Gelatin- Cucumbers and gelatin do make collagen firmer, but they only have this effect on the upper layers of the skin. Whether in a topical solution or ingested, these collagen-rich foods will not strengthen the deeper layers of collagen that are responsible for cellulite.

Moisturizers: Cellulite comes in a variety of forms. Some people have cellulite that is very obvious no matter what position that are in. Others have cellulite that is only apparent when they are either sitting down or standing up. Especially for those who have cellulite that is not constantly apartments, moisturizers may seem to work because, at least temporarily, they reduce the visibility of cellulite. Since this quick fix does not target the strength of collagen or amount of fat underneath the skin, this is not an effective long-term solution.

Seaweed and Caffeine: Seaweed and caffeine both have anti-aging properties, but they have not been proven effective at strengthening the deep collagen layers that make cellulite visible. Slowing down the aging process will not reverse the damage that has already been done. When cellulite is visible, it is too late to slow the aging process.

Cellulite happens when there is more fat underneath the skin than the layer of collagen can hold back. When viewed from this mechanical aspect, the only two ways to decrease the visibility of cellulite are to decrease the amount of fat or strengthen the layer of collagen. There is no solution that can be applied to the outside of the skin that has the power to alter the makeup of the layers deep beneath the surface layer of the skin. To see a real change, the composition of fat and collagen underneath the skin must be changed.

What Actually Works

Cellulite is a natural part of the aging process. The overwhelming majority of women experience cellulite at some point in their lives. There are some treatments that are more effective because they target the true cause of cellulite, but these treatments may not work for everyone.

Exercise: If excess fat is to blame for cellulite, reducing the amount of fat will make cellulite disappear. Fat burning exercise like crunches and bicep curls are perfect for obliterating fat in cellulite-prone areas of the body.

CoolSculptingCoolSculpting is a non-invasive medical process that kills fat cells by freezing them. This lightens the load that collagen has to carry.

CellulazeCellulaze is a laser therapy that cuts through the fat and collagen in an area plagued by cellulite. This serves a two-fold purpose. It burns through some of the fat, which lightens the load of the collagen. It also cuts through the collagen, which makes it a little looser. This allows the same amount of fat to push against the same weak collagen without dimpling through the skin.

Before determining which effective treatment is right, a person should consider whether too much fat or collagen that is too weak, possibly due to the aging process, circulation problems, or hormonal imbalances, is the cause of his or her cellulite. A doctor can often provide greater insight into this issue. If excess fat is truly the root of the problem, fat burning exercise can greatly reduce the visibility of cellulite. This is the cheapest and safest method, and it provides the greatest benefit to health overall. If collagen is the problem, there are solutions, but they may only reduce the visibility of cellulite temporarily. Weak collagen will only get weaker as the aging process continues. A person who wants to “erase” cellulite caused by weak collagen could need to get treatments that are more invasive every few years.