femme se touchant les cuisses assise à côté de 3 oranges, faisant référence à la peau d'orange qui est l'aspect de la peau donné par la cellulite

Overcome cellulite? It's possible !

Cellulite, this well-known term that often evokes aesthetic discomfort in many people, has a long history. Since its appearance in the French dictionary in 1873 until today, cellulite has generated a lot of ink and aroused many concerns, particularly among women. In this article, we will delve into the world of cellulite, starting with its history and evolution over the years, then exploring its definition , types , causes and consequences. Finally, we will discuss effective treatments to alleviate this common aesthetic concern.

Woman pinching the skin on her thighs to reveal her cellulite

1. Cellulite: What is it?

1.1. A little history about orange peel

It was in 1873 that the word “ cellulite ” made its grand entry into the French dictionary.

Its etymology echoes the first meaning given to it and still given to it by scientists. From the Latin cellula - which means "cell - and the suffix ite - which refers to an inflammatory state - cellulite is in fact considered a chronic inflammation of adipose tissue .

In 1923, a first report on the subject was presented to the Paris medical society by a team of doctors.

It was in 1924 that the description of this skin phenomenon was clarified: Dr. Louis Alquier spoke of " nodose grains " perceptible "under the skin when pinching it" in "wrapped" women or "the so-called sensation of skin of 'orange ' obtained by "folding the epidermis". Cellulite is then seen as an intoxication of the body and several causes are mentioned: liver failure, obesity, arthritis, flu , etc.

In 1930 it was the fashion for shortened clothes which made women's shapes more visible. But it was also the beginning of complexes and a wave of lipophobia ravaged the fashion world. Cellulite is seen as a disease that must be treated. The film Barbie takes up this idea with Margot Robbie, aka Barbie, who discovers cellulite and must at all costs put an end to this aesthetic abomination which has no place in her world of the perfect woman.

The first appearance in a fashion magazine of this term dates back to February 1933, in the magazine “your beauty”. In an article where Doctor Debec discusses exercises to combat a sedentary lifestyle and therefore cellulite .

Cellulite, the number one enemy of women's beauty, continues to make headlines and today continues to grace the pages of numerous magazines and articles.

1.2. Definition of cellulite

Cellulite is an irregular and dimpled appearance of the skin, unattractive, which occurs spontaneously or following pinching of the skin. This heterogeneous texture earned it the sweet name of “orange peel”.

It is the result of an abnormal variation in the distribution of fat in the hypodermis, most frequently in the thighs and buttocks . . The hypodermis is the layer of skin cells located under the dermis, itself located on the epidermis which is your outer “covering”. Adipose or fat cells , also called adipocytes , are distributed in small chambers. The floor of these chambers is muscle, the walls are collagen fibers (elastic connective tissue) and the ceiling is your skin .

During an imbalance in the energy balance , i.e. energy inputs (calories) are greater than outputs (energy expenditures), the excess calories are stored in the form of fats (triglycerides) in the hypodermis. . The adipocytes can then gorge themselves on this excessive accumulation of lipids and their volume can be multiplied up to 50 times. By swelling, these fat cells cause the hypodermic chambers in which they are located to swell, deforming the fibers and increasing the thickness of the hypodermis . The rounded walls pull on the skin and promote the appearance of the type of cellulite known as adipose cellulite. The hypertrophy of the fibers can also lead to water infiltration and in this case, we speak more of a watery type of cellulite.

1.3. Cellulite, a uniquely feminine aesthetic defect?

Orange peel, dimpling, superficial lipodystrophy, panniculopathy or edematofibrosclerosis or PEFS, whatever the names we give it, cellulite is an essentially female problem:

In fact, nearly 9 out of 10 women are affected at one time or another in their lives, while only 1 out of 50 men are affected. Yes, a man can have cellulite even if it remains rare, and the reason is morphological: women's hypodermis is different from men's.

Men's adipocytes are smaller and less likely to expand. The partitions which separate them are oblique and not vertical, which limits the visibility of the phenomenon on the surface. Fat cells are also less stuck together , which limits the risk of water retention.

In men, adipose tissue is less present and more localized in the stomach. On average, fat makes up about 25% of women's body mass, compared to 15% of men's. The female body was in fact designed with a greater lipid storage capacity to meet the increased energy needs of the woman and her child in the event of pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Men's skin is 20% thicker than women's ( 🚻The 5 differences between the skin of a man and a woman ) which allows better concealment of irregularities in skin tissues .

Finally, the female hormones estrogen and progesterone stimulate adipogenesis , that is to say the formation of fat cells which promotes storage. Maintaining the balance of these 2 hormones is meticulous and the slightest disturbance (more estrogens than progesterones) increases the porosity of the blood vessels , which causes water retention.

Certainly, mother nature has given women plenty of surprises throughout their lives!

1.3. The different types of cellulite

There are different types of cellulite that need to be identified because they are treated differently.

