Cellulite is a condition that’s characterized by dimpled, lumpy flesh on the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and hips. The uneven lumps can also appear on the upper arms and breasts. Cellulite has a texture that’s similar to that of an orange peel and is sometimes referred to as orange-peel skin. Other common words used to describe cellulite are cottage-cheese skin and hail damage.
Both women and men have cellulite. But it’s much more common in adult and adolescent women compared to men. In fact, 80-90 percent of women will develop cellulite in the course of their lives. Cellulite is not a condition to worry a lot about, at least not in the medical sense. However, it’s a major cosmetic concern, especially for the majority of women.
The prevalence of cellulite among men and women is attributed to structural differences in the skin. Muscle, connective tissue, and fat are distributed differently in each sex. Internally, cellulite occurs when fat cells beneath the skin layers push against the connective tissue. The layer of connective tissue is found just above the fat cells, and below the dermis. Cellulite is less common in men because naturally their skin has more collagen fibers. That makes it firmer and harder for the underlying tissue to affect its structure.
There has not yet been a proven cure for cellulite. The best you can do is try and minimize its appearance or take measures to avoid it. Treatments that are available usually just offer temporary solutions. Cellulite may become less noticeable after treatment, but it never really goes away.
Natural cellulite treatment methods, however, offer more promise of actually dealing with your cellulite problem. Essential oils for cellulite are some of the natural remedies that have shown tremendous improvement for those who use them.
In this article, we’ll take a look at:
- What are essential oils?
- How can essential oils be used for cellulite?
- What are the best essential oils to use for cellulite?
- How to properly dilute essential oils for cellulite treatment
- Do carrier oils, including coconut oil, get rid of cellulite?
- Different ways to apply essential oils
- Unique oil blend recipes for cellulite
- How should you store your essential oils?
- What are the health effects of different essential oils?
- What are the safety precautions to take when using essential oils?
- Consistency matters
What are Essential Oils?
Essential oils are products or compounds that are extracted from plants. These oils can be obtained from roots, fruits, stems, leaves, or flowers. Usually, they are extracted from the plant material mechanically, for instance, through cold pressing. They can also be distilled using steam or water.
These oils have been used throughout the years to treat various ailments effectively. They are especially useful in aromatherapy, a type of treatment that uses natural plant extracts to promote not only health but also well-being. Dermatologists even recommend different essential oils for some skin conditions. Cellulite is one of those conditions. With the right combination of essential oils, you can create a treatment regimen that makes a huge difference in the appearance of cellulite.
How Can Essential Oils Be Used for Cellulite?
What differentiates essential oil-based treatments from other modern cellulite treatments is that with essential oils the cause of the lumps is targeted, not just the symptoms. That, in itself, promises better results.
Essential oil for cellulite can remedy most of the issues that may cause bulging of fat cells beneath the connective tissue. That includes inflammation and poor lymphatic drainage.
Poor circulation, fat accumulation under the skin, and structurally weak skin that lacks enough collagen also contribute to cellulite. Since essential oils can effectively improve all of these conditions, that makes them quite effective in combating cellulite.
What are the Best Essential Oils to Use for Cellulite?
There are more than 90 known types of essential oils. Each essential oil carries the essence (scent and flavor) of the plant from which it’s derived. This means that each oil has different health effects. Among these oils, there are essential oils that are more effective than others when it comes to treating cellulite. They include:
Bromelain is an enzyme found in grapefruit oil. The enzyme has anti-inflammatory properties that break down cellulite. When applied topically, grapefruit oil has been observed to help in weight loss. By reducing the fat in tissues, the appearance of cellulite is minimized.
Cedarwood is a cellulite oil which has astringent properties. It not only reduces fat deposits but also helps in improving circulation. When regularly used on the skin, cedarwood oil tightens loose skin and reduces cellulite.
Geranium oil is effective in reducing cellulite. When massaged onto the skin, this essential oil removes the excess fluid, reducing puffiness, which can exacerbate the appearance of cellulite.
Some of the main active chemical components in geranium include geranyl formate, linalool, geraniol, and citronellol. These chemicals have anti-septic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-oxidant properties that make the oil useful when it comes to cellulite.
