Unless you’ve got great superwoman genes or are 11 years old, we’ve all detected, or will detect, glimpses of cellulite somewhere on our bodies at some point in our lives. In fact, cellulite affects up to 90 percent of women, and it doesn’t matter whether you’re a size 0 or size 12. Contrary to assumptions on the cause of these unwanted, not-so-cute dimples, cellulite is exercise-resistant and caused by a number of factors, including heredity, diet, and more, according to top medical esthetician Maria Rianna at the New York City-based White Tea Med Spa.
What is Cellulite?
Those unsightly lumps and bumps that might be on your thighs, backside, or stomach – sometimes referred to as cottage cheese skin or orange peel syndrome – is cellulite. Cellulite is partially hormonal since hormones play a role in blood flow, fat storage, connective tissue, and lymphatic drainage. For this reason, it usually occurs with post-adolescent women.
Underneath the dermis and epidermis are three specific layers of fat, Maria explained to me during my visit to White Tea Med Spa to experience the VelaShape treatment (White Tea also offers great facials!). Cellulite tends to develop in the subcutaneous fat layers, which feature large chambers to store fat – in men, these chambers are much smaller, which is why they rarely get cellulite.
Because these chambers in women are upright (in men, they’re slanted), as fat cells collect, they push against the connective tissue beneath the skin, resulting in an uneven, dimply skin appearance – a.k.a cellulite.
While cellulite might seem uncontrollable since genetics play a factor and exercise won’t completely rid of it, there’s still hope! VelaShape is the first FDA-approved non-invasive cellulite and circumferential reduction technology. It incorporates both penetrating bi-polar radio frequency and infrared energy, and vacuum and mechanical massage. As it heats up fatty tissue and increases lymphatic drainage, it evens out the skin to reveal a smoother, tighter figure.
As I laid face-down on the table, Maria went to work on my upper thighs and I couldn’t help but feel like Kim Kardashian, who’s been seen getting VelaShape done on the reality show, Keeping Up with the Kardashians. The hand-held device moved in circular motions and I felt heat and sucking sensations as it melted my fat down at 104°F. To avoid burning or overheating, treatments for each area on my thighs were broken up into two 10-minute sessions, for a total of 20 minutes on each area. Treatments may range from 20 to 35 minutes per area.
Since everyone’s fatty make-up is different, it can take a number of treatments to see results. Usually, most people will start to see results with four to eight treatments. After my one treatment, I did notice my skin felt smoother, as the procedure does tighten collagen fairly quickly. However, maintenance is needed to keep the cottage cheese away, which means once-a-month treatments after the initial four to eight.
Since the two applicators (Vsmooth and Vcontour) on the VelaShape device are designed for both large and small body areas, VelaShape can treat various body areas, such as the thighs, buttocks, and arms. And, everyone from new mothers to models go to White Tea Med Spa to have the treatment, Maria told me. But, while this can be an easy and effective way to minimize cellulite and lose inches, people must remember that like with all non-surgical and surgical techniques, results will last longer if you follow a balanced diet and exercise regularly, Maria reminded.