'Does my bum look big in this?'

Mary O Donnell
Mary O Donnell

When Pippa Middleton walked into Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011, nobody was ready for the impact this pert derriere would to have on the world. We thought all eyes would be on the bride, not her sister's posterior. Cosmetic surgeons got so many requests, they called it The Pippa butt lift .The bum got its own face book page called 'the awkward moment you become a sex icon at your sister's wedding'.

Any man's nightmare is to be asked that most dreaded of questions - 'does my bum look big in this'? And if the question is followed by the word 'honest' and he is, it could take the entire UN peace corps to restore peace.

Cellulite is big, big business in the cosmetics world. All the celebs dread their cellulite being snapped by the paps, but Kate Moss and even Victoria Beckham have been caught on camera and it always makes headlines. So, when even very very thin people have cellulite, what hopes have the rest of us? But when it comes to summer and peeling off the layers we do hope we can do something to improve the situation.

Cellulite, or orange peel skin, or cottage cheese skin, is subcutaneous fat with fibrous connective tissue which manifests itself as skin dimpling in the lower limbs and abdomen and guess what, it's rarely seen on men.

The reasons for cellulite formation may be a single or combination of factors. Firstly, hormonal factors play an important role - estrogen, insulin and thyroid hormones are part of the cellulite process. Certain genes can predispose an individual to cellulite such as gender, race, metabolism, distribution of fat and circulatory insufficiency. When we ask, 'do these jeans make my look bum big?, it could be our diet not the jeans that is responsible. Too much fat , carbohydrates, salt and too little fibre can increase cellulite levels. Lifestyle is a major factor, smokers are more predisposed to cellulite as are people who sit or stand for long periods of time.

So what to do:

• Drink water, it sheds fat stored as cellulite. The water will strengthen the collagen in your skin, helping to reduce the lumpy look.

• Healthy diet with plenty of fibre and wholegrain foods, as they remove waste and toxins from the intestinal tract. Fruit and vegetables also help.

• Exercise regularly, any increase in circulation will help the area. Walking, swimming, yoga all help the situation.

• Massage - especially lymphatic massage helps break up the fluids beneath the skin.

• Body brushing

• Exfoliation

• Camouflage with tan.

They say we will never get rid of cellulite completely but there are treatments and creams that help reduce the appearance. That is good enough for me. Vibro power plate is a machine you stand on and it does the work. As it increases the circulation and decreases the toxins the result will be reduction in cellulite. It takes about 10 minutes and a course is recommended.

If the 'R' word ever goes away and holidays are on the cards again, first place I am going is the Sanctuary Spa in Tralee, where they have an endermologie machine. This is a device with rollers that massage the affected areas and, with lipo massage, targets localised fat. The result is fantastic and lasts for ages and if you fall back to your old ways, there is always a top up. If you are going to try this one, you need to work with the therapist to get the results.

Just out, are two new cellulite creams, Shiseido have Advanced Body Creator - use morning and night for best results. This guy has ground-breaking technology behind it, no pun intended. It looks like a desert, pink with a smell of grapefruit, mint and fennel. Massage well into the skin and it does absorb quickly and wait for the cooling effect, which lasts about one hour, it has an exhilarating fragrance of kuroho, once treasured by ancient Japanese aristocrats. Results are impressive and prepare to have very smooth silky legs and bum after it. A jar will last about five weeks.

Next is Clarins Body Lift Advanced Cellulite Control, which does what it says on the box - it lifts and controls cellulite. Follow massage sequence for best results and be prepared for the tingle. It can also be used on upper arms. You will either love or loath the smell, but I think it is refreshing and uplifting and it absorbs very quickly. Nuxe do a body conturing oil for infiltrated cellulite oil. It has 10 essential oils, including everlasting flower and cedar to help diminish the appearance of dimpled and sagging skin .Skin will love this.

Pixy cosmetics also do a cellulite oil, in a lovely bottle, and it's made from avocado oil, fennel oil and uses sweet almond to flush and detoxify all the nasty stuff that causes cell blockage.

Soap and Glory do 'Sit Tight Intense SX' and this baby really heats up and I mean heat. So you apply, sit and it does the work, it promises to make you flab-you-less.

All cellulite treatments and creams can only work so far. When you have a sneaky fag or bottle of wine or pot of coffee, the results will not be as good. So if cellulite is a problem and you want to reduce its appearance, work with it and know that, for the results to last, so must your resolve. Just think, your bum too could have its own Facebook page. Pippa look out!!!

Contact Mary O'Donnell at beautyandfitnessmatters@eircom.net

• Next week, the tan commandments.


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