Geranium eliminates dead skin cells while encouraging the regeneration of new ones. With continued use, there’s also an increase in the production of collagen. That leads to firmer skin, which is less susceptible to pressure by the fat cells beneath.
Rosemary essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and antimicrobial properties, which are useful in fighting cellulite. When used during massage, rosemary oil aids in unblocking the lymphatic system. Hence, circulation is improved beneath the skin layers. That prevents the accumulation of uneven fat deposits.
Analgesic properties found in lemongrass oil makes it an excellent choice for improving circulation in the tissues. One of its compounds, limonene, reduces inflammation by contracting blood vessels. Lemongrass oil can also dissolve fat deposits beneath the skin. Ultimately, these effects result in improved circulation and less fluid retention. That diminishes the appearance of cellulite.
Hormones contribute to the formation of cellulite. When there’s low estrogen concentration in women, the flow of blood to the connective tissues decreases. That translates to lower collagen levels, which makes the tissues weak. As the fat cells enlarge, they easily protrude through the layer of tissue. When massaged onto the skin, fennel is absorbed into the body and mimics the functions of estrogen. That, therefore, makes it an important oil for women experiencing menopause who are fighting cellulite.
Juniper berry oil minimizes the appearance of cellulite by encouraging proper drainage of water in the lymphatic system. This gets rid of water retention that causes inflammation, which is a risk factor for cellulite. The oil can also promote the rejuvenation of your skin tissue, thus helping to reduce dimples.
When applied on the skin, cypress oil causes the skin cells to contract. That results in better blood circulation and drainage. As a result, toxins are properly eliminated from the skin structure, and water retention is prevented. Thus, the occurrence of cellulite is avoided or reduced.
Other commonly used cellulite essential oils include sweet orange, tangerine, neroli, and benzoin.
How to Properly Dilute Essential Oils for Cellulite Treatment
Essential oils can cause irritation when applied to the skin in their original form. For safe use and faster absorption into the skin, you need to dilute them with a carrier oil. Carrier oils do not interfere with the function of essential oils, and are, therefore, good to use.
Examples of carrier oils include almond, mustard seed, argan, jojoba, coconut, and avocado oil.
Here are tips for diluting your essential oils properly:
- 1 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 1 drop essential oil
- 2 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 3 drops essential oil
- 3 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 4 drops essential oil
- 4 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 6 drops essential oil
- 5 percent dilution: 1tsp carrier oil, 7 drops essential oil
When choosing the best carrier oil for cellulite essential oils, you should:
- Select pure, unrefined, and cold-pressed oil without additives
- Buy the highest quality you can afford
The advantage of cold-pressed carrier oils is that they aren't heated. As such, their innate beneficial properties are retained.
Remember, to find the carrier oil that works best for you and your skin, you have to keep experimenting with the oils. Carrier oils have their different therapeutic properties which are based on the natural nutrients and essential fatty acids they contain. While these characteristics may be overlooked, they influence their shelf-life and unique application. Pairing the right carrier oil with your essential oil can result in the amazing benefits that you’re trying to achieve.
Do Carrier Oils Including Coconut Oil Get Rid of Cellulite?
Carrier oils have skin benefits, such as increasing the production of collagen and preventing acne. Most carrier oils contain skin-healing vitamins. They’re also loaded with anti-inflammatory properties, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids. However, coconut oil for cellulite works when mixed with an essential oil, and so do the other carrier oils.
That said, for some people, coconut can be effective at reducing the appearance of cellulite when applied regularly to the skin.
Different Ways to Apply Essential Oils
How you apply essential oils influences the health benefits you receive. Some of the most effective application methods when treating cellulite are:
This involves making a blend of your essential oil with a carrier oil of choice. Use three drops of the essential oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil. You can then massage this mixture into the areas of your skin with cellulite.
This involves dry brushing essential oils blended with a carrier oil onto your skin using a dry brush. The brush should have natural fibers as they’re less irritating to the skin. With the brush, apply the essential oil on your skin in semi-circular strokes towards the heart. Continue brushing until the oil has been entirely absorbed. Dry brushing is also a well-known method for reducing the appearance of cellulite.
