Orange peel is noticeable by small dents on thighs and buttocks. Often, the skin on the belly is not quite as tight as the woman wishes. No wonder that in Germany more than 14.5 million euros per year are spent on skincare products that promise firm skin - and the trend is rising. The range of special devices and creams is increasing from year to year, although the effectiveness in test reports and also by dermatologists is repeatedly questioned. A conversation with Dr. Ing. Neufang, pharmacist and skin researcher: what is certain in the treatment of cellulite?
Dr. Neufang, why do women get cellulite?
Dr. Neufang: Cellulite is a very common beauty problem. At least two out of three women are affected, even girls and very young women are often spared. The hormone change in puberty makes the connective tissue stretchy and together with the then frequent weight gain creates unsightly dents and bumps. Cellulite causes an accumulation of metabolic products in the fat cells on thighs and buttocks and all effective measures must aim to reduce the amount of these metabolic wastes.
Every year there are new "miracle remedies" that are supposed to tighten women, smooth thighs - what really helps?
Dr. Neufang: If you realize what causes cellulite, you can derive the most promising measures that do not necessarily have to be expensive. A triad of detoxifying nutrition, a minimum of physical activity and lymphatic support through tissue massage helps in most cases.
There are many special devices and creams available for the anti-cellulite massage. What is useful now?
Dr. Neufang: It is unfortunately the case that the successes do not start immediately after the start of the massage. Ultrasound examinations have shown, however, that with a daily expenditure of about 10 minutes of massage success can be achieved. It is important, however, that at the same time a change in diet takes place and at least half an hour daily sports is driven. So after two months, but in any case after half a year to achieve a significant improvement in cellulite.
During the massage, it is crucial that the lymph reflux is stimulated. This can be achieved with the help of massagers but also by massage techniques without a device. For an effective massage, it is important that the preparation used has a good lubricating effect and stays on the skin long enough. Thus, the user is practically "forced" to perform the massage for a sufficiently long time. Our study with a vitamin A and vitamin E skin care oil shows that regular massage with this oil makes the skin an average of 20 percent firmer. In the study, no special massager was used, but the oil was massaged by hand into the dry skin.
If you do not use a massager, how should the oil be massaged?
Dr. Neufang: It is generally believed that promoting blood circulation is beneficial. However, with the abundance of blood also more nutrients enter the cells, which must be transported away again. For the stimulation of the lymphatic flow a mild plucking massage or a "spreading out" of the oil with corresponding pressure is more favorable.
It is more effective than an uncontrolled massage criss-crossing the oil from the knee up to the lower abdomen. In the abdominal cavity, the lymphatic vessels concentrate, and the excess tissue water can flow away unhindered. Massage is therefore an important component in the triad of anti-cellulite measures.
Which sports are particularly effective for streamlining the problem areas?
Dr. Neufang: Unspektakulär activities such as cycling, swimming and small gymnastic exercises that are incorporated into the daily routine, are much more effective than all trend sports, which are often associated with a stronger but short-term load.
Small exercises that activate the muscle pump are, for example, the good old squat, lying on your back riding a bike and "rocking" with your feet, in which the toes are stretched and flexed alternately. Through this exercise, the calf muscle is strengthened and the muscle pump is activated, which improves the return flow of blood and lymph.