Smooth skin is very important to many people. This ideal of beauty is denied to 80 to 90 percent of all women. The reason for this is cellulite . The thighs and buttocks are most frequently affected by the dents. Some women also have cellulite on the stomach. Because it looks like the peel of citrus fruits, we also speak of orange peel. But what exactly is cellulite and is there a remedy for it? Find out everything you need to know about cellulite here.

How does cellulite develop?

As hard as some people fight cellulite, you might think it is an illness. But according to doctors, the skin dents are just an aesthetic flaw. In order to understand the causes of cellulite, it is easier if you know the rough structure of human skin . It consists of three solid layers:

Layers of the skin from the outside in

  • Epidermis
  • Dermis
  • Subcutis

Cellulite develops in the subcutis

In the deepest layer, the subcutaneous tissue, there are connective tissues, blood and lymphatic vessels, hair roots, nerves, glands and fat deposits. The so-called subcutaneous fat tissue insulates against the cold, provides energy reserves and protects bones and organs against impacts. However, it also causes cellulite.

Connective tissue is too loose

The connective tissue surrounds the subcutaneous fatty tissue in such a way that there are regular fat chambers. Because the connective tissue is damaged in cellulite, it cannot embed the fatty tissue tight enough. The small packets of fat press through the loose connective tissue to the surface of the skin, like a mattress through which the filling is visible. Because everyone has the protective layer of fat in their skin, even slim women have cellulite.

Cellulite worsens blood circulation

The skin condition with cellulite deteriorates even more if the overfilled love handles squeeze the small blood and lymph vessels in the subcutis. This inhibits blood circulation and the removal of lymphatic fluid from the cells. Water builds up in the fatty tissue, causing the fat chambers to swell further.

Why are men hardly affected?

Men don’t worry about orange peel. This is because their skin is structured a little differently. The connective tissue strands that form the fat chambers are arranged diagonally in the male subcutis and not vertically as in women. In addition, men have less subcutaneous fat on average and a thicker horny layer in the epidermis. Your fat chambers are hardly visible in the epidermis.

Cellulite is part of the female body

Until the middle of the 20th century, cellulite was actually not a problem. On the contrary, the natural fat deposits on the stomach, legs and buttocks were, for example, the ideal of beauty for the Rubens women. It’s strange that this has changed completely. Many women suffer from the pressure of having to be cellulite-free. One seems to have forgotten what the natural meaning is: The fat pads serve as a reserve for pregnancy and lactation. The loose, female connective tissue allows the skin to stretch enormously during pregnancy.


The female estrogens support the body to build up enough fat reserves. They accelerate the storage of fat and slow down its breakdown. This explains why cellulite increases from puberty and in times of high estrogen levels (menstruation or pregnancy). Estrogens and progestogens also have a positive impact on the connective tissue by firming it up. Because the hormone production decreases the older you get, this effect disappears. The connective tissue becomes weaker with age.

Weight gain

If you are overweight, the fat cells are enlarged unnaturally. The subcutaneous fat swells and swells out of the connective tissue chambers. Excess body fat consequently favors cellulite. If you move too little, it gets worse. Exercise promotes fat loss and improves blood circulation to the skin.


Cigarette smoke indirectly intensifies cellulite. When you smoke your skin is up to 40 percent thinner and wrinkled due to the pollutants from the glow stem. The thinner your skin, the more pronounced the fat chambers in the subcutis stand out.


Because the genes determine the connective tissue or excess weight , they play a role in cellulite. There are women who are more prone to cellulite than others due to their genetic predisposition. For example, Asian women genetically have less cellulite. Your connective tissue is stronger than that of European women.

What helps against cellulite?

It is sobering, but: There is currently no effective remedy for cellulite or a proven method to combat cellulite. Cosmetic scientist Stefanie Lübberding took a close look at all studies on cellulite treatment in 2015. The result was that there is no application that has been proven to permanently remove cellulite. The methods that are currently popular include laser techniques, ultrasound treatments, vacuum therapies and connective tissue massages.

Creams only have a superficial effect

Can you perhaps prevent cellulite with cosmetic products? Unfortunately, that doesn’t work. Active ingredients that are applied to the skin with creams cannot penetrate deep enough into the crucial layers. Fat and connective tissue in the subcutaneous tissue remain unchanged. It is more of a camouflage effect on the epidermis, which can be triggered, for example, with good moisture care.

Does lymphatic drainage help improve cellulite?

Accumulated water retention in the adipose tissue can actually be removed by manual lymphatic drainage . This stimulates the metabolism, reduces the fat deposits and probably improves your cellulite, but only for a short time. The lymphatic drainage treatments must be repeated regularly to ensure success. In any case, discuss lymph therapy with your family doctor beforehand and look for qualified specialists.

Liposuction as a way out?

Liposuction has long been a popular surgical cellulite treatment. It seems like a quick fix. However, experts are debating whether cellulite really disappears. There are indications that the dents get even worse after liposuction. Liposuction is therefore not recommended to combat cellulite.


In which areas liposuction can really help, how it works and what risks it entails can be read here: Liposuction

Tips against cellulite

You can’t get rid of orange peel permanently. You can at least counteract the problem with a few simple behaviors. Try using your cellulite diet and exercise:

  • Exercise regularly to avoid being overweight. Swimming against cellulite , for example, can be helpful .
  • Train your glutes. This reduces cellulite on the buttocks and tightens the skin.
  • Eat healthy. There are no specific foods against cellulite, but make sure you have plenty of fruits, vegetables, and fiber in your diet.
  • Drink at least 2 liters of water a day so that the skin does not dry out.
  • Don’t smoke, or your cellulite will get worse.
  • A good cellulite home remedy: Treat affected areas regularly to gentle plucking massages. Gladly while you apply cream to your skin. This improves the appearance of your cellulite.

Make friends with your cellulite and accept it as natural. The anatomical peculiarities of female skin are ultimately responsible for making it much more delicate than that of men.