The Myth of Cellulite Treatments

butt facial, fanny facial, buttocks facial, bum bum facial

Have you ever inquired about the cost and the length of a cellulite treatment? Have you ever considered or tried laser, cavitation, infrared, microcurrent, liposuction, body wraps, VelaShape, Endermologie, injections, creams, lotions, serums, etc, etc, etc, to treat your cellulite to no avail? Have you already spent hundreds or thousands of dollars and there is nothing to show for?  Yeah, me too! I too have been the “victim of deception.”  Since I like to keep abreast of the new technology, I do try these services to see if they are worth offering at Bella Dermis Skin Care LLC.  I recently received 11 cavitation treatments.  I also asked how long before I start noticing the difference.  I was told, by the very confident technician, that I would see results by the 6th treatment.  Not the 5th or the 7th but the 6th treatment.  There were no (visual) changes.  But you may wonder why do I offer Derriere CareTM in my skincare clinic when I know there is no cure for cellulite?  Just stay with me for a little longer.

First of all, what exactly is cellulite?  Cellulite is present in 80-90% of women – mostly in industrialized countries (due to more sedentary lifestyles).  It is rarely seen in men, but not completely non-existent.  About 10% of men have cellulite; they tend to have more estrogen in their system.  Changes in metabolism, yo-yo dieting, alteration of the connective tissue, hormonal and genetic factors, circulatory problems and inflammation, among others, are the main causes of cellulite.  Women who have a more sedentary lifestyle tend to have more cellulite because of the circulation/inflammation condition, although active and fit women can also display cellulite because it has a genetic and hormonal component. We cannot escape it!

How is it formed?  The mechanical process of cellulite is related to fat, but is not fat per se.  Most people think that fat causes cellulite, plain and simple.  Others will say that cellulite is trapped toxins and excess water underneath the skin.  The fact is cellulite is a condition that affects the appearance of the skin in areas with underlying fat deposits (most noticeably on the buttocks and thighs), giving the skin a dimpled, lumpy appearance. In other words, fat cells are affected by cellulite and not the other way around!

When we are young, our connective tissue is supple and elastic, stretching and giving with the skin so that everything remains smooth. Then puberty hits, and hormones wreak havoc on the connective tissue, making it stiffer and less elastic. At the same time, there is fat relocalization (which gives us ladies our lovely shape) and fat cells tend to expand in certain areas pushing out on the skin.  As the bands of connective tissue contract and stiffen with age, they pull down on the skin even more. At the same time, increasing fat stores push outward in the surrounding areas. Put these two occurrences together, and the result is the infamous orange peel skin.  As we get older, the outer layer of skin weakens, thins, and loses elasticity. Gravity takes its toll, and the skin begins to sag.  Since the connective septae remain intact and often contracts and stiffens further as time goes on, the appearance of cellulite continues to worsen with age.

Another strong factor in the development of cellulite is yo-yo dieting. Repeated cycles of weight gain and weight loss further compromise skin elasticity, making cellulite more pronounced.

Why women and not men? It’s NOT fair!  There are a few theories:

1) Men have a thicker epidermis – the very top layer of the skin.  A thicker epidermis makes male skin more resilient to structural change and dimpling, which protects it from cellulite.  On the other hand, women have a thinner epidermis and three layers of fat in the areas that cellulite is more visible (knees, thighs, buttocks, stomach and tricep areas) which exposes it to lumpiness.

2) Male and female skin is fundamentally different. Female fat cells sit within large, side-by-side, separate compartments that form columns underneath the skin’s surface.  When female fat cells get bigger, the compartments overflow and have no choice but to expand vertically. At this point the fat pushes upwards, puts massive pressure on the skin’s surface, and eventually creates the bumps known as cellulite.  On the other hand, male skin follows a crisscrossed pattern. Male fat containers are smaller, and when they grow they tend to create one, big, solid blob of fat (if it even penetrates the thick epidermis). Although beer bellies are common, most guys won’t have cellulite.

3) Tight underwear and clothes constricts blood flow around the butt and thighs, which speeds up cellulite development.

So, why so many treatments in the market? Which one works? What can I do to get rid of my unwanted dimples?  Can your Derriere CareTM treatment help me? I know, I know! So many questions!

The truth is NOTHING will get rid of your cellulite. NOTHING.  Liposuction will not even improve the appearance of the skin because it gets rid of fat cells, not the already-damaged connective tissue.  Prohibitively expensive treatments like cavitation, VelaShape and Endermology – which are in the thousands of dollars – are not any better than more sensibly-priced aesthetic treatments.  They all HELP improve the appearance of cellulite, but in order to maintain the results, you need to continue receiving treatments for the rest of your life!

