Contrary to what some may believe, many women are victim to the dreaded thin, rippled grooves in our skin better known as stretch marks – whether they’ve gone through a pregnancy or not. Stretch marks are a result of a quick fluctuation in weight when our skin has trouble stretching to keep up with the changes. Cellulite, a “cottage cheese-like” formation of lumps and dimples in the skin, is another skin condition that affects 80-90% of post-pubertal women. As our bodies produce less collagen as we age, stretch marks and cellulite are more prevalent and likely to develop due to a loss of skin elasticity. Although there aren’t any magic topical procedures that will banish stretch marks or cellulite, there are some things that may help to lessen their appearance.
Don’t throw out your coffee grounds…
Exfoliation is the method of sloughing off dead skin cells to make way for new ones. Coffee is a natural exfoliant that can be used in conjunction with hydrating ingredients such as vitamin E oil and shea and cocoa butter to even out your skin tone and with time, make stretch marks appear less visible.
Don’t be afraid to fake a tan
There are loads of self-tanners on the market that can provide you with a natural-looking golden tan without the dangers of spending hours underneath the sun’s harmful UV rays. Your bronze glow will mask the lighter pigmentation of stretch marks and also disguise the textural differences of minor cellulite. Prior exfoliation will aid in thorough, more even-toned coverage.
Dry brushing is an age-old practice of running a dry, soft-bristle body brush over bare skin to increase blood flow and circulation throughout your body. Though evidence is more or less anecdotal, many have claimed that this practice has helped to diminish the appearance of cellulite. “Doing all of that can certainly parlay into skin radiance and glow and a plumper appearance,” explains Dr. Gohara, a fellow of American Academy of Dermatology.
A diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, water and fiber may discourage the development of cellulite. Blueberries and blackberries are rich in antioxidants–-which break down fat cells in cellulite–-and enhance collagen production–-which creates new skin tissue, thus may improve skin tone and texture. “This allows skin to keep fat beneath it at bay and not push forward and appear lumpy,” says Joshua Zeichner, MD, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City.