Does body cupping actually work? If you want to get rid of cellulite, we rank the options.

A Facebook post recently caught our attention. It was an anonymous post in the You Beauty group (if you don't already follow the page – you're missing out, friend), asking for 'CELLULITE HELP'.

It said:

  • I exercise everyday which includes walking and weighted squats, lounges etc … 
  • I eat healthy. 
  • I’m a size 6-8. 
  • I’m 54kg (165cm).
  • I drink two to four litres of water daily. 
  • I am 42 years old.
  • I dry brush.

Is there actually anything I can do about it?  The rest of my body is toned and semi muscular but the back of my legs/butt.

The post racked up nearly 200 comments, with suggestions ranging from body cupping and RF technology to lymphatic drainage massage, exercise and dry body brushing.

So, it got us thinking. Can you actually change the appearance of cellulite? And do you need to? 

Watch: Here are the horoscopes working out. Post continues below.

Video via Mamamia.

Of course, it goes without saying that cellulite isn't something that needs to be 'fixed' or 'treated'. Not by any means. It's a perfectly normal feature of women’s skin and nothing to be ashamed of.

However, like all areas of beauty – including caring for the skin on your face – if it's something that bothers you, you're entitled to know what options are out there, no?


Let's talk.

Wait. What exactly is cellulite?

Studies show that most women (about 80 to 90 per cent) have cellulite, and it's most commonly found on the thighs, buttocks and upper arms. Told you you weren't alone! In fact, it's totally normal for people of all shapes and sizes.

As Dr Rodney Sinclair, Professor of Dermatology, explained in this article, cellulite (also known as gynoid lipodystrophy, if you want to get all medical and fancy) is caused by "alterations to the layer of fat beneath the skin, known as subcutaneous fat".

Cellulite can also either be hard, soft or oedematous (swollen). 

"Hard cellulite is seen in young women who exercise regularly," said Sinclair. "Soft cellulite is more common in inactive women who have recently lost weight. Oedematous cellulite is seen in women who are overweight."

What causes cellulite?

As mentioned, cellulite comes about due to changes in the amount and composition of fat within the fat cells and tissues.

As Dr Sinclair said, "These changes are thought to be caused by alterations in the blood vessels and circulation in the subcutaneous tissue, and are influenced by genes and hormones, and exacerbated by a sedentary lifestyle and obesity."

It's also worth noting that oestrogen is the most important hormone involved in the production of cellulite, which kind of explains why it predominately (but not exclusively) affects women. 

Cool, cool, cool.


What's the best way to treat cellulite?

So, now we know what cellulite actually is, this brings us back to the Facebook question: what's the best way to target cellulite if it's something that bothers you? 

In a recent episode of You Beauty podcast, a listener asked Leigh Campbell and Kelly MCarren if those body sculpting cups (the ones you see all over Instagram) actually... do anything.

"They can work to decrease momentarily the appearance of cellulite," said Leigh. "They're not going to get rid of or cure cellulite."

So, there you have it.

"It's like cupping on your back – you see people with those rings, it's like that sort of thing. You swish it on your thigh, and then rub it up and down in a circular motion. It does sort of work. It's almost like dry body brushing or lymphatic drainage. You need quite firm pressure. So you don't want it to hurt, but it's not all that comfortable.

"It's not a cure. It's not a fix. It's not a silver bullet, but it will work to temporarily reduce."

So while the sneaky marketing goblins might fool you into believing body cupping is the answer to cellulite, as Leigh went on to say, it does take a lot of time and a lot of dedication.

"It's a bit like an LED mask. You're gonna have to dedicate yourself and really do it regularly to see any result – and as soon as you stop, the results will stop.

"Before my 40th last year, I did a couple of lymphatic drainage massages because I'm really puffy and I get puffy ankles. But they did my whole body and that made quite a big difference. Again, momentarily. It was for an event and then I went back to normal a week or two later.


"So give it a crack. They're not very expensive. To me, I just personally couldn't be bothered." 

If you're looking for a quick fix besides cupping, fake tanning can also work wonders in smoothing out the appearance of things.

However, when it comes to the absolute best thing you can do for cellulite if you're looking for long-term results, weight-bearing exercises are apparently where it's all at.

"Squats, lunges, pilates – all that jazz stuff I used to do when I had time," said Leigh.

Studies show that lack of physical activity increases the severity of cellulite by weakening the muscle layer of the blood vessels, which leads to a lack of oxygen and blood supply to the tissues.

Further to this, things like alcohol consumption and smoking can also cause dehydration and mess with your circulation. No good. So just be wary of this.

Otherwise, unless it's something that really bothers you, just rock your cellulite out. Nearly 90 per cent of women have it – so just go with it!

Hear, hear.

Have you tried cupping before? What are your thoughts? Share them with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Getty.

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