Spa Treatments: Busting Cellulite Myths

Start talking with clients about cellulite and you’re likely to hear some common misconceptions about the condition. Seize such opportunities to set guests straight and in so doing, build upon a trusting relationship. Check out these bust-worthy myths!

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Myth: Cellulite primarily affects overweight and obese people.
Truth: “Cellulite has very little to do with one’s quotient of body fat, and everything to do with subcutaneous fat storage, water retention and connective tissue strength,” says Alice Pichery, national trainer at Sothys USA. That’s why even skinny girls can have cellulite!

Myth: Getting rid of cellulite comes down to diet and exercise.
Truth: While health-conscious eating and exercise certainly won’t hurt, Paul Cuthbert, marketing supervisor at GlyMed Plus, points out that “adipose tissue can turn inflammatory at any time,” and that “cellulite doesn’t necessarily respond to weight-management efforts.”

Myth: Liposuction can get rid of cellulite.
Truth: Although fat reduction can improve the appearance of cellulite, it won’t do anything about skin’s cellar structure. As Rita Teixeira, national trainer for Silhouet-Tone, notes, “You can still accumulate fat in existing fat cells.”

Myth: Women are disproportionately affected by cellulite because they have higher body fat content than men.
Truth: “Male fat is simply contained in smaller, diamond-shaped pockets,” says Lydia Sarfati, founder of Repêchage. “Furthermore, men’s skin is thicker. Thanks to these structural differences, men very rarely get cellulite.”

Myth: Cellulite is a direct symptom of aging.
Truth: Aging itself doesn’t cause cellulite—but a more obvious manifestation of the condition can be an indirect symptom. “With subcutaneous tissue aging, one experiences loss of thickness, suppleness and elasticity,” explains Pichery, “and cellulite always seems amplified on clients with thinner skin.”

Myth: It’s possible to eliminate cellulite permanently.
Truth: “Because it’s impossible to control hormones and other biological factors indefinitely, there is no ‘forever’ solution,” says Natalie Pergar, lead skincare trainer for Éminence.

Myth: Cellulite can be treated with hormone therapy.
Truth: “Although female hormones certainly play a role in cellulite, one can’t change the shape or texture of sub-surface cells,” explains Szilvia Hickman, founder of Ilike Organic Skin Care.

Myth: Cellulite is a disease.
Truth: Cellulite is nothing more and nothing less than a skin condition that affects most women. Says Cuthbert, “It’s one of a constellation of connective tissue conditions that has various and often unrelated causes.”