  • Adipose cellulite:

Adipose cellulite is the most common type of cellulite. It is mainly caused by the accumulation of fat in the cells under the skin, which creates bumps and dimples. It is often associated with a sedentary lifestyle, an unbalanced diet and hormonal problems. Adipose cellulite usually feels soft to the touch.

  • Fibrous Cellulite:

Fibrous cellulite is different from adipose cellulite. It is characterized by the presence of hardened fibrous connective tissue under the skin. This connective tissue tends to pull the skin down, which can create an orange peel appearance. Fibrous cellulite is often more difficult to treat than other types of cellulite due to the stiffness of the connective tissue.

  • Aqueous Cellulite:

Aqueous cellulite is linked to excessive water retention in the tissues (Find out more in our dedicated article: 💧Understanding water retention to eliminate it: causes, symptoms and treatments ). It can be due to circulatory problems , poor elimination of toxins or hormonal imbalances . Water cellulite tends to make the skin look swollen and flabby , and it is often associated with a feeling of heavy legs, which is not necessarily the case with adipose cellulite. .

  • Infectious Cellulite

Infectious cellulite is a type of cellulite that is very different from the others. It is caused by a bacterial infection that penetrates the deeper layers of the skin through a lesion. Symptoms of infectious cellulitis include severe inflammation, redness, warmth, and localized pain . It requires immediate medical intervention because it can spread quickly and become potentially dangerous.

2. What are the causes of cellulite and its consequences?

2.1. The causes of cellulite

The causes of cellulite are rarely linked to a single factor. Generally, orange peel skin is multifactorial.

As mentioned above, the main cause of cellulite is energy intake greater than expenditure . This is all the more reinforced if the calories provided are bad: foods that are too fatty , too sweet , too salty , low in fiber or starchy. Excess lipids will be stored in the form of fat, predisposing to cellulite.


The energy balance can also be unbalanced by a lack of expenditure (sedentary lifestyle ), and therefore cause abnormal fat storage, favoring the appearance of cellulite. In addition, sitting or standing for too long hinders the smooth circulation of venous and lymphatic flows , which leads to poor elimination of fats, toxins and water.


Hormonal disorders and certain physiological periods in women ( pubertal phase, pregnancy, pre-menopause ) can be responsible for the formation of dimpling. Indeed, estrogens are hormones which, in excess, are most frequently responsible for the overproduction of adipocytes and water retention which are responsible for the orange peel appearance.


Drug treatments: estrogen (pill), antihistamines , corticosteroids can be the cause of this unsightly phenomenon.


Disturbance of venous return (varicose veins, lymphedema), venous insufficiency , lymph retention due to obstruction of lymphatic vessels and fluid retention are both causes and consequences of cellulite.


Unfortunately, heredity has its reasons that reason ignores: some people will have a lot of it by eating little, others a little by eating a lot.


Smoking and stress can cause blood circulation disorders , favoring the appearance of the orange peel appearance and leading to complications when the problem is already established.

2.2. Symptoms

The areas where cellulite appears are not limited to the buttocks and thighs! These are generally: the neck, the breasts, the back of the arms, the stomach, the buttocks, the hips, the thighs (posterior parts). Dimples on the inner part of the knees and ankles can also be observed and come from venous and lymphatic insufficiencies.

Note that cellulite affects different parts depending on the morphology of each individual: thin women will be more affected on the thighs and buttocks (drawing the famous saddlebags) while round women will notice these skin irregularities on their breasts, their stomach and thighs.

In addition to the unsightly appearance of the skin surface, identical to orange peel, the affected parts are heavy and tight , painful on palpation or pressure. The skin is mottled , easily bruises and may have varicose veins. Feelings of heaviness , cramps or tingling in the legs , characteristic of heavy legs, have also been reported.

For diagnosis, simple compression of the skin highlights the irregular appearance of the skin surface. The most important thing remains to identify the causes in order to move towards the right therapeutic measures.

2.3. The consequences of cellulite

Adipocytes engorged with fat tend to compress local irrigation vessels. This reduces blood circulation . The elimination of waste and toxins is poor , water retention increases in the body. It turns out that the consequences of cellulite are also its causes! A real vicious circle which can quickly lead to complications if the problem is not taken care of in time!

Over the years, the hypodermis becomes thicker and denser and the adipocytes full of fat tighten the blood vessels and press on the nerve endings. Result ? In addition to physical embarrassment, women suffer from hypersensitivity in the affected areas . A simple touch can become a real ordeal. In addition, toxins continue to accumulate with disastrous consequences for the body. It is therefore essential to act to prevent and reduce cellulite , which is not a disease but which nevertheless remains a real problem, beyond the aesthetic side.

3. What are the effective treatments for eliminating cellulite?

There is no way to completely get rid of cellulite unless it is very mild . It should be kept in mind that the goal of the advice and treatment that follows is to improve the appearance of orange peel skin and reduce the inconvenience caused by cellulite.