So, when people ask me “how many treatments before I start noticing a difference?”, I cannot give them a straight answer.  Every body is different.  As we already explored, the causes of cellulite are many and I don’t necessarily know a person’s particular cause.

When I developed (and trademarked) my Derriere CareTM service, I did so with another goal in mind: the improvement of the top layer of the epidermis, and as a side effect, the improvement of the connective tissue.  Derriere CareTM treats breakouts, blemishes, pigmentation, scarring, roughness, calluses or any epidermal imperfection.  I guess you can call it a “facial for the butt.”  In addition, I perform a lymphatic drainage massage with ampoules that help move things around underneath the skin.  This helps with the appearance of cellulite.  A cryogenic algae mask helps tighten the skin giving it a firmer feel and look.  Regular weekly sessions will DEFINITELY help REDUCE the appearance of cellulite.  How long will it take before you notice? No one can say.

How long does the effect last?  As with ANY anti-cellulite treatment – regardless of what procedure is being used – the effects can last from a day to a week to months.  The more often you receive the treatment, the longer the results will last.  But you have to remember, the treatment must be ongoing if you want longer-lasting results.  Perseverance, patience, commitment, loyalty to the treatment, regular dieting (no yo-yo dieting), exercising, and a strong desire to improve the quality of your skin are all needed to improve your cellulite condition.

Why are cellulite treatments expensive if they don’t work? They can be expensive and they do work – you just don’t get to see any improvement in a short period of time.  Remember that it took years for the cellulite to show.  There is really no technology that can rid you of cellulite in only 12 treatments.  With this said, however, new technology is expensive with some machines costing over $30,000.00!!  High quality professional product lines are also very expensive.  Therefore, treatments are priced according to the cost of products and equipment.  The purpose of the machines is to provide a massage, with or without heat, and move things around easier than with the hands.   High quality products are better than their cheaper counterparts because their ingredients are from higher quality sources (the way an ingredient is processed can be more sophisticated than others, respecting the integrity of the ingredient, for example).  From my own personal experience both receiving and providing these types of services, I have seen structural changes in the skin from manual lymphatic drainage technique utilizing products which contain lipolysis-causing ingredients.

So what product is best for me?  I know! It’s like trying to pick the best cookie from a plate…

butt cookies

First you need to know how these creams work: by pulling fluids out of the spaces between cells and inducing lipolysis (fat-burning right under the epidermis).  They should also contain ingredients that boost circulation such as algae and caffeine, which, depending on how the massage is applied, can help eliminate toxins that become constricted in the connective tissue.  Here is a short list of anti-cellulite products that truly help, at various price ranges.  You can special order this product through Bella Dermis Skin Care.  Prices may change by manufacturer without prior notice.

– Circadia’s anti-cellulite cream has been rated the TOP product of the year two years in a row.  $36 – 8oz; $70 – 16oz

– Anesi – a professional line used at our center – has been known for decades to be a signature product line in skincare clinics for their body treatments.  Aminofirm (firming) $60 – 17oz; Lipoaminocel (anti-cellulite) $60 – 17oz

– Pharmagel Slender Shaper is also a great product to use but on the medium price range.  $40 – 8.5oz

– My favorite DIY at-home treatment is a coffee scrub.  Take your morning coffee grounds, mix them with olive oil, add essential oil of peppermint and scrub away in the shower.

BEWARE that purchasing high quality reputable products through unauthorized dealers on Amazon and others alike at a much cheaper price will NOT guarantee that you will be getting the actual product.  I have purchased reputable skincare products online and I can tell you with certainty that they are NOT the same product.  I have received products through Amazon that have been shipped from China (delivered by international DHL) because one can’t really tell where the vendor is from and the product is manufactured either in Europe or right here in the USA, so there is no reason for the product to be shipped from China.  Buy from your local authorized dealer only and help our local economy.

I am with you on this one! So why don’t you schedule your appointment for Derriere CareTM today? Receive 5% off this treatment when you schedule online.  Or receive 10%, 15% or 25% when you purchase a series of 6, 8 or 10 respectively.  Restrictions apply. Read our Terms and Conditions on our website sign


Winter tanning


So, winter is here and sunbathing is out of the question this time of year.  Although we live in Tampa, where it’s sunny all year round… but we consider this time of the year a bit too nippy to be out there sunbathing.

What options do people have if they want to have a tan look all year round? Well, there are always tanning booths.  However, did you know that they are JUST AS DANGEROUS to the skin as it is to sunbathe outdoors?  Really! It doesn’t matter what they tell you, booth tanning uses UV rays and UV rays are very bad for your skin.  So, maybe they diminish the risk of developing skin cancer, but that’s n0t your skin’s only concern, you know?

