Essential Oils For Cellulite

The battle against celluliteThe weather is beginning to get warmer now and it will soon be time for us to reveal areas of flesh that have remained hidden under layers of warm woollies throughout the past five months. Chances are that hidden under those layers of winter-warmers are even more areas of lumpy, bumpy cellulite than you had last year!

Did you know that although it is possibly the greatest affliction to hit womankind, surprisingly, not all medical practitioners even acknowledge that cellulite exists, arguing it is just fat and you should just lose some weight. Beauticians often point to hormones, fluid retention and poor circulation, whilst many complementary therapists think cellulite is caused by the body’s inability to efficiently eliminate toxins.

Likely suspects

Fast food, chocolate, nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, toxin build-up and a lack of exercise have all at some time been accused of being the cause of cellulite. Some experts argue that it can be none of the above or men would suffer from this curse too. Good point. Poor diet and a lack of exercise are often cited, but even Olympian women athletes get cellulite too, so it can’t just be down to a matter of exercise and diet either.

Other causes are thought to be poor circulation, fluid retention, heredity, hormones such as oestrogen and progesterone, and of course eventually, age. Cellulite typically develops during periods of hormonal change such as puberty, pre-menstrual, early months of taking birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause – so hormonal factors are likely suspects. Since hormones regulate and control changes in fat and connective tissue, blood flow, and lymphatic drainage, it seems clear that they must contribute to cellulite in a way that we have yet to understand.

The latest opinion from researchers is that it is mainly down to gender and genetics. Women have weaker collagen (which is a connective tissue) than men, and when fat is stored into millions of tiny pockets which are surrounded by collagen it can buckle under the weight, allowing the fat cells to pucker. See the explanation opposite for more details on this.

How aromatherapy can help

Poor circulation is cited time and again as a causative factor, which is why massaging with essential oils is such a great remedy for cellulite. This powerful combination increases circulation and helps with the elimination of toxins by unblocking lymphatic congestion, and when done correctly, massage helps break up the fatty deposits too.

Cellulite always looks much worse if you are suffering from fluid retention, and massage activates the lymph vessels and nodes which help to transport toxins out of the body. The use of the correct essential oils facilitates this action, and there are several ones to choose from to make up a blend.

To treat cellulite you should use smooth, firm movements without putting undue pressure on the affected areas – rubbing until you are bruised won’t make it go away! Of course the massage doesn’t tackle the underlying cause of cellulite, but apart from unblocking lymphatic congestion it brings some cosmetic relief by firming and toning the skin leaving it smooth and silky.

Surprisingly, the easiest way to stimulate the circulatory system is to take a nice, warm, relaxing bath using essential oils known to increase the circulation, detoxify the body, balance the hormones and act as a diuretic. Just don’t run away with the idea that 3 baths a day will erase all your cellulite!

Cellulite busting oils

When working in my clinic with cellulite clients I always include juniper berry essential oil in the blend due to its powerful diuretic action. Citrus oils such as lemon and grapefruit are effective lymphatic system stimulants and they blend well with juniper berry creating an effective synergy.

Since many experts feel that hormonal imbalances are responsible for causing cellulite, geranium oil can be beneficial in your blend since it has a balancing effect on hormones. Other useful essential oils that you can use in your anti-cellulite treatment plan include; carrot seed, cypress, ginger, lime, rosemary and thyme white.

When making your blend for a massage oil, lotion or cream, add no more than 5 drops in total of your individual or blended essential oils to every 10mls of your chosen carrier. Massage the blend well in, and whilst standing up roll folds of flesh between your thumb and fingers to break up the fatty deposits. Start above the knees and work upwards towards the groin, and then repeat on the back of your thighs.

If you really want to beat the dreaded dimples however, you should plan to have at least one treatment session lasting about 20 minutes every day for a couple of weeks, so it’s a good idea to get your partner to help you reach the difficult areas. You might find our Cellulite Massage Tool helpful in breaking down the stubborn areas.

Cellulite bath blend

Here’s a great cellulite-busting blend for the bath; add 2 drops of juniper berry, 2 drop of sweet fennel, 1 drop of cypress and 1 drop of grapefruit. Run your bath before adding any essential oils, and be sure to agitate the water sufficiently to ensure the oils are dispersed sufficiently, or use a Bath Dispersant.

Once absorbed into your bloodstream, these essential oils will really get to work boosting your circulatory system and stimulating the lymph flow. The elimination of toxins is absolutely vital in the treatment of cellulite, so drink plenty of water to help with this process.

Don’t forget though, no matter what regime you choose you will still need to look at your diet and exercise more if you really want to beat this lumpy, bumpy problem. And you can’t expect a miracle cure if you only start treatments a month before your holiday! So the sooner you start, the sooner you will be ready to hit the beach with your new, lumpy-free body.

Copyright © Quinessence Aromatherapy Ltd 2011. Written by

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The science bit

Just beneath the surface of the skin is a thin layer of subcutaneous fat which helps to keep the body warm.

This layer is not associated with weight gain - it is another layer of fat which is deeper under the skin called the scarpus facia that is responsible for the bumps and bulges in our body.

In women, fat is stored in vertical columns of cells, whereas in men it is stored in diamond shaped cells which form a firmer, stronger interlocking structure.

This means that women's fat can push up into the skin forming pockets of dimpled uneven skin (see Figure 2 below), while men's is kept firmly beneath the dermis.

Figure 1:- Normal, healthy female fat cells without the presence of cellulite.

Normal fat cells

Figure 2:- Abnormal female fat cells distorted by cellulite.

Abnormal fat cells

Cellulite-busting oils

These are best essential oils in the battle against cellulite.

Use them in massage to stimulate the circulatory system, and you can use them in the bath too.

Sadly, they won't work if you just vaporize them! If only they did . . .

• Carrot seed
• Cedar Atlas
• Cypress
• Fennel sweet
• Geranium
• Ginger
• Grapefruit
• Juniper Berry,
• Lemon
• Lemongrass
• Lime
• Orange bitter
• Patchouli
• Rose
• Rosemary
• Thyme white

Cellulite massager

Cellulite-busting massage tool!

Here's a really useful hand-sized tool for fighting cellulite - the Quinessence Cellulite Massage Tool.

The small rounded wooden nodules set in a rubber cushion help shift stubborn cellulite by breaking down fat and releasing toxins.

For the very best results use this handy massage tool together with Quinessence Cellulite Body Oil.