In Bath Water
Mix 6 drops of your cellulite massage oil with 1tsp of milk. Pour this into a bathtub that's full of warm water. Disperse the oil into the water as much as you can, then soak in it for half an hour. During that time, massage the oil droplets floating around on your skin.
Unique Oil Blend Recipes for Cellulite
To get the best results from your cellulite treatment while using essential oils, you may need to mix two or more types of oils. Some of the blends that can accelerate the disappearance of cellulite through massage are:
Massage Blend 1:
- 10 drops lemon oil
- 12 drops grapefruit oil
- 8 drops fennel oil
- 2 tbsp almond oil
- 5 drop jojoba oil
- 5 drops carrot oil
Massage Blend 2:
- 5 drops fennel
- 5 drops rosemary
- 5 drops benzoin
- 5 drops lemon
- 4 tsp carrier oil
Massage Blend 3:
- 6 drops oregano
- 10 drops lemon
- 14 drops juniper
- 5 drops jojoba
- 5 drops carrot oil
- 2 tbsp almond oil
Massage Blend 4:
- 12 drops cypress oil
- 10 drops juniper berry oil
- 8 drops neroli oil
- 6 drops cedarwood oil
- 2 tbsp jojoba oil
- 2 tbsp argan oil
Massage Blend 5:
- 10 drops grapefruit oil
- 8 drops tangerine oil
- 7 drops sweet orange oil
- 6 drops lemongrass oil
- 4 drops geranium oil
- 2 tbsp castor oil
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 2 drops each of fennel, basil and rosemary oil
- 5 drops geranium oil
- 2 cups Epsom salt
- 1 tsp milk
- 1 cup of sea salt
- 3 drops turmeric oil
How Should You Store Your Essential Oils?
Storage of essential oils matters tremendously. Proper storage will not only protect but also prolong the shelf life of the oils. The temperature they’re stored at, the type of glass the oils are stored in, and the exposure of your oils to sunlight all significantly impact their quality.
To prevent deterioration and protect the therapeutic and aromatic properties of essential oils, it’s best to store them in the following colored bottles:
- Cobalt blue
- Brown or amber
When it comes to light protection, the more opaque and darker the glass, the better protection it provides against oxidation and damaging sunlight.
Avoid storing or purchasing essential oils in plastic bottles because the oils will eat the plastic, and, within a short period, the essential oils will be ruined.
Ideally, store your oils in a cool, dark place or, if possible, in the refrigerator.
What are the Health Effects of Different Essential Oils?
The benefits of essential oils transcend treating cellulite. Call it a win-win situation for you. Each essential oil has particular health benefits when used in addition to being powerful cellulite remedies. Some of these oils and their different effects are:
- Lemon Oil – Lemon essential oil boosts metabolism and, therefore, energy, improves digestive function, and reduces blood pressure.
- Geranium Oil – Using geranium results in enhanced circulation. The oil strengthens immunity and brings pain relief. It also soothes symptoms related to menstruation and menopause.
- Cedarwood Oil – Cedarwood is especially useful on the skin. It regulates the production of sebum, fights harmful skin bacteria, and protects the skin against pollutants.
- Lemongrass Oil – It’s used to reduce fever, relieve muscle and joint pain, and as a detoxifying agent.
- Rosemary Oil – Rosemary is used for pain relief and soothing headaches. It's also effective in promoting healthy digestion and boosting the immune system.
What Safety Precautions Should You Take When Using Essential Oils?
Some of the precautions to take when using essential oils include:
- Always carry out a patch test before applying a new oil on your skin. The test involves applying the oil on a small area of your skin. Essential oils can cause skin irritation, burns, or even dermatitis. A patch test allows you to observe whether your skin will have an allergic reaction or not.
- Never ingest essential oils, as they can be toxic. Essential oils are meant to either be inhaled or applied to the skin topically after being mixed with a carrier oil.
- If you're taking any medication, you should consult your doctor first before using essential oils.
At the end of the day, the secret to reducing cellulite using essential oils lies in being consistent. You can choose to massage your skin with essential oils for cellulite every morning or evening before going to bed. Alternatively, you can add the oils to each bath you take or combine your oil regime with regular dry brushing.