Your skin becomes thinner, loses its elasticity, develops pigmentation problems (hyper or hypo pigmentation)… basically, you add years to your skin.

There are yet other options: spray tanning or self-tanning lotions.  According to Mayo Clinic, sunless tanning is a safe alternative to sunbathing or booth tanning.  So in this section, I will talk about how they work and tips on how to maximize the benefits.

Our skin is made up of two main layers: the epidermis on the outside and the dermis on the inside. Whether you are talking about sun tanning or self-tanning, the epidermis is where the action occurs.   The epidermis is also made up of layers. The deepest layer of the epidermis, called the stratum basale (basal layer), is affected during sun tanning. The stratum corneum (horny layer) is the outermost layer of the epidermis — it is this layer that is affected by most sunless-tanning products.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, the most effective products available are sunless- or self-tanning lotions that contain dihydroxyacetone (DHA) as the active ingredient. DHA is a colorless sugar that interacts with the dead cells located in the stratum corneum of the epidermis. As the sugar interacts with the dead skin cells, a color change occurs. This change usually lasts about five to seven days from the initial application.

Every day, millions of dead skin cells are sloughed off or worn away from the surface of your skin. In fact, every 35 to 45 days, you have an entirely new epidermis. This is why tans from sunless- or self-tanning lotions will gradually fade — as the dead cells are worn away, so is your tan. For this reason, you must re-apply the products about every three days to maintain your “tan.”

Is sunless tanning safe?

Topical sunless tanning products are generally considered safe alternatives to sunbathing, as long as they’re used as directed.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved DHA for external application to the skin. However, the FDA hasn’t approved the use of DHA for application to areas near the eyes, mouth or nose. If you’re using a sunless tanning cream, it’s easy to avoid these areas. With spray tanning, this might be more difficult since the product is usually applied to the whole body to ensure even color and may cause you to inhale the product.

Further research is needed to determine the risks — if any — of this type of exposure. In the meantime, protect your eyes, mouth and nose when spray tanning and avoid inhaling the product. Be sure to wear goggles and nose plugs, and hold your breath while the spray is being applied.

As a warning note, scientific studies have shown DHA to cause genetic mutations when applied to cells in a dish.  No studies have been conducted in humans, so it’s not clear whether genetic changes would occur in people, or whether the changes would pose health risks.  However, experts called the findings concerning, and called for more research on spray tanning.

Additionally, most sunless tanning products don’t contain sunscreen. If you spend time outdoors, sunscreen remains essential~!

What about other forms of sunless tanning such as pills?

Yes! Although gels, lotions or sprays that contain DHA are said to be the most reliable and useful, there are dozens of other types of products on the market. Tanning accelerators — lotions or pills that usually contain the amino acid tyrosine — claim that they stimulate and increase melanin (color cells) formation, thereby accelerating the tanning process.  At this time, there is no scientific data available to support these claims.

Sunless tanning pills, which typically contain the color additive canthaxanthin, are unsafe. The FDA has approved the use of canthaxanthin in food, it does not approve its use as a tanning agent. When used as a color additive, only very small amounts of canthaxanthin are necessary. As a tanning agent, however, much larger quantities are used. After canthaxanthin is consumed, it is deposited all over your body, including in your skin, which turns an orange-brown color. These types of tanning pills have been linked to various side effects, including hepatitis and canthaxanthin retinopathy, a condition in which yellow deposits form in the retina of the eye.

Another popular form of sunless tanning is the bronzer. These powders and moisturizers, once applied, create a tan that can easily be removed with makeup remover.  More like make-up, these products tint or stain your skin only until they are washed off.

It’s important to remember that most of these products, unless they contain an added sunscreen, will not protect you from the sun’s UV rays.   Even products that do contain a sunscreen won’t be of much help, since they lose their efficacy within hours of application. So, if you’re planning to head outside to show off your new glow, be sure to apply some extra sunscreen.


1) Always test-patch to make sure that you will not have an allergic reaction.

2) Wash your body well, leaving no residue, shave or wax hair off and exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate!

3) Do not use deodorant, lotions, oils, gels, perfumes, etc before the tanner. Your skin needs to be super clean.

4) Once you put the product on, avoid bathing or exercising for 24 hours. Wear lose clothing so that the product doesn’t stick to your clothes for the first 24 hours.

5) You should not bathe in the ocean or pool either!

6) When you do take a shower, do not rub the towel over your body. Instead pat-dry.

7) A professionally-performed spray tanning is ALWAYS better than DIY spray tanning. That’s why they are professionals.  🙂