However, the effect of the treatments is temporary and they must be repeated to benefit in the long term.

3.1. Good advice and prevention

  • Obviously, regular physical activity is the first treatment that is required. Exercise is essential in the fight against cellulite.

  • But it is nothing if it is not accompanied by a healthy diet . Indeed, bad eating habits are the scourge of cellulite: ban excess fat, sugar, flour and salt products and favor an anti-cellulite diet with lean meats and fruits and vegetables rich in fiber.

  • Combine your new good habits with proper hydration: 2L of water per day is the ideal amount.

  • Certain clothing that is too tight can hinder blood and lymphatic circulation, particularly in the legs and thighs. Already they are not doing well with the pressure exerted on them by your dimples, it is better not to make the situation worse! Likewise, high heels are not recommended . They are suspected of being the cause of Barbie's (imaginary) cellulite.

  • A sedentary lifestyle is not your friend! Vary your posture to avoid immobilization for too long in a sitting or standing position.

  • Do not hesitate to elevate your legs once a day for around ten minutes: this will limit the development of cellulite in the lower limbs and especially the thighs.

  • Cold baths/showers boost blood circulation, an asset that you should exploit to eliminate cellulite.

  • Allow yourself moments of relaxation to limit stress which will not help you in any way to overcome cellulite.

  • Certain plants promote the elimination of water and drainage of the body, perfect for preventing the cause of cellulite and reducing its symptoms! For example, our Detox Elixir , thanks to its ultra-concentrated Cactinea(R) prickly pear extract , increases water elimination by +27% in 1 week. It drains toxins and dislodges fat to act effectively against cellulite. It eliminates the feeling of heavy legs by -67% in just 7 days , and we say yes!

3.2. Treatments

A manual massage every 2 days, firm and precise without traumatizing the skin, is a good solution to restart circulation and erase cellulite. We advise you to take a shower before the massage which will, on the one hand, relax the muscles but also, on the other hand, facilitate the penetration and effectiveness of the massage oils.

Physiotherapy offers lymphatic drainage which corresponds to gentle massages with different degrees of pressure. They improve blood circulation and facilitate the evacuation of toxins.

Some gels or creams specialized in the treatment of cellulite contain substances to reduce the level of subcutaneous fat . However, it is difficult to gauge their real effectiveness against cellulite.

Advanced therapeutic methods and state-of-the-art machines exist to combat cellulite. Here are some examples of the latest generation technologies offered in the Apogée clinic of Dr. Duvernois , who is also the co-founder of Reborn Paris .

  • Mesotherapy : Mesotherapy is a technique which consists of injecting substances under the skin to treat cellulite. It can help by boosting circulation , breaking down fat , improving skin elasticity , and directly targeting the affected area. However, results may vary and may require multiple sessions. It is important to consult a healthcare professional to discuss this option.

  • Ultrasound : To destroy fat more deeply and for complete remodeling of the targeted areas of the body , high-intensity focused ultrasound (Ultraformer® III ) is perfectly suited. They are in fact capable of precisely targeting different depths to target all fatty layers. The energy provided delivers heat which attacks and destroys the fat cells . Cellular triglycerides are then released and removed by the liver through the natural process of fat metabolization . The disappearance of fat leads to contraction of the surrounding tissues and firming with a tensor effect . The silhouette is remodeled and slimmed .

  • Laser : The Sp Dynamis infrared laser tuned to the specific Nd/Yag wavelength also allows deep hyperthermic destruction of fat and thermocontraction of tissues.

  • Cryolipolysis : The Coolsculpting® Elite machine is based on the principle of cryolipolysis . This technique is based on the destruction of fat cells through exposure to controlled and selective cold , having no impact on the surrounding muscles and tissues. This technique is very effective in eliminating fatty deposits and reshaping the patient's silhouette with the aim of slimming .

  • Radiofrequencies : If you want to get rid of unwanted fatty tissue - such as cellulite , dimpling , orange peel skin and rolls - fractional radiofrequency can be very interesting. Whether with microneedles ( Morpheus 8 ) or coupled with suction ( Body fx® or mini fx®), the energy released allows fat to be heated . Fat coagulation then causes tissue contraction and firming . The dermis is remodeled and unsightly fatty deposits fade .


Cellulite, although not a serious condition, can have a significant impact on the self-confidence and well-being of those who suffer from it. Fortunately, thanks to a better understanding of its causes and mechanisms, as well as the constant evolution of treatments, there are now effective ways to reduce the appearance of cellulite and improve quality of life. Whether through a healthy lifestyle, regular exercise, non-invasive treatments or more advanced procedures, it is possible to fight cellulite and achieve smoother, firmer skin. It is essential to remember that cellulite is not a blemish, but simply a natural characteristic of the skin that can be managed with care and attention. Don't hesitate to consult a health or beauty professional to discuss what options are best for you and take steps to feel better about yourself.

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