The market for cellulite treatments and cures has always been very confusing to me, and I’m sure a lot of women can relate. There constantly seems to be some new gimmick promising to rid us our flabby thighs once and for all. It’s hard to keep up with it all!
Now, while I can’t help but be skeptical, I’ve always been a little bit curious about these products. Like you, I like to stay in shape and look my best. I make an effort to work out five to six times a week (including a kickboxing class three times a week. You can read more about that here.) And since my brother is getting married in just a few weeks (in Puerto Rico!), in May I recommitted myself to really sticking to my fitness and healthy eating, with the goal being to look as good as I can in that bridesmaid dress— and on the beach!
So along came BeautyBum — a cellulite cream by BeautyFit, a company with a line of health and fitness products for women including antioxidant powder, post-workout refuel, protein shakes, vitamins and more. According to the website and packaging, BeautyBum promises to dissolve cellulite and promote firmed and toned skin on the area it’s applied. It is supposed to work by heat activation, forcing the fatty tissues to contract and release lipid particles into the bloodstream.
But what exactly is cellulite is and what causes it? After all, knowing the answers to these questions might help us better deal with issue that all women face.
The Skinny on Cellulite
The thin layer of connective tissue between fat cells pulls apart and becomes brittle as women age. The fat pushes through the holes, and this is what causes the dimples and ripples. Cellulite mainly affects women because the connective tissue is thicker in men.
Hormone changes are a big contributing factor with cellulite growth. Hormone changes that occur during pregnancy and puberty can create cellulite by changing the structure of the connective tissue. Although menopause doesn’t occur until about age 50, subtle changes in reproductive hormones begin to take place when you are in your 30s. Hormone changes during pregnancy and puberty can also alter the structure of the connective tissue in the skin and create cellulite.
Genetics also play a role in cellulite. There are small structural differences in two genes that control blood flow and metabolism, which cause some women to get cellulite worse than others. Increased blood flow and circulation means more blood flows to the fat cells and increase fat burning. When there’s a lack of blood flow, it can result in the hardening of collagen around fat deposits, which can make the cellulite appearance even worse.
The fact is, if you are genetically predisposed to have cellulite, then there may be no natural remedy to completely eliminate it… depressing, but true. However, most experts agree that diet and exercise works for mostly everyone to decrease it, and that creams and supplements can help reduce the appearance of cellulite when used in conjunction with a healthy diet and exercise program.
BeautyBum: My Initial Research
I did some research on some of the ingredients in BeautyBum and many other anti-cellulite products. Here are just some of the active ingredients in BeautyBum and how they work:
Caffeine: Helps increase blood flow, which increase fat burning.
Green tea extract: Contains theobromine, an alkaloid that can penetrate the skin and reportedly stimulates the release of stored fat.
Ginkgo biloba: Reportedly helps reduce cellulite by boosting circulation. According to a German study, ginko biloba increases the rate of blood flow around the body by up to 57 percent.
B-Complex Vitamins: Have been shown to promote cell and tissue activity, stimulating the metabolization of nutrients to create stronger connective tissue for the skin. When this tissue is stronger, it helps reduce fat and excessive fluid buildup in areas with cellulite.
From the research I’ve done on cellulite creams, it seems that a lot of creams on the market have the ability to reduce the visibility of cellulite, rather than totally eliminating it altogether. The creams help smooth the skin, and in addition the massaging motion on the skin is good for circulation with is important for reducing cellulite as well as skin appearance. So whenever I used BeautyBum, I made sure to massage it right in!
BeautyBum: My Experience & Results
So with my research done, I was ready to try out BeautyBum. Before doing so, I read on the label that it may cause redness and a warming sensation on the skin the first few times you try it, but that this would go away with time. I was eager to try out the cream, so I started lathering it on my thighs and stomach (the label says to use the cream on legs, thighs and butt, but I read positive reviews online from people who said they used it on their stomach as well, and wanted to see how it did on my stomach flab). When I was done applying it, I washed my hands immediately, as the directions ordered, and then waited to see what would happen.
After a few moments, I felt a slight warmth on my stomach and thighs and saw a little redness… it was a pretty odd feeling! While the warming sensation was very strange… I actually liked it, because it let me know the product was activated and doing what it was supposed to do (as I used the product more, the redness and warmth was significantly reduced each time).
So over the course of several weeks, I continued to use this product on my thighs and stomach. I also amped up my lower body training, and put the cream on before I did that or cardio. It’s been a few weeks now… and the appearance of the cellulite on my thighs is definitely reduced. It’s not completely eliminated, but there is a difference. My issue is that I am constantly forgetting to use the cream before working out… I’m getting better at that, though!
Also… I seriously can’t remember a time when my stomach was so flat. Was it because of my increased training and attention to diet? That’s probably the reason for most of my success. But what I do know is this— in May, when I recommitted myself to working out and eating healthy, I didn’t start getting any results for months. When I started losing the weight (I have lost about 10 pounds since May), BeautyBum seemed to help smooth the areas I needed help with. I am not in a position to say that the cream “dissolved my fat,” but I can say that it has made the skin on my problem areas appear more toned and smooth. I’ll take it!
I think this cream is a good addition to a diet and exercise program. My conclusion after using this product is that exercise and dieting remain the best avenues for fighting cellulite— but that cellulite cream like BeautyBum can help reduce the appearance of the lovely cottage cheese and may just help boost the fat-burning process, even if just slightly. I’ll definitely keep using this product to supplement my training and nutrition.
Puerto Rico, here I come!
Fahey, Tom. “The Cellulite Cure? The Latest Research!” FitnessRx for Women April 2011: 68-71. Print.